Archive for April 2015

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[ecrea] CFP - Participations Special Issue - Inside-the-scenes: The rise of experiential cinema

Wed Apr 15 16:39:56 GMT 2015

*Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies*

*Special themed issue - **_Inside-the-scenes: The rise of experiential

*Guest Editors: Sarah Atkinson and Helen W. Kennedy, University of

In recent years, there has been a growing trend toward the creation of a
cinema that escapes beyond the boundaries of the auditorium whereby
film-screenings are augmented by synchronous live performance,
site-specific locations, technological intervention[1] <#_ftn1>, social
media engagement, and all manner of simultaneous interactive moments
including singing[2] <#_ftn2>, dancing, eating, drinking[3] <#_ftn3> and
smelling[4] <#_ftn4>. Whilst recognizing that these experiences are not
radically new (some belong in a continuum of peripheral marketing around
film screenings that have existed since early cinema) we do now see
these previously marginal experiences (i.e. /The Rocky Horror Picture
Show/) beginning to find access to a much wider public, and a
significant rise in organisations dedicated to the design and delivery
of augmented cinematic /main /events (such as /Secret Cinema[5]
<#_ftn5>/ and /Sneaky Experience/). We would like to make the
distinction between the focus of this CFP – which is directed toward the
study of ‘event-/led’/ cinema - the /creation /of live events around a
particular film screening, and its contrasting proposition - ‘event
cinema’ - the /coverage/ of live events in cinema auditoriums (such as
sport, opera and theatre - around which there is already much lively
academic discussion, and an organization established to support such
activities/[6]/ <#_ftn6>). This CFP is situated with the context of a
growing demand for atmospheric, immersive and participatory cinematic
experiences and the recent turn towards event-led distribution models,
within a burgeoning experience economy. This area presents a fertile
site for analysis and one that remains relatively untapped within past
and current academic literature. This special issue aims to bring
together the latest audience research into these areas to interrogate
and explore the experiential cinema economy and to provide deepened
understandings of recent immersive cinema phenomena through the analysis
of both industrial and audience perspectives; to reveal economic, social
and technological imperatives which underpin these innovations; and to
evolve new conceptual frameworks and language of analyses suitable for
their study.

The editors are particularly interested in encouraging submissions from
a range of research contexts and from a diversity of methodological
approaches. We are happy to receive submissions from a variety of
disciplines such as film, media, games, theatre & social media studies.
We are keen to encourage submissions from work that has combined
multiple methodologies leading to innovations in audience research.
Contributions will be welcomed, but are not limited to, articles
addressing the following questions or areas of enquiry:

·To what extent do these experiences extend and intensify narrative
affect, heighten spectatorial absorption and enable vicarious audience

·How are non-fictional augmentations such as cast and crew satellite
link-ups to Q&A staged in order to engage an audience with a greater
expectations of interactivity?

·What new business models are emerging? At recent film festival events,
industry talk and focus has turned to ‘eventising’. This is high on the
agenda of an industry seeking to evolve new business models which
address an apparent audience demand for enhanced and/or augmented

·How do such experiences embrace or challenge existing fan practices
including cosplay?

·How are the relations and tensions between the experience economy and
the social media economy played out within these experiences?(i.e.
participation in events engendered by the experience economy provide
audience members who are engaged in the social media economy with the
fodder with which to sustain their voracious social media streams)

·How far can these augmented cinematic events be understood with
recourse to a wider understanding of a shift in focus towards the design
of experiences and multiple points of access around key (and often much
loved) intellectual properties?

·Where do the boundaries of the filmic-text, traditionally the key site
for analysis in film studies, begin and end within immersive and
participatory cinema experiences?

While we expect that not every submission will include any specific kind
of audience research, we would welcome submissions that address the
/implications /their investigations and arguments have for audience

Please submit 500-word abstracts along with 100-word author biographies
to both :

Sarah Atkinson: (S.A.Atkinson /at/
<mailto:(S.A.Atkinson /at/>and Helen Kennedy:
(h.kennedy /at/ <mailto:(h.kennedy /at/>

·Deadline for abstracts: Tuesday 5^th May, 2015

·Decisions issued to authors: w/b 1^st June, 2015

·Deadline for full papers: Tuesday 1^st September, 2015

·Journal publication: May 2016

Please see journal information including submission guidelines at:


[1] <#_ftnref>The first 4DXcinema opened in the UK earlier this year in
Milton Keynes, UK.

[2] <#_ftnref>See

[3] <#_ftnref>Last year, /Edible Cinema/
a screening of Paolo Sorrentino’s /The Great Beauty, /using ‘taste,
aroma and texture to heighten the viewers’ sensory experience of the
film’s most famous scenes.’

[4] <#_ftnref>/Polyester,/**the 1981 John Waters film was recently
re-screened at 35 UK cinemas, in the way that it was originally
intended, accompanied by audience interaction with the Odorama ‘Scratch
n’ Sniff’ cards, as part of the National Scalarama film festival.

[5] <#_ftnref>The editors have themselves carried out extensive analyses
of /Secret Cinema/, see both Atkinson, S. and Kennedy, H. (2015):

-/Tell no one/: Cinema as game-space - Audience participation,
performance and play, /G|A|M|E: The Italian Journal of Game Studies/,

-/Not so secret cinema: when independent immersive cinematic events go
mainstream/, SCMS conference, Montreal, March 2015

[6] <#_ftnref>The Event Cinema Association seeks to support and promote
event cinema – see

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