» Posts Tagged ‘genre’

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The JokerThe year 2000 didn’t just usher in a brand new millennium, with bursting Dot Com bubbles, trucks like dumps, and fears of Y2K, it also marked the beginning of a wave of superhero films that has only been growing in recent years. But why? Why are we seeing so many of these types of films being made? Is it because Hollywood has just run out of ideas, or is there something else going on? Well, PBS’ Idea Channel aims to answer that in this enlightening video that explores the history of comic book heroes; how superheroes have changed from unstoppable rebels to law enforcing authority figures, as well as the historical trends in superhero cinema and how they correlate with society and culture. More »

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noir1Genres come and go, but 70 years after its birth, the “rules” of film noir have become part and parcel of the conventions of modern cinema. Why do filmmakers come back again and again to this bleak landscape? And why are these films still popular (if they weren’t, well, there wouldn’t be nearly as many. QED.) And just what, precisely, are its rules — rules so skilfully subverted by modern directors? A documentary from the BBC, originally aired in 2009, seeks to answer just that, shining a light on the dark corners of film noir. Plus, check out tips that will help you achieve your own film-noir-style lighting effects. More »

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WesternsWe talk a lot about the history of cinema here at NFS, but one topic that we don’t touch on very often is the role genre played in the early years of moving pictures.  Studying genre is important not only for understanding each of their individual, often unique narrative and cinematic devices, but to be able to recognize the political, social, and economical issues found in the places from which these genre films were made. This 1983 13-part series, The Amazing Years of Cinema, hosted by Douglas Fairbanks Jr., took audiences through cinematic history, with a specific focus on some of the most prevalent genres, and Cinephilia and Beyond has shared a few episodes that tackle the Western and the Comedy. More »

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The ThingWe talk a lot about horror here on NFS, because, for one, the genre is awesome, and for two, the genre is supremely important to understanding and analyzing the human condition. In this 1982 roundtable, host Mick Garris discusses several genre-specific topics with directors of some of the greatest horror films in history, David CronenbergJohn Carpenter, and John Landis, conversing about why people watch horror films, how important special effects are to a production, and what they think about censorship. Continue on to check out 26-minute of scary movie goodness. More »

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TypewriterA screenplay is a puzzle made up of pieces you cut yourself that you fit together to form a picture you make up as you go. And if a screenplay is a puzzle, think of genre as the box it came in. It has to be accommodating and accurate to the structure and picture of the story, otherwise, you make it hard on your audience. In an enlightening article, Raindance lists 10 techniques that sell scripts, 8 of which has something to do with genre. So, let’s take a look at genre from the perspective of both a buyer and a screenwriter, figure out how it can help or hinder your story, and finally, ways to add or change characteristics of your chosen genre in order to not only write a story that is fresh and original, but one that works well with audiences. More »

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The ExorcistHorror is frequently celebrated as the movie genre that young, unexperienced filmmakers can cut their teeth on, because what’s a horror movie if not a sex and alcohol-fueled party with a bloodbath at the end, right? Well, horror is much more complicated than that, and scaring an audience that is only becoming more and more desensitized to gore and violence means we as filmmakers have to do our homework. Filmmaker Magazine shares some incredibly important aspects of horror, as well as a mental checklist of what filmmakers should be sure to include as they film their scary movies. More »

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PoltergeistWell, it’s that time of year again, when children come to your door demanding candy, and every other movie on TV is a horror flick. Whether you’re a fan of scary movies or not, horror is one of the most influential and fascinating genres in cinema, and any student of film can benefit from studying its classics (just like they can benefit from watching any movie!)  Tribeca Film is celebrating the month by looking at the influence of classic horror films on more modern ones. Click below to check out the influence the “ghost hunters” from 1982′s classic Poltergeist had on the 2010 screamer Insidious! More »

