Dr Melanie Bell has taken up the position of Associate Professor in Film & Media in the School of Media and Communication, and has brought an AHRC funded research project with her on her move from Newcastle University.
This new study of the history of women who worked in the British film and television industries is exploring the contribution women made in the years from 1933 to 1989. It is drawing on archive sources held by the union (BECTU) and first-hand accounts from women themselves. The project’s lead researcher, Dr Melanie Bell, explains: ‘While a minority of women worked ‘above-the-line’ as directors and producers, thousands were employed ‘below-the-line’ as hairdressers, continuity ‘girls’, production secretaries/assistants, negative cutters, editors, wardrobe assistants, make-up artists, researchers, librarians and more. Yet the contributions of women in these roles barely feature in existing historical accounts. This project is exciting because it will finally provide us with a fuller picture of women’s contribution to the film and television industries.’