Definition and Changes of Genres Genres are often suspect to much variation and change. It is virtually impossible to say any film is set to one particular genre, instead taking influences from many, often being classed as hybrid. For example Rom-Com – a mix of Romance and Comedy. This was supported by a number of theorists, notably Christine Gledhill, who stated; ‘Genres are not discrete systems consisting of a fixed number of listable items.’ However, it can be possible to name particular conventions to specific genres, this may include a variety of features such as lighting, setting, narrative etc. For example, a convention commonly associated with the Horror genre may be the setting of an old derelict building, often set at night in dark environment.
Across The Hall – An Example To put as what was stated in the previous slide into real life context, I will use the short film, Across The Hall as an example. Across The Hall features a number of conventions that can be associated to a variety of genres. Firstly, Across The Hall could be viewed as a Thriller, mainly due to the setting and dark lightning used by the producer. Secondly, the acting and dialogue can also be associated with the Thriller genre. The dialogue is very tense and dramatic, with discussion between the characters often been spoken in a quite volume, almost a whisper. However, this may also be classed by many as a Romance due to the overall story line. This further supports the view of Christine Gledhill that there are no ‘rigid rules of inclusion and exclusion’ and that ‘genres are not discrete systems, consisting of a fixed number of listable items.’
Importance of Genre Genre is essential to both producers and audiences. Firstly, it is crucial for producers as it allows them to select the right features, such as setting, character and actors, lighting, effects etc. Similarly, it is also important for promoters of the film to be aware of the genre when advertising and promoting the film. Furthermore, it is important to the audience also as to many it will decide whether or not they initially watch the film. To some fans of Comedy going to watch a Horror film would have no interest to them, therefore it is essential for audiences to be aware of the genre or hybrid genre.