How To Expose Your Script And Movie Ideas To Top Hollywood Film Makers As An Unknown Screenwriting Talent

Funom MakamaStarred Page By Funom Makama, 3rd Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/21-tw6v_/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Writing

You may have the talent to write great scripts, great stories and ideas that can shake the word, but you still need the needed connection to sell such ideas. How then can you get that connection or rather work your way to the top where you actually deserve to be? Find out some steps you should take as a newbie in the business.

Introduction

I am a passionate writer and I have always had a movie idea in my head since 2002. I settled down to download it into writing in 2004, and as of 17th July 2004, I was through. The story went through series of transformation as I gained more exposure in traveling around the world, with friends, in new environments and different experiences. Finally, on the 9th of July 2012, I made a final draft of the Movie which had deviated from the first by about 80% and with a different script name.

Writing the movie wasn't the problem but the next challenge was, sending it to the right individuals, and all through these years the persons who have been in my mind are James Cameron, Wentworth Miller (when I started watching prison break and discovered he is also a writer via his wikipedia profile) and Dana Elaine Owens. How can I get across to these individuals?

What next?

I began some internet search, selecting links and getting any information about their contacts and correlating the different pieces I got and after about 4 months of such an intensive search, I was able to gather some information together. As for Dana Owens, the contact details which seemed the most authentic was said to be false from a comment written by someone like me who was left frustrated after sending a parcel which was sent back. So, I simply gave up. James Cameron who was my principal target had no reasonable contact result on the internet and besides, half way through my search period, I was discouraged as I read a lot about his very difficult and hard-to-please personality. So, I imagined him getting my script and his reaction would be "Even a pre-schooler has a story" as he dumps it in the nearest waste bin.

All these are tough challenges and I was almost giving up, having my only hope centered on going to America some day, go to Hollywood and on its streets, hawk my script to any interested person. But I never gave up, continued my search and I found two very good, authentic and reliable ways an unknown but talented screenwriter with very good, fresh and overwhelming ideas can expose his/her script to Hollywood movie directors, film makers, producers and agents. Here are the two ways!

1. Amazon Studios

Amazon Studios? Yes! The Amazon group has a studio and all you need to do is open an account there and upload your script in pdf format, here is a summary of the procedure

1. Upload your script (in pdf or rtf file). You will have to state the genre and budget of the script.

2. Send it to the Amazon studios administration in either a public inter phase or private one.

3. A 45-day option and evaluation period will take place to decide how good the script is to be developed.

4. If good, $10,000 is awarded to you and the script would be selected for the development slate (as I understand, this $10,000 issued does not mean, the script has been bought, it only means they have acquired the right from you to develop it into a short test-movie.

5. At this point; if initially, you uploaded your script into the private inter phase, the studio staff will make it public, hence becoming a visual rough draft.

6. It will then be developed into a test movie and opened for feedback from more people.

7. If everything goes well and your test movie looks good; the film would be featured and $200,000 will be given to you (the original writer) and another $400,000 if the movie makes more than $60, Million at the US box office.

The pros about this is, you can still send your script to other screenplay sites, such as screenplay contests etc. You are also free to have a Novel version of the script, but after you accept its upgrading into the development slate, you have no right to make its novel. Also, there are lots of writers, having accounts on the Amazon studios who can help improve on the script. It is more like a community project. And finally, they have a direct link with Warner Bros and if peradventure your script is bought, it will be processed into a Movie by the Warner Bros production company.

Pros & Cons About The Amazon Studios

The problem with this is, you'll be making just $600,000 for a $60 Million blockbuster Movie (even more). Seriously! This isn't fair. It only subject the writer to be used. Without the script, there would be no story and hence no movie, so why should a screen writer get a MAXIMUM of 1% of what his script has generated? Also, there is a high tendency your significance and popularity as a writer ends in the Amazon studios, unless your script is just too awesome for you to be hidden away from the spotlight.

Also, I have been asking the Amazon administration to properly define the rights of the original writer, even after selling the script for $200,000 to them, but I'm yet to get a satisfactory answer and even after asking more times, I did not get any answers. So, I can conclusively say, that collecting $200,000 entails selling all your rights about the script and if peradventure it becomes a blockbuster movie later, the screen writing will be accredited to someone else and not you. This is absolutely not acceptable to someone like me!

Finally, uploading your script in Amazon studios means, making it a community project for other writers to download, read, say their views, rate and pass judgments. And for this reason, the amazon community has the right to share ideas within scripts even as new scripts are developed. Your material will not be stolen but ideas from your script can be taken to form part of another script. So, you have to know what you are facing before finally uploading your work there. Simply go to Amazon studios and read all their terms of agreements.

2. Joining Script Contests

This is by far better than using the Amazon Studios process. There are international grade 'A' contests you can submit your script to and if your script reaches a certain stage of the competition, it might have gained lots of exposure for it to be liked by any individual linked with the organization or processing of such contests. These grade 'A' contests are usually full of high profile personalities in the Movie industry, participating as judges, observers, agents and even third party groups who are out to snatch the best scripts and stories to develop.

In this situation, the major and only factor is YOU! You have to ensure your script is exceptional and 'out-of-this-world'. So, during the course of my search, I found two top-notch contests which are a perfect channel to your break through in exposing your script to the world of Hollywood. Here they are:

PAGE International Screenwriting Awards

This screen writing contest takes place every year, ending in October. Here are some unbelievable success stories due to participation in this contest.

1. 2006 PAGE Silver Prize winner Sang Kyu Kim has been hired as a writer/producer on the hit AMC series THE WALKING DEAD. Sang previously worked as a staff writer on the Starz series CRASH and the TNT series HAWTHORNE. Sang is only one of many television writers who have achieved success as a result of entering the PAGE Awards competition....

2. 2009 Gold Prize winner Rob Sudduth is now a staff writer on the new Ryan Murphy NBC comedy THE NEW NORMAL. Rob wrote the episode "Baby Proofing" which aired December 4, 2012. Previously, he worked on the writing staff of GCB.

3. 2005 Silver Prize winner Janet Lin has been on the writing staff of the Fox series BONES for the past six seasons. Janet is now a producer on the show.

4. 2008 PAGE Gold Prize winner VJ Boyd has been on the writing staff of the FX series JUSTIFIED for the past two seasons. He wrote the upcoming episode "Kin," which airs on Tuesday, February 5th.

5. 2007 Silver Prize winner Bill Balas has been hired as a staff writer on the new Carlton Cuse A&E series BATES MOTEL, which premiered on March 18th.

6. 2008 Gold Prize winner Simeon Goulden is the creator/writer of the award-winning comedy SPY, which has just finished its second season on Sky1 HD in the U.K.

7. 2008 Silver Prize winner Jonathan R. Hall has written 25 episodes of the long-running BBC drama series DOCTORS.

8. 2005 Bronze Prize winner Martin McSweeney has written several episodes of various shows for Irish television, including the popular BBC/NI series SEACHT and the TG4 series MARU (MURDER).

Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest

This screen writing contest is the best with the best achievements so far. Winning script writers have direct access to Hollywood directors/producers/writers and film developers. Here are some unbelievable success stories:

1. Evan Daugherty, now one of the youngest and hottest screen writers in hollywood has been an active participant in Script Pipeline Screen writing contest.

a. He is the original writer of snow white and the Huntsman of which he sold it for $3 Million. The script was the Grand prize winner of the 2008 contest edition.
b. He also wrote the contest-winning screenplay 'Killing season' which is coming to theaters in 2013, starring John Travolta and robert De Niro.

2. Tripper Clancy who won the 2010 script pipeline contest with his comedy script; 'Henry the second' is already in development with 21 laps. He has signed a contract with script pipeline partner, Jake Wagner, and also selected by 20th Fox century to join their feature Comedy writing team to be a part of developing new materials.

3. Kevin Jones, a 2012 and 2009 finalist signed with Zero gravity management and many more of such achievements which can be read on the home page of Script Pipeline official website.

The advantage about this method is, you have the platform to sell your script and earn even in millions and still be rightfully accredited as the screen writer (just like in Evan Daugherty's situation- check out the Snow white and the huntsman's Wikipedia page). Also, if you have more ideas and the talent, you will be exposed to the world of Hollywood so quickly and be a part of it. But the disadvantage is, your script will not just be good, but extra-ordinary, as these are international contests with lots of excellent scripts in participation. So, if peradventure your script does not reach the final stages where it can be noticed, it may not have the chance to be appreciated, accepted and processed. And this is where Amazon studios has the edge.

SUGGESTION

All said and done, can we be certain to be in a fix here? No! A big plus about this is, these two main methods are flexible and allow your script to be in any or all of them, provided it is your original script and yet to be optioned. So, what I did was to first and foremost, register in the two contest and after two weeks, uploaded it in Amazon studios.

You can do the same and since the contests give an e-mail updates of surviving scripts in each level, you can follow up these updates, even as you monitor the script's progress on Amazon. If Amazon is ready to buy your script and usher you with the $200,000, you can delay them for a while to see how far your script can go in any of the contests. But if you win or reach at least the semi-finals of any of the contest before Amazon studios propose buying your script, then it is strongly advised you stick to the screen writing contests.

Since both methods allow for a Novel form of the scripts involved, I published the Novel form of my script, adding two extra chapters to make the Novel unique from its screenplay. It is titled The Soul Talkers and you can check it out and get a copy from the following links:

AMAZON

THE SOUL TALKERS PUBLISHERS
I hope this helps and I will definitely be back to give an update on how far my script went in the two contests. Good luck!

Tags

Acting, Characters, Directing, Film, Hollywood, James Cameron, Movie, Producing, Publishing, Queen Latifah, Screenplay, Script, Warner Bros, Wentworth Miller

Meet the author

author avatar Funom Makama
A medical Practitioner and a passionate writer. A proud published Author of 2 books, more than 2,000 articles online and 500 Poems!
funommakama.org
drfunommakama.com

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Comments

author avatar Lambasted
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Wow! So detailed. I have read your Novel and it is just awesome and unbelievable. I am working on a Book review for you and I hope I will write it well, because no word presently existing can qualify the quality of "The Soul Talkers" I also cannot wait for its movie... Don Cooker, Rachael Smith, Larissa banta... All awesome characters. Great Job Dr. Funom Makama

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Thanks a lot Lambasted. So you actually bought it? Thanks a lot and I told you, you will not regret reading it. Share the love to friends. thanks once again!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

fascinating this journey of yours Funom...hope to see the film one day...

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author avatar pretty_writer
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Great! So you have a Novel Dr. Funom? I love Novels too, why didn't you recommend it to me? Though I am enjoying your book "Biblical Love Psychology" But you should also have recommended this to me, you think I will not buy it? Well, nice work here and this piece is so informative. After reading you book I will also read this novel, I'm getting a copy today through the publishers themselves. Well done Doc!

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

I am so sorry pretty writer. But its good you know now. Enjoy reading them. Thanks a million times.

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author avatar pretty_writer
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Its okay Dr. Funom. You are indeed doing a good job. Maybe I will do what lambasted wants to do! Do a book review

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

thanks alot!

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author avatar Faith Reaper
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Wow, this is a very informative article no doubt! You have done your homework on this one, and should be reaping the benefits. Thanks for taking the time to write about the very detailed process, as well as informing of all the interesting contests.

Looks like you have been busy with all these hubs since I have not been over to your corner of HP Town in a long while! I will have to visit more often.

Voted up +++ and sharing

God bless you in your endeavors. Thanks for sharing. In His Love, Faith Reaper

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author avatar Al_masculine
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Goodness! So elaborate and easy. I once thought of this, but with Tyler perry. Sent him numerous messages (which I knew will not reach him) and yet to get a single reply.. It's been 5 years now.

Nice work Funom

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author avatar D.Virtual.Doctor
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

What an invaluable eye opener! I just imagine how a lost unknown but talent screen writer will feel right now after finding this. As always..... A very magnificent hub

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Thanks a lot Faith Reaper..... Just been busy is an understatement.... I've been getting lots of feedback which I need to reply... Just 32 hubs and already amassing more than 2,000 comments.. But I will also find time to visit your hubs too.

al_masculine and D.V.D, thanks for your comments

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author avatar What is screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

LMU's Screenwriting major helps students understand that all great movies and television shows - be they drama, comedy, action-adventure, romance or thriller - begin with a story served by the written word. The mission of LMU's School of Film and Television Screenwriting program is to provide the best possible education in the art and craft of creating those stories, and writing those words.

Faculty members in the Screenwriting program are committed to helping each student find his or her creative voice and express that voice cinematically and professionally in an environment that is supportive, constructive, and fun.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Screenwriting majors gain a solid foundation in the liberal arts, taking classes in the University core in order to deepen and broaden their capacity to communicate to audiences their world perspective.

Majors move into more specific coursework, delving deep into their imaginations and personal lives to come up with stories that will entertain, amuse, uplift, and challenge audiences. In order to actualize these stories, students are introduced to the basic elements of screenwriting.

Students learn about character, dialogue, plotting, visual writing, and classic and alternative structures. In intermediate and advanced courses, students write and rewrite feature length screenplays, study genres, take classes in sitcom and dramatic television writing, and learn how to adapt stories to different mediums.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Screenwriting majors gain a solid foundation in the liberal arts, taking classes in the University core in order to deepen and broaden their capacity to communicate to audiences their world perspective.

Majors move into more specific coursework, delving deep into their imaginations and personal lives to come up with stories that will entertain, amuse, uplift, and challenge audiences. In order to actualize these stories, students are introduced to the basic elements of screenwriting.

Students learn about character, dialogue, plotting, visual writing, and classic and alternative structures. In intermediate and advanced courses, students write and rewrite feature length screenplays, study genres, take classes in sitcom and dramatic television writing, and learn how to adapt stories to different mediums.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

You might be a Screenwriting major if you:

Are a great storyteller

Have a passion for cinema and television

Are a talented writer

Seek to educate people

Seek to entertain people

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

You might be a Screenwriting major if you:

Are a great storyteller

Have a passion for cinema and television

Are a talented writer

Seek to educate people

Seek to entertain people

Reply to this comment

author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Our faculty members have written screenplays and scripts for scores of films, television programs, and pilots. Their work has appeared in wide release and in festivals, and has been optioned by producers. Faculty members have written plays, made industrial films, and done DVD commentaries. Others have been newspaper critics, poets, and spoken word artists, and written for print magazines and the Internet. They have been field producers, story editors, story analysts, and worked as head of story and development.

Faculty members have written screenwriting guidebooks, among them A Guide to Screenwriting Success: How to Write for Film and Television, Writing With a Conscience, and How to Write: A Screenplay.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Our majors receive valuable assistance from the School of Film and Television's Office of Industry Relations. This office is our students' lifeline to the entertainment industry. The office assists with a comprehensive set of programs that includes career advisement and help with developing portfolios. The office also connects students with key internships, industry mentors, School of Film and Television alumni, and agents, managers, guilds and professional associations.

Screenwriting alumni include the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Mystic River and L.A. Confidential, as well as writers and producers for TV programs such as 24, ER, JAG, Melrose Place, The Cosby Show, The Golden Girls, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The X-Files, and That's So Raven.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Our courses have included:

Beginning Screenwriting

Intermediate Screenwriting

Completing or Rewriting the Feature

Writing the TV Situation Comedy

Writing for Production I & II

Directing for Screenwriters

Production

Adaptation: One Medium to Another

Elements of Screenwriting

Seminar in Critical Writing in the Arts

Advanced Screenplay Project I, II, & III

Writing One-Hour Episodic TV

Advanced Writing: The One-Hour Drama

Senior Writing Project

Independent Studies

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The programs of the Screenwriting Department of the School of Film and Television are designed in accordance with the university’s mission of educating the whole person.

We have developed curricula that allows for a strong emphasis on creativity, process and individual expression without sacrificing the full development of the skills and self-discipline necessary to become working professionals, whether writing feature films or writing and producing for television.

This combination which focuses on a commitment to humanistic values, social justice and diversity both in the student body and in the stories they tell, while at the same time giving students a real-world experience of the entertainment industry, will prepare them for careers as screenwriters and television writers/producers, but it will do more: it will give them the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the entertainment industry.

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author avatar The Dallas Screenwriters assoc
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Serving the needs of the dallas screenwriting community

A non-profit organization, the Dallas Screenwriters Association provides monthly meetings featuring some of the best guest speakers in the industry, scene readings, workshops, seminars, networking opportunities and so much more. Explore the website to learn more about what we are doing and how you can be a part of this growing community.

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author avatar The Dallas Screenwriters assoc
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Serving the needs of the dallas screenwriting community

A non-profit organization, the Dallas Screenwriters Association provides monthly meetings featuring some of the best guest speakers in the industry, scene readings, workshops, seminars, networking opportunities and so much more. Explore the website to learn more about what we are doing and how you can be a part of this growing community.

Reply to this comment

author avatar The virginia screenwriters com
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Virginia Film Office sponsors an annual screenwriting competition for Virginia residents. All screenplays submitted to the competition are guaranteed a written critique from the judges reviewing the scripts.

Screenplays with applications for next year’s competition will be accepted March through May 2013. To see the complete list of rules and regulations, view the 2012 application form here.

If you wish to receive further updates and news about the competition, email your name, address, and telephone number to the Virginia Film Office.

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author avatar Screenwriting Lab
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film Independent’s Screenwriting Lab is an intensive five-week program that runs two to three evenings a week in Los Angeles in September and October. The Lab is designed to help screenwriters improve their craft, develop their voices as writers, and take their current scripts to the next level. During the Lab, Fellows receive feedback on their scripts from the Lab Mentor, outside advisors, and the other writers in the program.

A secondary goal of the program is to help advance the careers of the Lab Fellows by introducing them to film professionals who can advise them on both the craft and business of screenwriting. Lab Fellows have several guest-speaker sessions with established screenwriters to do case studies of their films, hear about their career, and discuss the writing process. Additionally, Screenwriting Fellows have one-on-one meetings with established screenwriters, producers, and other industry professionals who act as advisors on the Fellows’ projects.

A maximum of ten projects are selected for the Lab. Writing partners are welcome to apply as teams. Applicants to the Screenwriting Lab who are current members of Film Independent will receive written coverage on their submission regardless of acceptance.

Robbie Pickering's Natural Selection

Film Independent membership is not required when applying to Film Independent Artist Development Labs. However, all participants accepted into the Labs are required to be Film Independent members.

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author avatar Screenwriting Lab
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A pass to the Los Angeles Film Festival

Year-round support from Film Independent

Inclusion in the FIND Talent Guide

Eligibility to join the Indie Writers Caucus of the WGAw.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Robbie Pickering’s Natural Selection (2012 Spirit Award Nominee, Best First Feature; Winner SXSW Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award) Suzi Yoonessi’s Dear Lemon Lima, (2009 Los Angeles Film Festival), Beth Schacter’s Normal Adolescent Behavior (2007 Tribeca Film Festival), Scott Prendergast’s Kabluey (2007 Los Angeles Film Festival), Minh Nguyen-Vo’s Buffalo Boy (Vietnam’s entry to the 2007 Academy Awards), and V. Prasad’s Ocean of Pearls.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Meg LeFauve (producer, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys), Jeff Kleeman (UA/MGM), Mardik Martin (co-writer, Mean Streets, Raging Bull), Jeff Stockwell (Bridge to Terabithia, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys), Barbara Turner (Georgia, The Company), and Lee David Zlotoff (Spitfire Grill).

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Who are these people you are listing here? Are they producers and/or film directors?

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Doug Atchison (Akeelah and the Bee), Mike Binder (The Upside of Anger), Scott Frank (The Lookout), Rian Johnson (Brick), Karen Moncrieff (The Dead Girl), Diana Ossana (Brokeback Mountain), Howard Rodman (Savage Grace), and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump).

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Who are you guys? Wow! Are you all from my facebook page? Well thanks a lot for all the comments

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

To be eligible, applicants must be the writer of a feature-length narrative film. Writing teams are welcome to apply together. Applicants must submit the online application, which includes:

online application

Cover Letter explaining your interest in the Screenwriting Lab

Complete feature-length screenplay

Logline and synopsis

Bios of key cast and crew attached, if any

Project status and history

Non-refundable application fee ($45 Film Independent Member; $65 Non-member)

Documentary, short film, and television projects are not eligible to apply.

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author avatar Screenwriting lab submissions
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film Independent is looking for well-written, compelling, independent screenplays that have gone through at least one complete draft yet are nonetheless not fully polished. The Lab is structured to support writers who are still creatively engaged in the writing of the script and are at the point where they would welcome and benefit from feedback and discussion about their work. Writers are accepted into the program to work on the specific screenplay with which they apply.

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author avatar Cost to participate in S.W Lab
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Aside from the application fee, there is no tuition to attend Film Independent’s Artist Development Programs.

Film Independent offers the Filmmaker Labs to support emerging writers, directors, and producers in the development of their craft as well as their projects. We ask that once completed, films that have been supported by the Labs include the end credit “Developed with the help of the Film Independent Filmmaker Labs” with the Film Independent logo.

Got questions? We’ve got answers. Click here for Filmmaker Labs FAQs

For more information, please contact Kelly Thomas, Producer in Residence, at 310.432.1262 or kthomas@filmindependent.org.

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author avatar Cost to participate in S.W Lab
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Guardian Masterclasses

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Learn the craft of screenwriting

SOLD OUT A masterclass for aspiring screenwriters and curious film lovers

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Masterclasses Sold Out

Sorry, this course is now full

New dates have been added: Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 January 2013. Please click this link to go to the event page.

This intensive and practical two-day course at the Guardian offices, led by expert screenwriters, will introduce you to the nuts and bolts of writing for film.

Opening with a keynote talk Tony Grisoni (writer of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, In This World and the Red Riding Hood trilogy) the weekend will include five, practical small-group workshops on topics varying from character to dialogue to script structure.

A leading talent agent will also lead a session on getting your work noticed and the weekend will end with a panel discussion.

This masterclass is suitable for aspiring screenwriters, screenwriters starting out and curious film lovers wishing to learn more about the craft of screenwriting.

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author avatar Don BOYD
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Don Boyd has significantly influenced the face of British film since his first feature in the mid-1970s. Moving from his initial role of director, Boyd successfully built his own production company, a bastion for young British talent during the arid climate of '70s British cinema. With a prolific production resumé during the late '70s and '80s, the '90s saw a return to directorial work in film as well as some surprising television projects. He is currently the director of Hibrow.tv, a new digital platform for the arts.

Don has directed Twenty-One (1991), with Patsy Kensit, as well as Kleptomania (1993), Lucia (1998) and My Kingdom (2001), which transposes Shakespeare's King Lear to modern day Liverpool. He has produced and executive produced films as diverse as Derek Jarman's War Requiem (1989), Julien Temple's The Great Rock 'n' roll Swindle (1980) and Alan Clarke's Scum (1979).

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author avatar Olivia Hetreed
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Olivia Hetreed started her career as a documentary, drama and film editor and then moved into writing with a series of family films for ITV including The Treasure Seekers and The Canterville Ghost. She also wrote the short film, Candy, which was screened worldwide at film festivals. Olivia's first feature film, Girl With A Pearl Earring (2003), was nominated for multiple Oscars and BAFTAs including Best Adapted Screenplay. The film starred Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth and was adapted from the novel by Tracy Chevalier. Olivia has taught several courses and workshops for aspiring screenwriters, including workshops at the Sarajevo Film Festival and 'mini-courses' for the BBC. She was one of the writers of 2011's Wuthering Heights, directed by Andrea Arnold.

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author avatar Shawn Slovo
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Shawn Slovo started her film career working with some of the biggest names in the Industry - working as script assistant on the Richard Burton film Absolution, and then as assistant to the Oscar-winning Robert De Niro on Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull and The King of Comedy.

Within five years, she was writing her autobiographical screenplay for Working Title's A World Apart (1988), based on her childhood under apartheid. The film was critically acclaimed and won her a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay. Her successful partnership with Working Title secured her next film project, adapting Louis de Bernières' best-selling novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin for the big screen in 2001. Shawn has since written Catch a Fire (2006), directed by Phillip Noyce, and Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013), which is currently being filmed by Stephen Frears.

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author avatar Andrew Haigh
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

British screenwriter Andrew Haigh has made four short films and two features - Greek Pete (2009) and Weekend (2011). They have played at festivals worldwide including SXSW, Berlin, London, Rotterdam and Rome. Both features have been distributed worldwide. In 2011 he was named as one of Variety's 'Screenwriters to Watch' and was awarded the London Critics Circle Award for Best Breakthrough Filmmaker and the Evening Standard Film Award for Best Screenplay, both for 'Weekend'.

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author avatar Toni Grisoni
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Tony Grisoni is a British screenwriter who has worked with an impressive line-up of leading film directors over the last two decades. Queen of Hearts (1989) was his award winning first feature directed by Jon Amiel. Since then, he has worked closely with a number of top directors including Terry Gilliam (Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, 1998; Tideland, 2005), Michael Winterbottom (In this World, 2002), Rankin (The Lives of the Saints, 2006) and Samantha Morton (The Unloved, 2009). In 2009 he wrote all three screenplays for the Red Riding trilogy, a series of adaptations of the novels of David Peace.

