China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 ignited a race to capture new global media audiences. Hollywood moguls began courting Chinese investors to create entertainment on an international scale—from behemoth theme parks to blockbuster films. Hollywood Made in China examines this compelling dynamic, where the distinctions between Hollywood’s “dream factory” and the PRC’s “Chinese dream” of global influence become increasingly blurred. Using ethnographic research that took the author to the sets of film productions in Beijing, Shanghai, and Los Angeles, coupled with interviews with top CEOs, directors, and key film workers, Aynne Kokas provides a detailed analysis of Sino-US media collaborations and the impact they have on the global media industries. Kokas’s work is the first to deeply explore Hollywood’s investments in branded content across platforms in China. What she found impacts everyone who consumes commercial media in the twenty-first century.
“Combining her personal experience working on film productions in both China and Hollywood with her strong academic credentials, Aynne Kokas has given us a pioneering study on a subject that will undoubtedly increase in importance as the Sino-Hollywood connection deepens. Future researchers on this topic would do well to begin here.”—Stanley Rosen, Professor of Political Science, University of Southern California
“Moving from blockbuster movies to branded merchandise, Aynne Kokas brilliantly describes the expanding web of commercial and institutional ties that knit together major media empires, arguing that today China and Hollywood co-produce much more than movies; they co-produce each other.”—Michael Curtin, Mellichamp Professor of Global Dynamics, University of California, Santa Barbara
“Americans and Chinese are collaborating in film production, but Kokas shows that their motives are different: American producers want revenue and brand recognition in the huge Chinese market; the Chinese government wants a positive image for China in its global competition with the United States. A pathbreaking book on a fascinating subject.”—Harry Harding, University Professor of Public Policy, University of Virginia, and Visiting Professor of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
“Kokas presents a scholarly but thoroughly engaging peek behind the curtain of Hollywood’s efforts to scale the great wall of China’s state-run media industry. Equally familiar with klieg lights and paper lanterns, she illuminates the history of both cultures and previews the coming attractions of Sino-US co-productions.”—Patric M. Verrone, former president, Writers Guild of America, West
"Hollywood Made in China captures the complexity of the rapidly changing dynamics between Hollywood, globally dominant for almost a century, and a rising China, which represents both a tantalizing market and a potential competitor, forcing Hollywood to co-produce on a large scale to get access to that market. Aynne Kokas reveals the fascinating cultural interaction and the complex cast of moguls, bureaucrats, and workers, while brilliantly advancing our theoretical understanding of a new phase of cultural globalization."—Joseph Straubhaar, Amon G. Carter, Sr. Centennial Professor of Communication, University of Texas at Austin