UCLA experts: Hollywood and the entertainment industry

Hollywood Sign
Jelson25/Wikimedia Commons

Los Angeles and Hollywood remain the center of the entertainment universe. From film history and analyzing diversity in front of and behind the camera to commenting on pop culture and studying labor issues, UCLA has experts on the creative and business sides of the entertainment industry. Click an expert’s name for a detailed biography and contact information.

 

Film industry

Richard Walter

Walter is a screenwriter and professor in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, is available to comment on a range of topics, including popular culture, story and violence.

Deborah Nadoolman Landis

Landis is an Academy Award-nominated costume designer, directs the Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Howard Suber

Suber is professor emeritus of film and television and an expert on copyright and creative control. His specialties also include the business of movie making, including labor issues and story structure.

Nancy Richardson

Richardson, professor in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, is a longtime film editor film editor whose most recent credits were the sci-fi action films “Divergent” and its sequel “Insurgent.”

Jan-Christopher Horak

Horak is the director of the UCLA Film and Television Archive. His areas of expertise include classic Hollywood films, especially silent cinema; the Hollywood studio system; avant-garde and documentary film; film preservation and restoration; film as propaganda; film and the Holocaust. Horak is fluent in English and German.

Gabriel Rossman

Rossman is an associate professor of sociology and an expert on culture, mass media, pop music radio and the Academy Awards. Rossman has developed an algorithm to calculate a film’s “Oscar appeal” and determined the amount of box-office boost movies get when they are nominated for an Academy Award.

Joe Olivieri

Olivieri, associate professor in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and head of the undergraduate acting program, is available to comment on the craft of acting, actors’ performances and awards.

Jonathan Kuntz

Kuntz is a visiting associate professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, is a film historian and expert on the Hollywood studio system.

Tom Nunan

Nunan is a lecturer in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and the founder of Bull’s Eye Entertainment, an independent film and television production company. A former television executive, Nunan is an authority on how TV networks create schedules and the business of Hollywood to film production and media management, among other things.

Vincent Brook

Brook, a lecturer in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, has worked as a film editor and screenwriter and is an expert on film and television history and also on Jewish history in Hollywood.

Glenn Williamson

Williamson is a lecturer in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and an authority on the business and creative sides of moviemaking.

Sherry Ortner

Ornter is a distinguished professor of anthropology and an expert on the independent film scene.

Peter Shushtari

Shushtari is a lecturer in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and an authority on the golden age of cinema.

 

Business of entertainment

Kal Raustiala

Raustiala is a professor of law and an expert on international and copyright law. He is the author of the paper “The Piracy Paradox: Innovation and Intellectual Property in Fashion Design.”

Daniel J.B. Mitchell

Mitchell, professor emeritus at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, is an authority on labor relations and strikes who comments frequently on negotiations between Hollywood studios and labor unions.

Jerry Nickelsburg

Nickelsburg is a professor in the UCLA Anderson School of Managment and senior economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast who authored a report on the impact of the 2007-08 Hollywood writers strike.

Susan Akens

Akens is the executive director of the UCLA School of Law’s Entertainment, Media and Intellectual Property Law Program and is a former executive with CBS and an expert in entertainment law.

 

Diversity and gender roles in Hollywood

Darnell Hunt

Hunt is director of UCLA’s Bunche Center for African American Studies and a professor of sociology and an authority on the media’s coverage of race-related issues and the depiction of African Americans in film and television. He is directing a long-term study of diversity in Hollywood, including the disproportionate representation of minorities and women in industry awards like the Oscars.

Chon Noriega

Noriega is a professor in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and director of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center. Noriega is an authority on Latino media and performance and visual arts, and also media access for underrepresented groups.

Kim Elsesser

Elsesser is a research scholar at UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women, studies issues of gender in the workplace. In 2010, she published an op-ed in the New York Times arguing that the Oscars should be gender-neutral — no more “best actor” and “best actress,” just one award.

Myrna Hant

Hant is a researcher at UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women, whose studies focus on the roles of older women in film and television.

Ana-Christina Ramón

Ramon co-authors the Ralph J. Bunche Center’s reports on diversity in Hollywood along with Darnell Hunt.

 

To find more faculty members with expertise, search the Media Guide to UCLA Experts.