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author avatar Abi Morgan
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Openings are important to me. My first play took me two years to write. I think it was because I wrote and re-wrote the first page maybe 100 times. I now think of that play as my apprenticeship. It was the mental warm-up, the place where I was starting to piece together all the other moments. It's where I bring form to the chaos. Most of the writing journey is a process of this – finding form to chaos.

The ability to change is key in writing drama. That doesn't mean one has to concede on every point. Having written several screenplays, I want to stay in the state where I think I know something and then discover I know nothing again. It drives me, it motivates me. And it also makes me realise that the process of drafting, re-drafting and throwing away material is never for nothing.

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author avatar Brian Hageland
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The first thing to do is to is pick something worth writing about, which seems fairly obvious. You want to make it compelling and commercial. The thing about a commercial movie is all it has to do is make more money than it cost. So if your movie cost $10 to make and it makes $20, it's commercial.

You only have around 120 pages so it has to be structured. It has to drive forward. If you write a scene that is lateral, cut it out or make it do something. Make it drive you to the next moment because there's no time to mess around. Novelists can write 900 pages if they want. For a film, you can write between 100 and 140 pages, but there's not a lot of difference there. When you start writing a script, you're an architect and there's nothing creative about it – that's a slight exaggeration, but it's true.

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author avatar Poor Career Advice
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The film, television and games industries are incredibly competitive. Finding a route in – and making sure you're in the right place at the right time – is a test of initiative and endurance. Much like a video game or the plot of many a cinematic trilogy, getting a foothold in these industries can test even the sternest mettle.

And yet, there is no shortage of people wanting to work in TV, film and gaming. Thousands of students on the country's many media courses will attest to the fact that a career in our industries is highly prized. In fact, 57% of the young people we surveyed in the recent BAFTA Career Pathways Survey have at one time considered working in these sectors.

So why would we want to encourage more people to enter? The answer is that it isn't volume we're after. As an organisation which champions creative excellence, BAFTA wants people to be judged on talent and aptitude rather than who they know or how long they are able to work for free.

So, we decided to speak to young people to get a better picture of how they are guided in their careers. We looked at how 16 to 24 year-olds access careers information, how easy it is to understand the process by which one enters film, television and games, and what sources of information have proved most reliable or useful.

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author avatar Poor Career Advice
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The results make interesting reading. Young people who are actively aspiring to a career in film, television or games appear to be particularly dissatisfied with formal careers advice; just 9% believe they received excellent careers advice, while over a third say it was extremely unhelpful or did not help them much at all to choose a career. For a quarter of this group, contact with people already working in their chosen industry was their most useful source of advice, compared to the general population, who found careers advisors at school, college or university most useful.

Worryingly, of those who are actively looking to go into these industries and received unsatisfying careers advice, one in six were actively discouraged from their chosen path. It compares to just one in ten respondents being discouraged from a career option overall. This suggests that careers advice for aspiring television, film or games professionals tends to be more discouraging than for other career paths.

The research reveals a perception among young people and those who advise them, that these industries are harder to break into if you are from particular backgrounds or don't have family connections. It also suggests that women are more likely to be discouraged from these careers than men. The young people surveyed told us that clear advice and information about the best routes in is hard to find. The task of understanding the breadth of skills and the different roles available is an even bigger challenge than it should be – particularly when you consider the availability of resources such as BAFTA Guru, which provides an insight into the experiences of some of the most successful names in film, television and games.

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author avatar Poor Career Advice
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

As well as our survey of young people, we asked almost 200 BAFTA members about their views on the careers advice they had received, and their experiences of starting out. It showed that there is no single route into the industries. Indeed, half of our members started their professional lives in a different industry so it is little wonder that we present a confusing picture.

Our young respondents told us one of the things they wanted to understand was what skills they needed to enter the industry – and how they can demonstrate them. They wanted to know what the biggest aid to getting in to the industry is, according to our members.

Our report should not be read as an indictment of careers advisors, parents or teachers. As an industry we need to open up a dialogue with these groups to help them understand what skills we are looking for and how young people can demonstrate them. We should explode the elitism – both real and perceived – inherent in our industries.

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author avatar Poor Career Advice
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

So how did BAFTA members respond to the survey? We asked a selection of our current members about what advice they would give to someone who is starting out in the industry. Here are some of their answers:

• "J J Abrams said it best when he said if he wasn't making stupid money out of directing films, he'd still be directing films, he'd just have another job on the side. You have to do it because you genuinely love it, not because it'll make you rich or famous. I tend to tell that to people who want to get into acting for the wrong reasons but it applies throughout."

• "Focus on what you want to do and be specific about targeting the right people who could help you. Research your chosen field and make sure you know what's involved in the role. Be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up. It's the best way to get a solid knowledge of your chosen field and it will serve you well."

• "If you want to work in television, watch it. If you want to work in film, watch them. If you want to work in games, play them. Familiarise yourself with the issues in your chosen field and have an informed opinion. Don't be afraid to express an opinion even if it doesn't seem to be popular. Always remember the people who helped you and extend the same help to others when you are in a position to do so yourself. When you start moving up, don't surround yourself with 'yes' people. Never forget that you are always learning."

• "Don't be fooled by a media course as an answer to getting a job. It's not what you study but the real talent you have that will attract employers."

• "Never stop learning and never give up. Continue to grow and challenge yourself; leave doubting your ability to others. Enjoy the journey and don't obsess over the destination."

• "Take every opportunity to meet people in the industry. Most are more than happy to help and give advice. Eventually one will give you a job."

• "Treat every job, however small, like it is the most important one of your career."

• "Be prepared to put in your own time to gain experience. Volunteer – don't wait to be asked. Industry professionals are usually very responsive to someone who shows commitment and a willingness to learn. However, no one is hanging around waiting to hand you opportunities on a silver platter. You've got to find them yourself."

• "Create your own opportunities: write a script, produce a trailer, direct a short film."

• "Do your research. Make sure it is the right sector of the industry you want to get into. Honesty, hard work and perseverance pay off. Even though sometimes it's tough, there is nothing quite like seeing your name on the big screen."

• "Don't be afraid to admit your level of skill and knowledge; I would rather hire someone enthusiastic and keen to learn, than someone who has lied about their skills, then finds themselves out of their depth."

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Like many other degrees, English literature doesn't have career-specific skills, so it can feel like there are both very few – and too many – options out there.

Research shows there are a huge range of jobs on offer for those with an academic background in English. For example, 8.3% of English graduates from 2010 went into marketing, sales and advertising, while 3.8% became social and welfare professionals.

A lot of our followers on Twitter are English literature students or graduates, so it seemed pretty sensible to consult them when we were researching their career options.

We used the hashtag #TheGoodTheBadTheLit and asked people about the highs and lows of their degree. Some of the most popular highlights were being able to indulge in your passion for reading, developing strong written and verbal communication skills, and the flexibility offered.

Some of the bad parts were the low contact hours (as little as four in some places) and the difficulty in knowing where to go career-wise after graduation.

After asking our followers what jobs they have done following their degree, we also had a pretty diverse response: copywriter, PR, journalist, marketing, advertising, animator, designer, public speaker, teacher, curator, TV producer. And that's not even the full list.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

So, if you're studying or have graduated in English literature and you want advice on your next step, join our live Q&A on Thursday 11 October between 1pm and 3pm. The topics to be discussed include:

• The career options for English students and graduates

• How to decide what your dream job may be

• How English students and graduates can improve their employability

• Should English literature degrees include more vocational modules?

There are loads of ways to get involved. You can create a Guardian member's account, which will let you post questions and comments in the Q&A, or alternatively you can sign in to the discussion using your Facebook or Twitter profiles. We'll also be tweeting during the Q&A using the hashtag #englishlitcareers and you can email questions anonymously to Chris Mandle.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Our panel includes:

David Nield, a technology journalist who has written for TechRadar and CNET. He studied English Literature at Durham University and currently lives and works in Manchester.

Sophie Goodfellow, a publicity assistant at ED public relations, an agency that specialises in publishing. She studies English literature and creative writing from the University of Warwick.

Professor Kate Chedgzoy, Head of the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics (SELLL) at Newcastle University.

Emma Bowers is an adviser with the National Careers Service. Emma is a professionally qualified adviser who has been delivering careers advice for the past eight years.

Amy Allen, a Marketing Officer at the University of Lincoln, working across integrated marketing campaigns that promote the University. She graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature from Lancaster University in 2008.

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author avatar The Story of a deaf film maker
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In August, 80,000 people piled into London's Olympic stadium for the spectacular opening ceremony for the 2012 Paralympic Games. But for one of them, it was the 10 minutes before the ceremony began that were extra special.

Deaf film-maker Ted Evans' 10-minute film, Look Up, which he co-directed with Bim Ajadi, kicked off the live show and was the culmination of months of hard work. "Seeing it on the screens, with thousands of people watching, was like reaching the top of a mountain," he says. "I keep saying to myself, 'did that actually happen?'"

For Evans, who is profoundly deaf in one ear and severely deaf in the other, making the film was just one stage in a bigger journey. Four years ago, he was unemployed, and by his own admission, "a bit lost".

He had developed a passion for music, spending hours in a shed in his parents' garden composing songs. But after attracting fans on MySpace and gaining interest from a record company, he hit a brick wall.

"I went to meet this guy who was interested in signing me up in Denmark Street, but as soon as he found out I was deaf, his encouragement and enthusiasm just went. I knew instantly he was never going to contact me again and he didn't. That was a little heartbreaking."

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author avatar The Story of a deaf film maker
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Evans found himself at a crossroads. "I knew that it was going to be very difficult to pursue a career in songwriting, but I had no idea what I else I could do." He had made short films at home from a young age, but didn't think he could make a career out of it. "I thought it wouldn't be possible for people like me," he says.

Then, out of the blue, Evans was offered a job as a runner on a new website for deaf people. He'd previously worked with Bim Ajadi composing music for the website's short films. Now, as part of an all-deaf team, Evans quickly progressed to become a director, with support from Ajadi. "We all learned a lot from Bim," he says. "He trained everyone on the team and he's a great role model."

But on New Year's Eve 2009, came another blow. The website was closing, and the entire team were made redundant. Fortunately for Evans, he had just gained a place on the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust's (BSLBT) short film scheme, Zoom. His resulting film, Go Ahead, helped him get a job as a researcher at the BBC's long-running magazine series for deaf people, See Hear. Again, within a year, he worked his way up to being a director.

It was while he was working on the show, commuting from his home in Hackney to Birmingham every day, that Evans wrote and directed his second short film, The End, which was commissioned by the next stage of the BSLBT's film scheme, Zoom Focus. The half-hour film was made for just £4,000. It is told in a documentary style and looks at the loss of deaf culture in a world where deafness has been cured.

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author avatar The Story of a deaf film maker
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

"Originally the idea was simply a question I put to my partner who is a deaf sign language user," he tells me. "If you died and we met again in the afterlife, would you sign to me or speak to me? What if you had a choice? That question became the basis of the film."

For Evans, who attended deaf schools, The End was also a chance to highlight the deaf culture that he'd grown up in, but was hidden from wider view. "Most people don't know deaf culture exists and the reality is that deaf people have a lot to offer to society. People have the right to be different." The film won awards at film festivals across the world.

With each job, Evans has worked hard and tried to impress. This ethos paid dividends when it came to directing Look Up. He first worked with Jenny Sealey when he and Ajadi made short documentaries for Sealey's Graeae Theatre Company. Three years on, when Sealey became the co-director of the Paralympics opening ceremony, and was looking to commission a film to get the night started, she thought of them. "That was down to us making films for them for the past three years. If we had done a bad job, we wouldn't have been approached," he says.

Making Look Up meant working with a higher budget than he'd ever had before, and reliable communication on set was crucial. "I use very good sign language interpreters, because communication and understanding what is going on around you is crucial as a director."

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author avatar The Story of a deaf film maker
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Evans has also learned how important sound is in making a film, and although he "relies on professionals when it comes to audio", working closely with sound editors, he also says: "It doesn't mean I can't have an opinion on and it doesn't mean I should not be involved in that aspect of film-making."

Evans feels he has a strong understanding of the role of music in film, which is helped by his background as a musician. "People often say that sound and music is half the film. The key is having respect for it, even if you can't access it in its entirety. As a film-maker you want to reach as many people as possible, and sound provides the audience with information which plays an important part in telling your story."

Does he have any advice for aspiring deaf and disabled film-makers? "My main piece of advice would be to pick up a camera, any movie camera, and simply make films. You will instantly find yourself faced with obstacles and through experiencing them, you will learn how to improve."

After months of hard work, Evans was surrounded by family and friends who were there to see Look Up being shown on the night of the Paralympics opening ceremony. "It was like nothing I've ever experienced in my life," he says. "It was so emotional for many reasons. I worked with so many amazing people and it has done nothing but inspire me."

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author avatar Routes in film direction
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the past four years, three Academy Awards each for Best Picture and for Best Director have come from this side of the Atlantic; two of those (Slumdog Millionaire and The King's Speech) from England.

It surely is an exciting time if you are considering a career in filmmaking in the UK. In May, the British Film Institute allocated £273m on backing new films and just last month Warner Bros launched a new £100m studio complex just outside London.

The average market share for British films rose from 6% last year to 25% in the first quarter of 2012, owing largely to the successes of last Harry Potter film, The Inbetweeners Movie, The Iron Lady and The Woman in Black.

Speaking to The Guardian, Josh Berger, president of Warner Bros UK, Ireland and Spain, said: "Look at what we've made, from Harry Potter to The King's Speech. You don't have to convince a US movie star to spend three months in London."

There's no doubt that all this investment will require talented directors with creative vision in the years to come. If you're someone who's passionate about film, studying film or even enjoy filmmaking as a hobby, then you've come to the right place. We're going to discuss what it takes to get your foot in the door, the amount of hard-work (and money) it takes to direct your own film and how to best get noticed.

Our panel includes award-winning filmmakers, university lecturers, student award winners and directors from accomplished production houses in the country. Between them, they'll provide all the direction you need for a career in directing. Join our live Q&A on Tuesday, 17 July between 1pm and 3pm. You can also leave your questions now in the comments section below or via an email.

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author avatar Routes in film direction
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Our panel:

David Hickman is a documentary director and producer whose films have won Emmys, a Grierson Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. He is also senior lecturer in film and television production at the University of York.

Bianca Ansems' MA graduation film Playing Ghost won the prestigious Grand Jury Prize at the Hollywood Student Film Festival, among numerous other awards. Apart from working as an independent filmmaker and animation director in London, she has worked across the industry in the UK and Germany.

Suzanne Mackie is a BAFTA-nominated executive producer for Sky One's Mad Dogs, which won numerous other nominations and awards. She has worked with BBC, Buena Vista, Miramax Films and is now head of film at Left Bank Pictures.

Mark Saunders is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker who established his own production company Spectacle in the early 1990s. Apart from lecturing internationally and writing on media and urbanism, he teaches regularly at the London College of Communication.

Trevor Hearing is subject leader for film and television at Bournemouth University. Prior to his academic career, Trevor was a television cameraman, director, producer and executive producer making programmes for ITV, BBC and Channel Four.

Franzi Florack is the co-founder of The National Student Film Assocation, The International Student Film Organisation and Watersprite - The Cambridge Student Film Festival. She is currently working at the Munich Film Festival and as a film and media studies teacher.

Jessica Townsend's film 4 Conversations won her the Best First Time Director at DC Shorts competition and was shown at Cannes. Her early success led to many film and TV commissions, including for BBC and Channel 4. She now works as a writer-director and teaches directing at the Met Film School.

Ian Robertson won a BAFTA New Talent award whilst doing Film Studies at Glasgow University. His latest music video Get By got two million views in one week and won him a Young Director Award in Cannes.

Sam Kirkwood is the founder of My First Job in Film, a new recruitment scheme finding interns, work placements and runners for feature films.

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author avatar Trust Screenwriting Prize
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

About the Prize

The Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Prize is an annual prize that aims to encourage the creation of high-quality feature films inspired by biology or medicine.

The Prize is aimed at experienced writers working in any genre. We are not just looking for stories about scientists or medics; the biomedical link can be much more oblique.

We are looking for screenplay proposals that use bold ideas and inventive ways of weaving biomedicine into the narrative, and we will support the winner in developing their idea.

“Science and medicine have inspired some of the most memorable, and often challenging, films in the history of cinema, from 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest' to 'Inception' and from 'Blade Runner' to 'Memento'. These are films that question what it is to be human or even just to be 'normal’, that express the hopes and fears of society towards scientific progress.” - Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust

"The BFI Film Fund is excited to be part of the Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Prize. We believe this initiative encourages storytelling that brings a fresh focus to the role of science in contemporary life." - Lizzie Francke, Senior Development and Production Executive, BFI Film Fund

"Film4 is delighted to be working with the Wellcome Trust on this significant new opportunity for screenwriters. We'll be looking for ambitious cinematic ideas which explore the realms of science and medicine in original and exciting ways, and wish the best of luck to all the entrants." - Eva Yates, Development Editor, Film4

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author avatar Trust Screenwriting Prize
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

What you can win

The Prize will be awarded by a panel of judges and will be presented at a ceremony at the Wellcome Trust in autumn 2012. The judges include experts from the Wellcome Trust, the BFI Film Fund and Film4. All shortlisted entrants will be invited to this ceremony.

The top five to ten shortlisted entrants will be invited to the Wellcome Trust in London, where they will meet the judges and discuss their ideas. They will also be introduced to a range of high-profile scientists and given a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of the Wellcome Trust and Wellcome Collection. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony.

The winning writer will receive:

a £20 000 cash prize to develop their idea to first draft

support from the Wellcome Trust with scientific research and inspiration, including access to world-leading scientists, research institutions and labs

support from the BFI Film Fund to develop their screenplay including meetings with development executives

support from the Wellcome Trust to identify commercial partners and producers (if required).

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author avatar Screenwriters Lab
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Screenwriters Lab is a five-day writer's workshop that gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking. Through one-on-one story sessions with Creative Advisors, Fellows engage in an artistically rigorous process that offers them indispensable lessons in craft, as well as the means to do the deep exploration needed to fully realize their material.

Filmmakers typically begin their participation in the Feature Film Program with the January Screenwriters Lab, the only Lab for which there is an open application. Online applications for the January Screenwriters Lab are made available in the Apply/Submit section of the website beginning February 15 of each year and must be postmarked by May 1.

The January Screenwriters Lab is held in January, just before the Sundance Film Festival. The 2013 January Screenwriters Lab was January 11-16, 2013.

The June Screenwriters Lab is by invitation only and is held near the end of June, following the annual Directors Lab. If you would like to apply, please email ffpinternational@sundance.org to determine your eligibility. The 2013 June Screenwriters Lab will take place June 17-21, 2013.

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author avatar Project selection
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Each year, The Feature Film Program selects 12 projects for the January Screenwriters Lab. Decisions are made and filmmakers are notified by December 15. An additional five projects are invited each year to participate in the June Screenwriters Lab. Decisions are made by April 15. Please note that the June Screenwriters Lab is by invitation only, and the June Directors Lab is almost always populated by previous Screenwriting Lab projects. There is no open application for the Directors Lab.

While it is difficult to define selection criteria, the FFP seeks work that represents the personal vision of an artist and challenges and engages audiences in a truly original way. The Screenwriters Lab is limited, however, to filmmakers making their first or second feature films.

The Fellows are selected from an open submissions process and a combination of intensive year-round outreach, recommendations from a national network of program alumni, Creative Advisors, film school faculty, film festival staffs, producers, and other film professionals. Historically, open submissions have provided approximately half of the total number of projects considered for the Labs.

Project selection is based on our rigorous review of the script and the writing and, if applicable, the directing talent involved. It is not necessary for anyone other than the writer to be involved in the application process for the January Screenwriters Lab. In order to get a more complete sense of the filmmaker's vision and aesthetic, our application asks candidates, when applicable, to describe their choices for director, cast, composer, or other creative elements.

All applications are reviewed by Institute staff. Filmmakers selected for the second stage of the review process are asked to submit full screenplays of their projects, which are reviewed by Institute staff. A short list of projects is then recommended to a Selection Advisory Committee comprised of writers, directors, and independent producers who work with the staff to make final decisions.

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author avatar International Film Makers
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Each year, the Feature Film Program invites five to six international filmmakers to participate in its Screenwriters Labs. The Program's international outreach is currently focused primarily on these regions: Eastern Europe, Central America, Northern Africa and Southeast Asia.

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author avatar Project Support
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Sundance Institute provides airline travel, accommodations, and meals at the Sundance Resort in Utah for one writer/filmmaker per project for the duration of the Lab, in addition to the extensive creative and strategic support provided throughout a project's development. The Institute considers special requests to provide accommodations and meals for additional creative partners, and may ask the creative team to cover travel and other expenses.

The Feature Film Program is committed to supporting all of our projects long after the Lab. Projects supported through the Screenwriters Labs receive the full and continued support of the Feature Film program, which can include ongoing creative and strategic advice, significant production and postproduction resources, participation in the Screenplay Reading Series, a Work-In-Progress Screening, and direct financial support through project-specific grants and artist fellowships. The Feature Film Program is committed to seeing our films produced, and then seen by the world, and we continue to search for new ways in which we can support our artists and their projects.

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author avatar Sundance Institute
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization funded by foundations, corporations, film industry sources, individuals, government agencies, and earned income such as ticket sales at the Sundance Film Festival. The Institute was founded by Robert Redford as a way to give back to a creative community and a new generation of film and theatre artists by providing them with an opportunity to develop their projects and skills. Because securing funding for the Institute's programs is a consistent challenge, we request that Lab Alumni whose projects are produced contribute to the Institute's work to support the next group of emerging filmmakers. The agreement is a way for filmmakers supported by our program to continue the spirit of giving back. Any revenue that is designated to Sundance Institute is allocated to the Feature Film Program and is used on an annual basis to provide critical support for the Labs.

Projects supported by the Screenwriters Labs are asked to contribute 0.25 percent of their production budget calculated after the first $1 million. Projects supported by the Directors Labs are asked to contribute 0.5 percent of their production budget calculated after the first $1 million. The total contribution for projects supported by both Labs is not to exceed 0.5 percent. Contributions are tax-deductible and are used to fund the Labs for the subsequent year. Additionally, Lab Alumni are asked to recognize the Program with the credit, "This film was supported by the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program," along with Sundance's wordmark in the picture's end titles, in a size of type not less than that of the largest end credit, on a separate card immediately following the cast list. Lab Alumni are also asked to contribute 1 percent of the net profit of the film. If you have any questions or would like clarification on this, please call 310-360-1981.

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author avatar Sundance Institute
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Applications for the 2013 January Screenwriters Lab were available February 15 through May 1, 2012.

When applying online, you must also send the following supplemental materials to the address below:

A cover letter introducing yourself and your project. There are no strict requirements for this letter, but we'd like to get a brief idea of who you are, what your script is about, and how you think the Lab process could be helpful to you.

An artistic statement describing your creative vision for the material, giving us a sense of where you are in the creative process. Here's an example of the type of information we're looking for: What is your personal connection to the material? What do you want an audience to take away from your film? How do you envision the realization of this script in terms of story, character, tone, and/or visual style? Is there a budget level you have in mind, and who makes up the audience you most want to reach? Why are you passionate about this story?

Resume/bio (including name, address, and telephone) of the writer, and anyone else involved with the project (i.e.: director, producer, etc.). It is unnecessary to have anyone other than the writer attached, and the resume/bio should be no longer than one page.

A synopsis of the screenplay, no more than two pages, double-spaced.

The first five pages of your script. Do not submit script pages from any other work. Please, do not send the full screenplay or any directing samples.

A $35.00 non-refundable processing fee, payable by credit card via the online application.

Send materials to:

Feature Film Program Applications

Sundance Institute

5900 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 800

Los Angeles, CA 90036

If you wish to be notified that your application has arrived, please enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard. Submitted scripts, applications, and other materials will not be returned. Candidates may submit up to three applications, though it is not encouraged to submit more than one - please complete a separate application for each project submitted.

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author avatar Sundance Institute
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The program is unable to accept open applications from international filmmakers. An international applicant is a non-U.S. citizen living outside of the United States. For more information on the international outreach of the Feature Film Program,

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author avatar Screenwriters world conference
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Learn from Major Screenwriting Experts

Instructors include Steve Faber (Wedding Crashers), Michael Elliot (Like Mike, Just Wright), Pilar Alessandra (director of the popular writing program “On the Page”), Corey Mandell (award-winning playwright, screenwriter and UCLA instructor) Jeffrey Schechter (award-winning screenwriter, producer and director) and many more. More

Get Immediate Feedback from Hollywood Execs

You’ll meet privately in one-on-one meetings with agents, producers, and other Hollywood execs for a chance to pitch your work and receive immediate, unbiased feedback in return. This on-the-spot advice is something you won’t find at any other screenwriting conference! More

Hone Your Screenwriting Skills

You’ll learn to develop a great idea into a compelling, sellable script with help from screenwriters who have been coaching and working in Hollywood for decades. They’ll help you strengthen your craft, regardless of your experience level.

