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Mystery Genre Conventions

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by

Shaun Elsworth

on 11 February 2013

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Transcript of Mystery Genre Conventions

Mystery Genre Conventions By Shaun Elsworth Technical Codes Iconography Lighting: The lighting for crime films is mostly naturalistic. Usually low key lighting when you see the villian to obstruct his/hers face from the audiences view.

Recognisable Characters: The hero is usually a super smart private detective (e.g. Sherlock Holmes) or persistant policemen. There is normally a very mysterious villian whose face is rarely seen and whose identity is only revealed at the end of the film.

Props: Murder outline; magnifying glass; police tape; police uniform; murder weapon; cars; torch; glasses; guns; blood; evidence. Narrative Structure Most Mystery films follow a common structure. The Hero is going about their day to day life. Then a crime is commited and something expensive is stolen or a really rich guy, who owns loads of land and a big house, is found dead. The hero (usually a police detective or private detective) either hears about the crime or is approached by a source (The princesses father) and sets off to solve the mystery. The hero will then go out of his/her way to catch the criminal even if others think they are mad. A few more people then die as the film progresses. The villian normally makes slight mistakes that the Hero picks up on. The criminal is always caught (The princess) and equillibrium is restored.

Another way they can be structured is where a group of people are in an isolated area. Starnge goings on occur and the group of people attempt to find out the cause D.I.S.T.I.N.C.T Don't Ignore Setting Technical Iconography Narrative Characters Themes Setting There are many different settings for Mystery films.
They can be set in remote countryside towns with a low population density that are miles away from the nearest phone. Pretty much anywhere where a small group of people can be cut off from the world.

But they can also be set in large cities for films based around murder mystery and crime.

Good settings for mystery films can be: police stations; big cities (typically London); big country houses; small countyside houses; deserted areas; isolated areas; forests; Heros home; city streets; forensic labs; hospitals; warehouses; docks; lakes; fields. Themes Good vs Bad
Justice
Confusion
Persistance
Mystery
Interrogation
Crime always fails
Mistaken Identity Close up shots or ECU shots are used to show peoples fear when they discover a dead body or their anger when their most prized possesion has been stolen.

High and low angles to either show a potential murder victim as vulnerable and weak or to show the killer as strong and in control.

If the film is set in the recent past then the costumes and props will have to be matching to the period.

Fast paced music and moving camera shot are used when the Hero is chasing a suspect. This creates tension as the audience doesn't know if he will get away or not.
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