Mad Men Anthology Due To Be Released

I’ve just heard from Gary Edgerton, the editor of the Mad Men anthology to which I contributed, that it will be released by I. B. Taurus in December 2010. It’s been retitled Mad Men: Dream Come True TV and is currently available for pre-order.

My essay is on the visual style of the program and is rooted in an In Media Res piece I put together: “The Oppressive Rectangularity of the Fluorescent Light.”

Gary developed the anthology from an entire week of IMR pieces.

Update 1/10/11: The anthology has indeed been released in the UK. I’ve even been sent my author’s copy. I don’t think it’s available in the US yet, however.

Television Style: Released 10 December 2009

Television Style was officially released 10 December 2009!

Television Style, front cover.
Television Style, front cover.

I’m pleased with how it looks and I hope readers will be, too. We chose an image from the Bettmann/CORBIS archive for the cover which we believe speaks to the notion of style and TV–albeit a stylized television set from 25 September 1952. According to CORBIS, the original caption reads:

“Designed to meet the ‘space-saving’ need for a handsome, fully equipped compact unit, F. B. Arthur presents the ‘Modernaire’ [!] television-AM-FM radio phonograph (3 speed) unit. Contrast of the cordovan finish on mahogany with light texture of perforated Masonite is set off by an accent of persimmon in the free form [!] speaker opening.”

Television Style contains nearly 200 illustrations, mostly taken from DVDs and video files of television programs. Although the paper stock is not coated, we were able to work some digital magic and the illustrations are quite respectable. Plus, we decided to bleed them into the margins, allowing us to reproduce them at a good, legible size. Of course, all of those illustrations are reproduced here–in color and enlarged from the book’s black-and-white images.

Now that Television Style has been released into the wild, we’re eager to hear readers’ thoughts about it. Please feel free to contact us with your comments and questions.

More information is available on the companion Website:

Television Style Proofs Arrived!

It looks like we’re on track for a November 2009 release of Television Style!

This week, Routledge sent me the page proofs (in PDF format) and I’ve diligently started compiling the index for the book. The layout looks terrific. I think we chose just the right size images (almost 300 of them) — not so small that you can’t make out what’s in them and not so large that they crowd the text. What we did to give them a bit more room is bleed them into the margin just a little. Worked great.

Looks like the final book will run 270 pages. Thanks to everyone at Routledge who has supported this project.

Look for it in book stores soon! In fact, you can already pre-order it from Amazon and other online venders.

Television Style Companion Website Launched

The companion Website for the forthcoming book, Television Style, has just been launched:

Television Style dissects how style signifies and what significance it has had in specific television contexts. Using hundreds of frame captures from television programs, Television Style dares to look closely at television. Miami Vice, ER, soap operas, sitcoms, and commercials, among other prototypical television texts, are deconstructed in an attempt to understand how style functions in television. Television Style also assays the state of style during an era of media convergence and the ostensible demise of network television.

Television Style is a much needed introduction to television style, and essential reading at a moment when the medium is undergoing radical transformation, perhaps even a stylistic renaissance.

Its companion Website features:

  • A draft copy of the Introduction, “Dare We Look Closely at Television?,” which surveys the literature on television (and film) style and advances the case for the stylistic analysis of the medium.
  • Approximately 300 illustrations (see below), every single image from the book–enlarged and, when appropriate, in color.
  • Several illustrative tables–some découpages (sequence analyses)–that had to be reduced for print. We here provide enlarged versions of them, along with color images.
  • 14 videos that tie in with Television Style‘s discussions of editing, visual effects (especially morphing), sound, and camera movement. (Most of these are password-protected. The password is telestylistics .)
  • The beginnings of a link directory. Every online resource cited in Television Style will eventually be included, along with links to additional resources.
  • Ordering information.

Television Style is scheduled to be published by Routledge this fall. You may pre-order it from Routledge or online booksellers. Also, lecturers/professors may request a 60-day examination copy. Orders may be placed at:

Here’s a taste of all 300 illustrations:

Work in the MediaCommons

I’ve just joined the editorial board of MediaCommons, an online network for media scholars.  As it states on its “about” page:

MediaCommons, a project-in-development with support from the Institute for the Future of the Book (part of the Annenberg Center for Communication at USC) and the MacArthur Foundation, will be a network in which scholars, students, and other interested members of the public can help to shift the focus of scholarship back to the circulation of discourse. This network will be community-driven, responding flexibly to the needs and desires of its users. It will also be multi-nodal, providing access to a wide range of intellectual writing and media production, including forms such as blogs, wikis, and journals, as well as digitally networked scholarly monographs. Larger-scale publishing projects will be developed with an editorial board that will also function as stewards of the larger network.

In short, MediaCommons is providing a new platform for writing and thinking about media. One of its first projects is In Media Res, in which scholars–known as “curators”–select an online clip and write a short bit about it to seed discussion of it.

To that end, I’ve contributed “The Sitcom’s Death, the Zero Degree of Style” on My Name Is Earl and recent developments in sitcom style. Check it out and come join the conversation!

Pronunciation Guide Gets a Name: ScreenLex

The pronunciation guide I’ve been working on has been christened ScreenLex, with its own domain name:

We’re also officially listed on the iTunes store now. To find us, just seach iTunes for “ScreenLex.”

I’ve also decided to use FeedBurner in order to captures some statistics about ScreenLex’s use. Plus, it has some cool ways to publicize feeds, like this graphic:

ScreenLex: A Pronunciation Guide
Finally, if you’d like to spread the word about ScreenLex, feel free to print out the PDF flier at

And come on by to sample ScreenLex’s work!

Pronunciation Guide Now in Beta

I just released The Pronunciation Guide for Film and TV Studies for beta testing:

[Updated 18 February 2007:]
The Guide contains terms used in film/TV studies and production, as well as people’s names. These items may be accessed in three ways:

  1. As a downloadable MP3 file.
  2. As playable online audio.
  3. As a podcast (e.g., for your iPod) or RSS feed.

The intent behind The Guide is to provide English-speaking film/TV students with guidance on how to say words/names that are often difficult for them to master. I can well remember when I was starting to study film that I read more about the topic than I heard it spoken about. So, I often had trouble putting the printed word together with the spoken one. “Truffaut” is pronounced “true-foe”?, I’d ponder.

The Guide runs on Loudblog software, which does a good job of automating most of the uploading, the presentation of the MP3 files, creating a podcast feed and submitting it to iTunes (which I have not done yet).

A graduate research assistant, Peter Bradberry, helped me get the first 20 or so online–adding end credits to the files. The credits themselves were prepared with the help of Rick Dowling at UA’s Faculty Resource Center. Rick also conducted a podcasting workshop that helped jump-start this project.