Professor of Cinema and Media Industries, Faculty of Arts
I joined the Department of Culture, Film and Media in September 2011 as the Professor of Cinema and Media Industries. After training as a professional actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, I worked for a small film production company in Soho and at the National Film Theatre. I was introduced to Film Studies through an evening course at Birkbeck College, after which a first degree in film at the University of Reading and a doctorate at the University of Warwick followed. Before joining Nottingham I have held appointments at the University of Portsmouth, Roehampton University, London South Bank University, and the University of Salford.
Co-chair and founder of the Media Industries Scholarly Interest Group of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Coordinator of the Film Industries Work Group for the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies
Member of the AHRC Peer Review College
Trustee of the British Universities Film and Video Council
Editorial Board member Creative Industries
Editorial Board member Transnational Cinemas
Editorial Board member Celebrity Studies
My current research is focused in four areas:
1) Commercial and legal dynamics of conglomerate Hollywood
2) Digital media and the distribution or presentation of film and television
3) Historiography of screen media industries
4) Critical perspectives in media industries research
I am interested in supervising research students in the following areas:
1) Hollywood film and television industries in historical and contemporary contexts
2) Business, technologies and consumption of individualized and domestic screen media (e.g. streaming or downloading services for catch-up TV, pay-per-view, subscription TV, electronic sell-through/download-to-own, video-on-demand, and video file sharing)
3) Film distribution and marketing
4) Informal and illegal channels for film and television distribution
5) Film industries in Britain
6) Histories of media industries
7) Film stardom and performance
V94023 Cultural Industries
V94CSP Cultural Studies and Entrepreneurship Research Project
AA3DIS International Media and Communication Dissertation
Co-investigator with Dr Justin Smith (University of Portsmouth) for the four-year AHRC funded project Channel Four and British Film Culture. This project examines C4's role as a leading… read more
MCDONALD, P., 2010. IMAX: the Hollywood experience. In: BELTON, J., HALL, S. and NEALE, S., eds., Widescreen Worldwide John Libby. 41-57
MCDONALD, P., 2009. Digital Discords in the Online Media Economy: Advertising Versus Content Versus Copyright. In: SNICKARS, P. and VONDERAU, P., eds., The YouTube Reader National Library of Sweden. 387-405
Co-investigator with Dr Justin Smith (University of Portsmouth) for the four-year AHRC funded project Channel Four and British Film Culture. This project examines C4's role as a leading producer-distributor of original films and as an innovative and occasionally challenging programmer-exhibitor of film.
Co-editor with Dr Emily Carman (Chapman University), Dr Philip Drake (University of Stirling) and Dr Eric Hoyt (University of Wisconsin-Madison) for Hollywood and the Law, forthcoming 2014. Contributors are exploring the business of film and television in Hollywood from a range of legal perspectives - copyright, trademark, image rights, piracy, antitrust regulation, international trade, censorship, talent contracts, labour and tax.
Co-editor with Professor Michael Curtin (University of California, Santa Barbara), of the International Screen Industries series from BFI Publishing.
In conjunction with Dr Liz Evans of the Department of Culture, Film and Media at Nottingham, we conducted the project Connected Entertainment UK: Behaviour, Taste, Experience, and Value, part of the Connected Viewing Initiative hosted by the Media Industries Project at the Carsey-Wolf Center, University of California, Santa Barbara. This work mapped the current market in the UK for online platforms delivering catch-up TV, subscription-TV, pay-per-view rentals, electronic sell-through and video file sharing services, and examined patterns of user interaction with those services through four themes - behaviour, taste, experience and value.
Integrating the traditions of star studies and media industry studies, Hollywood Stardom interrogates stardom as a source of capital in conglomerate Hollywood. Initially, chapters advance a fresh perspective on the critical analysis of stardom defined as the 'symbolic commerce of stardom', displacing the familiar 'star image' mode of analysis with the conceptualization of the star-as-brand. Later chapters then examine the structural workings of the post-studio star system, the paradoxical economics of stardom, the dual aspects of star performance as both narrative and spectacle, and the anti-economics of 'prestige stardom'.
In the book Video and DVD Industries I provided the first major study of the home entertainment business in the digital age, exploring the technological development of DVD and hi-definition video formats, the growth of the DVD market, Hollywood's early involvement in online delivery, and the technical, legal and enforcement measures taken to protect against industrialized video piracy.
With Professor Janet Wasko (University of Oregon), I co-edited The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry, which brought together contributions from authors exploring the changing contours of the Hollywood film business.
My research has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), British Academy, and the Leverhulme Trust.