American Creative Industries Research Proposal

Pages: 7 (2278 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Film

American Creative industries - the Role of the American Film Industry in Globalization

The buzz word of today seems to be crisis - media coverage of the economic crisis emerged within the United States and expanded throughout the entire world is intensive. The efforts made in order to reduce the effects of the financial challenges are tremendous. What is often left out is the explanation of how the American problems came to impact the international players. The answer is a simple one - the forces of globalization. Globalization was indubitably the buzz word of the twentieth century, but what has to be remembered is that the force is not only present in the economic background, but that it affected a wide variety of social and cultural characteristics. In addition, it was generated by mutations in all fields, including technological, political or socio-cultural.

The United States has often been blamed for the emergence of market liberalization and globalization and the process has even been assimilated with Americanization. In this line of thoughts then, it becomes obvious that some aspects of the American culture have transcended to other cultures and have supported the process of globalization. The aim of this paper is to analyze how the American creative industries, namely the film industry, have impacted the process of globalization. To achieve this desiderate however, it is necessary to properly present the concepts of globalization, Americanization, American creative industries and American film industries. The role of the film industry will then be assessed and the paper will come to an end with a section on concluding remarks.

2. Globalization

Given the intense developments and effects of the globalizing powers, the process has raised the undivided interest of both academia and practitioners. As a result, the definitions of globalization are numerous and range from highly simple to highly complex. Stull, what has to be noted is that the authors generally state similar things, in only different forms. In this order of ideas, a most relevant definition of the concept is offered by Ichiro Kawachi and Sarah Wamala (2007), who state that "globalization is a terms that is used in many ways, but the principal underlying idea is the progressive integration of economies and societies. It is driven by new technologies, new economic relationships, and the national and international policies of a wide range of actors, including governments, international organizations, business, labor and civil society."

Globalization has both been praised as well as put down due to its effects. Some of its positive implications include the creation of free markets and customer advantages, the possibility of various countries to benefit from their comparative advantages, or prosperous economic growth (Nash, 2009). Some of the negative effects include the loss of jobs in developed countries due to outsourcing, the higher levels of pollution or the exploitation of land and labor (Pillai, 2008). This debate has been best summarized by Globalization101 (2009), which answers the question "What is globalization" by inquiring: "Is it the integration of economic, political, and cultural systems across the globe? Or is it Americanization and United States dominance of world affairs? Is globalization a force for economic growth, prosperity, and democratic freedom? Or is it a force for environmental devastation, exploitation of the developing world, and suppression of human rights?" The answer depends on the individual experiences of each person.

Globalization is sometimes negatively associated with Americanization, a process in which one country assimilates the cultural features of the United States, in the detriment of its national values (Stephan, 2005). A contributor to this movement is the American film industry, which has reached all corners of the globe and is imposing its values to be adopted by the impressionable.

3. The American Film Industry

The creative industry encompasses the totality of imaginative and original activities aimed at maximizing the spending of leisure time and increase the comfort of the every day life. Examples in this instance include design, arts, architecture, music, film or interactive software leisure (Honk Kong Arts Development Council, 2009). The American film industry is a highly interesting topic on its own, due to features such as the inclusion of Jews whenever other industries were rejecting them (some of them became notable players in the industry, such as the Warner brothers) or the years-long migration of film makers to Hollywood. Today, the industry is a highly lucrative one and a movie staring Bruce Willis or Tom Cruise will not register incipient costs lower that $10 million (Knowledge Rush, 2003).

American films are viewed in all corners of the world and some reasons for their international popularity include the fact that they are colorful and filled with events that raise emotions in the audience. Whether they laugh at the mishaps of the teenagers in Road Trip or feel for the heroes of Meet Joe Black, foreign audiences love to watch American films. Other reasons include great research, hard work and talented and committed staff (Dorthea, 2007).

4. Role of the American Film Industry in Globalization

The fact that the American films are viewed in all parts of the globe has supported the migration of U.S. characteristics and has also opened the door to globalization and Americanization. A first example in this sense is the showing of reputable brands in films. Movies such as Super Size Me, Big Daddy or Party Monster all showed McDonald's (Spout, 2009). Then, the protagonists of Desperate Housewives drive Lexus automobiles; the Ford vehicles are also driven by characters in various films, such as Bruce Willis in Die Hard or Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm (World Car Fans, 2008). These elements have consolidated the respective brands and have made it easier to accept the penetration of these brands in various global locations. Otherwise put, the appearance in high rated American films allows corporations to familiarize the international audience with their products and brands, improving as such their reputation.

This type of publicity has the benefit of a wide market coverage and foremost, the showing of the corporate products in a favorable context (and the further association of the brand to the liked character of the film) ensures that the future penetration of a respective market will be welcomed and the potential consumers will recognize the product. The successful entering of a new international market by the American manufacturers or the Japanese ones (such as Toyota, maker of Lexus) based on favorable reputation and the showing in films represents one step ahead in the globalization process. In addition, companies already present in foreign markets registered significant increases in demand of their products and services. "With American films shaping consumer demand, orders surged for American cars, furniture, clothes and appliances. In the 1920s, it was said, the sun would never set on the British Empire or on the American films" (Eckes and Zeiler, 2003). The saying seems true to the day.

An important specification that has to be made refers to the fact that, throughout the past few decades, the critical approach has become more demanding toward the United States films. This basically means that only the best of movies will be successful within the U.S. The international audience is however less demanding and films that have scored low at the American box office still stand increased chances of registering success in other global regions (Beck, Sznaider and Winter, 2003). This feature is important in the promotion of the brands that are already popular within the United States, but which could use boost in other zones.

But the increasing popularity of the American films has had a negative impact upon the local film industries, as the movies made by several states have suffered a decreasing demand and a reduced popularity among the local audiences, who now prefer films made in Hollywood. As a result then, the film industries in local regions are beginning to sustain lower levels of employment and creativity, meaning that their contribution to economic growth and international recognition is slowly fading. Consequently then, it can be concluded that the American films support Americanization, rather than globalization. In order to respond to these issues, local film industries strive to make movies which integrate into the pattern set by the American motion pictures. A relevant example in this sense is given by the Chinese film industry, which, through films such as Crouching Tiger or Hidden Dragon, exoticizes (make more interesting and exotic) the local culture, traditions and history. The films won numerous international prizes, but were unsuccessful in China. "In short, Chinese films are being tailored to American sensibilities in order to gain prestige and sales. As a result, American film culture in some sense has become world film culture. This is not to say that American cinema is not subject to diverse interpretations depending on the cultural context in which it is viewed, but only to suggest that American cultural artefacts are an increasingly central element of global culture" (Beck, Sznaider and Winter, 2003).

Still, American films are not only present in cinemas, but also in the homes… [END OF PREVIEW]

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