Movie roadshow as dramaturgical interaction between film professionals and audiences: An event organiser perspective in the Chinese film industry
Cognizant Communication Corporation
School of Business and Law / Markets and Services Research Centre
Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented rise in face-to-face film promotion events in China. Core members of numerous film production teams have toured over 30 major Chinese cities in order to meet their audiences. Despite their growth and popularity, these small-scale but prevalent and recurring events have rarely been discussed in the context of event studies. Drawing on Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective, this study explores how organisers of film promotion events construct performances and event meanings in the Chinese media industry. It analyses in-depth interviews with ten Chinese film practitioners in addition to microblog posts for promotional events of the highest-grossing movies from 2017 to 2019. The results suggest that event dramaturgy is designed, staged, and managed both on site and on social media platforms. The performative elements of the events and interactions between public figures such as celebrities and audiences offer insights into the collective and individual meanings of face-to-face media practices in contemporary China.