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Fateh Khaled, A2 Media.
 One main reason why genre is changing over time is that there are 
now changes in audiences’ expectations. According to ...
 The familiarity with these codes and conventions – the character, 
the setting, the music - from watching similar horror...
 One other reason why genre is changing over time is that there are 
changes in target audience. Both media institutions ...
 There have also been changes in society, ideologies, values and 
representations, ultimately meaning that genres have ch...
 Technological advances in the film industry has been used 
significantly in recent years thus changing the way films are...
 Genres can also be heavily influenced and suddenly relight their 
popularity or change direction because of the impact o...
 As well as the influence of particular texts there is the impact of 
particular directors, authors and stars. For exampl...
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Why Genre Changes Over Time?

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Why Genre Changes Over Time?

  1. 1. Fateh Khaled, A2 Media.
  2. 2.  One main reason why genre is changing over time is that there are now changes in audiences’ expectations. According to research contemporary audiences are much more sophisticated viewers than those in previous years who first saw moving pictures or television programmes. Therefore an audience reading text from an established genre is more likely to be familiar wit the codes and conventions of that genre from reading similar texts.  For example if you watch an action adventure film and the protagonist dies and doesn’t manage to save the damsel in distress you’d be certainly surprised and possibly feel cheated because its not what you would expect; or if you’re watching a romance film you would expect the woman to end up with the man that she loves.
  3. 3.  The familiarity with these codes and conventions – the character, the setting, the music - from watching similar horror films or television programmes, all raise expectations, even though there is not a happy ending in an action adventure. These expectations are based on our readings of similar texts. The popularity of certain kinds of texts proves that for many audiences familiarity breeds contentment rather than contempt.  However, texts need to strike the right balance of repeating certain codes and conventions while adding something new (this is done to prevent the audience from seeing the same thing and to keep the genre fresh and new) for example, a contemporary setting, a plot twist, or a scene where the antagonist behaves unexpectedly.
  4. 4.  One other reason why genre is changing over time is that there are changes in target audience. Both media institutions and producers first need a clear idea about the audience, therefore age, gender and social class must be identified, having said that these factors influence they way a text is made from choices about who will appear in it to the kinds of special effects are used.  It is often argued that target audiences for films have become younger over the previous years, more than it has ever before. The term used for this is known as the ‘juvenilisation’ of cinema and this may be the reason why horror films are now usually aimed at a mainly teenage audience, rather than a more adult audience.
  5. 5.  There have also been changes in society, ideologies, values and representations, ultimately meaning that genres have changed. Therefore it is clear that contemporary audiences are harder to shock and more accustomed to representations of graphic violence, sexual images and ‘bad’ language as well as more spectacular special effects than ever before. This can be closely linked to the ‘effects debate’ suggesting that how much are people (and children) exposed to in the real world in terms of explicit content.  Genre changes according to the values and concerns of the society around them. The changing position of women (equal rights), governments, levels of employment, economic climates, national and international conflicts, attitudes towards violence and the family and aesthetic movements are just some of the issues that influence representations and trends in the media.
  6. 6.  Technological advances in the film industry has been used significantly in recent years thus changing the way films are produced, for example the invention of the ‘Steadicam’ allowed the camera to appear to float and enabled the stalking shots so important in horror films.  Furthermore developments in digital video editing techniques which led to fast paced editing and exact pacing of music with on-screen action had changed the way that audiences had perceived films.  The Blair Witch Project is a good example of a film influenced by new technology – its entire look is the result of the use of cheap digital cameras which did not exist a few years ago, it was also the first film to be marketed initially through the Internet (new media).
  7. 7.  Genres can also be heavily influenced and suddenly relight their popularity or change direction because of the impact of individual texts which come to be seen as genre defining. Genre defining moments are fairly rare in the media and may only become apparent long after a text is produced when we can properly see its influence.  However, although texts which are successful at their release; will be imitated in media owners’ attempts to cash in on what made them popular, suggesting that the most influential or critically acclaimed texts are not always those that are the most popular.
  8. 8.  As well as the influence of particular texts there is the impact of particular directors, authors and stars. For example, the influence of Hitchcock, often described as a master of suspense, continues to be seen in contemporary thrillers not least those which are remakes of his work such as A Perfect Murder or Gus Van Sant’s ‘karaoke’ Psycho.  Some films are made as vehicles to showcase a particular star and exploit his or her popularity, while the names of particular authors will guarantee funding for their books, and often the films of their books.  Many films are based on the thrillers of John Grisham, for example, Philip K Dick has been influential in the development of the Sci-Fi genre and, more recently, J. K Rowling has earned millions for herself and the publishing and film industries through her Harry Potter books.

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