Schedule

The Screenwriters World Conference schedule is designed to help you hone your writing and pitching skills, and to put those skills into action in networking opportunities and events that directly connect you with the people who can help move your writing career forward. As Virgil said, “Fortune favors the bold”—so come to the conference ready to make your screenwriting dreams come true! There's a reason The Writers Store is still in business after 30 years, and it's the same reason any writer manages to survive that long: They figured out what they were good at and kept working hard to get better at it. The next generation of screenwriters, I'm sure, will find as I have, there’s really no other place like it. - Steven Zaillian, Oscar winner (Schindler's List)

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author avatar Academy of Moon pictures
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Dear Educator,

Young Minds Inspired, in cooperation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is proud to present the first in a series of annual study guides that will focus on the different branches of the Academy.

This guide focuses on the art of writing, one of the many craft areas involved in creating a motion picture. Students will learn about screenwriting as they complete the activities in this kit, which has been designed for students in secondary school English, language arts and communications courses. The activities are designed to capitalize on students' natural interest in current films and the excitement generated by the Academy Awards® to teach valuable lessons in critical thinking and creative writing, and to develop visual literacy skills.

The Academy, organized in 1927, is a professional honorary organization composed of more than 6,000 motion picture craftsmen and women. Its purposes include advancing the art and science of motion pictures; fostering cooperation among creative leaders for cultural, educational and technological progress; recognizing outstanding achievements, and fostering educational activities between the professional community and the public at large. Academy members are the people who create movies-the cream of the industry's actors, art directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, film editors, make-up artists, composers, producers, sound and visual effects experts, and writers.

To ensure that you receive future mailings, please contact Randy Haberkamp at rhaberkamp@oscars.org. Also, feel free to e-mail us at feedback@ymiclassroom.com to comment about the program at any time. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

Sincerely,

Roberta Nusim, Publisher

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author avatar Academy of Moon pictures
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Target Audience

This program has been designed for students in secondary school English, language arts, visual arts and communications courses.

Program Objectives

To enhance student interest in and knowledge about the motion picture development and production process.

To encourage students to use critical thinking as they learn how cinematographers contribute to the process of creating a motion picture.

To engage students in an exploration of film as a medium of communication.

To help students become more visually literate.

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author avatar Steven J Carnnell
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The following are the materials from a live seminar presented by Writers Write, Inc. and Stephen J. Cannell, which took place on writerswrite.com. Stephen J. Cannell is the Emmy® award-winning producer/creator of over 35 television shows including The Rockford Files, The A-Team, The Commish, Wiseguy, Greatest American Hero, Hunter and Silk Stalkings, and bestselling author of The Plan (William Morrow), Final Victim (William Morrow), King Con (William Morrow), Riding the Snake (William Morrow) and The Tin Collectors (St. Martin's Press). If you missed the one-day Seminar, here's your chance to get all of the materials, and have access to Mr. Cannell's inside tips and techniques for being a successful writer -- free of charge. The Seminar Materials include a lecture, writing exercises, and the transcript of the Live Question and Answer session which lasted approximately 3 hours.

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

"This year sees the third in our series of BAFTA Screenwriter Lectures, cementing, still further, its reputation as the world’s leading forum for the art of screenwriting. “Nobody can deny the primacy of the screenplay in filmmaking. This series continues to celebrate the greatest cinematic authors in the world, talking about what moves them, what inspires them and what drives them. In an industry still fixated on the role of directing, this series aims to remind audiences of where it all begins. Drawing on writers from around the world, BAFTA and the BFI are proud to announce another extraordinary line-up of artists." Jeremy Brock, Screenwriter and Founder of the Lecture Series.

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author avatar Scot Frank
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Oscar-nominated Scott Frank is a writers' writer – hugely talented and devoted to the art of screenwriting. His pedigree with collaborators suggests he's a "directors' writer" too: Steven Soderbergh and Out of Sight; Spielberg and Minority Report; Barry Sonnenfeld and Get Shorty. As a writer of quality commercial film, he has an extraordinary hit rate, longevity and a versatility to move comfortably from adult political thriller The Interpreter to family comedy Marley & Me. Inevitably for someone so talented, he’s added directing to his bag of tricks with The Lookout starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and upcoming project A Walk Among Tombstones with Liam Neeson. On writing for the screen he says, "I really believe screenwriting is an art unto itself. A script can actually be a finished piece of art".

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author avatar Peter Straughan
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Peter Straughan is one of the UK’s most exciting newer voices in cinema, and his Oscar nomination for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy earlier in the year proves the rest of the world is listening too. Playwright-turned-screenwriter, Straughan's credits include Mrs Radcliffe's Revolution, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People based on Tony Young's memoirs of being a mouthy Brit in America, and an adaptation of Jon Ronson's book The Men Who Stare at Goats which starred George Clooney and Jeff Bridges. He also was one of the writers on the excellent crime thriller The Debt, directed by John Madden and starring Helen Mirren. Straughan won the Best Adapted Screenplay BAFTA earlier in 2012 with his late wife and co-writer Bridget O'Connor for their brilliant adaptation of John La Carré's Cold War spy thriller Tinker Tailor.

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author avatar Brian Helgeland
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Brian Helgeland stands out as one of Hollywood's master screenwriters of intelligent crime film. After cutting his teeth in horror (Nightmare on Elm Street 4 was an early credit), he quickly jumped to A-list status with an Oscar win for the pitch perfect noir thriller LA Confidential and Oscar and BAFTA nominations for Mystic River. As a writer, Helgeland is highly prized for smart, muscular thrillers like Green Zone directed by Paul Greengrass, and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and Man on Fire, both directed by Tony Scott, as well as Payback which he wrote and directed himself. On writing crime film, he says: "it strips people down to their basic elements. It gets to the hunting-gathering heart of the matter. I don’t want to write about the ennui rich people feel. I could care less. I want to write about what's in people’s heads, hearts and between their legs when they either are in prison, might go to prison, have a gun in their face or are pointing one".

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author avatar Abi Morgan
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Few UK writers can lead the marketing on a production, but Abi Morgan’s mini-series The Hour for the BBC in 2011 saw her do just that. Having steadily built a reputation in the last decade as one of the UK’s strongest writers, Abi Morgan literally burst into the mainstream in 2012 with 3 new works for television and film: an adaption of Sebastian Faulks’ novel Birdsong, the Steve McQueen-directed Shame and Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady. 2012 saw her receive a BAFTA TV nomination and 2 BAFTA Film Nominations for the three productions respectively, and she also received an Emmy nomination this year for The Hour. Early works represent her diverse voice and skill at depicting female lives too often under-represented on screen, from the terrific Leeds-set social realist pic about a single mother White Girl, to an adaptation of Monica Ali’s Brick Lane and Sex Traffic.

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author avatar Julian Fellowes
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Few writers have a first feature screenplay directed by Robert Altman and collect an Oscar in the process, but Julian Fellowes deservedly beat out a quartet of mini-masterpieces with Gosford Park. Fellowes is a gifted writer with huge popular appeal. Two novels – Snobs and Past Imperfect – have been best-sellers. His screenplays for Vanity Fair, Young Victoria and the mini-series Titanic, have displayed a sharp eye for period detail and skill at creating nuanced, believable upper-class characters. He's also taken a turn in the director's chair with the vastly under-rated Separate Lies. Since 2002, he's become Lord Fellowes, won an Emmy Award, two BAFTA Television Award Nominations and seen his Downton Abbey become a staggering smash hit in over 100 countries around the world.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Professional script readers will often claim that they can tell if a screenplay is going to be good or not after reading just a few pages. This is true – for me, anyway.

scripts01Granted, I can’t assess every single nuance of a script’s story in just five or ten or pages, but by assessing twelve specific elements, I can tell if the story, characters, and dialogue have potential and if the writer has the ability to pull off whatever it is she/he is attempting. Here are those twelve elements – those twelve signs of a promising spec:

1. The script is short – between 90 and 110 pages: The average length of a feature film is between 100 and 120 minutes (yes, I know that a lot of modern movies run longer than two hours, but those films are usually the result of self-indulgent directors abusing their right to final cut and does not reflect a desire on the part of the industry at large to make longer movies – studios and theater owners still prefer pictures to be two hours or less so that they can screen them as many times a day as possible and so want screenplays sized accordingly. Besides, as we all know, more often than not there’s nothing in the narrative content of these overlong films that warrant their excessive length — for most, the extreme running time usually hurts the story, especially the pacing, rather than helps it). Given that one page of screenplay usually takes about a minute to unfold on screen (heavy action usually takes a little more time to play out; dialogue a little less), this means that a spec script should run somewhere between ninety and one hundred-twenty pages, with the industry’s current preferred average being one hundred-ten. If a script runs longer than one hundred-twenty pages, that tells me the writer doesn’t know the industry standards or, worse, thinks that he/she is an exception to them. It also tells me that the script will more than likely be overwritten, unfocused, poorly structured, and/or poorly paced, as these are the usual causes of an overlong screenplay. If, however, a spec is one hundred-twenty pages or less, then I know the writer has paid attention to industry strictures, but (more importantly) has figured out how to focus, structure, edit, and pace his/her story so that it can play out in the proper amount of time.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

2. The front cover is free of WGA registration numbers and fake production company names: Yes, it is important to protect your work and the best way to do that is to both copyright it and register it with the WGA (the copyright is the key piece of protection, and the WGA registration is a very helpful backup). However, professional screenwriters don’t put registration numbers on their covers. There’s something vaguely tacky about the practice (the registration is valid whether it’s indicated on the cover or not and everyone in the industry knows it), as well as a little adversarial (putting the registration number on your cover suggests you are expecting people to attempt to steal your script and you are warning them not to try, which is not the friendliest way to approach people who you want to take a liking to you and your material).

Also, many aspiring screenwriters make up fake production company names and slap them on the covers of their specs in the hope that doing so will make them seem like they are more significant players than they really are (“I can’t be a nobody – I have my own production company!”). In reality, all it does is make them look like neophytes. Most professional screenwriters do not have production companies (although many do have personal services corporations) and even if they do, they don’t put the names of those companies on their specs. Why? Because — only the name of a company that is actually producing a script should appear on its cover and if a script is being produced, then it is no longer a spec (why would you try to get someone to option or buy your script if you have a production company? Why wouldn’t you just make it yourself?). So, if I see a WGA registration numbers and/or a fake prodco name on a spec, then I know that the writer is an amateur and so there’s a pretty good chance that the script I am about to read will be amateurish. However, if I don’t see those numbers or names, then there’s a much better chance that the piece will be professional.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

3. The first page contains a lot of white space: If I open up a script and am confronted with big blocks of uninterrupted type, I know immediately that the piece is overwritten – that the author has employed an excessively flowery “literary” style in the action lines; and/or that he/she has incorporated a lot of unfilmable material (long backstories; the internal thoughts and feelings of the characters; etc.); and/or loaded the piece with tons and tons of unnecessary detail (elaborate and endless descriptions of settings, mood, characters, action, costumes, and so on). All of this overwriting means that the screenplay is going to be a chore to read. More than likely it will also overwhelm the story – I’ll be forced to pay so much attention to how the story is told that I won’t be able to focus on the tale itself. It also means that the author doesn’t know how to pace a story on the page, which is an important element of good screenwriting (ideally, the story should be presented in a way that approximates how you want it to play on screen – a series of brief, three-and-four line paragraphs can be read at a quick, energetic pace. One long, unbroken paragraph can only be read in slow, plodding fashion). However, if I am confronted with lots of short bursts of words with plenty of space in between them, then I know that the author can write concisely and precisely in ways that should make the script easier to read and the story easier to comprehend and that I am probably going to get a good sense of how a movie made from the script might play.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

4. I know who the protagonist is by page 5: The protagonist is the core element of a dramatic narrative –it is his/her actions (in pursuit of a well-defined goal) that drive the story. Therefore, the story can’t really begin until the protagonist is introduced — everything that occurs before this is essentially wheel-spinning. Also, the Protagonist is the element that allows us to become emotionally involved in the story – if we care about the protagonist, then we will care about his/her tale. Until we know who the Protagonist is, we might be able to appreciate the story, but it’s unlikely we will become invested in it. Despite these things, many spec writers take far too long to introduce their protagonists – cluttering up their script with an overabundance of unnecessary prologues and preliminaries or introducing dozens of characters at the outset of the piece and making us wait twenty or more pages before clarifying which one is the lead. If I can identify the protagonist right off the bat, then I know that the story’s going to get off to a fast start and that I will be able to lock into it emotionally from the get-go, both of which are hallmarks of a potentially good script.

5. The premise is clearly established by page 10: The premise is the seed from which the rest of the story grows and the narrative can’t truly begin until it is properly set up. If this is done early, rather than waiting for twenty or fifty or one hundred pages as some specs do, then I know that I can put my energy into enjoying the story rather than into killing time waiting for it to show up.

6. Something interesting/entertaining happens in the first five pages: Movies are supposed to be entertaining. If something that generates laughs or excitement or intrigue turns up in a script’s opening moments, then I figure we’re off to a good start. If not – if the first five pages is nothing but exposition or mood-setting, then we’re off to a plodding start.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

7. The first ten pages contain plenty of action: By action I mean dramatic action – stuff happening — not just car chases (although car chases are fine too). If the script doesn’t begin with ten pages of two characters sitting on a couch talking (which soooo many specs do), then I know I’m in the hands of someone that knows how to tell a story in cinematic fashion.

8. I can tell what’s going on: the writing (word choice, sentence construction, spelling, grammar, punctuation, screenplay formatting, and screenwriting terminology) in some specs is so poor that I often have to go back and reread the first five or ten pages numerous times in order to comprehend what is happening. This is obviously not a good sign. If I can make it through the first decade without having to constantly rewind, then I assume that the rest will be equally smooth sailing.

9. The dialogue is short and to the point: there’s nothing worse than opening a screenplay and being faced with a single speech that goes on for a page or two or five. This is usually a sign that the writer is using dialogue to deliver exposition that he/she should be delivering visually or dramatically and/or that he/she is overstuffing the piece with irrelevant detail, musings, or digressions and/or that he/she lacks discipline, focus, and the ability to edit. None of these things bode well for the script ahead.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

10. The script doesn’t begin with a flashback: (a common spec trope that always kills me – how can you flash back until you have first established something to flash back from?) or a very long crawl or card or voice over that goes on and on explaining the backstory of a piece to me. These are signs that the writer has not begun his/her story at the proper point (if we need this much information to bring us up to speed on the first age, then the writer has started the story too late and needs to back up and begin it sooner).

11. There are no camera directions, shot descriptions, and editing instructions: The absence of these things tells me that the writer is focusing on telling a story and not on trying to direct the movie on paper. These shot lists masquerading as screenplays are enormously difficult to read – you get so lost in angles and cuts and moves that the story itself goes missing.

12. There are no coffins: Amateur writers love to adorn their scripts with lots of irrelevant bells and whistles – fake posters for the movie they hope will be made from their screenplays (usually with the writing credits situated far more prominently than they would ever be on real one-sheets), illustrated covers, graphic novel adaptations, mix tapes containing the songs featured in the scripts, and specially produced promotional merchandise – key chains, postcards, bobble heads, etc. (I once received a vampire script packaged in a miniature coffin complete with the screenplay’s title on the lid and a spring-loaded bat positioned inside that would jump out when the coffin was opened). Unfortunately, in my experience, most of the scripts that accompany this junk are usually just awful, probably because the authors put more imagination and effort into their tchotchkes than they do into their screenplays. So, if I see them, I know I’m probably in for a rough ride. If I don’t, then things are already looking up.

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author avatar New york Film Academy
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

What makes our Screenwriting Program unique?

In the film industry, screenwriters are now recognized as being just as important as directors in making films. The cliche still holds true, you can make a bad movie with a good screenplay, but you can't make a good movie with a bad screenplay.

Successful screenwriting, however, requires discipline, perseverance and training. One of the most difficult aspects of screenwriting is simply getting started. After years of stopping and starting, many writers find that dedicating themselves to an intensive program of study at a top-notch film school, surrounded by other new writers, screenwriting can take on life of its own and become second nature.

The Screenwriting Workshops and Programs of the New York Film Academy are the most comprehensive screenwriting courses of all top film schools. Students can develop an idea into a feature length screenplay in as little as eight weeks, or hone their skills in our One-Year Screenwriting Program, and walk away with a body of work to begin their professional screenwriting journey. At each step of the way, the student is nurtured in a workshop environment. There is no better screenwriting resource than superior training. Your instructors at NYFA are award-winning, working screenplay writers, most with a Master's Degrees from some of the country's finest university film schools.

Whether a student chooses the Eight-Week Workshop, the Twelve-Week Evening Workshop or the One-Year Program, with strict adherence to the daily rituals of writing and learning, students will be able to make tremendous strides.

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author avatar Screen writers
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

If you want to know how to write a screenplay, or how to break into the screenwriting industry, search no further. You’ve found the number one resource you’ll need to succeed in not only the craft of screenwriting, but also in understanding the filmmaking industry and how to navigate it from anywhere in the world.

Writing a screenplay is no easy task, but the articles on ScriptMag.com, the premiere script writing community, provide helpful information, ranging from screenwriting basics to pitching your work to top executives in Hollywood. We have valuable information for beginners and pros alike, including tips on the successful work habits of the pros, helping you land your first writing assignment and a popular column, Balls of Steel, to motivate you on the days a writer struggles to pursue his or her dreams. No one can survive without a community of support. We are here to give you the tools you need, both in craft and motivation.

There are rules of screenwriting, beginning with finding the perfect concept for your movie script. Once you find the idea, putting the words on the page requires an understanding of the screenwriting rules and formatting. The Writers Store offers the best screenwriting books and software, screenwriting lectures, and screenwriting classes, both online and at The Writers Store offices in Los Angeles.

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author avatar Screen writers
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Submitting a script to Hollywood executives requires an understanding of screenplay format and story structure. The most effective way to accomplish correct formatting is to write in scriptwriting software, such as Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter.

However, having the right margins and dialogue indents doesn’t make a script marketable. It’s essential to have a full grasp of the beats of a story and how to structure it for character development as well as forward-moving plots, containing conflict.

The best screenwriting books will aide you in impressing producers with quality work. The first books most screenwriters acquire are David Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible and Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat, famous for their clear, uncluttered explanations of the importance of story structure and “beat sheet” style of script writing.

A script that lacks an understanding of the industry standards is quickly tossed in the slushpile, never to see the light of day. Knowledge is power, especially when dealing with executives. Don’t give them a reason to say, “no.” The best way to avoid a negative response is to be prepared and well educated.

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author avatar Screen writers
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

It is important to protect your work by registering it with an intellectual property registrant such as Protect Rite. Using a registration service creates a digital timestamp, assists in establishing proof of completion date and provides a documented record of your claim to authorship, ownership, creation. This is crucial when having to produce registered materials at an arbitration hearing or in a court of law

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author avatar Screen writers
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The best way to learn the art of screenwriting is to read scripts as well as learn the details of the craft. You don’t need to live near a film school to access instructors. You can participate in great online writing classes right from your living room. Whether a full online course or a 90-minute webinar, the Internet offers unprecedented access to professionals.

Classes are available on the craft of screenwriting, the business of screenwriting, and also how to break into the film industry, all taught by seasoned instructors who have been in the trenches and understand the industry fully. If you happen to live in the Los Angeles area, The Writers Store also offers classes at their retail location.

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author avatar Screen writers
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Writing a polished screenplay requires getting feedback from professionals, re-evaluating your story, and rewriting it multiple times. There’s no way around the development process of writing a solid script. You have one shot at a first impression; therefore it’s critical not to give the Hollywood executives any reason to pass on your script.

Your job is to write a bulletproof story.

One of the benefits of obtaining a professional’s advice is the get used to the practice of collaboration and taking notes. As writers, we need to develop a tough skin when we hear feedback, learn how to digest it, and decipher what would help our script and what would change it into a story we no longer recognize. There’s an art to handling feedback. The more you get comfortable with the process, the easier it will be to take notes from a producer.

Contests often supply feedback on your scripts, but it’s not always easy to find a contest that can help further your overall career. The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest is a unique competition. Instead of submitting an entire script, you write up to 15 pages based on a provided logline. The top 10 finalists are placed with a mentor to guide them through the writing of the entire script, ten pages at a time. Once the scripts are finished, an overall winner is chosen from the finalists and flown to L.A. to meet with screenwriter Randall Wallace (Oscar-nominated writer of Braveheart) and Benderspink, a top management company.

Even without winning a contest, you can still raise the quality of your work by writing a script within a class. Writing a Screenplay in 90 Days uses the same method as The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest by providing a mentor to guide you through writing a script in just 90 days.

Any level of writer can improve the quality of their work by receiving notes and support from a seasoned professional. Grab your idea, sign up for a class, and finally get that script finished!

The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest

Screenplay Development Notes

Write a Screenplay in 90 Days

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author avatar Networking
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Networking is essential to a successful career. Just because you live outside of Hollywood doesn’t mean you can’t access industry insiders.

Online screenwriter communities are critical to expand your network. Meet screenwriters and gain access to industry pros at Twitter’s free weekly screenwriter chat, Scriptchat. All you need is a Twitter account to participate.

Once on Twitter, follow ScriptMag for industry news and screenwriting tips, as well as on Facebook. The ability to reach a wider audience can be as simple as tweeting and commenting on Facebook posts. Don’t undervalue the ability of social networking to expand your network in “real life.”

In order to solidify your online connections, it’s important to make trips to L.A. to meet your “friends” and “followers” in person. Maximizing your trips by scheduling meetings around conferences and pitchfests, such as Screenwriters World Conference, will strengthen your relationships and help you advance your career faster. Not only will you have an opportunity to connect with writers, but you’ll also be able to take classes and pitch your script to executives. There’s no better way to get your work read and your writing noticed than to attend a screenwriting conference.

Don’t be shy. Reach out to people online and in person. You’ll triple your reach in no time.

Breaking in Outside of Hollywood On Demand Webinar

Tweet to Success

Shifting Network to Relationships

Screenwriters World Conference

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author avatar Networking
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

ScriptMag.com is the screenwriter’s go-to source for craft and industry news. Fresh content is posted consistently, including screenwriter interviews, craft tips, pitching advice, and new, creative ways to break into the industry.

ScriptMag: Balls of Steel brings the roller-coaster experiences of screenwriter Jeanne Veillette Bowerman to writers. Bowerman shares her journey without a filter, inspiring and challenging writers to forge ahead, despite the obstacles.

ScriptMag: Meet the Reader’s Ray Morton explores craft advice as well as screenwriter and filmmaker interviews.

Go Into the Story – Scott Myers writes a compelling, informative blog on The Black List site, putting up fresh content daily.

JohnAugust.com – screenwriter of Charlie’s Angels, Big Fish and more, John August, has a reputation of being one of the most generous writers in the screenwriting community. His site is a great resource for writers of all levels.

DougRichardson.com – if you want to know what it’s really like to be a professional screenwriter for almost three decades, Doug Richardson, writer of Die Hard 2, Bad Boys, Hostage, and more, shares his screenwriter war stories every Tuesday on his site. He holds nothing back in his honest posts. Read and learn.

Scriptchat – a weekly Twitter screenwriting chat created for the purpose of bringing new and seasoned screenwriters together to learn and grow. It’s a community, not a competition. Everyone has something to learn, so leave your ego behind and join in each Sunday at 5pm PST. Instructions to chat are on the site.

MyPDFscripts – Every screenwriter needs to read scripts to learn and be inspired. MyPDFscripts provides free scripts to download.

The Wrap and Deadline Hollywood are fantastic sites to keep tabs on all the latest industry news, ranging from what is sold to what is renewed for the next season of TV.

The best way to protect your work is registering with either WGA, ProtectRite or US Copyright Office.

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author avatar Final draft software
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

"Final Draft makes it possible to simply imagine the movie in script form."

Tom Hanks — Writer / Director / Producer / Academy Award® winner

Forrest Gump, Big, Cast Away, That Thing You Do...

"You can't win a race without a champion car. Final Draft is my Ferrari."

James Cameron — Writer / Director / Producer / Academy Award® winner

Avatar, Titanic, T2, Terminator

"Even if you don't own a computer, I recommend buying Final Draft."

JJ Abrams — Writer / Director / Producer / Emmy® winner

Star Trek, Super 8, Undercovers (TV), Fringe (TV), Lost (TV)

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

also called script-writing is the art and craft of writing scripts for mass media such as feature films, television productions or video games. It is frequently a freelance profession.

Screenwriters are responsible for researching the story, developing the narrative, writing the screenplay, and delivering it, in the required format, to Development Executives. Screenwriters therefore have great influence over the creative direction and emotional impact of the screenplay and, arguably, of the finished film. They either pitch original ideas to Producers in the hope that they will be optioned or sold, or screenwriters are commissioned by a producer to create a screenplay from a concept, true story, existing screen work or literary work, such as a novel, poem, play, comic book or short story.

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The act of screenwriting takes many forms across the entertainment industry. Often, multiple writers work on the same script at different stages of development with different tasks. Over the course of a successful career, a screenwriter might be hired to write in a wide variety of roles.

