Slides in this set
What is Genre?
·Genre is a french word meaning kind or type .
·Genre is a way of putting films, television programmes and other media texts into groups
that have things in common, such as the story, or the `look' of a film, or the characters, the
settings and even the way the characters dress.
·Genre, especially in film, is a key concept because it is more complex than just a way of
putting similar films together in a group.
·Genre is a way of putting media texts into categories which share similar characteristics.
Genre and Film Producers
Genre is a tool used particularly by Hollywood producers who like to repeat generic
formulas that are commercially successful. Producers have been criticised for repeating the
same genre time after time, but this is a commercial model that works well in many
industries. Think of how fashion in clothes repeats itself, revealed in headlines like `The Mini
Skirt is Back'.
A well-known genre such as thriller is a format that has worked well in the past and so film
producers like to think it will be successful again. Particular genres are linked with certain
directors e.g. Martin Scorsese with the gangster genre.
Romantic comedy often has actors and writers linked with the genre. The actor Hugh
Grant and the writer Richard Curtis worked together to create a number of successful
British `Romcoms' including Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Notting Hill (1999)
and Love Actually (2003) notice the similarities in terms of characters and comedy
conventions to do with the way the boy meets girl plot is constantly derailed by comic
The trick for producers is to adapt aspects of the genre known as the codes and
conventions - just enough to excite audiences without losing the core values of the genre.
This often leads to:…read more
Hybrid or Mixed Genres
These are very popular, as producers think that by mixing say the
thriller genre with the action genre they will find the traditional
audiences for both genres. The Bourne Ultimatum(2007) is described
as an action/thriller. The US hit TV show Ugly Betty has been labelled a
`dramerdy' as a mix of the comedy genre and the drama genre this is
a good example of a hybrid. This seems an unnecessary name for a
situation comedy, but this television genre is not as well appreciated in
the US and by world wide audiences as it is in the UK.
A successful genre formula can be repeated over time, but genres do
need refreshing and adapting to modern tastes and fashions.…read more
List of genres.
Science Fiction -The Matrix Series, A.I- Artificial Intelligence, Transformers, Men in
Black, Star Wars.
Musicals- Hairspray, Moulin Rouge, Grease, West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera,
Gangster- Goodfellas, Lock, stock and two smoking barrels, Snatch, Angels with dirty
faces. (could also be classed as Thrillers)
Western- Stagecoach, High Noon, The Searchers, The Magnificent Seven, Unforgiven.
Romantic Comedy- Knocked up, Notting Hill, Love Actually, 10 Things I Hate About You,
Bridget Jones' Diary. (hybrid)
Thriller- The Godfather series, The Bourne series. Some US websites have at least 3
types of thriller: political (Air Force One and Traffic), erotic (Fatal Attraction), and serial
Horror- Dracula, Van Helsing, Scream, Scary Movie series (parody).
Situation Comedy- Fawlty Towers, The Family, Only Fools & Horses, The Vicar of Dibley,
Ugly Betty, Will & Grace.
Animation- Shrek, Ratatouille, Madagascar, Ice-Age (hybrid,
Genre & Audiences
Genre helps audiences build up expectations about a film.
It helps in the pre - selling of a film. Filmgoers like to have a general
idea of what film they are about to see. But audiences get bored
with too much repetition; they like to see a genre change, and
evolve by responding to contextual influences to do with the way
society changes.…read more
Codes And Conventions
Codes and conventions are agreements between audiences and
media producers about certain things that work in a particular
For example, in a film musical you are not worried when suddenly
one of the characters breaks out into song think of the famous
opening to the film The Sound Of Music. We think it is quite
acceptable for Julie Andrews to open her mouth and sing with
musical backing about the hills being alive with the sound of music,
rather than speak the lines. This is a convention of the musical.
An important aspect of understanding genre is to know the period I
which a film was made.
The core values at the time the film was made will affect how
audiences saw it at the time, and how audiences see the film now.
The technology of film making has changed considerably from the
1930s to the present day. Modern films use Steadycam a great
deal, and require less lighting than the films made in Hollywood up
until the fifties. Faster film stock and greater use of location filming
transformed cinema in the 60s. Now High Definition video is
beginning to replace film on some shoots and in some cinemas.…read more