The sample essay on The Producers Genre deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.
All areas of media such as film, TV and music can be classified into recognisable types also known as genre. These can be divided by what is known as sub-genre. For example a film such as ‘Rush hour’ can be classified into category of action-comedy. The main element of the film is action but has comedy within it so would fit into the sub-genre of action-comedy.
Generic codes repeat with regularity and are useful to the producer of the film, the people who make it and the audience alike. Genre is a very useful tool, for the people whose idea it is to make the film, to the audience who finally consume it.
The use of genre makes advertising a particular film an easier process. A film poster is quite an important aspect of a films advertising.
This therefore means what is advertised on the poster is very important. The genre of the film must be instantly recognisable by a potential consumer of the film. ‘Cabin Fever’ is a film where the genre is quickly recognised by the audience. The poster shows a hut in the distance, with a forest around it but only red and black colours are used. The use of the colours signifies to the audience blood and horror.
The designer of the poster has used these colours because of the way audiences sub-consciously or not recognises certain generic codes.
We often associate red with blood and also death, though on its own would not signify a horror film so we see a hut in the wilderness. Though most people would be able to tell this is a horror film at the top of the poster it says “Terror… In the flesh. ” Each genre will appeal to different people as everyone has their own tastes, so it is important for the producers of the film to use the codes and conventions associated with the film so that what is advertised applies to the genre it suggests.
Part of the success of the advertising campaign echoes from previous examples of that genre. A science fiction film may feature something that the audience will relate to, such as in ‘Independence day’ where we see the distant earth with spaceships. We know what the genre will be and therefore whether to chose to see it. A proportion of the audience will go and see a film based on who directs it. Where a film is sold on the personality of the director, this is known as the auteur theory. These films are sold on the director’s particular style and these films are a success because of it.
Occasionally these films are often hard to categorise into a genre, as the director’s individual style can mean they do not follow the conventions of a genre. Tarrantino is a director famous for his individual style. Two of his most well known films, ‘Resevoir Dogs’ and ‘Pulp fiction’ play on are expectations on the gangster genre. Through our experiences of watching gangster films we know what to expect, however with films such as the two suggested we enjoy watching films, which break the codes of that genre. A film such as ‘Scarface’ is a gangster film that follows the typical codes that the audience expect from it.
If the audience has experiences of seeing such films it makes watching ‘Pulp Fiction’ more enjoyable as it breaks these conventions but still can be classified as a gangster film. What stars feature in a film can often determine the success and popularity of a film. Audiences will often go and see a film based on what actors or actresses star, and not what type of film it is. This means that genre is not always as important especially when the film is consumed on the basis of the stars in it. It makes it easier for producers to guarantee the success of a film by signing a famous star.
This means that genre is not always as important to the audience if they decide whether to watch a film on who stars in it. Actors often stick to a particular genre of that they are best known for or are seen to act the best in. It can be risky for an actor to be in a film they are not familiar with, as they may not be able to adapt, which can be disappointing for the audience who are used to their chosen actor/ actress in a particular role. Arnold Schwarzenegger is well known for action films, such as in the Terminator series.
When the audience knows that he is in a film they may want to go on see it because they like the role he plays, but also because they know the type of films that he is in. The auteur theory and who stars in a film shows that genre is not always useful to the audience. However genre is very important if we wish for our expectations in a film to be met. We use conventions to make us feel at home and deviating from aspects of a genre may confuse the audience or mean that their expectations are not met. A film such as ‘Die hard’ follows many of the conventions that the audience would expect.
It has a terrorist situation with peoples lives at risk. Against all odds the good guy manages to defeat the numerous enemy and the leader of the terrorists by using guns and various other weaponry. The main character Bruce Willis has a woman whose relationship whose relationship is in jeopardy. If the audience wanted to see an action film where the conventions of this genre are followed then ‘Die hard’ would be a good choice as these are followed. Where the audience have the expectation of a film to be a certain way, we find it enjoyable where this is fulfilled at the end of the film.
