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Image of Gianluca Sergi

Gianluca Sergi

Associate Professor of Film Studies, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

My interest in Film and TV and other screen industries stems from an early fascination with cinema while growing up in Italy. I was one of the co-founders (at age 13) of a film club for young people in my home town that had over 300 members and later became the youngest member of the managerial team running the senior film society (with over 700 members).

I worked in a variety of media outlets (especially radio where I co-produced and presented a live show for two years. I also worked in a local TV stations and print magazine). After being awarded two scholarships (one from local government for sustenance, the other from the EU for my fees) I decided to move to the UK to study Film and Literature at University (Warwick). During that time I also worked part-time on several productions, including a professional show for children that aired on Channel 4.

Following an MA in Mass Communication (Leicester) I wrote a PhD in film (on film sound, and Dolby in particular) under the supervision of Prof. Richard Maltby and Prof. Steve Neale (Sheffield Hallam). The research I carried out as part of my thesis allowed me to build a network of contacts with leading industry professionals and executives in some of Hollywood's leading companies, including Lucasfilm, Pixar, Fox, Dolby amongst others. This in turn helped me develop a keen interest in filmmakers and filmmaking practices. This interest, later extended and developed into studios practices and labour practices, as well as filmmaking, now forms the cornerstone of my current and future research. I have published two books in this area as well as a major industry report on studios practices.

I was the founder and first director of the Institute for Screen Industries Research at the University of Nottingham (Sept. 2011-Sept. 2017).

I was also the founder and first chair of the Nottingham Screen Partnership (2014-2015).

Expertise Summary

To learn about, understand and help. These are the three principles informing my research. Filmmakers and the film industry more in general are the focus of my efforts: research on and knowledge exchange with practitioners and producers/studios continues to function as the cornerstone of my research methodology. This is evident in both tone and topic of my books on the role of sound in contemporary cinema (The Dolby Era: Film Sound in Contemporary Hollywood, 2004), and later on contemporary Hollywood cinema (both Making Films in Contemporary Hollywood, 2005 and Cinema Entertainment, 2009).

Following a series of high profile projects with leading organisations and productions companies/studios in Hollywood, I am currently working on a new book with director and sound designer Gary Rydstrom. Gary (a 7-time Oscar winner) and I share a belief that closer collaboration between film professionals and academics can potentially bring mutual benefits and enrich and improve the experience of making movies, both creatively and financially, and studying/researching them in all their aspects.

I have extensive PhD supervision experience on areas including: Filmmaking practices, Film sound, Scriptwriting, Hollywood cinema.

Teaching Summary

I am very interested in a variety of issues concerning teaching and learning. In particular, the relationship between practical work and assessment is very relevant to the subjects I teach… read more

Research Summary

Following a series of high profile projects with leading organisations and productions companies/studios in Hollywood, I am currently working on a new book with director and sound designer Gary… read more

Selected Publications

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/@uon_isir

Web (Institute for Screen Industries Research project): http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/isir

I am very interested in a variety of issues concerning teaching and learning. In particular, the relationship between practical work and assessment is very relevant to the subjects I teach (filmmaking practice, industry, historical developments, etc.). The way in which practice can inform theory is at the core of how I teach. I often encourage students to approach theory by doing practical activities that are designed to ground their theoretical knowledge into an understanding of issues of practice and industrial relations.

I have been teaching for over twenty years in a variety of contexts ranging from adult education to Sixth Form Colleges and HE (15 years). I have taught at all levels of HE education, including UG, MA and PhD as well as participated to teaching forums and conferences.

I have also considerable experience in designing and delivering new courses and assessing the quality of UG adn PG degrees as I have serves as external assessor on a number of degree validation panels, and external examining duties.

I am presently the convenor on the MA in Film, Television and Screen Industries at the University of Nottingham

Current Research

Following a series of high profile projects with leading organisations and productions companies/studios in Hollywood, I am currently working on a new book with director and sound designer Gary Rydstrom. Gary (a 7-time Oscar winner) and I share a belief that closer collaboration between film professionals and academics can potentially bring mutual benefits and enrich and improve the experience of making movies, both creatively and financially, and studying/researching them in all their aspects.

