Professor Sarah Street awarded 2.5 million euro European Research Council Advanced Grant for Studiotec project
8 April 2019
The ERC’s Advanced Grants supports exceptional researchers, who are leaders in their field, in undertaking ambitious research projects. The grants are awarded under the 'excellent science' pillar of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme.
The Department of Film and Television's Professor Sarah Street has been awarded the ERC Advanced Grant for her project ‘Film Studios: Infrastructure, Culture, Innovation in Britain, France, Germany and Italy, 1930-60’ (STUDIOTEC).
STUDIOTEC investigates film studios across four major production sites: Britain, France, Germany and Italy during their major years of activity, 1930-60. Using archives, comparative historical research and a range of spatial analysis, 3D and VR tools, the project team will explore studio spaces as dynamic, diverse creative and economic infrastructures.
This combination of interdisciplinary methodologies will create new understandings of how the collaborative and material environments of studio spaces and technologies shaped film production and cultures.
Professor Street said: “It’s an honour to have been given this fantastic opportunity to research European film studios in a completely new way. I’m looking forward to collaborating with a great team across disciplines over the next five years.”
The announcement today comes as part of a €520M ERC boost into research designed to investigate some of the most pressing questions that could lead to the creation of 2000 new jobs.
This project investigates film studios across four major European production sites: Britain, France, Germany and Italy, 1930-60. During these years, studios were transformed as they responded to challenges including wartime disruptions, post-war fragmentation, movement of labour and the introduction of new technologies. While these countries have attracted their own historical literatures, this project proposes for the first time their comparative analysis from the perspective of film studio tectonics, cultures and practices. The project is underpinned by the idea of tectonics as a metaphorical way into understanding the studios’ multiple, stratified, shifting experiences as architectural spaces, diverse working environments and locations for innovation. The study of film studios has been dominated by the centralized Hollywood ‘system’, and local studio histories are typified by discrete, linear and undertheorized approaches. This project proposes a more dynamic materialist methodology, linking empirical data with comparative, transnational developments which occurred during a major period of change within the four key production sites. Using historical research and a range of spatial analysis, 3D and VR tools, the project will explore studio spaces as diverse creative and economic infrastructures which both extended and challenged the range of contemporaneous models. The team will investigate how artistic practices responded to transnational flows in film studio expertise while constituting formative, materially-based ‘spaces of the imagination’. Research will be structured around four major interrelated themes: 1) Architecture and Infrastructure; 2) Creativity, Practices and Innovation; 3) Politics and Economics; 4) Professional and Labour relations. The project will create new understandings of how the collaborative and material environments of studio spaces and technologies shaped film production and cultures.