Some of the most common forms of screenwriting jobs include:

Spec script writing

Spec scripts are feature film or television show scripts written on speculation, without the commission of a film studio, production company, or TV network. The spec script is a Hollywood sales tool. The vast majority of scripts written each year are spec scripts, but only a small percentage make it to the screen. A spec script is usually a wholly original work, but can also be an adaptation.

In television writing, a spec script is a sample teleplay written to demonstrate the writer's knowledge of a show and ability to imitate its style and conventions. It is submitted to the show's producers in hopes of being hired to write future episodes of the show. Budding screenwriters attempting to break in to the business generally begin by writing one or more spec scripts.

Although writing "spec scripts" is part of any writer's career, the Writers Guild of America forbids members to write "on speculation." The distinction is that a "spec script" is written as a sample by the writer on his or her own; what is forbidden is writing a script for a specific producer without a contract. In addition to writing a script on speculation, it is generally not advised to write camera angles or other directional terminology as this is likely to be ignored. In response, the director may write up a shooting script himself; a script that guides the team in what to do in order to carry out his vision of how the script should look, although the director may ask you to co-write it with him or rewrite a script that satisfies both the director and/or producer of the film / TV show.

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Scripts written on assignment are screenplays created under contract with a studio, production company, or producer. These are the most common assignments sought after in screenwriting. A screenwriter can get an assignment either exclusively or from "open" assignments. A screenwriter can also be approached and offered an assignment. Assignment scripts are generally adaptations of an existing idea or property owned by the hiring company, but can also be original works based on a concept created by the writer or producer.

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Most produced films are rewritten to some extent during the development process. Frequently, they are not rewritten by the original writer of the script. Many established screenwriters, as well as new writers whose work shows promise but lacks marketability, make their living rewriting scripts.

When a script's central premise or characters are good but the script is otherwise unusable, a different writer or team of writers is contracted to do an entirely new draft, often referred to as a "page one rewrite." When only small problems remain, such as bad dialogue or poor humor, a writer is hired to do a "polish" or "punch-up".

Depending on the size of the new writer's contributions, screen credit may or may not be given. For instance, in the American film industry, credit to rewriters is given only if 50% or more of the script is substantially changed. These standards can make it difficult to establish the identity and number of screenwriters who contributed to a film's creation.

When established writers are called in to rewrite portions of a script late in the development process, they are commonly referred to as script doctors. Prominent script doctors include Steve Zaillian, William Goldman, Robert Towne, Mort Nathan, Quentin Tarantino and Peter Russell. Many up and coming screenwriters work as ghost writers.

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A freelance television writer typically uses spec scripts or previous credits and reputation to obtain a contract to write one or more episodes for an existing television show. After an episode is submitted, rewriting or polishing may be required.

A staff writer for a TV show generally works in-house, writing and rewriting episodes. Staff writers—often given other titles, such as story editor, or producer—work both as a group and individually on episode scripts to maintain the show's tone, style, characters, and plots.

Television show creators write the television pilot and bible of new television series. They are responsible for creating and managing all aspects of a show's characters, style, and plots. Frequently, a creator remains responsible for the show's day-to-day creative decisions throughout the series run as show runner.

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The process of writing for soap operas is different than that used by prime time shows, due in part to the need to produce new episodes five days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. In one example cited by Jane Espenson, screenwriting is a "sort of three-tiered system":

a few top writers craft the overall story arcs. Mid-level writers work with them to turn those arcs into things that look a lot like traditional episode outlines, and an array of writers below that (who do not even have to be local to Los Angeles), take those outlines and quickly generate the dialogue while adhering slavishly to the outlines.

Espenson notes that a recent trend has been to eliminate the role of the mid-level writer, relying on the senior writers to do rough outlines and giving the other writers a bit more freedom. Regardless, when the finished scripts are sent to the top writers, the latter do a final round of rewrites. Espenson also notes that a show that airs daily with characters that have decades of history behind their voices necessitates a writing staff without the distinctive voice that can sometimes be present of prime-time series.

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Game shows feature live contestants, but still use a team of writers as part of a specific format. This may involve the slate of questions, and even specific phrasing or dialogue on the part of the host. Writers may not script the dialogue used by the contestants, but they work with the producers to create the actions, scenarios, and sequence of events that support the game show's concept.

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

With the continued development and increased complexity of video games, many opportunities are available to employ screenwriters in the field of video game design. Video game writers work closely with the other game designers to create characters, scenarios, and dialogue.

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Fundamentally, the screenplay is a unique literary form. It is like a musical score, in that it is intended to be interpreted on the basis of other artists' performance, rather than serving as a "finished product" for the enjoyment of its audience. For this reason, a screenplay is written using technical jargon and tight, spare prose when describing stage directions. Unlike a novel or short story, a screenplay focuses on describing the literal, visual aspects of the story, rather than on the internal thoughts of its characters. In screenwriting, the aim is to evoke those thoughts and emotions through subtext, action, and symbolism.

There are several main screenwriting theories which help writers approach the screenplay by systematizing the structure, goals and techniques of writing a script. The most common kinds of theories are structural. Screenwriter William Goldman is widely quoted as saying "Screenplays are structure".

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The three acts are setup (of the location and characters), confrontation (with an obstacle), and resolution (culminating in a climax and a dénouement). In a two-hour film, the first and third acts both typically last around 30 minutes, with the middle act lasting roughly an hour.

In Writing Drama, French writer and director Yves Lavandier shows a slightly different approach. As most theorists, he maintains that every human action, whether fictitious or real, contains three logical parts: before the action, during the action, and after the action. But since the climax is part of the action, Yves Lavandier considers the second act must include the climax, which makes for a much shorter third act than is found in most screenwriting theories.

Besides the three act structure, it is also common to utilize a four or five act structure in a screenplay, though certain screenplays may include as many as twenty separate acts.

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author avatar Screenwriting
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The hero's journey, also referred to as the monomyth, is an idea formulated by noted mythologist Joseph Campbell. The central concept of the monomyth is that a pattern can be seen in stories and myths across history. Campbell defined and explained that pattern in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).

Campbell's insight was that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years, all share a fundamental structure. This fundamental structure contains a number of stages, which includes

a call to adventure, which the hero has to accept or decline,

a road of trials, regarding which the hero succeeds or fails,

achieving the goal (or "boon"), which often results in important self-knowledge,

a return to the ordinary world, as to which, again, the hero can succeed or fail, and

application of the boon, in which what the hero has gained can be used to improve the world.

Later, screenwriter Christopher Vogler refined and expanded the Hero's Journey for the screenplay form in his book, The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers (1993).

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author avatar Syd's Field Paradigm
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Screenwriting guru Syd Field wrote the seminal book Screenplay, and posited a new theory, which he called the Paradigm. Field noticed that in a 120-page screenplay, Act Two was notoriously boring, and was also twice the length of Acts One and Three. He also noticed that an important dramatic event usually occurred at the middle of the picture, which implied to him that the middle act was actually two acts in one. So the Three Act Structure is notated 1, 2a, 2b, 3, resulting in Aristotle's Three Acts divided into four pieces.

Field also introduced the idea of Plot Points into screenwriting theory. Plot Points are important structural functions that happen in approximately the same place in most successful movies, like the verses and choruses in a popular song. In subsequent books, Field has added to his original list, and students of his like Viki King and Linda Seger have added to the list of Plot Points. Here is a current list of the major Plot Points that are congruent with Field's Paradigm:

Opening Image: The first image in the screenplay should summarize the entire film, especially its tone. Often, writers go back and redo this as the last thing before submitting the script.

Exposition: Provides some background information to the audience about the plot, characters' histories, setting, and theme.

Inciting Incident: Also called the catalyst, this is the point in the story when the Protagonist encounters the problem that will change their life. This is when the detective is assigned the case, where Boy meets Girl, and where the Comic Hero gets fired from his cushy job, forcing him into comic circumstances.

Plot Point 1: The last scene in Act One, Turning Point One is a surprising development that radically changes the Protagonist's life, and forces him to confront the Opponent. In Star Wars, this is when Luke's family is killed by the Empire. He has no home to go back to, so he joins the Rebels in opposing Darth Vader.

Pinch 1: A reminder scene at about 3/8 the way through the script (halfway through Act 2a) that brings up the central conflict of the drama, reminding us of the overall conflict. For example, in Star Wars, Pinch 1 is the Stormtroopers attacking the Millennium Falcon in Mos Eisley, reminding us the Empire is after the stolen plans to the Death Star R2-D2 is carrying and Luke and Ben Kenobi are trying to get to the Rebel Alliance (the main conflict).

Midpoint: An important scene in the middle of the script, often a reversal of fortune or revelation that changes the direction of the story. Field suggests that driving the story towards the Midpoint keeps the second act from sagging.

Pinch 2: Another reminder scene about 5/8 through the script (halfway through Act 2b) that is somehow linked to Pinch 1 in reminding the audience about the central conflict. In Star Wars, Pinch 2 is the Stormtroopers attacking them as they rescue the Princess in the Death Star. Both scenes remind us of the Empire's opposition, and using the Stormtrooper attack motif unifies both Pinches.

Plot Point 2: A dramatic reversal that ends Act 2 and begins Act 3, which is about confrontation and resolution. Sometimes Turning Point Two is the moment when the Hero has had enough and is finally going to face the Opponent. Sometimes, like in Toy Story, it's the low-point for the Hero, and he must bounce back to overcome the odds in Act 3.

Showdown: About midway through Act 3, the Protagonist will confront the Main Problem of the story and either overcome it, or come to a tragic end.

Resolution: The issues of the story are resolved.

Tag: An epilogue, tying up the loose ends of the story, giving the audience closure. This is also known as denouement. In general, films in recent decades have had longer denouements than films made in the 1970s or earlier.

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author avatar The Sequence Approach
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The sequence approach to screenwriting, sometimes known as "eight-sequence structure", is a system developed by Frank Daniel, while he was the head of the Graduate Screenwriting Program at USC. It is based in part on the fact that, in the early days of cinema, technical matters forced screenwriters to divide their stories into sequences, each the length of a reel (about ten minutes).

The sequence approach mimics that early style. The story is broken up into eight 10-15 minute sequences. The sequences serve as "mini-movies", each with their own compressed three-act structure. The first two sequences combine to form the film's first act. The next four create the film's second act. The final two sequences complete the resolution and dénouement of the story. Each sequence's resolution creates the situation which sets up the next sequence.

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author avatar Screenwriting formats
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Screenplays and teleplays have a set of standardizations in place, beginning with proper formatting. These rules are in part to serve the practical purpose of making scripts uniformly readable "blueprints" of movies, and also to serve as a way of distinguishing a professional from an amateur. It is very important that the correct format is used, as the script is likely to be disregarded very quickly. There are practical reasons for this. An incorrectly formatted script can be very difficult for actors to read from, when testing the script out. If you are unsure exactly what is required, then at least be consistent, and keep things as simple as possible.

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author avatar Feature Film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Motion picture screenplays intended for submission to mainstream studios, whether in the US or elsewhere in the world, are expected to conform to a standard typographical style known widely as studio format which stipulates how elements of the screenplay such as scene headings, action, transitions, dialog, character names, shots and parenthetical matter should be presented on the page, as well as the font size and line spacing.

One reason for this is that, when rendered in studio format, most screenplays will transfer onto the screen at the rate of approximately one page per minute. This rule of thumb is widely contested — a page of dialog usually occupies less screen time than a page of action, for example, and it depends enormously on the literary style of the writer — and yet it continues to hold sway in modern Hollywood.

There is no single standard for studio format. Some studios have definitions of the required format written into the rubric of their writer's contract. The Nicholl Fellowship, a screenwriting competition run under the auspices of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has a guide to screenplay format.

A more detailed reference is The Complete Guide to Standard Script Formats (Cole and Haag, SCB Distributors, 1980, ISBN 0-929583-00-0).

Screenplays are usually 90-120 pages long, Comedies and children's films usually shorter.

Screenplays are almost always written using a monospaced font, often a variant of Courier or Courier New, both mostly used as 12 pt font. This is preferred due to its clarity.

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author avatar Television
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

For American TV shows, the format rules for hour-long dramas, like CSI, and single-camera sitcoms, like Scrubs, are essentially the same as for motion pictures. The main difference is that TV scripts have act breaks. Multi-camera sitcoms like I Love Lucy use a different, specialized format that derives from radio and the stage play. In this format, dialogue is double-spaced, action lines are capitalized, and scene headings, character entrances and exits, and sound effects are capitalized and underlined.

Drama series and sitcoms are no longer the only formats that require the skills of a writer. With reality-based programming crossing genres to create various hybrid programs, many of the so-called "reality" programs are in a large part scripted in format. That is, the overall skeleton of the show and its episodes are written to dictate the content and direction of the program. The Writers Guild of America has identified this as a legitimate writer's medium, so much so that they have lobbied to impose jurisdiction over writers and producers who "format" reality-based productions. Creating reality show formats involves storytelling structure similar to screenwriting, but much more condensed and boiled down to specific plot points or actions related to the overall concept and story.

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author avatar Documentaries
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The script format for documentaries and audio-visual presentations which consist largely of voice-over matched to still or moving pictures is different again and uses a two-column format which can be particularly difficult to achieve in standard word processors, at least when it comes to editing. Many script-editing software programs include templates for documentary formats.

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author avatar Physical Formats
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

American screenplays are printed single-sided on three-hole-punched using the standard American letter sized (8.5 x 11 inch, and held together with two brass brads in the top and bottom hole. The middle hole is left empty as it restricts the paper's flexibility; thereby making it more restricting for readers to quickly and swiftly go through the script.

In the UK, double-hole-punched A4 paper is often used, whose paper dimensions are usually taller than US Letter. Although some UK writers format the scripts for use in the US Letter size, especially when their scripts are to be read by American producers since the pages may be cropped when printed on US paper, the fact that US Letter paper is very hard to near impossible to come by in UK means British writers either send an electronic copy to American producers, or crop the A4 size to US letter. Vice versa, A4 paper is hard to come by in America.

A British script may be instead bound by a single brad at the top left hand side of the page, making flicking through the paper easier during script meetings. Screenplays are usually bound with a light card stock cover and back page, often showing the logo of the production company or agency submitting the script, to protect the script from unnecessary handling which may degrade the strength in the paper. This is more important if the script is likely to pass through several people or through the post.

Increasingly, reading copies of screenplays (that is, those distributed by producers and agencies in the hope of attracting finance or talent) are distributed printed on both sides of the paper (often professionally bound) to cut down on paper waste out of environmental concerns. Occasionally they are reduced to half-size to make a small book which is convenient to read or put in a pocket; this is generally for use by the director or other production crew during shooting.

Although most writing contracts continue to stipulate physical delivery of three or more copies of a finished script, it is common for scripts to be delivered electronically via email. Although most production companies can handle scripts in most formats, it is better practice to supply scripts as a PDF file where possible. This is because it gives the writer final control over the layout of the script, which may otherwise vary depending on what fonts and/or paper size the recipient uses to print the script out. The formatting software programs listed at the bottom of this article produce industry standard formatted screenplays in PDF.

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author avatar Imagery
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Imagery can be used in many metaphoric ways. In The Talented Mr. Ripley, the title character talked of wanting to close the door on himself sometime, and then, in the end, he did. Pathetic fallacy is also frequently used; rain to express a character feeling depressed, sunny days promote a feeling of happiness and calm. Imagery can be used to sway the emotions of the audience and to clue them in to what is happening.

Imagery is well defined in City of God. The opening image sequence sets the tone for the entire film. The film opens with the shimmer of a knife's blade on a sharpening stone. A drink is being prepared, The knife's blade shows again, juxtaposed is a shot of a chicken letting loose of its harness on its feet. All symbolising 'The One that got away'. The film is about life in the favelas in Rio - sprinkled with violence and games and ambition.

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author avatar Imagery
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Dialogue is very important to the film industry, because there are no written words to explain the characters or plot; it all has to be explained through dialogue and imagery. Bollywood and other Indian film industries use separate dialogue writers in addition to the screenplay writers.

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author avatar Plot
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

While the story is what will be told (narrative); the plot is how the story will be told (narration). This vocabulary is not indisputable for sometimes in literature stories and plots are used exactly the other way around.

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author avatar Screenwriting Education
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A number of universities offer specialized Master of Fine Arts and undergraduate programs in screenwriting, including DePaul University, American Film Institute, UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount University, Chapman University, and NYU.

Some schools offer non-degree screenwriting programs, such as the TheFilmSchool, Jacob Krueger Studio, The International Film and Television School Fast Track, and the UCLA Professional / Extension Programs in Screenwriting.

New York Film Academy offers both degree and non-degree educational systems with campuses all around the world.

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author avatar Screenwriting Education
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Screenwriting has been the focus of a number of films:

Crashing Hollywood (1931)—A screenwriter collaborates on a gangster movie with a real-life gangster. When the film is released, the mob doesn’t like how accurate the movie is.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)—Actor William Holden portrays a hack screenwriter forced to collaborate on a screenplay with a desperate, fading silent film star, played by Gloria Swanson.

In a Lonely Place (1950)—Humphrey Bogart is a washed up screenwriter who gets framed for murder.

Paris, When it Sizzles (1964)—William Holden plays a drunk screenwriter who has wasted months partying and has just two days to finish his script. He hires Audrey Hepburn to help.

Barton Fink (1991)—John Turturro plays a naïve New York playwright who comes to Hollywood with high hopes and great ambition. While there, he meets one of his writing idols, a celebrated novelist from the past who has become a drunken hack screenwriter (a character based on William Faulkner).

Mistress (1992)—In this comedy written by Barry Primus and J. F. Lawton, Robert Wuhl is a screenwriter/director who's got integrity, vision, and a serious script - but no career. Martin Landau is a sleazy producer who introduces Wuhl to Robert De Niro, Danny Aiello and Eli Wallach - three guys willing to invest in the movie, but with one catch: each one wants his mistress to be the star.

The Player (1992)—In this satire of the Hollywood system, Tim Robbins plays a movie producer who thinks he’s being blackmailed by a screenwriter whose script was rejected.

Adaptation. (2002)—Nicolas Cage portrays real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (as well as his fictional brother, Donald) as Kaufman struggles to adapt an esoteric book (Susan Orlean’s real-life nonfiction work The Orchid Thief ) into an action-filled Hollywood screenplay.

Dreams on Spec (2007)—The only documentary to follow aspiring screenwriters as they struggle to turn their scripts into movies, the film also features wisdom from established scribes like James L. Brooks, Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher, and Gary Ross.

Seven Psychopaths (2012)—In this satire, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, Colin Farrell plays a screenwriter who is struggling to finish his screenplay Seven Psychopaths, but finds unlikely inspiration after his best friend steals a Shih Tzu owned by a vicious gangster.

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author avatar Screenwriting software
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Various screenwriting software packages are available to help screenwriters adhere to the strict formatting conventions described above. Such packages include BPC-Screenplay, Celtx, DreamaScript, Fade In Professional Screenwriting Software, Final Draft, Montage, Movie Magic Screenwriter, Movie Outline, Scripped, Movie Draft SE and Zhura. Mobile applications like Fade In Mobile and Scripts Pro have become a must for traveling screenwriters, allowing them to write on mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad (and, in the case of Fade In Mobile, Android devices).

The first screenwriting software was SmartKey, a macro program that sent strings of commands to existing word processing programs, such as WordStar, WordPerfect and Microsoft Word. SmartKey was popular with screen writers from 1982–1987, after which word processing programs had their own macro features.

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author avatar Copyright protection
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

United States

In the United States, completed works may be copyrighted, but ideas and plots may not be. Any document written after 1978 in the U.S. is automatically copyrighted even without legal registration or notice. However, the Library of Congress will formally register a screenplay. U.S. Courts will not accept a lawsuit alleging that a defendant is infringing on the plaintiff's copyright in a work until the plaintiff registers the plaintiff's claim to those copyrights with the Copyright Office. This means that a plaintiff's attempts to remedy an infringement will be delayed during the registration process. Additionally, in many infringement cases, the plaintiff will not be able recoup attorney fees or collect statutory damages for copyright infringement, unless the plaintiff registered before the infringement began. For the purpose of establishing evidence that a screenwriter is the author of a particular screenplay (but not related to the legal copyrighting status of a work), the Writers Guild of America registers screenplays. However, since this service is one of record keeping and is not regulated by law, a variety of commercial and non-profit organizations exist for registering screenplays. Protection for teleplays, formats, as well as screenplays may be registered for instant proof-of-authorship by third-party assurance vendors, such as the Creators Vault.

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author avatar Closest Screenplay
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Related to closet drama, a closet screenplay is a screenplay intended not to be produced/performed but instead to be read by a solitary reader or, sometimes, out loud in a small group.

While any published, or simply read, screenplay might reasonably be considered a "closet screenplay," 20th and 21st century Japanese and Western writers have created a handful of film scripts expressly intended to be read rather than produced/performed. This class of prose fiction written in screenplay form is perhaps the most precise example of the closet screenplay.

This genre is sometimes referred to using a romanized Japanese neologism: "Lesescenario (レーゼシナリオ)" or, following Hepburn’s romanization of Japanese, sometimes “Rezeshinario.” A portmanteau of the German word Lesedrama ("read drama") and the English word scenario, this term simply means "closet scenario," or, by extension, "closet screenplay."

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author avatar Critical interest
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Brian Norman, an assistant professor at Idaho State University, refers to James Baldwin's One Day When I Was Lost as a "closet screenplay." The screenplay was written for a project to produce a movie, but the project suffered a setback. After that, the script was published as a literary work.

Lee Jamieson's article, "The Lost Prophet of Cinema: The Film Theory of Antonin Artaud" discusses Artaud's three Lesescenarios (listed below) in the context of his "revolutionary film theory." And in French Film Theory and Criticism: 1907-1939, Richard Abel lists the following critical treatments of several of the Surrealist "published scenario texts" (36) listed in the example section below:

J.H. Matthews, Surrealism and Film (U of Michigan P, 1971), 51-76.

Steven Kovács, From Enchantment to Rage: The Story of Surrealist Cinema (Associated UP, 1980), 59-61, 157-76.

Linda Williams, Figures of Desire: A Theory and Analysis of Surrealist Film (U of Illinois P, 1981), 25-33.

Richard Abel, "Exploring the Discursive Field of the Surrealist Film Scenario Text," Dada/Surrealism 15 (1986): 58-71.

Finally, in his article "Production's 'dubious advantage': Lesescenarios, closet drama, and the (screen)writer's riposte," Quimby Melton outlines the history of the Lesescenario form, situates the genre in a historical literary context by drawing parallels between it and Western "closet drama," and argues we might consider certain instances of closet drama proto-screenplays. The article also argues that writing these sorts of "readerly" performance texts is essentially an act of subversion whereby (screen)writers work in a performance mode only to intentionally bypass production and, thereby, (re)assert narrative representation's textual primacy and (re)claim a direct (re)connection with their audience.

The comments section of Melton's article also has an on-going discussion of the Lesescenario canon. The list of examples below is based on "Production's 'dubious advantage,'" that discussion, and Melton's "Lesecenario Bibliography" at Google Docs. The bibliography contains additional critical works concerned with individual Lesescenarios and/or the canon at-large.

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author avatar Examples
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A

The House, Man's Fate, Dedication Day (by James Agee)

Asakusa Park, The Life of a Stupid Man, Shadow, and Temptation (by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa)

Divine Comedy (by Haruhiko Arai, based on Kyojin Onishi's novel of the same name)

France America, or the Interrupted Film (by Robert Aron)

Eighteen Seconds, a screenplay, The Seashell and the Clergyman, Thirty Two, The Solar Plane, Two Nations on the Borders of Mongolia, The Master of Ballantrae (after the Robert Louis Stevenson novel of the same name), Flights, and The Butcher's Revolt (by Antonin Artaud)

Lost Children (by Marcel Aymé)

B

The Reader from Ames (by André Berge)

The Initiation (A Story of Adventure) (by François Berge)

The Second Departure (by Maurice Betz)

Le Dernier Empereur (by Jean-Richard Bloch)

Beautiful Weddings in the Street: A New Scenario on a Banal Theme (by Jacques Bonjean)

One Day, When I Was Lost: A Scenario Based on Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X (by James Baldwin)

"Une Girafe" (by Luis Buñuel)

The Last Words of Dutch Schultz (by William S. Burroughs)

C

Secrets on the Island and Arletty, Young Woman from Dauphine (by Louis-Ferdinand Céline)

The End of the World, Filmed by the Angel of Notre Dame and Atlantis (by Blaise Cendrars)

A Broken Foot: A Documentary (by Hendrik Cramer)

D

"The Reefs of Love," Midnight at Noon: A Study of Marvelous Modernity, and "There Are Bugs in the Roast Pork" (by Robert Desnos)

Pierre, or The Demon Unmasked (by André Desson and André Harlaire)

Savoir Vivre (by Jean-Paul Dreyfus and Bernar Lahy-Hollebecque)

F

"Eyes Wide Open" ("Paupières mûres"), "Horizontal Bar," and "Mtasipoj" (by Benjamin Fondane)

G

News (by Paul Gilson)

Figures (by Ramon Gomez de la Serna)

Descent to the Lower Depths (by Maxim Gorky)

H

Slaughterhouses of the Night (by Maurice Henry)

The Girl in Harmagedon (by Kazumasa Hirai)

Ape and Essence (part II: "The Script") (by Aldous Huxley)

J

Negrophobia (by Darius James )

K

Lom Long (by Chart Korbjitti)

L

The Escape of Mr. McKinley (by Leonid Leonov)

N

"L'Amazon des cimetières" (by Georges Neveux)

O

The Birth of the Emperor/Record of Ancient Matters (by Hideo Osabe)

R

Donogoo-Tonka, or The Miracles of Science (by Jules Romains)

"La Huitème Jour de la semaine" and The Banker, or Fortune is Blind (by Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes)

S

Don't Put a Dog Outside: A Film without Words (by Claude Sernet)

T

Whispering Moon, (by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki)

The Unconquerable People, The Doctor and the Devils, Rebecca's Daughters, The Beach of Falesá, Twenty Years A-Growing, Suffer Little Children, The Shadowless Man, and Me and My Bike (by Dylan Thomas)

W

Reality Is What You Can Get Away With and The Walls Came Tumbling Down (by Robert Anton Wilson)

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author avatar Screenplay
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A screenplay or script is a written work by screenwriters for a film or television program. These screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated. A play for television is also known as a teleplay.

