Staging atmosphere: collective emotional labour on the film set
journal contributionposted on 08.11.2018, 13:34 by Allan Watson, Jenna Ward, James Fair
Despite a significant multi-disciplinary body of work on emotional labour, its application to geographical debates regarding space remains thin, and the role of emotional labour in the interrelations that produce space is poorly understood. In contrast, a substantial literature has developed in social and cultural geography concerned with ‘affective atmospheres’, understood as the relational and collective nature of affects. Within this literature, consideration has been given to the ways in which atmospheres might be staged to affect people’s moods for a variety of artistic and commercial reasons. Placing the concepts of emotional labour and atmosphere into dialogue, this paper offers a relational account of the film-set as a space in which directors, cast and crew engage in performances of individual and collective emotional labour in order to stage particular atmospheres. Drawing on primary qualitative data, we present the on-set work of film directors as attending to three relational projects; comportment, corpsing and conflict. In so doing, this paper offers a new understanding of the staging of atmosphere through performances of collective emotional labour. Such a perspective goes beyond the material to consider the emotional qualities of space and brings agency and intentionally to the fore in accounts of atmosphere.
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- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Geography and Environment