Small-gauge Storytelling: Discovering the Amateur Fiction Film

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Ryan Shand, Ian Craven
Edinburgh University Press, 2013 - Performing Arts - 306 pages
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This book focuses on amateur fiction film-making. What do you understand by the term 'home movie'? Do you imagine images of babies-on-the lawn, sandcastles on the beach, or travels with the family? Did you know that amateur filmmakers have also explored fictional genres as diverse and fascinating as their professional counterparts, that specific amateur film studios have risen and fallen, or that household-name directors owe their origins and inspirations to the amateur film movement? Across a range of settings, Small-Gauge Storytelling offers an introduction to the amateur maker of film comedies, thrillers, adaptations and sci-fi, recording the ambitions and achievements of enthusiasts struggling to emulate the mainstream, and tell their own stories, armed only with limited resources, but endless initiative.

Key Features

  • the first dedicated book-length study of the amateur fiction film
  • draws together established and emerging scholars from Europe, North America and Australasia
  • establishes fresh approaches to the study of small-gauge filmmaking and places amateur fiction within ongoing debates and histories
  • establishes previously unrecognised contributions to the organisational, aesthetic and intellectual history of amateur filmmaking
  • the first published bibliography of critical sources for the study of the amateur fiction film

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About the author (2013)

Dr Ryan Shand is Research Assistant on the AHRC-funded project 'Children and Amateur Media in Scotland' based at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He completed his PhD, entitled 'Amateur Cinema: History, Theory, and Genre (1930-80)', at the University of Glasgow, and has contributed chapters to the recent anthologies Movies on Home Ground: Explorations in Amateur Cinema (Cambridge Scholars, 2009), and The City and The Moving Image: Urban Projections (Palgrave, 2010); article publications have appeared in The Moving Image: The Journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, and The Drouth.

Ian Craven is Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. His research interests include Australian cinema, film and television technology, and British amateur cinema. Edited publications include Australian Popular Culture (Cambridge University Press, 1994), Australian Cinema in The 1990s (Frank Cass, 2001), and Movies On Home Ground: Explorations in Amateur Cinema (Cambridge Scholars, 2009). Recent articles have appeared in journals including Antipodes, Studies in Australasian Cinema, Continuum and the Journal of Media Practice. He is currently researching and writing a monograph history of British amateur filmmaking, 1920-1980.

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