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author avatar Format & Style
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The format is structured in a way that one page usually equates to one minute of screen time. In a "shooting script", each scene is numbered, and technical direction may be given. In a "spec" or a "draft" in various stages of development, the scenes are not numbered, and technical direction is at a minimum. The standard font for a screenplay is 12 point, 10 pitch Courier.

The major components are action and dialogue. The "action" is written in the present tense. The "dialogue" are the lines the characters speak. Unique to the screenplay (as opposed to a stage play) is the use of slug lines.

The format consists of three aspects:

The interplay between typeface/font, line spacing and type area, from which the standard of one page of text per one minute of screen time is derived. In the United States letter size paper and Courier 12 point are mandatory; Europe uniformly uses A4 as the standard paper size format, and has no uniform font requirement.

The tab settings of the scene elements (dialogue, scenes headings, transitions, parentheticals, etc.), which constitute the screenplay's layout.

The dialogue must be centered and the names must be capitalized. A script usually begins with "FADE IN:", followed by the first scene description. It might get more specific, e.g. "FADE IN ON AN ECU of Ricky as he explains the divorce to Bob." A script will usually end with "FADE TO BLACK", though there are variables, like "CUT TO BLACK" for abrupt endings.

The style consists of a grammar that is specific to screenplays. This grammar also consists of two aspects:

A prose that is manifestation-oriented, i.e. focuses largely on what is audible and what is visible on screen. This prose may only supply interpretations and explanation (deviate from the manifestation-oriented prose) if clarity would otherwise be adversely affected.

Codified notation of certain technical or dramatic elements, such as scene transitions, changes in narrative perspective, sound effects, emphasis of dramatically relevant objects and characters speaking from outside a scene.

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author avatar Spec Screenplay
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Spec screenplay

A 'spec' or speculative screenplay is a script written to be sold on the open market with no upfront payment, or promise of payment. The content is usually invented solely by the screenwriter, though spec screenplays can also be based on established works, or real people and events.

Commissioned screenplay

A commissioned screenplay is written by a hired writer. The concept is usually developed long before the screenwriter is brought on, and often has multiple writers work on it before the script is given a green-light.

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author avatar Screenwriting software
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Detailed computer programs are designed specifically to format screenplays, teleplays and stage plays. Celtx, DreamaScript, Movie Magic Screenwriter, Scrivener, Final Draft, Movie Outline 3.0, FiveSprockets, and Montage are several such programs. Software is also available as web applications, accessible from any computer, and on mobile devices.

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author avatar Further reading
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

David Trottier (1998). The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script. Silman-James Press. ISBN 1-879505-44-4. - Paperback

Yves Lavandier (2005). Writing Drama, A Comprehensive Guide for Playwrights and Scritpwriters. Le Clown & l'Enfant. ISBN 2-910606-04-X. - Paperback

Judith H. Haag, Hillis R. Cole (1980). The Complete Guide to Standard Script Formats: The Screenplay. CMC Publishing. ISBN 0-929583-00-0. - Paperback

Jami Bernard (1995). Quentin Tarantino: The Man and His Movies. HarperCollins publishers. ISBN 0-00-255644-8. - Paperback

Luca Bandirali and Enrico Terrone, Il sistema sceneggiatura. Scrivere e descrivere i film, Lindau, Torino, 2009, ISBN 978-88-7180-831-4.

Riley, C. (2005) The Hollywood Standard: the complete and authoritative guide to script format and style. Michael Weise Productions. Sheridan Press. ISBN 0-941188-94-9.

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author avatar Art Structure
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Act structure explains how a plot of a film story is composed. Just like plays (Staged drama) have 'Acts', critics and screenwriters tend to divide films into acts; though films don't require to be physically broken down as such in reality.

Whereas plays are actual performances that need 'breaks' in the middle for change of set, costume, or for the artists' rest; films are recorded performances shown mechanically and therefore don't need actual breaks. Still they are divided into acts for reasons that are in aesthetic and structural conformation with the original idea of Act in theatre. Act breaks in a film are usually very obscure for lay audience and only a trained person can detect the ending of one act and the beginning of another in the progression of a movie; although learned people can typically mark it by a 'plot point' in writing process or film appreciation. The idea of Act structure is of more value in Screenwriting (i.e. while writing a Screenplay) than watching a film, though the act breaks are never actually written in the final copies of screenplays, unlike in play scripts where they are clearly mentioned as such; e.g. Act 1 Scene 3, etc. However, in television scripts called Teleplays clear denotations about Act breaks are almost always included, usually to coincide with commercial breaks.

Act is the broadest structural unit of enacted stories. The most common paradigm in theatre, and so in films, is that of the three act structure proposed by Aristotle. Simply put, it means that any story has a 'beginning', a 'middle' and an 'end'. Playwrights and screenwriters divide their stories into three major parts viz. 'Set up', 'Confrontation' (alternatively called as 'conflict' or 'complication') and 'Resolution'. These form the basic three acts of any performance- staged or screened.

Though various theories have been proposed and debated, the Three-act structure stands as the most popular one. Also, this is what Hollywood has discovered and proved as the most successful in commercial movie making. The rest of the world may have various ways of looking at the plot.

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author avatar The three Art Structure
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

According to Hollywood, feature films are considered as audio-visual narrative forms which can be seen in distinct parts called 'Acts'.

It follows that the enacted story opens with the introduction of characters and situations, backdrop, locale etc. It creates interest in the audience and takes them to feel concerned as to what the real problem is and what may happen with it. Plays, and screenplays, usually revolve around main characters- the 'Protagonist' and the 'Antagonist' who engage themselves into a battle. That is "Set up".

The next part- and considered to be more important- is complication of the problem of the story. It intrigues the audience all the more, giving them more and more information and putting various points of view for imaginative comparison. This eventually leads to higher points of audience interest. Because this second Act of most screenplays add all the possible dramatic values to the plot, this is considered to be the core part of a script. The Antagonist and the Protagonist try and experiment with all their strengths (and weaknesses of the other) to win the battle. That is "Confrontation".

This takes us to the third- and the most important- act, the "Resolution". This means it tends to 'solve' the problem (-s) of the story developed so far. But this is not obvious, as it is expected to bring the 'climax' (or a series of climaxes) to give the audience the pay-off. The tool usually implemented is a 'do or die' situation where doors of escape for either or both of the two characters go on closing one by one, leaving them with only a thin chance that demands the fullest exploitation of their qualities and energies. This so-called jaw-dropping, breath-taking, arm-rest-grabbing 'obligatory moment' for the audience leads to the final outcome of the entire plot. And it is usually the triumph of the good (Protagonist) over the evil (Antagonist), with rare exceptions.

Limitations

This framework can not be rigidly applied to all the film stories, and there are a good proportion of Hollywood movies that defy this theory. Many films follow this pattern only to a subtle extent, where their genre demands a more delicate handling. Screenwriters and Script doctors have tried to provide alternative ideas, which again are open for debate. As said earlier, cinema across the world and 20th century has evolved its own ways of putting a story. Also, this theory may not be fit for non-fiction films like documentary or corporate films, which may not have a 'plot' at their base with 'characters' and all their 'actions and speeches' predecided, like the feature films have. Such non-fiction films require their own forms of arrangement.

What is important here is that ideas of Act structure help us understand films better. More importantly, these are 'tools' of the screenplay writers who can break down the story at hand and play with various ways of presenting it to find the best possible one. Experts have gone long way ahead in dividing plot to even smaller structural units and they keep working to find the most effective formula of structuring a film story.

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author avatar Film Making
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Filmmaking (often referred to in an academic context as film production) is the process of making a film. Filmmaking involves a number of discrete stages including an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a film release and exhibition. Filmmaking takes place in many places around the world in a range of economic, social, and political contexts, and using a variety of technologies and cinematic techniques. Typically, it involves a large number of people, and can take from a few months to several years to complete.

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author avatar Parts
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film production involves three major stages:

Pre-production—Preparations are made for the shoot, in which cast and film crew are hired, locations are selected, and sets are built. The Development stage, in which the ideas for the film are created, rights to books/plays are bought, etc., and the screenplay is written, occurs before Pre-production.

Production—The raw elements for the finished film are recorded.

Post-Production—The film is edited; production sound (dialogue) is concurrently (but separately) edited, music tracks (and songs) are composed, performed and recorded, if a film is sought to have a score; sound effects are designed and recorded; and any other computer-graphic 'visual' effects are digitally added, all sound elements are mixed into "stems" then the stems are mixed then married to picture and the film is fully completed ("locked").

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author avatar Development
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In this stage, the project's producer selects a story, which may come from a book, play, another film, a true story, original idea, etc. After identifying a theme or underlying message, the producer works with writers to prepare a synopsis. Next they produce a step outline, which breaks the story down into one-paragraph scenes that concentrate on dramatic structure. Then, they prepare a treatment, a 25-to-30-page description of the story, its mood, and characters. This usually has little dialogue and stage direction, but often contains drawings that help visualize key points. Another way is to produce a scriptment once a synopsis is produced.

Next, a screenwriter writes a screenplay over a period of several months. The screenwriter may rewrite it several times to improve dramatization, clarity, structure, characters, dialogue, and overall style. However, producers often skip the previous steps and develop submitted screenplays which investors, studios, and other interested parties assess through a process called script coverage. A film distributor may be contacted at an early stage to assess the likely market and potential financial success of the film. Hollywood distributors adopt a hard-headed business approach and consider factors such as the film genre, the target audience, the historical success of similar films, the actors who might appear in the film, and potential directors. All these factors imply a certain appeal of the film to a possible audience. Not all films make a profit from the theatrical release alone, so film companies take DVD sales and worldwide distribution rights into account.

The producer and screenwriter prepare a film pitch, or treatment, and present it to potential financiers. If the pitch is successful, the film receives a "green light", meaning someone offers financial backing: typically a major film studio, film council, or independent investor. The parties involved negotiate a deal and sign contracts. Once all parties have met and the deal has been set, the film may proceed into the pre-production period. By this stage, the film should have a clearly defined marketing strategy and target audience.

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author avatar Pre-production
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In pre-production, every step of actually creating the film is carefully designed and planned. The production company is created and a production office established. The film is pre-visualized by the director, and may be storyboarded with the help of illustrators and concept artists. A production budget is drawn up to plan expenditures for the film. For major productions, insurance is procured to protect against accidents.

Storyboard is a visualizing method that create a blueprint of what the shot sequence should be. The visual images are drawn or made by programs such as Photoshop. There may also be a written caption as needed for each shot.

The producer hires a crew. The nature of the film, and the budget, determine the size and type of crew used during filmmaking. Many Hollywood blockbusters employ a cast and crew of hundreds, while a low-budget, independent film may be made by a skeleton crew of eight or nine (or fewer). These are typical crew positions:

The director is primarily responsible for the storytelling, creative decisions and acting of the film.

The unit production manager manages the production budget and production schedule. They also report, on behalf of the production office, to the studio executives or financiers of the film.

The assistant director (AD) manages the shooting schedule and logistics of the production, among other tasks. There are several types of AD, each with different responsibilities.

The casting director finds actors to fill the parts in the script. This normally requires that actors audition.

The location manager finds and manages film locations. Most pictures are shot in the controllable environment of a studio sound stage but occasionally, outdoor sequences call for filming on location.

The director of photography (DP) is the cinematographer who supervises the photography of the entire film.

The director of audiography (DA) is the audiographer who supervises the audiography of the entire film. For productions in the Western world this role is also known as either sound designer or supervising sound editor.

The production sound mixer is the head of the sound department during the production stage of filmmaking. They record and mix the audio on set - dialogue, presence and sound effects in mono and ambience in stereo. They work with the boom operator, Director, DoA, DoP, and First AD.

The sound designer creates the aural conception of the film, working with the supervising sound editor. On some productions the sound designer plays the role of a director of audiography.

The composer creates new music for the film. (usually not until post-production)

The production designer creates the visual conception of the film, working with the art director.

The art director manages the art department, which makes production sets

The costume designer creates the clothing for the characters in the film working closely with the actors, as well as other departments.

The make up and hair designer works closely with the costume designer in addition to create a certain look for a character.

The storyboard artist creates visual images to help the director and production designer communicate their ideas to the production team.

The choreographer creates and coordinates the movement and dance - typically for musicals. Some films also credit a fight choreographer.

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author avatar Production
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In production, the video production/film is created and shot. More crew will be recruited at this stage, such as the property master, script supervisor, assistant directors, stills photographer, picture editor, and sound editors. These are just the most common roles in filmmaking; the production office will be free to create any unique blend of roles to suit the various responsibilities possible during the production of a film.

A typical day's shooting begins with the crew arriving on the set/location by their call time. Actors usually have their own separate call times. Since set construction, dressing and lighting can take many hours or even days, they are often set up in advance.

The grip, electric and production design crews are typically a step ahead of the camera and sound departments: for efficiency's sake, while a scene is being filmed, they are already preparing the next one.

While the crew prepare their equipment, the actors are wardrobed in their costumes and attend the hair and make-up departments. The actors rehearse the script and blocking with the director, and the camera and sound crews rehearse with them and make final tweaks. Finally, the action is shot in as many takes as the director wishes. Most American productions follow a specific procedure:

The assistant director (AD) calls "picture is up!" to inform everyone that a take is about to be recorded, and then "quiet, everyone!" Once everyone is ready to shoot, the AD calls "roll sound" (if the take involves sound), and the production sound mixer will start their equipment, record a verbal slate of the take's information, and announce "sound speed" when they are ready. The AD follows with "roll camera", answered by "speed!" by the camera operator once the camera is recording. The clapper, who is already in front of the camera with the clapperboard, calls "marker!" and slaps it shut. If the take involves extras or background action, the AD will cue them ("action background!"), and last is the director, telling the actors "action!". The AD may echo "action" louder on large sets.

A take is over when the director calls "cut!", and camera and sound stop recording. The script supervisor will note any continuity issues and the sound and camera teams log technical notes for the take on their respective report sheets. If the director decides additional takes are required, the whole process repeats. Once satisfied, the crew moves on to the next camera angle or "setup," until the whole scene is "covered." When shooting is finished for the scene, the assistant director declares a "wrap" or "moving on," and the crew will "strike," or dismantle, the set for that scene.

At the end of the day, the director approves the next day's shooting schedule and a daily progress report is sent to the production office. This includes the report sheets from continuity, sound, and camera teams. Call sheets are distributed to the cast and crew to tell them when and where to turn up the next shooting day. Later on, the director, producer, other department heads, and, sometimes, the cast, may gather to watch that day or yesterday's footage, called dailies, and review their work.

With workdays often lasting 14 or 18 hours in remote locations, film production tends to create a team spirit. When the entire film is in the can, or in the completion of the production phase, it is customary for the production office to arrange a wrap party, to thank all the cast and crew for their efforts

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author avatar Post-production
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Here the video/film is assembled by the video/film editor. The modern use of video in the filmmaking process has resulted in two workflow variants: one using entirely film, and the other using a mixture of film and video.

This is the final stage, where the film is released to cinemas or, occasionally, to consumer media (DVD, VCD, VHS, Blu-ray) or direct download from a provider. The film is duplicated as required for distribution to cinemas. Press kits, posters, and other advertising materials are published and the film is advertised and promoted.

Film distributors usually release a film with a launch party, press releases, interviews with the press, press preview screenings, and film festival screenings. Most films have a website. The film plays at selected cinemas and the DVD typically is released a few months later. The distribution rights for the film and DVD are also usually sold for worldwide distribution. The distributor and the production company share profits.

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author avatar Independent Film Making
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Filmmaking also takes place outside of the mainstream and is commonly called independent filmmaking. Since the introduction of DV technology, the means of production have become more democratized. Filmmakers can conceivably shoot and edit a film, create and edit the sound and music, and mix the final cut on a home computer. However, while the means of production may be democratized, financing, traditional distribution, and marketing remain difficult to accomplish outside the traditional system. In the past, most independent filmmakers have relied on film festivals to get their films noticed and sold for distribution. However, the Internet has allowed for relatively inexpensive distribution of independent films. As a result several companies have emerged to assist filmmakers in getting independent movies seen and sold via mainstream internet marketplaces, oftentimes adjacent to popular Hollywood titles. With internet movie distribution, independent filmmakers who fail to garner a traditional distribution deal now have the ability to reach global audiences.

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author avatar Scriptment
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A scriptment is a written work by a movie or television screenwriter that combines elements of a script and treatment, especially the dialogue elements, which are formatted the same as in a screenplay. It is a more elaborate document than a standard draft treatment. A lengthy scriptment may resemble a script sufficiently to be used as the basis for qualifying the writer to receive or share a screenplay credit, as opposed to just a story credit. Some films have been shot using only a scriptment.

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author avatar Origin
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The term scriptment was originally coined by filmmaker James Cameron, possibly during his early involvement in the development of the Spider-Man film series. In that effort, after the success of his 1984 film The Terminator, Cameron wrote a 47-page scriptment for the first proposed Spider-Man film, which was used by screenwriter David Koepp to write the first draft, incorporating it nearly word for word.

Cameron's scriptment for Titanic (1997) was 131 pages. The term became more widely known, when Cameron's 1994 scriptment for the film Avatar was leaked on the internet during pre-production, although other directors, such as John Hughes and Zak Penn, had written "scriptments" before. The scriptment for Avatar (2009) was 80 pages and reportedly Cameron wrote it in just two weeks

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author avatar Element
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A scriptment borrows characteristics from both a regular screenplay and a film treatment and is comparable to a step outline: the main text body is similar to an elaborate draft treatment, while usually only major sequences receive scene location headings (slug lines), which is different from the extensive slug line formatting in standard screenplays, where every new scene or shot begins with an INT./EXT. DAY/NIGHT slug line set above the description or dialogue. However, just as a treatment can be short or long, a scriptment can exist in various degrees of completion depending on how much time the writer has devoted to it and a more fully developed one could have all slug lines in place, a great deal of dialogue, and only require the producer's (or a writing partner's) okay on the direction the finished script should take before proceeding further.

In a scriptment, scenes and shots may be separated as paragraphs or sentences and, if it is the writer's style, can also include an occasional explanatory note, such as might be important in an adaptation or a sequel. As with standard treatments, much of the dialogue is summarized in action. The longer the scriptment, however, the more likely it contains dialog scenes that are fully developed. Single words or brief phrases of dialogue can be included within the description and lengthier exchanges are formatted exactly as a regular screenplay, which is the main reason for the "script" part of the term.

The longer the scriptment, the more likely it is written shot to shot as opposed to scene by scene; thus, a long, detailed scriptment does not necessarily equate to a longer movie, as a typical 90-120 page screenplay written with master scenes contains many more individual shots than are immediately apparent.

A scriptment can begin with FADE IN: top left and conclude with a centered THE END. It can have a title page like a script and lengthier treatment. It is written single spaced with an empty space between paragraphs and other elements and the pages are numbered in the upper right corner, just as in a screenplay.

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author avatar Work in progress manuscripts
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

irectors and screenwriters write scriptments as an intermediate stage in development from the draft treatment to the first draft of the screenplay. Like a draft treatment, a scriptment can be anywhere from 20 to 80 or more pages. While regular presentation treatments or outlines only summarize the plot, typically in not more than 30 pages.

For the Batman feature film The Dark Knight (2008), writer David S. Goyer and the film's director Christopher Nolan wrote a scriptment that was then used by Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan to expand further into a finished screenplay. "I wrote what you'd call a 'scriptment' with Chris over an accelerated month long period, and then we handed it off to his brother , who did the first pass," explains Goyer.

The sci-fi movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) reportedly used a scriptment during the screenplay writing process by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Ehren Kruger and director Michael Bay.

Filmmaker Wayne Spitzer used a scriptment while writing the adaptation of author Algernon Blackwood’s 1907 supernatural short story "The Willows".

Comic book writer Warren Ellis has written that he sometimes works in the scriptment style.

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author avatar A presentation manuscript
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A scriptment can also be a presentation document; that is, one that is sold or handed in as the finished work.

Writer-director-producer James Cameron delivered a 47-page scriptment that he was contracted to write during the development phase of the first Spider-Man (2002) theatrical movie, which he was also going to direct. When Cameron left the project, screenwriter David Koepp expanded it into a first draft script, which was later worked on by other uncredited writers.

In 2005, Sony Pictures paid screenwriter Ken Nolan US $3 million for his 75-page scriptment that was an adaptation of the then-unpublished Whitley Strieber novel The Grays. Nolan had only one produced writing credit at the time, the screenplay for the military film Black Hawk Down, a project for which he had submitted three different scriptments to producer Jerry Bruckheimer and executive producers Mike Stenson, and Chad Oman for approval during the writing process.

Filmmakers Kriv Stenders and Richard Green used the scripment format to make their 2007 film Boxing Day.

The 2008 movie Cloverfield written by Drew Goddard, directed by Matt Reeves, and produced by J. J. Abrams, was greenlighted for production by Paramount Pictures President of Production Brad Weston and Brad Grey, Chairman, based on a 65-page scriptment. The film was also shot using the scriptment.

The 2008 improv comedy movie The Grand, written by Zak Penn and Matt Bierman, was filmed using a scriptment. Penn said their scriptment "started at about 25 pages and it was just a document that explained who the characters were and what the scenes were."

Also using a scriptment for filming was the 2008 comedy Reno 911!: Miami, written by Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, and Kerri Kenney-Silver.

It was reported on the movie news website Ain't It Cool News on December 1, 2008 that a scriptment was involved in developing a possible new Speed sequel or remake: "There's a scriptment floating around that reintroduces Jack Traven. So the studios are hoping to get Keanu back on board."

Director-producer-writer John Hughes wrote a 70-page scriptment for the Owen Wilson-starring comedy Drillbit Taylor (2008) that was used years later by screenwriters Kristofor Brown and Seth Rogen as the basis for a revised finished screenplay.

The 2009 comedy film I Love You, Beth Cooper, written by Larry Doyle, originated as an 85-page scriptment that was shopped around Hollywood and then subsequently turned into a book manuscript.

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author avatar A screenwriters salary
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A typical screenwriter's deal usually comprises:

Option: Money paid in exchange for the right (the "option") to produce—and therefore to purchase outright—a screenplay, treatment or other work within a certain period.

Guarantee: Literally, the money the writer is guaranteed to receive, whether the script is produced or not. This amount is usually divided into payments for multiple drafts (commonly, a draft and a "set," a set being a rewrite and a polish). The guaranteed money are sometimes referred to as the "front-end."

Bonus/Bonuses: Also known as the "back-end." Typically, a production bonus is paid once the script goes into production, or, if there has been more than one writer, after the final credit has been determined. A typical contract will specify a smaller production bonus for shared credit. There may also be bonuses contingent upon budget (e.g. "if the movie's budget is greater than x...") or grosses. The cousin of the bonus is the "penalty," which might be paid by the writer if, for example, the script has not been put into production by a set date. Penalties are rarely included in writer's deals, however.

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author avatar Definitions
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Spec script: Short for "speculative". The writer writes the script (original or someone else's idea) without being paid, and, subsequently, tries to sell it.

Pitch: The writer works up a five-to-twenty minute presentation of a prospective movie and presents it to buyers in a short meeting.

Feature assignment: The writer writes the script on assignment under contract with a studio, production company, or individual.

Rewriting: The writer rewrites someone else's script for pay. The writer pitches his "take", much like he would an original pitch.

Against: A word used to describe a script's unproduced price versus its value if produced, for example: if a script is sold for $300,000, but the writer gains an extra $200,000 if it's produced, it would be "$300,000 against $500,000".

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author avatar History
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

1900: One of America's first screenwriters, New York journalist Roy McCardell, is hired to write ten scenarios (each about 90 seconds long) for $15 each (has the buying power of about $332 today).

1947: The original screenplay Woman of the Year is bought by MGM for $100,000 (about $950,000 today).

