Suryansu Guha

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Los Angeles, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10509

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Guha, Suryansu (California, Los Angeles, U. of) "One Stop (Sweat)shops: The Indian Service Economy and the Work of Film Post-Production"

Though we often conflate ‘filmmaking’ with film shooting in production backlots, the actual amount of work involved in making a finished film is often a complex transnational process involving a global workforce. My dissertation is interested in a specific phase of filmmaking called post-production, that usually takes place once the film has been shot. As the post-production industry in India continues to cater to both a domestic market as well as a global market, my dissertation looks at the changes it has undergone since the late 90s. As global media conglomerates became more dependent on the outsourcing of post-production work to India, it gave rise to a number of outsourcing firms called ‘one-stop-shops’. My work documents this gradual IT-fication of the post-production process and work-flow to show how creative work is taylorized and transformed into rote, menial and monotonous service work. The ‘one-stop-shops’ handle this workflow with a steady oversupply of invisible and dispensable creative workers to help its clients curtail production expenses and bypass labor laws. My dissertation demonstrates how their operations in a growing service economy allows for the degradation of post-production work and a disavowal of the artist whose work is taken for granted as ‘back-end process.’