Film Studies Introduction to Unit 25: Film StudiesAims of Unit 25:• Understand how films are created for specific audiences.• Understand how films make meaning for those audiences.• Exploration of industry practices and the application of a range of theoretical approaches.• Inform and enhance your production activity.
Learning OutcomesLO1: Be able to apply different analytical approaches tofilms.LO2: Understand the relationship between films and theirproduction contexts.LO3: Understand the relationship between producers andaudiences.LO4: Understand the relationship between audiences andfilms.
Assessment Criteria1.1: Apply approaches to analysing films with someappropriate use of subject terminology.1.2: Describe the relationship between films and theirproduction contexts with some appropriate use of subjectterminology.1.3: describe the relationship between producers and filmaudiences with some appropriate use of subjectterminology1.4: Describe the relationship between audiences and filmswith some appropriate use of subject terminology.
Unit SuccessTo succeed in this unit you need to:• Watch a lot of films!• Be an active viewer, not a passive film viewer.• Understand film as a powerful medium.• Be analytical.• Know that several different theories can be used on one film.
Genre Theory• ‘Genre’ literally means ‘type’.• Genre helps us catergorise films.Task:• Look at the following trailers and consider which genre they belong.• Make notes as to why you think it belongs to a specific genre.
Trailer #3 Trailer #4 Speed Ace Ventura: Pet Detactive
Why is genre important?• Good way to communicate meanings in film.• Makes the information in films more controllable.• Makes characters more predictable.• Genres are used to create meaning.• Very easy to market a ‘genre’ film.• Audience knows what to expect – REPETATIVE.
The Language of Film• How do films ‘speak’ to us?• Codes / Conventions? The familiar and predictable forms and techniques.• Setting? Where is the film set, geographically, urban, rural.• Props? Symbolic props – Crucifix, knife…• Costume? Period costumes, well dressed, ‘cheap’ clothing.• Lighting? Gloomy, sunny…• Sound? Happy, atmospheric, SFX.• Iconography? Eiffel Tower, specific props.• MISE-EN-SCENE: What is in the scene.
Case study: HORROR• ‘Horror has often been the most peculiar and the most predictable of genres’ (Hutchings)• What is your favourite horror genre?• Consider the list on the previous page and consider why your chosen film can be defined as ‘horror’
Horror synopsisTask:• Write the synopsis for a made up horror film.• What makes it a horror?• Again, think about, storyline, characters, setting…• Find an image to accompany your horror film synopsis.
Arguments against genre• Clear, identifiable and sustainable boundaries?• Sub-genres?• Hybrid genres?• Created by critics, not filmmakers?• ‘Ultimately, perhaps we need to remember that the concept of genre is a little like stereotyping. Once you start investigating real people in all their complexity, stereotypes tend to fall apart; similarly, once you start analysing a complex media text, generic labels become fairly meaningless.’ – Media Magazine