Taking place, screening place: Studying locations in Danish television drama production

Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter

Abstract

We introduce location studies as a new empirical approach to screen studies. Location studies represent an interdisciplinary perspective, including media, aesthetics and geography, and reflect a growing interest in places in a global media and consumption culture. The chapter analyses two recent Danish television dramas: The Legacy (2014-) and Norskov (2015-). There are several reasons for this comparison: both have been sold for international distribution; some of the production personnel converge; they are broadcast by the two main Danish television public service broadcasters (DR and TV 2) with one being traditional and the other being commercial; both dramas include discussions of localities and social heritage, and both use local sports as a common metaphor for social cohesion; and both series have been partly funded by a local film Danish commissioner. However, The Legacy is shot to a large extent in studios, while Norskov is shot entirely on location. The study is based on interviews with producers, broadcasters, location scouts, production designers and writers, as well as quantitative and qualitative textual analyses of television drama series, the geographical places, and related policy and funding practices. The overall ambition is to shed light on a practical and tacit part of screen production practices, namely locations, and furthermore develop location studies as a methodological approach within the field of production studies (Caldwell 2008), and thus reflect the relations between places and screen productions more in general (Tinic 2005) and as an interdisciplinary field described as ‘cinematic geography’ (Hallam & Roberts 2014: Lefebvre 2006).
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We introduce location studies as a new empirical approach to screen studies. Location studies represent an interdisciplinary perspective, including media, aesthetics and geography, and reflect a growing interest in places in a global media and consumption culture. The chapter analyses two recent Danish television dramas: The Legacy (2014-) and Norskov (2015-). There are several reasons for this comparison: both have been sold for international distribution; some of the production personnel converge; they are broadcast by the two main Danish television public service broadcasters (DR and TV 2) with one being traditional and the other being commercial; both dramas include discussions of localities and social heritage, and both use local sports as a common metaphor for social cohesion; and both series have been partly funded by a local film Danish commissioner. However, The Legacy is shot to a large extent in studios, while Norskov is shot entirely on location. The study is based on interviews with producers, broadcasters, location scouts, production designers and writers, as well as quantitative and qualitative textual analyses of television drama series, the geographical places, and related policy and funding practices. The overall ambition is to shed light on a practical and tacit part of screen production practices, namely locations, and furthermore develop location studies as a methodological approach within the field of production studies (Caldwell 2008), and thus reflect the relations between places and screen productions more in general (Tinic 2005) and as an interdisciplinary field described as ‘cinematic geography’ (Hallam & Roberts 2014: Lefebvre 2006).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Screen Production
EditorsCraig Batty, Marsha Berry, Kath Dooley, Bettina Frankham, Susan Kerrigan
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2019
StateIn preparation - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
ID: 263173925