My early career research has analysed the screen actor within and as a challenge to existing parameters of star studies. This has led to a wide-ranging body of work that is historical, textual, economic, and interdisciplinary in its approach. My monographs on Peter Lorre and James Mason investigate the limitations of cultural/sociological readings of stars and present a historical examination of the star actors through economic value, industrial labour and acting in transnational and multimedia contexts. My work on cult stardom and with eye tracking makes interventions into dominant methodological approaches to stardom with cross-disciplinary research between cult/fan studies and cognitive psychology.
My current mid-career goals remain interdisciplinary and anchored in film history, stardom and performance, and transnational production studies, but also connect with contemporary digital media and culture. One emerging thread aims to investigate the relationship between industry, aesthetics, stardom, performance and digital technologies, with an emphasis on Hollywood’s adoption of virtual reality and motion capture. The collaboration with the Centre for Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Application (CAMERA) links theoretical research in digital cultures and film style in the Humanities with applied research in the Sciences and digital content creation, contributing to wider academic aims of identifying sustainable ways to enhance the Arts and Humanities.
My proposed outputs for 2017-18 are the production of two journal articles investigating contemporary digital cultures and film production: one on Hollywood studios’ investment in ‘experiential’ virtual reality marketing for Ghostbusters and John Wick, and one examining workers’ rights of voiceover actors in the gaming industry in the context of wider film industry unionisation histories. I will also be continuing my research into more traditional film history and aesthetics in two major research projects to be completed by 2020: a proposed monograph on adaptations of John Le Carré novels (a close analysis study of style and performance developed from my work on James Mason and male performance) and a joint-authored transnational film history of the Cannon Film Group.