Haunted: An Ethnography of the Hollywood and Hong Kong Media Industries
How do media professionals handle the risks of film and television production given market uncertainties, fears of industrial decline, and increasing job insecurity? What does the work of creating spectacle on-screen amid volatile conditions off-screen mean to them? In Haunted: An Ethnography of the Hollywood and Hong Kong Media Industries, Sylvia J. Martin explores these questions about members of the highly commercial film and television industries of Hollywood and Hong Kong (the latter often referred to as the "Hollywood of the East"). Drawing on extensive multi-sited ethnographic research--including participant-observation as an extra in Hollywood and interviews with stunt workers in Hong Kong--Martin takes the readers onto studio lots and urban filming locations in Hollywood and Hong Kong to discover the haunting perils and pleasures of the filming process for media workers as they also grapple with broader social, economic, and political issues. Signaling a new turn in anthropology of media, this ethnography is not only a comparative study of the Hollywood and Hong Kong media industries but also an examination of the thematic and transnational connections between them. Through unexpected findings about engagement with religion and the supernatural in both industrial sites, Martin offers a unique perspective on risk and uncertainty for media labor and production studies.