1949: Ben Hecht is paid $10,000 a week (about $77,000 today). Claims David O. Selznick paid him $3,500 a day (about $27,000 today).

1967: William Goldman's original screenplay Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was purchased for $400,000 (about $2.25 million today).

1972: Leonard and Paul Schrader's spec script The Yakuza is sold for $350,000 (about $1.6 million today). Paul Schrader and his agent receive 40% each; novelist Leonard Schrader, who conceived the idea for the story, is persuaded to take just 20% and a story credit.

1984: Shane Black sells the screenplay to Lethal Weapon for $250,000.

1985: Ex-firefighter Gregory Widen sells his university thesis screenplay Highlander for $500,000.

1989: David Chappe sell his modern-day, hurricane-hits-coast, and pirates-take-over-town spec Gale Force to Carolco for $500,000.

1990: Jim Gorman and Michael Beckner sell their action/comedy Western "Texas Lead and Gold" to Largo Entertainment for $1 million. Jim Gorman also on as Producer.

1990: Kathy McWorter - promoted by her agent as a 21 year-old wunderkind, though she was in fact 28 - sells her sex comedy The Cheese Stands Alone for $1 million. This was followed by nuclear-terrorist technothriller The Ultimatum by Laurence Dworet and Robert Roy Pool and WWII action comedy Hell Bent... and Back! by Doug Richardson, both of which sold for a million dollars. None of these movies have been produced so far.

1990: Brian Helgeland and Manny Coto sell their nuclear-armed robot spec The Ticking Man for $1.2 million. The script was sent out with a ticking alarm clock attached.

1990: Shane Black is paid $1.75 million for The Last Boy Scout.

1990: Joe Eszterhas sells Basic Instinct to Carolco for $3 million, but is replaced by Total Recall scribe Gary Goldman when he argues with director Paul Verhoeven over explicit content. Verhoeven later came back and made peace with Eszterhas and shot Basic Instinct unchanged from Eszterhas' Original Screenplay. There will not be another million dollar spec script for over two years.

1991: Jim Gorman and Michael Beckner sell their action/comedy Pirate Adventure "Cutthroat Island" to Carolco Pictures for $2 million. Jim Gorman also on as Producer.

1991: Front page of Variety mourns the end of the modern spec market, announcing "the candy store is closed."

1992: Sherry Lansing is hired to run Paramount and spends $3.6 million in less than a week, $2.5 million for a two-page outline of Jade by Joe Eszterhas, and $1.1 million for the script Milk Money by John Mattson. At the time, both deals are records, respectively, for outlines and romantic comedy specs.

1994: After a bidding war, Shane Black is paid $4.5 million by New Line for The Long Kiss Goodnight.

1999: M. Night Shyamalan - who received $2.5 million for breakout script The Sixth Sense - is paid $5 million for Unbreakable, plus another $5 million to produce and direct. Later receives same sum for Signs.

2003: M. Night Shyamalan is paid $7.5 million for The Woods, later renamed The Village, but with a reduced fee of $3.21 million for producing and directing.

2004: Peter Jackson is paid the higher of $20 million aggregate or 20% of the gross to write, produce and direct King Kong. Jackson wrote the screenplay with his partner, Fran Walsh, and Phillipa Boyens.

2004: Bobby Florsheim and Josh Stolberg are paid $1.5 million against $2.5 million + 2% for The Passion Of The Ark, later becoming Evan Almighty. Daily Variety reports this as the highest price paid for a spec script by unproduced writers.

2005: Terry Rossio and Bill Marsilii are paid $3 million against $5 million for the script of Deja Vu.

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author avatar Current records
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Some of the highest amounts paid to writers for spec screenplays:

$5 million:

Deja Vu by Terry Rossio and Bill Marsilii

$4 million:

The Long Kiss Goodnight by Shane Black

$3 million:

Basic Instinct by Joe Eszterhas

Medicine Man by Tom Schulman

The Ugly Americans (Eurotrip) by Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer

Bad Dog (unproduced) by Dale Launer

Married in the Morning (unproduced) by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan

Panic Room by David Koepp. $2 million against $3 million.

$2.75 million:

Mozart and the Whale (The Newports) by Ronald Bass. $2 million against $2,750,000.

$2.5 million:

The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan

Twister by Michael Crichton and Anne-Marie Crichton

Jade by Joe Eszterhas

A Knight's Tale by Brian Helgeland

Untitled Will Davies Romantic Comedy (unproduced) by Will Davies

Jackson (unproduced) by Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson

The Superconducting Supercollider of Sparkle Creek, Wisconsin (unproduced) by David Koepp and John Kamps. '$2.5 million against $3.25 million with an additional deferred bonus of $1.5 million for Koepp.

$2.25 million:

Untitled Disney Family Comedy (unproduced) by Kevin Bisch

They Came From Upstairs (Aliens in the Attic) by Mark Burton

You, Me and Dupree by Mike LeSieur

The Break-Up by Vince Vaughn, Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender

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author avatar Current records
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

$2 million:

The Arrangement (unproduced) by Kevin Bisch

Stalker: A Love Story About a Psycho Stalker (unproduced) by Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert

The Worst Man (unproduced) by Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert

Manhattan Ghost Story (unproduced) by Ronald Bass, based on the novel by T. M. Wright.

Radio Flyer by David M. Evans

Forever Young by Jeffrey Abrams

Showgirls by Joe Eszterhas

Sacred Cows (unproduced) by Joe Eszterhas

Reliable Sources (unproduced) by Joe Eszterhas

Courage Under Fire by Patrick Sheane Duncan

Tennessee (Pearl Harbor) by Randall Wallace

River Road (unproduced) by Andrew Niccol

The Mark (unproduced) by Rob Liefield

Untitled Tim Herlihy Comedy (unproduced) by Tim Herlihy

The Game by John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris

Untitled Firestein-Pesce Action Project (unproduced) by Les Firestein and PJ Pesce

Executive Search (unproduced) by Gerald Di Pego

Going West (Switchback) by Jeb Stuart

Untitled Michael McCullers Buddy Comedy (unproduced) by Michael McCullers

Alpha (unproduced) by David Benioff

Ghost Town by David Koepp and John Kamps

Male Pattern Baldness (unproduced) by Joe Eszterhas. $2 million against 4.5 million.

Arthur & Lancelot (unproduced) by David Dobkin

$1.8 million:

RPM (unproduced) by J.H. Wyman

Stay by David Benioff

$1.5 million:

Evan Almighty by Bobby Florsheim and Josh Stolberg. $1.5 million against 2.5 million.

The Sweetest Thing by Nancy Pimental

$1.3 million:

Monster-In-Law by Anya Kochoff. $1.3 against $2.3 million.

$1.25 million:

99 Problems (unproduced) by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont. $1.25 against $2 million.

$1.1 million:

Milk Money by John Mattson, bought outright by Paramount in 1992.

$1 million:

Foreplay (unproduced) by Joe Eszterhas. $1 million against $3.5 million.

The Cheese Stands Alone (unproduced) by Kathy McWorter.

"ONLY YOU" (sold as "HIM") to TriStar in 1992 by Diane Drake

Epsilon (unproduced) by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

$800,000:

Medieval (unproduced) by Mike Finch and Alex Litvak. $800,000 against $1.6 million.

Stanley's Cup (unproduced) by Jeffrey Alan Schechter. $800,000 against $1.1 million.

$750,000:

Steinbeck's Point of View (unproduced) by Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson. $750,000 against $3,750,000 with an additional potential $2 million bonus cast contingent.

Man-Woman by Bobby Florsheim and Josh Stolberg. $750,000 against $1.5 million.

Cardinal Bay (unproduced) by Mitchell German.

The Karma Coalition by Shawn Christensen. $750,000 against 1.5 million..

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author avatar Screenwriting software
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Screenwriting software are word processors specialized to the task of writing screenplays. The need for such programs arises from the presence of certain peculiarities in standard screenplay format which are not handled well by generic word processors. A good example would be the formatting and revision-tracking requirements of shooting scripts. The page-break constraints imposed by standard screenplay format are also difficult to implement using standard word processors.

Most of the major screenwriting programs are standalone desktop applications. These include Celtx, DreamaScript, Fade In Professional Screenwriting Software, Final Draft, Scrivener, Montage, Movie Magic Screenwriter, Storyist, Movie Outline, Page 2 stage, Plot Builder, Practical Scriptwriter and Sophocles.

Some new solutions are mobile apps which run on mobile devices. This type of application allows users to create new scripts as well as import existing scripts from major screenwriting programs such as Final Draft and Celtx. This includes Scripts Pro. Other solutions include web applications which run in a web browser with no software to install. These include Scripped, ScriptBuddy, PlotBot and Zhura.

Many other programs are available as add-ins for generic word processors such as Microsoft Word. Examples include Dr. Format and Script Wizard. There is also a package for LaTeX called screenplay.

Some screenwriting applications, such as Celtx and Sophocles, also incorporate production scheduling and budgeting capabilities. Others, such as Zhura, provide additional collaborative editing tools.

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author avatar History
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The first screenwriting software was a standalone script formatter, Scriptor, from Screenplay Systems. It took a text file generated by a word processor and inserted the proper page break tags.

When used in conjunction with a TSR program such as SmartKey or ProKey—keyboard utilities that assigned a sequence of commands to keystroke combinations—the "dot commands" that Scriptor required could be inserted semi-automatically.

Additionally, keyboard macros could be programmed to properly indent and enter abbreviations—allowing a user to customize the working of the word processor.

SmartKey was popular with screen writers from 1982–1987, after which word processing programs had their own macro features.

An update to Scriptor understood the style sheets used in Microsoft Word for DOS. And so the need for key macro programs was lessened.

Scriptor's limitation was that once formatted it was difficult to re-import the resulting text back into a word processor for further editing.

The next generation of screenplay software hooked into Microsoft Word. Warren Script Application was initially released as a set of style sheets for Word for DOS. It was updated for Word for Windows circa 1988.

gScript, a shareware script formatter/template, was released via CompuServe in 1989. It was included on the disk accompanying the book Take Word for Windows to the Edge, published by Ziff-Davis in 1993. It has since been updated and released commercially as ScriptWright.

This third generation of screenplay software consists of the standalone script writing programs such as Movie Magic Screenwriter, Final Draft, and Cinovation's Scriptware.

The latest generation adds online storage and collaboration. New partnerships, such as that recently announced between Movie Magic Screenwriter and Scripped, may lead to online and offline synchronization.

Adobe Systems' recently announced screen writing software Adobe Story supports both online-offline synchronization as well as collaboration.

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author avatar Storyboard
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Storyboards are graphic organizers in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence.

The storyboarding process, in the form it is known today, was developed at the Walt Disney Studio during the early 1930s, after several years of similar processes being in use at Walt Disney and other animation studios.

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author avatar Origin
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The storyboarding process can be very time-consuming and intricate. Many large budget silent films were storyboarded but most of this material has been lost during the reduction of the studio archives during the 1970s. The form widely known today was developed at the Walt Disney studio during the early 1930s. In the biography of her father, The Story of Walt Disney (Henry Holt, 1956), Diane Disney Miller explains that the first complete storyboards were created for the 1933 Disney short Three Little Pigs. According to John Canemaker, in Paper Dreams: The Art and Artists of Disney Storyboards (1999, Hyperion Press), the first storyboards at Disney evolved from comic-book like "story sketches" created in the 1920s to illustrate concepts for animated cartoon short subjects such as Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie, and within a few years the idea spread to other studios.

According to Christopher Finch in The Art of Walt Disney (Abrams, 1974), Disney credited animator Webb Smith with creating the idea of drawing scenes on separate sheets of paper and pinning them up on a bulletin board to tell a story in sequence, thus creating the first storyboard. The second studio to switch from "story sketches" to storyboards was Walter Lantz Productions in early 1935, by 1936 Harman-Ising and Leon Schlesinger also followed suit. By 1937-38 all studios were using storyboards.

Gone with the Wind (1939) was one of the first live action films to be completely storyboarded. William Cameron Menzies, the film's production designer, was hired by producer David O. Selznick to design every shot of the film.

Storyboarding became popular in live-action film production during the early 1940s, and grew into a standard medium for previsualization of films. Pace Gallery curator, Annette Micheloson, writing of the exhibition Drawing into Film: Director's Drawings, considered the 1940s to 1990s to be the period in which "production design was largely characterized by adoption of the storyboard". Storyboards are now an essential part of the creation progress.

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author avatar Film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A film storyboard is essentially a large comic of the film or some section of the film produced beforehand to help film directors, cinematographers and television commercial advertising clients visualize the scenes and find potential problems before they occur. Often storyboards include arrows or instructions that indicate movement.

In creating a motion picture with any degree of fidelity to a script, a storyboard provides a visual layout of events as they are to be seen through the camera lens. And in the case of interactive media, it is the layout and sequence in which the user or viewer sees the content or information. In the storyboarding process, most technical details involved in crafting a film or interactive media project can be efficiently described either in picture, or in additional text.

Some live-action film directors, such as Joel and Ethan Coen, use storyboard extensively before taking a pitch to their funders, stating that it helps them to get the support they require, since they can show exactly where the money will be used. Alfred Hitchcock's films were strongly believed to have been extensively storyboarded to the finest detail by the majority of commentators over the years, although later research indicates that this was exaggerated for publicity purposes. Akira Kurosawa was known, particularly in his later years, for painstaking detail in his storyboarding, to the degree that the storyboard paintings for Ran (for which he storyboarded every shot) are regarded as fine works of art in themselves. Other directors storyboard only certain scenes, or none at all. Animation directors are usually required to storyboard extensively, sometimes in place of writing a script.

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author avatar Theatre
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A common misconception is that storyboards are not used in theater. They are frequently special tools that directors and playwrights use to understand the layout of the scene. The great Russian theatre practitioner Constantin Stanislavski developed storyboards in his detailed production plans for his Moscow Art Theatre performances (such as of Chekhov's The Seagull in 1898). The German director and dramatist Bertolt Brecht developed detailed storyboards as part of his dramaturgical method of "fabels."

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author avatar Theatre
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In animation and special effects work, the storyboarding stage may be followed by simplified mock-ups called "animatics" to give a better idea of how the scene will look and feel with motion and timing. At its simplest, an animatic is a series of still images edited together and displayed in sequence with a rough dialogue and/or rough sound track added to the sequence of still images (usually taken from a storyboard) to test whether the sound and images are working effectively together.

This allows the animators and directors to work out any screenplay, camera positioning, shot list and timing issues that may exist with the current storyboard. The storyboard and soundtrack are amended if necessary, and a new animatic may be created and reviewed with the director until the storyboard is perfected. Editing the film at the animatic stage can avoid animation of scenes that would be edited out of the film. Animation is usually an expensive process, so there should be a minimum of "deleted scenes" if the film is to be completed within budget.

Often storyboards are animated with simple zooms and pans to simulate camera movement (using non-linear editing software). These animations can be combined with available animatics, sound effects and dialog to create a presentation of how a film could be shot and cut together. Some feature film DVD special features include production animatics.

Animatics are also used by advertising agencies to create inexpensive test commercials. A variation, the "rip-o-matic", is made from scenes of existing movies, television programs or commercials, to simulate the look and feel of the proposed commercial. Rip, in this sense, refers to ripping-off an original work to create a new one.

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author avatar Photomatic
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A photomatic (probably derived from 'animatic' or photo-animation) is a series of still photographs edited together and presented on screen in a sequence. Usually, a voice-over, soundtrack and sound effects are added to the piece to create a presentation to show how a film could be shot and cut together. Increasingly used by advertisers and advertising agencies to research the effectiveness of their proposed storyboard before committing to a 'full up' television advertisement.

The photomatic is usually a research tool, similar to an animatic, in that it represents the work to a test audience so that the commissioners of the work can gauge its effectiveness.

Originally, photographs were taken using colour negative film. A selection would be made from contact sheets and prints made. The prints would be placed on a rostrum and recorded to videotape using a standard video camera. Any moves, pans or zooms would have to be made in camera. The captured scenes could then be edited.

Digital photography, web access to stock photography and Non-linear editing programs have had a marked impact on this way of film making also leading to the term 'digimatic'. Images can be shot and edited very quickly to allow important creative decisions to be made 'live'. Photo composite animations can build intricate scenes that would normally be beyond many test film budgets.

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author avatar Comic Books
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Some writers have used storyboard type drawings (albeit rather sketchy) for their scripting of comic books, often indicating staging of figures, backgrounds and balloon placement with instructions to the artist as needed often scribbled in the margins and the dialogue/captions indicated. John Stanley and Carl Barks (when he was writing stories for the Junior Woodchuck title) are known to have used this style of scripting.

In Japanese Manga comics, the word "nemu" (ネーム; modified Hepburn roomaji: neemu, IPA: ; the -u is devoiced) is used for manga storyboards.

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author avatar Business
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Storyboards are used today by industry for planning ad campaigns, commercials, a proposal or other business presentations intended to convince or compel to action. Consulting firms teach the technique to their staff to use during the development of client presentations, frequently employing the "brown paper technique" of taping mock-up presentation slides to a large piece of kraft paper which can be rolled up for easy transport. The initial storyboard may be as simple as slide titles on Post-It notes, which are then replaced with draft presentation slides as they are created.

Storyboards also exist in accounting in the ABC System(Action Based Costing System) to develop a detailed process flowchart which visually shows all activities and the relationships among activities. They are used in this way to measure the cost of resources consumed, identify and eliminate non-value-added costs, determine the efficiency and effectiveness of all major activities, and identity and evaluate new activities that can improve future performance.

A "quality storyboard" is a tool to help facilitate the introduction of a quality improvement process into an organisation.

"Design comics" are a type of storyboard used to include a customer or other characters into a narrative. Design comics are most often used in designing web sites or illustrating product usage scenarios during design. Design comics were popularized by Kevin Cheng and Jane Jao in 2006.

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author avatar Novels
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Storyboards are now becoming more popular with novelists. Because most novelists write their stories by scenes rather than chapters, storyboards are useful for plotting the story in a sequence of events and rearranging the scenes accordingly.

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author avatar Interactive media
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

More recently the term storyboard has been used in the fields of web development, software development and instructional design to present and describe, in written, interactive events as well as audio and motion, particularly on user interfaces and electronic pages.

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author avatar Software
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Storyboarding is used in software development as part of identifying the specifications for a particular software. During the specification phase, screens that the software will display are drawn, either on paper or using other specialized software, to illustrate the important steps of the user experience. The storyboard is then modified by the engineers and the client while they decide on their specific needs. The reason why storyboarding is useful during software engineering is that it helps the user understand exactly how the software will work, much better than an abstract description. It is also cheaper to make changes to a storyboard than an implemented piece of software.

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author avatar Benefits
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

One advantage of using storyboards is that it allows (in film and business) the user to experiment with changes in the storyline to evoke stronger reaction or interest. Flashbacks, for instance, are often the result of sorting storyboards out of chronological order to help build suspense and interest.

The process of visual thinking and planning allows a group of people to brainstorm together, placing their ideas on storyboards and then arranging the storyboards on the wall. This fosters more ideas and generates consensus inside the group.

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author avatar Creation
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Storyboards for films are created in a multiple step process. They can be created by hand drawing or digitally on a computer. The main characteristics of a storyboard are:

Visualize the storytelling.

Focus the story and the timing in several key frames (very important in animation).

Define the technical parameters: description of the motion, the camera, the lighting, etc.

If drawing by hand, the first step is to create or download a storyboard template. These look much like a blank comic strip, with space for comments and dialogue. Then sketch a "thumbnail" storyboard. Some directors sketch thumbnails directly in the script margins. These storyboards get their name because they are rough sketches not bigger than a thumbnail. For some motion pictures, thumbnail storyboards are sufficient.

However, some filmmakers rely heavily on the storyboarding process. If a director or producer wishes, more detailed and elaborate storyboard images are created. These can be created by professional storyboard artists by hand on paper or digitally by using 2D storyboarding programs. Some software applications even supply a stable of storyboard-specific images making it possible to quickly create shots which express the director's intent for the story. These boards tend to contain more detailed information than thumbnail storyboards and convey more of the mood for the scene. These are then presented to the project's cinematographer who achieves the director's vision.

Finally, if needed, 3D storyboards are created (called 'technical previsualization'). The advantage of 3D storyboards is they show exactly what the film camera will see using the lenses the film camera will use. The disadvantage of 3D is the amount of time it takes to build and construct the shots. 3D storyboards can be constructed using 3D animation programs or digital puppets within 3D programs. Some programs have a collection of low resolution 3D figures which can aid in the process. Some 3D applications allow cinematographers to create "technical" storyboards which are optically-correct shots and frames.

While technical storyboards can be helpful, optically-correct storyboards may limit the director's creativity. In classic motion pictures such as Orson Welles' Citizen Kane and Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, the director created storyboards that were initially thought by cinematographers as to be impossible to film. Such innovative and dramatic shots had "impossible" depth of field and angles where there was "no room for the camera" - at least not until creative solutions were found to achieve the ground-breaking shots that the director had envisioned.

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author avatar Dreams on spec
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Dreams on Spec is a 2007 American documentary film that profiles the struggles and triumphs of emerging Hollywood screenwriters. It was written and directed by Daniel J. Snyder, who learned first-hand about the screenwriter's travails in the late 1980s when he was a teenager working alongside aspiring writer/directors Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary in the famed Video Archives video store in Manhattan Beach, California.

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author avatar Synopsis
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The film follows three aspiring screenwriters as they struggle to turn their scripts into movies. David is a hip talent agent's assistant with three scripts circulating around town. He's plugged into "young Hollywood" - and when he's not working or writing, he's usually hanging out at the beach. Joe is a middle-aged family man who has split time over the last three years between caring for his autistic daughter and writing what he believes could be the great American screenplay. And Deborah is trying to become one of the few African-American women to ever write and direct a feature film, though she's struggling just to pay her bills while she searches for money to produce her script. Between these stories, the film intercuts critical insight from such Hollywood screenwriters as James L. Brooks, Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher, Gary Ross, Steven E. de Souza, Ed Solomon, Paul Guay, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.

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author avatar Selected quotations
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The established filmmakers interviewed for the documentary offer anecdotes about working in Hollywood.

Writer-director Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail) describes why she believes there are so few women making films: "It's a very male business, and it has in vast portions of it—the whole action movie part of it might as well be the United States Army in 1943, in that the ethics of it are boot camp and action movies and guns and explosions and all the rest of it, and that—so that means that—that about 50% of the business is not only pretty much closed off to women, but women don’t even wanna be in it."

James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment) relates his love for screenwriting: "I never knew anybody who ever got a Writers Guild card who didn’t have a hard time when somebody said, 'What do you do for a living?' saying, 'I'm a writer.' Your—your voice always catches on 'a writer.' I think it takes about 14 years to not have the catch in your voice if you’re very aggressive. It takes longer if you're not. Because ... so many of us have dreamt about it forever as a dream that could not be realized."

Carrie Fisher, who in addition to making headlines as a judge on the FOX show On the Lot is also a highly-paid script doctor, tells how she got started re-writing screenplays: "It was Spielberg that asked me to rewrite Hook—just to rewrite Tinker Bell. But that makes no sense because you can't just write one character. There is another character that they speak to. Although, you know, it was Robin’s character mostly, so I would improvise with Robin Williams. Well, he and I do that anyway. So now you have two people that desperately need medication, but it's fine if they're off and you’re taking notes. And we had a very good time."

As to why some young screenwriters succeed while so many others do not, Paul Guay (the co-writer of Liar Liar, Heartbreakers and The Little Rascals) says, “The thing that separates more successful writers from less successful writers, the most important thing, is the perseverance.” The writer-director of Seabiscuit, Gary Ross, adds that the term “success” is rather elusive. “There’s a great line in J.D. Salinger when he talks about writing, he says, “The ultimate question is not ‘Were you successful or weren’t you successful?’ ... The real question at the end of your days when you’re judged as a writer is, ‘Were all your stars out? ... Did you live up to your potential?”

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author avatar Production Notes
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Dreams on Spec was filmed in 2004 and 2005 in Los Angeles, California, and Portland, Oregon. The documentary was shot in the widescreen, 16 x 9 aspect ratio.

Cinematographer Harry Frith put a Panasonic DVX100 camera in a splash bag and took it into the water to film the scenes where aspiring writer David Stieve goes surfing on Venice Beach. Frith himself is an avid surfer.

For almost the entire production, director Daniel J. Snyder worked at his day-job as a producer/director of non-fiction television. He only worked on Dreams at night, on weekends, and during his hiatus periods.

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author avatar Guide To Literary Agents
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Guide to Literary Agents (GLA) is a book that compiles hundreds of listings for literary agents and writers' conferences in the USA. The book is an annual resource for writers who wish to find an agent and sell their work to publishing houses. GLA is published by Writer's Digest Books and usually hits bookstores around August of each year.

The most current edition is the 2011 edition, and the current editor is Chuck Sambuchino.

The listings

Listings include information that writers can use in contacting the agency, including the following: what types of books are represented by the agency, recent sales, contact information, preferred means of contact (e.g. phone, fax...), contractual terms, address, and names of individual agents at each house.

