Making Film in Egypt is the first ethnographic study of the Egyptian film industry. The book examines the industry’s labor dynamics, production processes, and recent transition to digital technology. I make two core arguments here. First, I propose that the future of media production is better described as being imponderable: its outcome is known and expected by media producers, but all the courses of action leading onto it are neither knowable nor expected. Media producers try to mediate this imponderability based on various assumptions and using various technological devices. Second, I argue that anthropologists have not paid sufficient attention to the everyday use of technological devices in creative processes. This book provides a thorough description of the use of technological devices in Egyptian filmmaking, contributing to a materialist perspective on artistic creation (extending scholarship in material culture studies, science and technology studies, and the anthropology of art).
The book is scheduled to come out in December 2020 with the American University in Cairo Press.