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Mon 20th Sep - On arrival activityWith the person sitting next to you,discuss and list why genre can beconsidered useful to each of thefollowing:1. Film producers2. Distributors/marketers3. Audiences
Producers like genre because:• They can cash in on popular genres – avoid unpopular ones (not fool proof – they can get it wrong!).• Its easier to raise funding for genre films .• It can be easier/cheaper to write films – many genres rely on a particular formula or are more driven by fx than dialogue.• Film industry can exploit writers of popular books – writers are often associated with a particular genre e.g. John Grisham law based thrillers, Stephen King psychological/supernatural horror.• It can be easier to choose and market stars who are known for films in a particular genre.• It is easier for them to make films in the same genre.• It helps them predict expenditure & minimise risk
Distributors/marketers like genre because:• They can market the film using stars connected to a genre.• They can use genre signifiers in trailers and posters.• It can be easier to predict and target an audience through genre films• It can be easier to reach a target audience - cinema trailers are often similar genres to the one you’re watching
Audiences like genre because:• It helps them choose/categorise• Prediction, expectation anticipation• A sense of expectation , pleasure and anticipation also comes from the repetition of key elements• Even when genre conventions are broken, the success of this depends on us knowing the ‘rules’ in the first place. Pleasure from surprise.• Often genres have thematic pleasures – issues of law and order will be debated in a western and (usually) good will triumph over evil.• Detective films depict crime, but reassuringly lock up the wrongdoers by the end of the film, and so on – genre films often play out audiences fears and anxieties in a ‘safe’ way, or allow audiences to laugh at other’s misfortunes in a comedy for example.• Audiences want a mix of the familiar and the new in genre films
Are there any problems with the genre approach? Discuss in small groups.
Genre is not clear cut Christine Gledhill• There are no rigid rules of inclusion and exclusion‘ (Gledhill, 1985).• Genres... are not discrete systems, consisting of a fixed number of listable items‘ (Gledhill, 1985).• It is difficult to make clear-cut distinctions between one genre and another: genres overlap, and there are mixed genres such as comedy-thrillers (Chandler, 2000) . Daniel Chandler
Genre - Neale• Particular features which are characteristic of a genre are not normally unique to it; it is their relative prominence, combination and functions which are distinctive (Neale, 1980)• ‘Genres are instances of repetition and difference‘ (Neale, 1980)• ‘Difference is absolutely essential to the economy of genre (Neale, 1980) - Mere repetition would not attract an audience. Stephen Neale• Now apply this to your own work - What elements can be seen as repetition of genre conventions and what can be seen as difference?
GENRE - Lacey’s repetoire of elements• Lacey considers the repertoire of elements in relation to: – Setting – Character – Narrative – Iconography – Style• Remember – Lacey does not see genres as fixed but as dynamic and changing over time. Nick Lacey
GENRE - Lacey’s repetoire of elements• Narrative: This refers to the story structure as well as the specific narrative devices, which genres employ (car chases, gunfights, weddings, etc.).• Characters: Narrative is usually developed through characters and their functions (hero, villain etc). Some characters are so closely associated with a genre that they become generic types. For example, in horror movies, the ‘final girl,’ who maintains her personal dignity, usually defeats the psychopath. Nick Lacey
GENRE - Lacey’s repetoire of elements• Setting: Some genres have a distinct location but this can be subject to change, for example horror films have moved from the gothic to the suburban. Genres can also be associated with time periods like the gangster films set during prohibition in America but successful films have updated this.• Iconography: Films contain visual and audio images, which become instantly recognisable and associated with the genre. Eg: Gangster films feature the iconic ‘Tommy’ gun spraying bullets in the hands of a man in a sharp suit usually standing on the running board of a car. Nick Lacey
GENRE - Lacey’s repetoire of elements• Style: Iconography refers to the objects but style describes the way they are presented. Camera angles, editing, lighting and the use of colour all contribute to the style of a film.Now analyse one of your own pieces of productionwork using the above categories:• What elements can you identify that establish a particular genre?• Are there overlapping/mixed genres?• Is it difficult to categorise your work by genre?• Do you challenge genre conventions? Nick Lacey
Quick recap on genre…• Nick Lacey considers the repertoire of elements in relation to: – Setting – Character – Narrative – Iconography – Style Nick Lacey