The articles

The book has two main parts. While most of the book is filled with listings for agents, GLA also has numerous instructional articles about the business of writing. Subjects addressed include the following: query letter writing, synopsis writing, book proposal writing, self-publishing, copyright, finding agents, contracts, and spotting scammers.

The "Market Books"

Guide to Literary Agents is one of nine "market books" published each year by Writer's Digest Books - the most famous of which is Writer's Market, a book that lists thousands of magazine listings for writers. Others include: Photographer's Market, Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, Novel & Short Story Writer's Market, Artist and Graphic Designer's Market, Poet's Market, Screenwriter's & Playwright's Market and Songwriter's Market. Each book is designed to give writers instructions on how to submit freelance work to markets.

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author avatar Writers' digest
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Writer's Digest is an American magazine devoted to both beginning and established writers, offering interviews, market listings, calls for manuscripts, and how-to articles.

Writer's Digest is owned by F+W Media, which also publishes the annual edition of Writer's Market, a guide similar in size to a telephone directory containing a comprehensive list of all paying markets — magazines, publishing houses, and contests — as well as an index and many tips for the beginning writer on how to compose query letters and proper manuscript format. The magazine is published 8 times per year by editor Jessica Strawser, managing editor Zachary Petit, and online community editor Brian A. Klems.

Writer's Digest also sponsors several in-house contests annually. Of particular interest are the Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards and their Annual Writing Competition for short stories. Both are contests with fees and cash prizes for the Grand Prize Winner and Runners-Up. Certificates of participation and personal letters from the contest judges are given to all entrants in the Self-Published Book competition.

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author avatar History
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Writer's Digest was established in 1920 under the name Successful Writing, first issue, December. It changed name to Writer's Digest with the March 1921 issue. By the late 1920s, it shifted emphasis more from literary-quality writing to the rapidly growing pulp magazine field, which offered the widest opportunities to freelance writers. An important feature from 1933 forward was the New York Market Letter, edited by Harriet Bradfield, which gave timely updates on editor needs in the magazine field. As the pulp field collapsed in the 1950s, Writer's Digest shifted emphasis to famous writers and quality fiction

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author avatar Writers' digest
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Annual grand prize winners

2003 Michele Bardsley "A Mother Scorned" (short story)

2004 J. K. Mason "My Own Avatar" (short story)

2005 Nancy Tupper Ling "White Birch" (poem)

2006 Mary Feuer "House on Fire" (short story)

2007 Eros-Alegra Clarke "Salamander Prayer" (memoir)

2008 Jacob Appel "The Mistress of Wholesome" (drama)

2009 John Moir "Condors in a Coal Mine" (non-fiction)

2010 Julie L. Moran "Lunch With Debbie" (short story)

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author avatar Storyboard
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Storyboards are graphic organizers in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence.

The storyboarding process, in the form it is known today, was developed at the Walt Disney Studio during the early 1930s, after several years of similar processes being in use at Walt Disney and other animation studios.

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author avatar Origins
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The storyboarding process can be very time-consuming and intricate. Many large budget silent films were storyboarded but most of this material has been lost during the reduction of the studio archives during the 1970s. The form widely known today was developed at the Walt Disney studio during the early 1930s. In the biography of her father, The Story of Walt Disney (Henry Holt, 1956), Diane Disney Miller explains that the first complete storyboards were created for the 1933 Disney short Three Little Pigs. According to John Canemaker, in Paper Dreams: The Art and Artists of Disney Storyboards (1999, Hyperion Press), the first storyboards at Disney evolved from comic-book like "story sketches" created in the 1920s to illustrate concepts for animated cartoon short subjects such as Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie, and within a few years the idea spread to other studios.

According to Christopher Finch in The Art of Walt Disney (Abrams, 1974), Disney credited animator Webb Smith with creating the idea of drawing scenes on separate sheets of paper and pinning them up on a bulletin board to tell a story in sequence, thus creating the first storyboard. The second studio to switch from "story sketches" to storyboards was Walter Lantz Productions in early 1935, by 1936 Harman-Ising and Leon Schlesinger also followed suit. By 1937-38 all studios were using storyboards.

Gone with the Wind (1939) was one of the first live action films to be completely storyboarded. William Cameron Menzies, the film's production designer, was hired by producer David O. Selznick to design every shot of the film.

Storyboarding became popular in live-action film production during the early 1940s, and grew into a standard medium for previsualization of films. Pace Gallery curator, Annette Micheloson, writing of the exhibition Drawing into Film: Director's Drawings, considered the 1940s to 1990s to be the period in which "production design was largely characterized by adoption of the storyboard". Storyboards are now an essential part of the creation progress.

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author avatar Film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A film storyboard is essentially a large comic of the film or some section of the film produced beforehand to help film directors, cinematographers and television commercial advertising clients visualize the scenes and find potential problems before they occur. Often storyboards include arrows or instructions that indicate movement.

In creating a motion picture with any degree of fidelity to a script, a storyboard provides a visual layout of events as they are to be seen through the camera lens. And in the case of interactive media, it is the layout and sequence in which the user or viewer sees the content or information. In the storyboarding process, most technical details involved in crafting a film or interactive media project can be efficiently described either in picture, or in additional text.

Some live-action film directors, such as Joel and Ethan Coen, use storyboard extensively before taking a pitch to their funders, stating that it helps them to get the support they require, since they can show exactly where the money will be used. Alfred Hitchcock's films were strongly believed to have been extensively storyboarded to the finest detail by the majority of commentators over the years, although later research indicates that this was exaggerated for publicity purposes. Akira Kurosawa was known, particularly in his later years, for painstaking detail in his storyboarding, to the degree that the storyboard paintings for Ran (for which he storyboarded every shot) are regarded as fine works of art in themselves. Other directors storyboard only certain scenes, or none at all. Animation directors are usually required to storyboard extensively, sometimes in place of writing a script.

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author avatar Theatre
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A common misconception is that storyboards are not used in theater. They are frequently special tools that directors and playwrights use to understand the layout of the scene. The great Russian theatre practitioner Constantin Stanislavski developed storyboards in his detailed production plans for his Moscow Art Theatre performances (such as of Chekhov's The Seagull in 1898). The German director and dramatist Bertolt Brecht developed detailed storyboards as part of his dramaturgical method of "fabels."

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author avatar Biographical
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A biographical film, or biopic is a film that dramatizes the life of an actual person or people. They differ from films “based on a true story” or “historical films” in that they attempt to comprehensively tell a person’s life story or at least the most historically important years of their lives.

Because the figures portrayed are actual people, whose actions and characteristics are known, biopics are considered some of the most demanding films of actors and actresses. Johnny Depp, Jim Carrey, and Jamie Foxx all gained respect as dramatic actors after starring in biopics: Depp as Edward D. Wood, Jr. in Ed Wood (1994), Carrey as Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon (1999), and Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray (2004).

In rare cases, sometimes called autobiopics, the subject of the film plays himself or herself: Jackie Robinson in The Jackie Robinson Story; Muhammad Ali in The Greatest; Audie Murphy in To Hell and Back; Patty Duke in Call Me Anna; Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant; and Howard Stern in Private Parts.

Biopic scholars include George F. Custen of the College of Staten Island and Dennis P. Bingham of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Custen, in Bio/Pics: How Hollywood Constructed Public History (1992), regards the genre as having died with the Hollywood studio era, and in particular, Darryl F. Zanuck, but Bingham's 2010 study Whose Lives Are They Anyway? The Biopic as Contemporary Film Genre shows how it perpetuates as a codified genre using many of the same tropes used in the studio era that has followed a similar trajectory as that shown by Rick Altman in his landmark study, Film/Genre. Bingham also addresses the male biopic and the female biopic as distinct genres from each other, the former generally dealing with great accomplishments, the latter generally dealing with female victimization.

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author avatar Controversies over veracities
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A certain amount of fabrication is expected, at least to reduce the risk of libel, but the films often alter events to suit the storyline. Events are sometimes portrayed more dramatically than they occurred, time is "condensed" to fit all important events into the film or several people are blended into a composite.

Although many viewers and critics forgive such fabrications for entertainment value, some biopics have come under criticism for allegations of deception. Historians noted the wayward chronology of Michael Collins, a team of Greek lawyers threatened to sue the makers of Alexander for implying that Alexander the Great was bisexual and many boxing fans resented the villainous portrayal of Max Baer in Cinderella Man. But a more controversial biopic in terms of accuracy is 1999's The Hurricane, about boxer Rubin Carter and his hotly disputed triple murder conviction. Several details were altered to enhance the image of Carter and details about the police procedures that led to the conviction conflicted with court records. Also, former middle weight champion Joey Giardello, who won a title bout against Carter, sued the film's producers for suggesting he won due to a racist "fix". The case was settled out of court.

Roger Ebert defended the The Hurricane and distortions in biographical films in general, stating "those who seek the truth about a man from the film of his life might as well seek it from his loving grandmother. ... The Hurricane is not a documentary but a parable."

Some biopics purposely stretch the truth. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was based on game show host Chuck Barris' widely debunked, yet still popular, memoir of the same name, in which he claimed to be a CIA agent, and Kafka incorporated both the life of author Franz Kafka and the surreal aspects of his fiction.

The Errol Flynn film They Died With Their Boots On tells the story of Custer but is highly romanticised.

The Oliver Stone film about the band The Doors, mainly about Jim Morrison, was highly praised for the similarities between Jim Morrison and actor Val Kilmer, look-wise and singing-wise, but fans and band members did not like the way Oliver Stone portrayed Jim Morrison, and a few of the scenes were even completely made up.

Casting can be controversial for biographical films. Some felt that Anthony Hopkins should not have played Richard Nixon in Nixon because of a lack of resemblance between the two. Egyptian critics criticized the casting of Louis Gossett, Jr., an African American actor, as Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in the 1982 TV miniseries Sadat. Also, some objected to the casting of Jennifer Lopez in Selena because she is Puerto Rican while Selena was Mexican-American.

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author avatar Crime Films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Crime films are films which focus on the lives of criminals. The stylistic approach to a crime film varies from realistic portrayals of real-life criminal figures, to the far-fetched evil doings of imaginary arch-villains. Criminal acts are almost always glorified in these movies.

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author avatar Plays & Films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Films dealing with crime and its detection are often based on plays rather than novels. Agatha Christie's stage play Witness for the Prosecution (1953; based on her own short story, published in 1933) was adapted for the big screen by director Billy Wilder in 1957. The film starred Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton and is a classic example of a "courtroom drama". In a courtroom drama, a charge is brought against one of the main characters, who says that they are innocent. Another major part is played by the lawyer (in Britain a barrister) representing the defendant in court and battling with the public prosecutor. He or she may enlist the services of a private investigator to find out what really happened and who the real perpetrator is. However, in most cases it is not clear at all whether the accused is guilty of the crime or not—this is how suspense is created.

Often, the private investigator storms into the courtroom at the very last minute in order to bring a new and crucial piece of information to the attention of the court. This type of literature lends itself to the literary genre of drama focused more on dialogue (the opening and closing statements, the witnesses' testimonies, etc.) and little or no necessity for a shift in scenery. The auditorium of the theatre becomes an extension of the courtroom. When a courtroom drama is filmed, the traditional device employed by screenwriters and directors is the frequent use of flashbacks, in which the crime and everything that led up to it is narrated and reconstructed from different angles.

In Witness for the Prosecution, Leonard Vole, a young American living in England, is accused of murdering a middle-aged lady he met in the street while shopping. His wife (played by Marlene Dietrich) hires the best lawyer available (Charles Laughton) because she is convinced, or rather she knows, that her husband is innocent. Another classic courtroom drama is U.S. playwright Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men (1954), which is set in the jury deliberation room of a New York Court of Law. Eleven members of the jury, aiming at a unanimous verdict of "guilty", try to get it over with as quickly as possible. And they would really succeed in achieving their common aim if it were not for the eighth juror (played by Henry Fonda in the 1957 movie adaptation), who, on second thoughts, considers it his duty to convince his colleagues that the defendant may be innocent after all, and who, by doing so, triggers a lot of discussion, confusion, and anger.

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author avatar In Television
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The popularity of TV brought about the emergence of TV series featuring detectives, investigators, special agents, lawyers, and the police. In Britain, The Avengers (1960s) about the adventures of gentleman agent John Steed and his partner, Emma Peel, achieved cult status. U.S. TV stations produced series such as 77 Sunset Strip (1958–1963); The Streets of San Francisco (1972–1977), starring Karl Malden and a young Michael Douglas; Kojak (1973–1978), with Telly Savalas playing the lollipop-addicted police lieutenant; Switch (1975–1978), with Eddie Albert playing the retired bunco cop to Robert Wagner's role as a former con man; Charlie's Angels (1976–1981); Murder, She Wrote (starting in 1984), about the adventures of Cabot Cove-based mystery writer Jessica Fletcher, played by Angela Lansbury. In Germany, Derrick became a household word.

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author avatar Subgenres
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Crime films may fall under several different subgenres. These include:

Crime comedies - A hybrid of crime and comedy films. Mafia comedies look at organized crime from a comical standpoint. Humor often comes from the incompetence of the criminals or dark comedy. Examples include Analyze This, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, In Bruges, Mafia!and Tower Heist.

Crime thrillers - Thrillers in which crime plays a large part. Examples include Untraceable, Silence of the Lambs, Heat, Seven, Witness, Memories of Murder, and Running Scared.

Film noir - A genre popular in the 1940s and 1950s often fall into the crime and mystery genres. Private detectives hired to solve a crime are in such films as The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Big Sleep (1946), Kiss Me Deadly (1955), The Long Goodbye (1973), and Chinatown (1974). Neo-noir refers to modern films influenced by film noir such as Sin City.

Heist films - These films deal with a group of criminals attempting to perform a theft or robbery, as well as the possible consequences that follow. Heist films that are lighter in tone are called "Caper films". Examples include The Killing, Oceans 11, Dog Day Afternoon, and Reservoir Dogs.

Hood films - Films dealing with African-American urban issues and culture. They do not always revolve around crime, but often criminal activity features heavily in the storyline. Examples include Menace II Society and Boyz n the Hood.

Legal dramas - Not usually concerned with the actual crime so much as the trial in the aftermath. A typical plot would involve a lawyer trying to prove the innocence of his or her client. Examples include 12 Angry Men and A Time To Kill.

Mob films - Films which focus on characters who are involved seriously with the Mafia. Notable mob films include: Goodfellas, The Godfather, Once Upon a Time in America, Bugsy, Little Caesar, The Untouchables, The Public Enemy, and Scarface.

Mystery films - Films which focuses on the efforts of the detective, private investigator or amateur sleuth to solve the mysterious circumstances of a crime by means of clues, investigation, and clever deduction

Police procedural - Have remained a mainstay with He Walked By Night (1948), In the Heat of the Night (1967), Madigan (1968), and The French Connection (1971).

Heroic bloodshed - a Hong Kong action cinema crime film genre

Mumbai underworld - an Indian cinema crime film genre

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classical film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Great Depression.

The term film noir, French for "black film," first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, was unrecognized by most American film industry professionals of that era. Cinema historians and critics defined the category retrospectively. Before the notion was widely adopted in the 1970s, many of the classic films noirs were referred to as melodramas. Whether film noir qualifies as a distinct genre is a matter of ongoing debate among scholars.

Film noir encompasses a range of plots: the central figure may be a private eye (The Big Sleep), a plainclothes policeman (The Big Heat), an aging boxer (The Set-Up), a hapless grifter (Night and the City), a law-abiding citizen lured into a life of crime (Gun Crazy), or simply a victim of circumstance (D.O.A.). Although film noir was originally associated with American productions, films now so described have been made around the world. Many pictures released from the 1960s onward share attributes with film noir of the classical period, and often treat its conventions self-referentially. Some refer to such latter-day works as neo-noir. The clichés of film noir have inspired parody since the mid-1940s.

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author avatar Problems of Definition
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The questions of what defines film noir and what sort of category it is provoke continuing debate. "We'd be oversimplifying things in calling film noir oneiric, strange, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel": this set of attributes constitutes the first of many attempts to define film noir made by French critics Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton in their 1955 book Panorama du film noir américain 1941–1953 (A Panorama of American Film Noir), the original and seminal extended treatment of the subject. They emphasize that not every film noir embodies all five attributes in equal measure—one might be more dreamlike; another, particularly brutal. The authors' caveats and repeated efforts at alternative definition have been echoed in subsequent scholarship: in the more than five decades since, there have been innumerable further attempts at definition, yet in the words of cinema historian Mark Bould, film noir remains an "elusive phenomenon ... always just out of reach".

Though film noir is often identified with a visual style, unconventional within a Hollywood context, that emphasizes low-key lighting and unbalanced compositions, films commonly identified as noir evidence a variety of visual approaches, including ones that fit comfortably within the Hollywood mainstream. Film noir similarly embraces a variety of genres, from the gangster film to the police procedural to the gothic romance to the social problem picture—any example of which from the 1940s and 1950s, now seen as noir's classical era, was likely to be described as a "melodrama" at the time. While many critics refer to film noir as a genre itself, others argue that it can be no such thing. While noir is often associated with an urban setting, many classic noirs take place in small towns, suburbia, rural areas, or on the open road; so setting cannot be its genre determinant, as with the Western. Similarly, while the private eye and the femme fatale are character types conventionally identified with noir, the majority of film noirs feature neither; so there is no character basis for genre designation as with the gangster film. Nor does film noir rely on anything as evident as the monstrous or supernatural elements of the horror film, the speculative leaps of the science fiction film, or the song-and-dance routines of the musical.

A more analogous case is that of the screwball comedy, widely accepted by film historians as constituting a "genre": the screwball is defined not by a fundamental attribute, but by a general disposition and a group of elements, some—but rarely and perhaps never all—of which are found in each of the genre's films. However, because of the diversity of noir (much greater than that of the screwball comedy), certain scholars in the field, such as film historian Thomas Schatz, treat it as not a genre but a "style". Alain Silver, the most widely published American critic specializing in film noir studies, refers to film noir as a "cycle" and a "phenomenon", even as he argues that it has—like certain genres—a consistent set of visual and thematic codes. Other critics treat film noir as a "mood", characterize it as a "series", or simply address a chosen set of films they regard as belonging to the noir "canon". There is no consensus on the matter.

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author avatar Cinematic sources
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film noir's aesthetics are deeply influenced by German Expressionism, an artistic movement of the 1910s and 1920s that involved theater, photography, painting, sculpture, and architecture, as well as cinema. The opportunities offered by the booming Hollywood film industry and, later, the threat of growing Nazi power led to the emigration of many important film artists working in Germany who had either been directly involved in the Expressionist movement or studied with its practitioners. Directors such as Fritz Lang, Robert Siodmak, and Michael Curtiz brought a dramatically shadowed lighting style and a psychologically expressive approach to visual composition, or mise-en-scène, with them to Hollywood, where they would make some of the most famous of classic noirs. Lang's magnum opus, M—released in 1931, two years before his departure from Germany—is among the first major crime films of the sound era to join a characteristically noirish visual style with a noir-type plot, one in which the protagonist is a criminal (as are his most successful pursuers).

By 1931, Curtiz had already been in Hollywood for half a decade, making as many as six films a year. Movies of his such as 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932) and Private Detective 62 (1933) are among the early Hollywood sound films arguably classifiable as noir—scholar Marc Vernet offers the latter as evidence that dating the initiation of film noir to 1940 or any other year is "arbitrary". Giving Expressionist-affiliated filmmakers particularly free stylistic rein were Universal horror pictures such as Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932)—the former photographed and the latter directed by the Berlin-trained Karl Freund—and The Black Cat (1934), directed by Austrian émigré Edgar G. Ulmer. The Universal horror that comes closest to noir, both in story and sensibility, however, is The Invisible Man (1933), directed by Englishman James Whale and photographed by American Arthur Edeson. Edeson would subsequently photograph The Maltese Falcon (1941), widely regarded as the first major film noir of the classic era.

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Vienna-born but largely American-raised Josef von Sternberg was directing in Hollywood at the same time. Films of his such as Shanghai Express (1932) and The Devil Is a Woman (1935), with their hothouse eroticism and baroque visual style, specifically anticipate central elements of classic noir. The commercial and critical success of Sternberg's silent Underworld in 1927 was largely responsible for spurring a trend of Hollywood gangster films. Popular films in the genre such as Little Caesar (1931), The Public Enemy (1931), and Scarface (1932) demonstrated that there was an audience for crime dramas with morally reprehensible protagonists. An important, and possibly influential, cinematic antecedent to classic noir was 1930s French poetic realism, with its romantic, fatalistic attitude and celebration of doomed heroes. The movement's sensibility is mirrored in the Warner Bros. drama I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), a key forerunner of noir. Among those films not themselves considered film noirs, perhaps none had a greater effect on the development of the genre than America's own Citizen Kane (1941), the landmark motion picture directed by Orson Welles. Its visual intricacy and complex, voiceover-driven narrative structure are echoed in dozens of classic film noirs.

Italian neorealism of the 1940s, with its emphasis on quasi-documentary authenticity, was an acknowledged influence on trends that emerged in American noir. The Lost Weekend (1945), directed by Billy Wilder, yet another Vienna-born, Berlin-trained American auteur, tells the story of an alcoholic in a manner evocative of neorealism. It also exemplifies the problem of classification: one of the first American films to be described as a film noir, it has largely disappeared from considerations of the field. Director Jules Dassin of The Naked City (1948) pointed to the neorealists as inspiring his use of on-location photography with nonprofessional extras. This semidocumentary approach characterized a substantial number of noirs in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Along with neorealism, the style had a homegrown precedent, specifically cited by Dassin, in director Henry Hathaway's The House on 92nd Street (1945), which demonstrated the parallel influence of the cinematic newsreel.

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author avatar Literary sources
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The primary literary influence on film noir was the hardboiled school of American detective and crime fiction, led in its early years by such writers as Dashiell Hammett (whose first novel, Red Harvest, was published in 1929) and James M. Cain (whose The Postman Always Rings Twice appeared five years later), and popularized in pulp magazines such as Black Mask. The classic film noirs The Maltese Falcon and The Glass Key (1942) were based on novels by Hammett; Cain's novels provided the basis for Double Indemnity (1944), Mildred Pierce (1945), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), and Slightly Scarlet (1956; adapted from Love's Lovely Counterfeit). A decade before the classic era, a story of Hammett's was the source for the gangster melodrama City Streets (1931), directed by Rouben Mamoulian and photographed by Lee Garmes, who worked regularly with Sternberg. Wedding a style and story both with many noir characteristics, released the month before Lang's M, City Streets has a claim to being the first major film noir.

Raymond Chandler, who debuted as a novelist with The Big Sleep in 1939, soon became the most famous author of the hardboiled school. Not only were Chandler's novels turned into major noirs—Murder, My Sweet (1944; adapted from Farewell, My Lovely), The Big Sleep (1946), and Lady in the Lake (1947)—he was an important screenwriter in the genre as well, producing the scripts for Double Indemnity, The Blue Dahlia (1946), and Strangers on a Train (1951). Where Chandler, like Hammett, centered most of his novels and stories on the character of the private eye, Cain featured less heroic protagonists and focused more on psychological exposition than on crime solving; the Cain approach has come to be identified with a subset of the hardboiled genre dubbed "noir fiction". For much of the 1940s, one of the most prolific and successful authors of this often downbeat brand of suspense tale was Cornell Woolrich (sometimes under the pseudonym George Hopley or William Irish). No writer's published work provided the basis for more film noirs of the classic period than Woolrich's: thirteen in all, including Black Angel (1946), Deadline at Dawn (1946), and Fear in the Night (1947).

Another crucial literary source for film noir was W. R. Burnett, whose first novel to be published was Little Caesar, in 1929. It would be turned into a hit for Warner Bros. in 1931; the following year, Burnett was hired to write dialogue for Scarface, while Beast of the City was adapted from one of his stories. At least one important reference work identifies the latter as a film noir despite its early date. Burnett's characteristic narrative approach fell somewhere between that of the quintessential hardboiled writers and their noir fiction compatriots—his protagonists were often heroic in their way, a way just happening to be that of the gangster. During the classic era, his work, either as author or screenwriter, was the basis for seven films now widely regarded as film noirs, including three of the most famous: High Sierra (1941), This Gun for Hire (1942), and The Asphalt Jungle (1950).

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author avatar Overview
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The 1940s and 1950s are generally regarded as the "classic period" of American film noir. While City Streets and other pre-WWII crime melodramas such as Fury (1936) and You Only Live Once (1937), both directed by Fritz Lang, are categorized as full-fledged noir in Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward's film noir encyclopedia, other critics tend to describe them as "proto-noir" or in similar terms. The film now most commonly cited as the first "true" film noir is Stranger on the Third Floor (1940), directed by Latvian-born, Soviet-trained Boris Ingster. Hungarian émigré Peter Lorre—who had starred in Lang's M—was top-billed, though he did not play the lead. He would play secondary roles in several other formative American noirs. Though modestly budgeted, at the high end of the B movie scale, Stranger on the Third Floor still lost its studio, RKO, $56,000, almost a third of its total cost. Variety magazine found Ingster's work "too studied and when original, lacks the flare to hold attention. It's a film too arty for average audiences, and too humdrum for others." Stranger on the Third Floor was not recognized as the beginning of a trend, let alone a new genre, for many decades.

