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Transcript of Genre Convention:
Uses of Camera
Key Plot Ideas
POV shots (as demonstrated at the beginning of The Proposal)
Establishing shots of the setting. for example: a suburban neighbourhood, a big city or a countryside shot (similar to the extreme wide shot shown of the sunset during the opening credits to The Notebook)
Shots may pan to give the audience a wider sense of the surrounding setting, rather than having a single shot of one part of the setting (unless it may prove to be a significant part of the plot later on)
Angles of Shots
In most cases, eye level shots are used throughout the film. However when different angle shots are used, rarely are they used to convey hierarchy within the plot or to display characters with differing levels of superiority. Instead, they are mostly used to display certain activities such as sleeping (as shown in the opening of The Proposal, where the camera is tilted slightly downwards using a higher angle shot.
Changes Between Shots
Most shots are:
faded in/out from black
crossfaded into a different scene if the opening is more relaxed
cut from one shot to another if the film opening is more up beat/goes at a quicker pace or the dialogue is being said in more than one place
An example of the more relaxed opening where shots are crossfaded would be the opening to The Notebook where the film opens with a person rowing on a lake, which connotes a much more relaxed environment where a crossfade would be suitable. For the change where the shots are cut, the opening to 50 First Dates would be a good example. As the dialogue is being delivered by the actors, the shots are cut to show to different actors saying their lines, however having all the dialogue fit together as if they were all collectively delivering one line.
Most commonly, the credits are placed on top of still or moving images. The moving images usually displaying an ongoing scene in the film, which usually consist of the main character's daily routine. Film makers may also choose to have the first portion of the film opening on a black screen, later transitioning to a moving image. Animation can be used, however is the least common of the 4 methods.
Directors may opt for their opening to be fairly relaxed, therefore meaning that the change between shots may be slow (using methods such as fading from black or crossfading into another shot). However, depending on the plot of the film, the opening may be quicker. For example, a plot based on busy individuals (such as The Proposal) will have a quicker film opening as shown by the male character rushing to get to work.
Within the romance genre, there could be many places a director may choose to set his film in. The most common ones found in romance films are:
large cities such as London or New York
suburban neighbourhoods (most common with romantic comedies)
rare cases in which the bulk of the movie is set on places such as boats/planes (e.g. Titanic)
Romance films tend to be set in a mixture of a work/home environment. Although those prove to be the most common, settings can differ quite a lot within the criteria of a work or home environment. For example, 50 First Dates and The Proposal both contain elements of a work environment. However they differ such that the main character in 50 First Dates works at a zoo in Hawaii whereas the main character in The Proposal works at a top publishing company in New York City. In this sense, film directors may choose the conventional work setting, but are able to manipulate the circumstances to present individuality.
Lighting & Make Up
Lighting in romance movies is almost always bright, and scenes are normally set in the day. Scenes set at night are also brightly lit, and may portray activities such as dinner at a restaurant or a meeting amongst the characters. This connotes the light-hearted nature of the genre, opposing to the dimmed lighting associated with thriller or horror.
The make up used on the actors is minimal, portraying a natural look.
The music used in the 3 film openings we analyzed all contained some form of background music (over the still/moving image) that ranged from a stripped-down piano number to an upbeat, lively piece. By having the music being upbeat and easy to listen to (opposing the minor based soundtrack in most horror/thriller film openings) it further connotes the feel-good, light-hearted genre of romance
The conventional key plot idea that is normally conveyed within the opening of a romance film would be the introduction of the boy and girl that the movie will revolve around. The initial presentation of the boy and girl sets the theme and solidifies the genre for the audience as a romance/comedy.
In the film openings we analyzed, the characters introduced were the main characters, the boy and girl who the plot is based around and possibly some of their friends/family introduced by engaging in conversation with either of the main characters. There is usually a few seconds at the beginning of the film where the only the credits are shown, therefore the main characters are normally introduced mid way through the opening. The introduction of the main characters cold be done by a voice over, the camera following their daily routine or simply through dialogue with another character in the film.
Social groups being represented in the films we analyzed were the different work associates of the main characters, usually being portrayed in a positive way. However, occasionally in the romance genre, social groups are conveyed in quite a stereotypical way at times. For example, the work groups in The Proposal are conveyed in quite a stereotypical way, by having them gossiping about their boss (the main character). However no social groups are revealed in detail within most of the film openings that we analyzed.
Opening credits in romance films are normally displayed with a simple font, usually white in colour (however do range between white, pale blue, yellow and other light colours).
The simplicity of the font used to display the credits contributes to the genre of romance and makes it easier on the audience to watch, rather than having the credits stand out and attack the eyes.