This book proposes that the concept of meaning production can transcend the theoretical divide between the interpretive and explanatory stances found within film studies. Its central contention is the recognition of the need to construct process-oriented accounts of meaning to shift interpretive practice onto the very terrain on which causal explanations tend to operate. On this account, it is argued that such models of meaning production should approximate the best conceptions of social causality that have been advanced within social theory, and that such conceptions are to be found in the work of certain leading social theorists, such as Margaret Archer and Roy Bhaskar, who have proposed frameworks by which to conceptualise the interactions between social structures and human agency in a non-reductive fashion. Four dominant approaches on film studies are identified, each of which is based upon an underlying model of meaning production. I then demonstrate that the institutional approach is the most viable approach given its non-reductive negotiation of the structure/agency debate.