If this is not met the audience can feel disappointed that they have not seen what they expected. This can be quite dangerous for profucers and film makers, as if the audiences expectations have not been met they may feel cheated which can generate particular mistrust for a particular film maker or genre. This is the last thing producers and film makers want, which is why venturing into a new convention, or changing conventions of a genre is risky. However this can have its rewards but is a gamble on whether it will be a success or not.
This is why the media world does not often see this. When producing something that the audience is familiar with it has a guaranteed success, as long it is of a reasonable standard. The media world is controlled by finance. The people and organisations that fund a particular project or product are often un-willing to back something with a lesser chance of success due to its diversity. This is understandable, as the media world is a business with the aim of achieving as much profit as possible. However where the genre is played on, can bring in the rewards.
Sometimes a film does not meet our expectations, however this can sometimes be a good affect. Where a films genre has been messed about of changed we enjoy the unexpectedness of the genre being messed about with. ‘Pulp Fiction’ is a film where the audience may feel this. At the start we feel at home because we have seen many other gangster films in the past but we enjoy the script which makes the characters talk like no ganters we’ve ever heard before. The situations are familiar to us, but the dialogue very different to what the audience expects.
An example of this is when the characters played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta are in a car talking about what each country calls a Macdonald’s meal. Our enjoyment stems from our knowledge of genre however for the audience to appreciate this kind of experience they must have knowledge of the genre. We enjoy seeing the rules of the genre broken as long as the film-maker does not go to far so the audience isn’t confused and perhaps disappointed with what they’ve experienced. A fine balance has to be met so it is important that the film makers get it right.
However rebellious or alternative we picture ourselves as we still like some level of organisation in the media texts we enjoy. This is what genre is used for and makes us feel secure through the genre workings. Genre is useful and enjoyable to the audience in that we like the anticipation of waiting for the predictable features. Though we may complain when a television programme such as Eastenders has a predictable setup, but one of the reasons we watch it is that we see our expectations fulfilled. The audience enjoys this, but sometimes we like the producers to surprise us.
With all types of media, there are examples where the producer can go too far, and the audience can be lsft disappointed or confused. This can mean the audience will not watch the program again which is the last thing the producers want. In an episode of the x-files we expect some kind of investigation in Alien activity by Molder and Scully, however when the stand up comedy episode was aired I fely that this did not work and I’d imagine other viewers would feel the same. These types of films usually come from a film company with a low film budget or from outside of Hollywood.
This is because the film-makers, producers and director has less constraints which mean there is more freedom to make the film they want to. Hollywood is often reluctant to venture into a project with known risk as at the end of the day for many the aim for many is to make as much money as possible from the film. However in recent years Hollywood are seeing the benefits of changing conventions of genre, as the producers know how to meet our expectations, and so therefore also how to play with them.
These films can often be considered low-art, as though they are very popular by consumers do not necessarily have to be of a high quality. As long as the mass-market continues to watch these films then Hollywood will follow particular genres very closely. Film producers use genre ton see what types of films are popular. Western films used to be very popular, however this genre has somewhat now gone out of fashion. This is why Hollywood does not make this genre of film for consumers.
Hollywood aim is to achieve the pleasure of the majority of the population, which means genre is a useful tool in doing this. After all, the film industry is competing for the audiences leisure pound. If there is films in the cinema that few people wish to see then this leisure pounf will be spent on something elso. All forms of media are competing for this leisure pound, and so by appealing to the audiences tastes on genre is more makes it more likely for the audiences leisure pound to be spent on this.
Many people find by finding what type of film or genre it is can determine whether they want to pay to see it. As action and comedy are two of the most popular genres by making a film such as rush hour which combines the two is likely to be popular. Even when we go to a video shop already knowing what type of film we want to watch, be it a night in with friends to watch a horror film or whatever. This is useful because we can easily pick out what films fall under this genre, as they are easily spotted or are categorised into genres.