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Genre of the DeadBack in June, we touched on the possible explanations as to why people have such an incredible fascination with zombies – we write books about them, participate in pub crawls, proms, and walks with zombie themes. However, nowhere else do we see the full breadth of our devotion toward our brain-eating buddies than in our films. In a fun and informative infographic, the zombie epidemic is traced back through the history of cinema — where it first appeared in pop culture, and how it has evolved over time. More »

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Psycho Norman BatesHorror is a film genre that is much more complex than it appears to be. The violence, sex, and gore speak to our deepest fears, anxieties, cultural taboos, and suppressed emotions. So, crafting this kind of film takes a little more finesse than pouring a bucket of blood on a naked cheerleader as she gets her head chopped off. ScreenCraft recently partnered with Dread Central and The Blood List (it’s like The Black List, but for horror scripts) to host a seminar on horror screenwriting and filmmaking, where filmmakers of the genre shared some tips on creating effective horror films from script to screen. More »

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Enough SaidThe steady stream of tentpoles and mega-budget studio films has been going strong for the past few years, and many of us, including Steven Spielberg and George Lucas sensed a disturbance in the Force. However, there’s an upside to the saturation of a specific market, and that means the unsaturation of others. An article from Tribeca sheds light on a movie genre that has largely remained untouched by the studios: intelligent films geared towards middle-aged and older adults. More »

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ScreenplayIn what stage of the screenwriting process are you? Are you right at the beginning, wildly jotting down an idea on a napkin, or are you finishing up your final (hopefully) rewrite? Regardless of where you are, have you, or are you considering whether or not your screenplay is has the elements financiers are looking for? MovieMaker Magazine has provided a list of script criteria commonly desired by investors, offered so you can potentially avoid writing a great, but unsellable screenplay. More »

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DollarRecently Catherine Rampell of the New York Times published a chart that should make documentary and horror producers smile. Horror has long been known as a cash cow for Hollywood, but documentary is rarely mentioned when it comes to return on investment. Rampell found that in her sample of films released in the past decade, documentary box office returns far outweighed other genres when expressed as a percentage of production budget. Sound surprising? Misleading, perhaps? Hit the jump to take a closer look at the numbers. More »

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Die Hard 2 BTSWord play may not be my thing (I warm the bench mostly,) but it must count for something that I would circumvent my limited vocabulary by smashing “explore” and “explosion” together to describe my experience of watching these videos. The behind-the-scenes footage of Die Hard 2 will give you an inside look at the stage combat, stunts, exploding squibs, and a heavily padded Bruce Willis. The video commentaries by director Renny Harlin are less commentaries on his film specifically than on filmmaking as a whole. It’s basically like sitting in a film school lecture, only better — because your professor directed Die Hard 2. Hit the jump for some excellent moviemaking lessons! More »

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Timur CivanEverything in life has its purists. There are Mac purists and PC purists — vinyl purists and people who hate music (kidding.) In the filmmaking world, there are plenty of things to be a purist about, especially when it comes to cameras. (Canon and Nikon might as well be the Hatfields and McCoys.) But cameras, as well as almost every tool we use, have their advantages and disadvantages, and understanding which tools work best in certain situations is something that DP Timur Civan has learned to do. In a recent interview, Civan explains how making a decision on which camera to use depends less on prices or reviews, and more on the context of your material. More »

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NymphomaniacLars von Trier’s Antichrist made me sit on my stoop and stare blankly at the concrete until the evening sun dipped below the horizon. And years later, as I sat in my local indie theater watching Melancholia, the final scene nearly gave me a panic attack. Needless to say — I’m anxiously awaiting the currently undetermined American release of von Trier’s latest film Nymphomaniac. But with its Christmas release in Denmark slowly approaching, the marketing tactic of releasing short clips from each chapter of the film is not only an incredible tease to the senses, making it all the more desirable, but they also wink at the vague explanation von Trier gave of his new film genre that he employs in this sexual drama — Digressionism. More »