Past Research

My past work in terms of general research and publications has mostly focussed on issues concerning filmmaking and production practices, industrial relations in Hollywood cinema,and film sound. These interests continue to inform my present and planned future work, with particular focus of course on fostering better and more effective dialogue between industry and academia.

Most recently, I have completed two pieces on the role that unions (guilds) played in shaping the arrival of sound in Hollywood in the late 1920s and 1930s. This allowed me to bring together all my major research interests in and around the film industry (filmmaking practices, sound, innovation and production cultures).

I have published 3 monographs, a book-length industry report (all on various aspects of the film industry, from production to studios operations) and a number of articles and book chapters on sound, filmmaking practices and other related topics.

Future Research

Following the recent completion of a on a project on innovation in the film industry, I am currently working on a book on the film industry and the challenges/opportunities it faces today.

The focus of future research will continue to be on this topic, particularly around facilitating the production and consumption of research to assist: i. the growth and well-being of the film industry and its workforce at all levels and in all capacities and ii. the appreciation and preservation of film as a key cultural, social and art form.

  • SERGI, G., 2017. Sound standings: a brief history of the impact of labor and professional representation on the place of early sound workers in the industry 
(1927-1937). In: MERA, SADOFF & WINTERS, ed., The Routledge Companion to Screen Music and Sound Routledge. (In Press.)
  • SERGI, G., 2016. Organising Sound: labour organisations and power struggles that helped define music and sound in Hollywood. In: LIZ GREEN & DANIJELA KULEZIC-WILSON, ed., The Integrated Soundtrack: Sound Design and Music in Contemporary Film Palgrave. (In Press.)
  • SERGI, G. and STRINGER, J., 2013. Creativity across Borders: China, The United Kingdom and New Forms of Collaboration between Media Practitioners and Academics at the Institute for Screen Institute Research. In: LI BENQIAN, ed., Report on International Competitiveness of Chinese Media 2013 Pishu, China. 394-408
  • LOVELL, A. and SERGI, G., 2009. Cinema Entertainment: essays on art, films and filmmakers McGraw-Hill/OUP.
  • SERGI, G., 2006. In Defence of vulgarity: The Place of sound effects in the cinema in Scope: An Online Journal of Film Studies, issue 5 University of Nottingham. Available at: <http://www.scope.nottingham.ac.uk/article.php?issue=5&id=129>
  • SERGI, G., 2006. Tales of the Silent Blast: Star Wars and Sound (reprint). In: GRAINGE, P., JANCOVICH, M. and MONTEITH, S., eds., Film Histories Edinburgh University Press.
  • SERGI, G., 2006. A Cry in the Dark (reprint). In: BENNETT, P., HICKMAN, A. and WALL, P., eds., Film Studies: The Essential Resource Routledge.
  • LOVELL, A. and SERGI, G., 2005. Making films in contemporary Hollywood London: Hodder Arnold.
  • SERGI, G., 2004. The Dolby era : film sound in contemporary Hollywood Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • SERGI, G., 2003. Blockbusting sound: the case of <i>The Fugitive</i>. In: STRINGER, J.E., ed., Movie Blockbusters London: Routledge. 141-152
  • SERGI, G., 2002. The Sonic Playground: Hollywood Cinema and its Listeners. In: STOKES, M. and MALTBY, R., eds., Hollywood spectatorship: changing perceptions of cinema audiences London: British Film Institute. 121-131
  • SERGI, G., 2002. The Use of the Voice in Film. In: The Visible Man Forum, Udine.
  • SERGI, G., 2002. A Cry in the Dark: the Role of Post-Classical Hollywood Film Sound (reprint). In: , ed., Film Cultures Reader London and New York, Routledge.
  • SERGI, G., 1999. Mikes and the Sound Gang. In: KRAMER, P. and LOVELL, A., eds., Screen Acting as Art and Performance Routledge.
  • SERGI, G., 1998. Tales of the Silent Blast: Star Wars and Sound Journal of Popular Film & Television. 26(1), 12-22 (In Press.)

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