HC3. Blockbusters, Sound, Mise-en-scene, and Jaws

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  • 1. Introduction to Hollywood Cinema:Blockbusters, Sound, Mise-en-scene, and Jaws
    Prof. Julia Leyda
    September 10, 2010
  • 2. Quiz
    Describe as many different sounds as you can remember from the movie. How does Jaws use sound to influence the audience’s emotions and reactions?
    (10 minutes)
  • 3. I. blockbuster syndrome
    1970s takeovers, new executives
    synergy: multiple profit centers in different media
    tie-ins with books, DVDs, toys, games, music, food…
    “pre-sold” movies with existing audience (best-selling books, sequels, stars with large fan base)
  • 4. blockbuster syndrome
    only a few movies will make big annual profits
    small number of movies carried the costs of production for all
    7 of 10 movies lose money; 2 of 10 break even; 1 is a blockbuster
    importance of marketing, saturation booking, and movie as a big special “event”
  • 5. franchise movies
    sequels and series movies as a franchise
    easy to market globally (along with tie-ins)
    easy to replicate after one success
    “pre-sold” if audiences recognize it and know what to expect
    1964-68 series/sequels were 4.4% of movies, but 1974-78 they were 17.6%
  • 6. franchise movies
    genre movie (horror, SF, gangster) as a franchise
    pre-sold with core fans
    proven market-tested appeal
    easy to adapt and reformulate same stories
    previously low-status genres now updated as “high-concept” with better production values
    ex. Jaws, The Godfather, Star Wars
  • 7. 1970s examples
    The Godfather (1972), Jaws (1975), and Star Wars (1977)
    young directors and stars
    B-movie genres but w/high production values
    blockbuster sales
    produced series: sequels / prequels
    successful tie-ins (best-selling novel, music, toys, games, t-shirts, comics, etc.)
  • 8. movie industry and Jaws
    paradigmatic “New Hollywood” event movie, or “high concept” movie with tie-ins, synergy
    saturation release, formerly only bad movies
    simple idea, TV ads, bestselling novel, striking graphic image
    summer action blockbusters: return to spectacle or “cinema of attractions” as in early Hollywood
    precursor to high concept blockbuster Star Wars
  • 9. in today’s news
    new James Bond film (the 23rd in the series) suspended because MGM is out of money
    James Bond is the 3rd most profitable franchise, after Star Wars and Harry Potter
    Sony, Lionsgate, Time Warner all possible buyers of MGM, said to cost at least $2 billion
    Casino Royale (2006): $594 million world box office
    Quantum of Solace (2008): $586 million
    from the Guardian online 20 April 2010
  • 10. II. film sound
    voiceover, dialogue, monologue
    characters, narrator
    radio playing, concert, score (background music)
    sound effects, noises
    footsteps, breaking glass
  • 11. diegetic and nondiegetic sound
    diegetic sound: voice, music, or sound effect that comes from a source within the movie’s world
    nondiegetic sound: sound, such as background music or voiceover that comes from a source outside the movie’s world
  • 12. Jaws intro clip
    with no sound but with picture
    with normal sound and picture
    with normal sound and no picture (fill out chart in next slide)
  • 13. music dialogue sound effect
    [write down everything you hear in one of these three columns]
  • 14. Jaws score
    in-depth analysis by Tylski
    atonal, fragmented, decomposed score
    two notes in repetition and variation
    echoes the binaries in the narrative
    human vs. nature
    strength vs. knowledge
    past vs. present
    seen vs. unseen
  • 15. III. mise-en-scene
    mise-en-scene: (Fr. “putting into the scene”) all the elements placed in front of the camera and within the frame, and their visual arrangement and composition: settings, decor, props, actors, costumes, makeup, and lighting
  • 16. mise-en-scene: setting
  • 17. mise-en-scene: props, décor
  • 18. mise-en-scene: decor, lighting
  • 19. mise-en-scene: lighting
  • 20. mise-en-scene: lighting
  • 21. mise-en-scene: color motifs, costume
  • 22. mise-en-scene: color motifs, costume
  • 23. mise-en-scene: framing
  • 24. discussion questions
    What were the biggest Hollywood blockbusters of the past few years? Did you go see them in the cinema or rent the DVD, or not see them?
    Did you notice the sounds—music, dialogue, sound effects—when you watched Jaws before class? What and why did you notice?
    What else did you notice about the mise-en-scene in Jaws? (Hint: underwater shots)