UON_MAR23Endless End book signing

Cinema isn’t dead! Oscar-winning filmmaker and film scholar join forces to explain why the film industry is stronger than most people believe

Friday, 17 March 2023

A 7-time Oscar winning filmmaker and a world-renowned film scholar have written a new book, which explores why cinema has survived for more than one hundred years, despite endless crises including revolutions in technology, competition with television, the Covid-19 pandemic and a cultural shift to on-demand streaming services.

‘The Endless End of Cinema’ has been co-authored by Gary Rydstrom – a Hollywood sound designer who has won seven Academy Awards for his work, which has included hit films such as Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Toy Story, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan and Finding Nemo – and Dr Gianluca Sergi, Professor of Film Industries at the University of Nottingham and Director of the Institute for Screen Research Industries. The book charts the history of cinema through a series of crises that could, or rather should, have ‘ended’ it.

Gianluca Sergi
We wrote this book to help film professionals navigate crises. From its inception, film was seen as an object of curiosity and appeal but not something that could develop into a mature industry. 120 years and countless ‘deadly crises’ on, it continues to remain one of the most popular art forms for audiences from all backgrounds, and a multi-billion-dollar global industry.
Gianluca Sergi, Professor of Film Industries

One of the many key areas discussed in the book is the artistic crises created by the introduction of sound and the demise of silent movies. However, Gary Rydstrom explains that sound has played a vital role in the survival of cinema.

The coming of sound is an example of an artistic crisis that Hollywood was unprepared for, yet was unpredictably improved by. While loudly wrestling with a technological transition, cinema quietly underwent an artistic transformation. The sound crisis didn’t kill, or even radically alter the movies. Instead, it made cinema truer to itself.
Gary Rydstrom, Filmmaker and Hollywood Sound Designer

In recent years, there has also been much debate over the role of cinema in a world where on-demand streaming services have soared in popularity and the likes of Netflix, Apple TV and Amazon Prime are commissioning more original film content. In fact, Professor Sergi was invited to present his research on this subject to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy, which brings together people from every aspect of the film industry and has an influence far wider than the Oscars, wanted to hear his thoughts on the future of film; whether going to the movies would still be relevant to future audiences and, more fundamentally, when movies are created, distributed and consumed in so many new ways, can we agree what a ‘watching a film’ actually means?

The subject is covered in detail in the book and Professor Sergi explains: “Although we can all access high quality storytelling in a variety of forms, from books to music, cinemas provide a unique blend of ‘grand storytelling’ – large screens, big sound, the social experience of sitting next to strangers –and audiences worldwide continue to respond to that.”

The Endless End of Cinema’ is available to buy in hardback and digital download. You can also listen to a podcast interview about the book with Gary and Gianluca here:

Apple Podcasts:

Hannah Severyn - Media Relations Manager
Phone: 0115 748 5635
Location: University Park

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

More news…

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798