WHAT IS GENRE? Genre is the classification of any media text into a category or type: e.g. news, horror, documentary, soap opera, docu-soap, science-fiction or lifestyle etc. Genres tend to have identifiable codes and conventions which have developed particular expectations , which may either be fulfilled or denied / diverted by the producer. You should consider typicality and subversion , as well as sub-genres or generic hybrids . The significance of genre to audiences, producers, publishers and broadcasters should also be carefully considered. Using the handout, list the conventions you used in your chosen media product.
DOES GENRE EXIST? Film Theorist Rick Altman argues that there is no such thing as “pure” genre anymore. Genre is progressive, in that it will always change. He says that generic conventions are very much a thing of the past. His theory suggests that audiences, in general have become tired of the same formula and need more to keep them entertained and to create appeal. He says that genre is surviving due to hybridisation – or genres “borrowing” conventions from one another and thus being much more difficult to categorise.
<ul><li>Watch the trailer for Shaun of the Dead. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfDUv3ZjH2k </li></ul><ul><li>Try to identify which genres are evident in the </li></ul><ul><li>trailer by listing the conventions from each genre. </li></ul><ul><li>On your handout, list the conventions you have </li></ul><ul><li>developed or “borrowed” from other genres </li></ul>AN EXAMPLE OF HYBRID GENRE
GENRE THEORY – DANIEL CHANDLER Daniel Chandler is a former Media student at Aberystwyth University. He researched Genre in detail, identifying key components and formulas. His work can be found at: http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/intgenre/intgenre.html The following slide details the ways in which, according to his research, genre can be identified.
GENRE THEORY – DANIEL CHANDLER NARRATIVE - similar plots and structures, predictable situations, sequences, episodes, obstacles, conflicts and resolutions. CHARACTERS - similar types of characters (sometimes stereotypes), roles, personal qualities, motivations, goals, behaviour. THEMES - topics, subject matter (social, cultural, psychological, professional, political, sexual, moral), ideologies and values. SETTING - geographical and historical; ICONOGRAPHY - echoes the narrative, characters, themes and setting, a familiar stock of images or motifs, the connotations of which have become fixed. Includes décor, costume and objects, certain 'typecast' performers familiar patterns of dialogue, characteristic music and sounds, FILMING TECHNIQUES - stylistic or formal conventions of camerawork, lighting, sound-recording, use of colour, editing etc.
GENRE THEORY – DANIEL CHANDLER Using Daniel Chandler’s criteria, identify how the following in your product help the audience to understand its genre: Narrative Characters Setting
GENRE THEMES AND IDEOLOGIES Values in a media product are not the same as codes and conventions. Values are the ideological and cultural ideas embedded in a film. In a Western, the lone gunslinger represents the power of good to destroy evil. In gangster films greed and the lust for power or wealth undermine the possibly attractive, but deeply flawed, central gangster character. Jealousy, revenge, loyalty and deception are themes of many thrillers and crime movies . In horror films the monsters and zombies can be interpreted as metaphors for serious diseases, death or destiny. In the end the films give some hope that the audience’s worst fears can be overcome. In Bond films the audience feel safe in knowing that Bond (or his British MI5 equivalent) will save them from the political evils of the world – whatever they may be at the time In Pop videos, the audience will often see good being represented as pop icons are often considered as role models for young children
<ul><li>On you handout, list the themes or </li></ul><ul><li>ideologies that are conventional to your product </li></ul><ul><li>Have you developed these in any way? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you “borrowed” themes from another genre ? </li></ul>GENRE THEMES AND IDEOLOGIES
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