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Genre Study:

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Derek Griffiths

on 3 May 2014

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Transcript of Genre Study:

FTV306: Screen & Genre Studies
Assessment 1
Presentation: Screen Analysis
Genre Study:
Superhero Films
Derek Griffiths [206168]
Defining the Genre

Marvel Cinematic Universe (Nine movies) - $2,463.3 billion and counting
Harry Potter (Eight movies) - $2,390.1 billion (next film, Fantastic Beasts, TBA)
Star Wars (Seven movies) – $1,918.0 billion (Next film December 2015)
James Bond (24 Movies) - $1,912.8 billion (Next film November 2015)
Batman (Eight Movies) $1,897.8 billion (Next film May 2016)
Lord of the Rings (Six movies) $1,622.0 billion (Next film December)
Shrek (Five movies) $1,419.6 billion (Next film TBD)
Spider-Man (Four movies) $1,375.9 billion (Next film May)
Twilight (Five movies) $1,363.5 billion
Pirates of the Caribbean (Four movies) $1,279.2 billion (Next film 2016)

Typically from comic books
or graphic novels

Costume / Secret identity
Super abilities

Always start with the origin story
Good vs Evil

Arch nemesis

Love interest
A superhero film, is a film that is focused on the actions of one or more superheroes; individuals who usually possess superhuman abilities relative to a normal person and are dedicated to protecting the public
Origin Story
Saturday Movie Serials in the 1940's
Comic's were an escape for millions during WW2 - the serials were popular for the same reason

Richard Donner's Superman - 1978
Pushing the boundaries with new techniques in special effects

Tim Burton's Batman - 1989
A darker new take on the genre
Success' & Failures
What has caused the current upswing in the genre?
Incorporating other genre's
Innovative superhero changes have been creeping in for the last 10 years, setting a new standard and opening up the genre in many different ways.

What was previously a comic book-based genre with hints of science fiction has expanded to include drama, comedy, detective, and even fantasy-based approaches.

Films have become much darker than before (The Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel), been set in various time periods (Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class) and explored new worlds (The Green Lantern, Thor).
How do you keep your audience engaged, both the hardcore and the mainstream? You stop making “superhero movies” and you start making movies that happen to include superheroes.

As they have moved into their second phase, these seem to be Marvel’s next staples: genre films instead of superhero movies

Worst Comic Book Related Presentation Ever
"We make a lot of superhero movies here at Marvel Studios and I believe the key is to make them all different and to make them all unique and to make them all stand apart while connecting together. And that’s what the comics do."
Marvel Studio's President of Production
Kevin Feige
Conspiracy Thriller
Broad Comedy / Space Opera
Action / Adventure
as of April 8th, 2014
slashfilm.com / boxofficemojo.com
One of the biggest appeals of comics is that everyone can see themselves in the different heroes.
At there core, they are simply a telling of
Some Action Tropes
Right before the final mission, the heroes all get together in some sort of briefing room to concoct an impressive plan – which, of course, will totally fall apart the moment they engage the enemy.
Superhero meets girl, superhero and girl fall in love, villain kidnaps girl, superhero rescues girl. Superhero then breaks up with girl, because what they’re doing is too dangerous, and he loves her too much to jeopardize her safety
The Big Bad Boss sends wave after wave of his lesser minions after the hero; beginning with bumbling idiots and culminating with a second-in-command who’s only slightly less big and bad than the Big Bad Boss himself. And since the hero begins the story as a novice/amateur who’s unaware of his true powers, these waves of minions conveniently serve to train the hero in the skills he needs to defeat the Big Bad Boss in the end – therefore fulfilling the requirement that said Boss engineers his own demise.
The costumes are a valuable edition to the mise en scene of the film - information is being convened about their characters as well as the story.
Each hero and villain will have there own unique look that carries across their outfits, weapons, transportation and surrounding (home/base)

Often set in large familiar city's to add scope to the battle and to help humanize the superhuman at make it more believable
Sound design is critically important in Superhero films.

The soundtrack must be carefully chosen to help guide the audience's emotions and let them know who is the hero, and who is the villain, who they should love and who they should hate.
Sound effect elements are also very important in that they help sell the realism of the superhero's world. Fighting, crashing, explosions etc need real enough to be believable; yet also over the top enough to be super.
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