University academics are appealing for baby boomers in the USA to record their movie memories as part of a ground-breaking film research project launched online this month.
The website, including an online survey, can be found at Hollywoodandthebabyboom.com
The site is part of a two-year research project run by Dr James Russell and Dr Jim Whalley who work in the Cinema and Television History Research Centre (CATH) at De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester.
The project aims to assess the influence of the baby boom generation on American cinema, and the website invites boomers to contribute their own memories and opinions about films produced since World War II.
“We’re keen to hear from all Americans born between 1940 and 1970, not just film buffs or fans,” said Dr Russell.
“We want to understand the role that movies have played in the life of a generation, and by completing our online survey, people will be contributing to a new kind of cinema history.”
The Leverhulme Trust has granted DMU more than £98,000 for the project entitled ‘Hollywood and the Baby Boom: A Social History’.
Dr Russell and Dr Whalley have set out to write the history of a generation whose tastes and preferences have influenced American movie culture for more than 60 years – and who continue to dominate the industry today.
The online survey will be used to make sense of audience experiences and the research team will also be interviewing a number of filmmakers and industry personnel.
“What we’re trying to do is to explore the relationship between American movies and the baby boomers at all levels of the industry,” said Dr Russell.
“From the moment they appeared, they constituted a massive audience that Hollywood has focused on ever since – and when they hit their late 20s, they began to dominate the industry as filmmakers, executives and stars – and yet their history has never been written.”
By the end of the project, the team will have created a web resource for future generations of scholars and they will produce a book that provides new insights into the history of American movies.
Posted on Friday 13th April 2012