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Most of the film noirs of the classic period were similarly low- and modestly budgeted features without major stars—B movies either literally or in spirit. In this production context, writers, directors, cinematographers, and other craftsmen were relatively free from typical big-picture constraints. There was more visual experimentation than in Hollywood filmmaking as a whole: the Expressionism now closely associated with noir and the semidocumentary style that later emerged represent two very different tendencies. Narrative structures sometimes involved convoluted flashbacks uncommon in non-noir commercial productions. In terms of content, enforcement of the Production Code ensured that no film character could literally get away with murder or be seen sharing a bed with anyone but a spouse; within those bounds, however, many films now identified as noir feature plot elements and dialogue that were very risqué for the time.

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Thematically, film noirs were most exceptional for the relative frequency with which they centered on women of questionable virtue—a focus that had become rare in Hollywood films after the mid-1930s and the end of the pre-Code era. The signal film in this vein was Double Indemnity, directed by Billy Wilder; setting the mold was Barbara Stanwyck's unforgettable femme fatale, Phyllis Dietrichson—an apparent nod to Marlene Dietrich, who had built her extraordinary career playing such characters for Sternberg. An A-level feature all the way, the film's commercial success and seven Oscar nominations made it probably the most influential of the early noirs. A slew of now-renowned noir "bad girls" would follow, such as those played by Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946), Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), Ava Gardner in The Killers (1946), and Jane Greer in Out of the Past (1947). The iconic noir counterpart to the femme fatale, the private eye, came to the fore in films such as The Maltese Falcon (1941), with Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, and Murder, My Sweet (1944), with Dick Powell as Philip Marlowe. Other seminal noir sleuths served larger institutions, such as Dana Andrews's police detective in Laura (1944), Edmond O'Brien's insurance investigator in The Killers, and Edward G. Robinson's government agent in The Stranger (1946).

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The prevalence of the private eye as a lead character declined in film noir of the 1950s, a period during which several critics describe the form as becoming more focused on extreme psychologies and more exaggerated in general. A prime example is Kiss Me Deadly (1955); based on a novel by Mickey Spillane, the best-selling of all the hardboiled authors, here the protagonist is a private eye, Mike Hammer. As described by Paul Schrader, "Robert Aldrich's teasing direction carries noir to its sleaziest and most perversely erotic. Hammer overturns the underworld in search of the 'great whatsit' turns out to be—joke of jokes—an exploding atomic bomb." Orson Welles's baroquely styled Touch of Evil (1958) is frequently cited as the last noir of the classic period. Some scholars believe film noir never really ended, but continued to transform even as the characteristic noir visual style began to seem dated and changing production conditions led Hollywood in different directions—in this view, post-1950s films in the noir tradition are seen as part of a continuity with classic noir. A majority of critics, however, regard comparable films made outside the classic era to be something other than genuine film noirs. They regard true film noir as belonging to a temporally and geographically limited cycle or period, treating subsequent films that evoke the classics as fundamentally different due to general shifts in filmmaking style and latter-day awareness of noir as a historical source for allusion.

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

While the inceptive noir, Stranger on the Third Floor, was a B picture directed by a virtual unknown, many of the film noirs that have earned enduring fame were A-list productions by name-brand filmmakers. Debuting as a director with The Maltese Falcon (1941), John Huston followed with the major noirs Key Largo (1948) and The Asphalt Jungle (1950). Opinion is divided on the noir status of several of Alfred Hitchcock's thrillers from the era; at least four qualify by consensus: Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Notorious (1946), Strangers on a Train (1951), and The Wrong Man (1956). Otto Preminger's success with Laura (1944) made his name and helped demonstrate noir's adaptability to a high-gloss 20th Century-Fox presentation. Among Hollywood's most celebrated directors of the era, arguably none worked more often in a noir mode than Preminger—his other classic noirs include Fallen Angel (1945), Whirlpool (1949), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) (all for Fox) and Angel Face (1952). A half-decade after Double Indemnity and The Lost Weekend, Billy Wilder made Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Ace in the Hole (1951), noirs that were not so much crime dramas as satires on, respectively, Hollywood and the news media. In a Lonely Place (1950) was Nicholas Ray's breakthrough; his other noirs include his debut, They Live by Night (1948), and On Dangerous Ground (1952), noted for their unusually sympathetic treatment of characters alienated from the social mainstream.

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Orson Welles had notorious problems with financing, but his three film noirs were well budgeted: The Lady from Shanghai (1947) received top-level, "prestige" backing, while both The Stranger, his most conventional film, and Touch of Evil, an unmistakably personal work, were funded at levels lower but still commensurate with headlining releases. Like The Stranger, Fritz Lang's The Woman in the Window (1945) was a production of the independent International Pictures. Lang's follow-up, Scarlet Street (1945), was one of the few classic noirs to be officially censored: filled with erotic innuendo, it was temporarily banned in Milwaukee, Atlanta, and New York State. Scarlet Street was a semi-independent—cosponsored by Universal and Lang's own Diana Productions, of which the film's costar, Joan Bennett, was the second biggest shareholder. Lang, Bennett, and her husband, Universal veteran and Diana production head Walter Wanger, would make Secret Beyond the Door (1948) in similar fashion.

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Before he was forced abroad for political reasons, director Jules Dassin made two classic noirs that also straddled the major/independent line: Brute Force (1947) and the influential documentary-style The Naked City were developed by producer Mark Hellinger, who had an "inside/outside" contract with Universal similar to Wanger's. Years earlier, working at Warner Bros., Hellinger had produced three films for Raoul Walsh, the proto-noirs They Drive by Night (1940) and Manpower (1941), and High Sierra (1941), now regarded as a key work in noir's development. Walsh had no great name recognition during his half-century as a working director, but his noirs White Heat (1949) and The Enforcer (1951) had A-list stars and are seen as important examples of the cycle. In addition to the aforementioned, other directors associated with top-of-the-bill Hollywood film noirs include Edward Dmytryk (Murder, My Sweet , Crossfire )—the first important noir director to fall prey to the industry blacklist—as well as Henry Hathaway (The Dark Corner , Kiss of Death ) and John Farrow (The Big Clock , Night Has a Thousand Eyes ).

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

As noted above, however, most of the Hollywood films now considered classic noirs fall into the broad category of the "B movie". Some were Bs in the most precise sense, produced to run on the bottom of double bills by a low-budget unit of one of the major studios or by one of the smaller, so-called Poverty Row outfits, from the relatively well-off Monogram to shakier ventures such as Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC). Jacques Tourneur had made over thirty Hollywood Bs (a few now highly regarded, most completely forgotten) before directing the A-level Out of the Past, described by scholar Robert Ottoson as "the ne plus ultra of forties film noir". Movies with budgets a step up the ladder, known as "intermediates" within the industry, might be treated as A or B pictures depending on the circumstance—Monogram created a new unit, Allied Artists, in the late 1940s to focus on this sort of production. Such films have long colloquially been referred to as B movies. Robert Wise (Born to Kill , The Set-Up ) and Anthony Mann (T-Men , Raw Deal ) each made a series of impressive intermediates, many of them noirs, before graduating to steady work on big-budget productions. Mann did some of his most celebrated work with cinematographer John Alton, a specialist in what critic James Naremore describes as "hypnotic moments of light-in-darkness". He Walked by Night (1948), shot by Alton and, though credited solely to Alfred Werker, directed in large part by Mann, demonstrates their technical mastery and exemplifies the late 1940s trend of "police procedural" crime dramas. Put out, like other Mann–Alton noirs, by the small Eagle-Lion company, it was the direct inspiration for the Dragnet series, which debuted on radio in 1949 and television in 1951.

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Several directors associated with noir built now well-respected oeuvres largely at the B-movie/intermediate level. Samuel Fuller's brutal, visually energetic films such as Pickup on South Street (1953) and Underworld U.S.A. (1961) earned him a unique reputation; his advocates praise him as "primitive" and "barbarous". Joseph H. Lewis directed noirs as diverse as Gun Crazy (1950) and The Big Combo (1955). The former—whose screenplay was written by the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, disguised by a front—features a bank holdup sequence shown in an unbroken take over three minutes long that proved widely influential. The latter, shot by John Alton, takes the shadow-rich noir style to its outer limits. The most distinctive films of Phil Karlson (The Phenix City Story , The Brothers Rico ) tell stories of vice organized on a monstrous scale. The work of other directors who worked largely at this tier of the industry, such as Felix E. Feist (The Devil Thumbs a Ride , Tomorrow Is Another Day ), is now relatively obscure. Edgar G. Ulmer spent almost his entire Hollywood career working at B studios—once in a while on projects that achieved intermediate status; for the most part, on unmistakable Bs. In 1945, while at PRC, he directed one of the all-time noir cult classics, Detour. Ulmer's other noirs include Strange Illusion (1945), also for PRC; Ruthless (1948), for Eagle-Lion, which had acquired PRC the previous year; and Murder Is My Beat (1955), for Allied Artists.

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A number of low- and modestly budgeted noirs were made by independent, often actor-owned, companies contracting with one of the larger outfits for distribution. Serving as producer, writer, director, and top-billed performer, Hugo Haas made several such films, including Pickup (1951) and The Other Woman (1954). It was in this way that accomplished noir actress Ida Lupino established herself as the sole female director in Hollywood during the late 1940s and much of the 1950s. She does not appear in the best-known film she directed, The Hitch-Hiker (1953), developed by her company, The Filmakers, with support and distribution by RKO. It is one of the seven classic film noirs produced largely outside of the major studios that have been chosen for the United States National Film Registry. Of the others, one was a small-studio release: Detour. Four were independent productions distributed by United Artists, the "studio without a studio": Gun Crazy; Kiss Me Deadly; D.O.A. (1950), directed by Rudolph Maté; and Sweet Smell of Success (1957), directed by Alexander Mackendrick. One was an independent distributed by MGM, the industry leader: Force of Evil (1948), directed by Abraham Polonsky and starring John Garfield, both of whom would be blacklisted in the 1950s. Independent production usually meant restricted circumstances, but not always—Sweet Smell of Success, for instance, despite the original plans of the production team, was clearly not made on the cheap, though like many other cherished A-budget noirs it might be said to have a B-movie soul.

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Perhaps no director better displayed that spirit than the German-born Robert Siodmak, who had already made a score of films before his 1940 arrival in Hollywood. Working mostly on A features, he made no fewer than eight films now regarded as classic-era film noirs (a figure matched only by Lang and Mann). In addition to The Killers, Burt Lancaster's debut and a Hellinger/Universal coproduction, Siodmak's other important contributions to the genre include 1944's Phantom Lady (a top-of-the-line B and Woolrich adaptation), the ironically titled Christmas Holiday (1944), and Cry of the City (1948). Criss Cross (1949), with Lancaster again the lead, exemplifies how Siodmak brought the virtues of the B-movie to the A noir. In addition to the relatively looser constraints on character and message at lower budgets, the nature of B production lent itself to the noir style for directly economic reasons: dim lighting not only saved on electrical costs but helped cloak cheap sets (mist and smoke also served the cause); night shooting was often compelled by hurried production schedules; plots with obscure motivations and intriguingly elliptical transitions were sometimes the consequence of hastily written scripts, of which there was not always enough time or money to shoot every scene. In Criss Cross, Siodmak achieves all these effects with purpose, wrapping them around Yvonne De Carlo, playing the most understandable of femme fatales, Dan Duryea, in one of his many charismatic villain roles, and Lancaster—already an established star—as an ordinary laborer turned armed robber, doomed by a romantic obsession.

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author avatar Film Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Some critics regard classic film noir as a cycle exclusive to the United States; Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward, for example, argue, "With the Western, film noir shares the distinction of being an indigenous American form ... a wholly American film style." Others, however, regard noir as an international phenomenon. Even before the beginning of the generally accepted classic period, there were films made far from Hollywood that can be seen in retrospect as film noirs, for example, the French productions Pépé le Moko (1937), directed by Julien Duvivier, and Le Jour se lève (1939), directed by Marcel Carné.

During the classic period, there were many films produced outside the United States, particularly in France, that share elements of style, theme, and sensibility with American film noirs and may themselves be included in the genre's canon. In certain cases, the interrelationship with Hollywood noir is obvious: American-born director Jules Dassin moved to France in the early 1950s as a result of the Hollywood blacklist, and made one of the most famous French film noirs, Rififi (1955). Other well-known French films often classified as noir include Quai des Orfèvres (1947) and Les Diaboliques (1955), both directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot; Casque d'or (1952) and Touchez pas au grisbi (1954), both directed by Jacques Becker; and Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (1958), directed by Louis Malle. French director Jean-Pierre Melville is widely recognized for his tragic, minimalist film noirs—Bob le flambeur (1955), from the classic period, was followed by Le Doulos (1962), Le deuxième souffle (1966), Le Samouraï (1967), and Le Cercle rouge (1970).

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author avatar Outside the united states
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Scholar Andrew Spicer argues that British film noir evidences a greater debt to French poetic realism than to the expressionistic American mode of noir. Examples of British noir from the classic period include Brighton Rock (1947), directed by John Boulting; They Made Me a Fugitive (1947), directed by Alberto Cavalcanti; The Small Back Room (1948), directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger; The October Man (1950), directed by Roy Ward Baker; and Cast a Dark Shadow (1955), directed by Lewis Gilbert. Terence Fisher directed several low-budget thrillers in a noir mode for Hammer Film Productions, including The Last Page (aka Man Bait; 1952), Stolen Face (1952), and Murder by Proxy (aka Blackout; 1954). Before leaving for France, Jules Dassin had been obliged by political pressure to shoot his last English-language film of the classic noir period in Great Britain: Night and the City (1950). Though it was conceived in the United States and was not only directed by an American but also stars two American actors—Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney—it is technically a UK production, financed by 20th Century-Fox's British subsidiary. The most famous of classic British noirs is director Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949), like Brighton Rock based on a Graham Greene novel. Set in Vienna immediately after World War II, it also stars two American actors, Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, who had appeared together in Citizen Kane.

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author avatar Outside the united states
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Elsewhere, Italian director Luchino Visconti adapted Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice as Ossessione (1943), regarded both as one of the great noirs and a seminal film in the development of neorealism. (This was not even the first screen version of Cain's novel, having been preceded by the French Le Dernier tournant in 1939.) In Japan, the celebrated Akira Kurosawa directed several films recognizable as film noirs, including Drunken Angel (1948), Stray Dog (1949), The Bad Sleep Well (1960), and High and Low (1963).

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author avatar Outside the united states
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Among the first major neo-noir films—the term often applied to films that consciously refer back to the classic noir tradition—was the French Tirez sur le pianiste (1960), directed by François Truffaut from a novel by one of the gloomiest of American noir fiction writers, David Goodis. Noir crime films and melodramas have been produced in many countries in the post-classic area. Some of these are quintessentially self-aware neo-noirs—for example, Il Conformista (1969; Italy), Der Amerikanische Freund (1977; Germany), The Element of Crime (1984; Denmark), As Tears Go By (1988; Hong Kong), and El Aura (2005; Argentina). Others simply share narrative elements and a version of the hardboiled sensibility associated with classic noir, such as The Castle of Sand (1974; Japan), Insomnia (1997; Norway), Croupier (1998; UK), Blind Shaft (2003; China), and The Square (2008; Australia).

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

While it is hard to draw a line between some of the noir films of the early 1960s such as Blast of Silence (1961) and Cape Fear (1962) and the noirs of the late 1950s, new trends emerged in the post-classic era. The Manchurian Candidate (1962), directed by John Frankenheimer, Shock Corridor (1962), directed by Samuel Fuller, and Brainstorm (1965), directed by experienced noir character actor William Conrad, all treat the theme of mental dispossession within stylistic and tonal frameworks derived from classic film noir. The Fugitive (1963–67) brought classic noir themes and mood to television for an extended run.

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In a different vein, films began to appear that self-consciously acknowledged the conventions of classic film noir as historical archetypes to be revived, rejected, or reimagined. These efforts typify what came to be known as neo-noir. Though several late classic noirs, Kiss Me Deadly in particular, were deeply self-knowing and post-traditional in conception, none tipped its hand so evidently as to be remarked on by American critics at the time. The first major film to overtly work this angle was French director Jean-Luc Godard's À bout de souffle (Breathless; 1960), which pays its literal respects to Bogart and his crime films while brandishing a bold new style for a new day. In the United States, Arthur Penn (Mickey One , drawing inspiration from Truffaut's Tirez sur le pianiste and other French New Wave films), John Boorman (Point Blank , similarly caught up, though in the Nouvelle vague's deeper waters), and Alan J. Pakula (Klute ) directed films that knowingly related themselves to the original film noirs, inviting audiences in on the game.

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A manifest affiliation with noir traditions—which, by its nature, allows different sorts of commentary on them to be inferred—can also provide the basis for explicit critiques of those traditions. In 1973, director Robert Altman flipped off noir piety with The Long Goodbye. Based on the novel by Raymond Chandler, it features one of Bogart's most famous characters, but in iconoclastic fashion: Philip Marlowe, the prototypical hardboiled detective, is replayed as a hapless misfit, almost laughably out of touch with contemporary mores and morality. Where Altman's subversion of the film noir mythos was so irreverent as to outrage some contemporary critics, around the same time Woody Allen was paying affectionate, at points idolatrous homage to the classic mode with Play It Again, Sam (1972).

The most acclaimed of the neo-noirs of the era was director Roman Polanski's 1974 Chinatown. Written by Robert Towne, it is set in 1930s Los Angeles, an accustomed noir locale nudged back some few years in a way that makes the pivotal loss of innocence in the story even crueler. Where Polanski and Towne raised noir to a black apogee by turning rearward, director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader brought the noir attitude crashing into the present day with Taxi Driver (1976), a cackling, bloody-minded gloss on bicentennial America. In 1978, Walter Hill wrote and directed The Driver, a chase film as might have been imagined by Jean-Pierre Melville in an especially abstract mood.

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A manifest affiliation with noir traditions—which, by its nature, allows different sorts of commentary on them to be inferred—can also provide the basis for explicit critiques of those traditions. In 1973, director Robert Altman flipped off noir piety with The Long Goodbye. Based on the novel by Raymond Chandler, it features one of Bogart's most famous characters, but in iconoclastic fashion: Philip Marlowe, the prototypical hardboiled detective, is replayed as a hapless misfit, almost laughably out of touch with contemporary mores and morality. Where Altman's subversion of the film noir mythos was so irreverent as to outrage some contemporary critics, around the same time Woody Allen was paying affectionate, at points idolatrous homage to the classic mode with Play It Again, Sam (1972).

The most acclaimed of the neo-noirs of the era was director Roman Polanski's 1974 Chinatown. Written by Robert Towne, it is set in 1930s Los Angeles, an accustomed noir locale nudged back some few years in a way that makes the pivotal loss of innocence in the story even crueler. Where Polanski and Towne raised noir to a black apogee by turning rearward, director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader brought the noir attitude crashing into the present day with Taxi Driver (1976), a cackling, bloody-minded gloss on bicentennial America. In 1978, Walter Hill wrote and directed The Driver, a chase film as might have been imagined by Jean-Pierre Melville in an especially abstract mood.

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Hill was already a central figure in 1970s noir of a more straightforward manner, having written the script for director Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway (1972), adapting a novel by pulp master Jim Thompson, as well as for two tough private eye films: an original screenplay for Hickey & Boggs (1972) and an adaptation of a novel by Ross Macdonald, the leading literary descendant of Hammett and Chandler, for The Drowning Pool (1975). Some of the strongest 1970s noirs, in fact, were unwinking remakes of the classics, "neo" mostly by default: the heartbreaking Thieves Like Us (1973), directed by Altman from the same source as Ray's They Live by Night, and Farewell, My Lovely (1975), the Chandler tale made classically as Murder, My Sweet, remade here with Robert Mitchum in his last notable noir role. Detective series, prevalent on American television during the period, updated the hardboiled tradition in different ways, but the show conjuring the most noir tone was a horror crossover touched with shaggy, Long Goodbye–style humor: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974–75), featuring a Chicago newspaper reporter investigating strange, usually supernatural occurrences.

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The turn of the decade brought Scorsese's black-and-white Raging Bull (cowritten by Schrader); an acknowledged masterpiece—the American Film Institute ranks it as the greatest American film of the 1980s and the fourth greatest of all time—it is also a retreat, telling a story of a boxer's moral self-destruction that recalls in both theme and visual ambience noir dramas such as Body and Soul (1947) and Champion (1949). From 1981, the popular Body Heat, written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan, invokes a different set of classic noir elements, this time in a humid, erotically charged Florida setting; its success confirmed the commercial viability of neo-noir, at a time when the major Hollywood studios were becoming increasingly risk averse. The live-action/animated Who Framed Roger Rabbit is considered film noir in many aspects, in that there is a protagonist detective, an unsolved murder crime which resulted from the cynical attitude of an antagonist, suspense building music, a femme fatale and takes place in the late 1940s. The mainstreaming of neo-noir is evident in such films as Black Widow (1987), Shattered (1991), and Final Analysis (1992). Few neo-noirs have made more money or more wittily updated the tradition of the noir double-entendre than Basic Instinct (1992), directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Joe Eszterhas. The film also demonstrates how neo-noir's polychrome palette can reproduce many of the expressionistic effects of classic black-and-white noir. Poison Ivy (1992) makes use of similar devices executed in Basic Instinct, including a shady, seductive femme-fatale with ulterior motives.

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Among big-budget auteurs, Michael Mann has worked frequently in a neo-noir mode, with such films as Thief (1981) and Heat (1995) and the TV series Miami Vice (1984–89) and Crime Story (1986–88). Mann's output exemplifies a primary strain of neo-noir, in which classic themes and tropes are revisited in a contemporary setting with an up-to-date visual style and rock- or hip hop–based musical soundtrack. Like Chinatown, its more complex predecessor, Curtis Hanson's Oscar-winning L.A. Confidential (1997), based on the James Ellroy novel, demonstrates an opposite tendency—the deliberately retro film noir; its tale of corrupt cops and femme fatales is seemingly lifted straight from a film of 1953, the year in which it is set. Director David Fincher followed the immensely successful neo-noir Se7en (1995) with a film that developed into a cult favorite after its original, disappointing release: Fight Club (1999) is a sui generis mix of noir aesthetic, perverse comedy, speculative content, and satiric intent.

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Working generally with much smaller budgets, brothers Joel and Ethan Coen have created one of the most extensive film oeuvres influenced by classic noir, with films such as Blood Simple (1984) and Fargo (1996), considered by some a supreme work in the neo-noir mode. The Coens cross noir with other generic lines in the gangster drama Miller's Crossing (1990)—loosely based on the Dashiell Hammett novels Red Harvest and The Glass Key—and the comedy The Big Lebowski (1998), a tribute to Chandler and an homage to Altman's version of The Long Goodbye. The characteristic work of David Lynch combines film noir tropes with scenarios driven by disturbed characters such as the sociopathic criminal played by Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet (1986) and the delusionary protagonist of Lost Highway (1996). The Twin Peaks cycle, both TV series (1990–91) and film, Fire Walk with Me (1992), puts a detective plot through a succession of bizarre spasms. David Cronenberg also mixes surrealism and noir in Naked Lunch (1991), inspired by the William S. Burroughs novel.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

One major thing missed out in all of the writing that has been given, COPYWRIGHT protect your work, its your mind and your intellectual creation and all directors/producers alike can take advantage of the novice and use your idea saying no proof wherein they create their own film air it on TV and do whatever and get their name out there while the struggling writer who actually wrote the script suffers as they have no money to defend the bigwigs of Hollywood who stole their idea.
Gets yourself a copywright and patent your writing name and if anyone were to touch your material then, guess what you can sue them as you have the proof of the Copywright certification although the original script may be lost.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

One major thing missed out in all of the writing that has been given, COPYWRIGHT protect your work, its your mind and your intellectual creation and all directors/producers alike can take advantage of the novice and use your idea saying no proof wherein they create their own film air it on TV and do whatever and get their name out there while the struggling writer who actually wrote the script suffers as they have no money to defend the bigwigs of Hollywood who stole their idea.
Gets yourself a copywright and patent your writing name and if anyone were to touch your material then, guess what you can sue them as you have the proof of the Copywright certification although the original script may be lost.

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Perhaps no American neo-noirs better reflect the classic noir A-movie-with-a-B-movie-soul than those of director-writer Quentin Tarantino; neo-noirs of his such as Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994) display a relentlessly self-reflexive, sometimes tongue-in-cheek sensibility, similar to the work of the New Wave directors and the Coens. Other films from the era readily identifiable as neo-noir (some retro, some more au courant) include director John Dahl's Kill Me Again (1989), Red Rock West (1992), The Last Seduction (1993), To Die For (1995), and A Perfect Murder (1998); four adaptations of novels by Jim Thompson—The Kill-Off (1989), After Dark, My Sweet (1990), The Grifters (1990), and the remake of The Getaway (1994); and many more, including adaptations of the work of other major noir fiction writers: The Hot Spot (1990), from Hell Hath No Fury, by Charles Williams; Miami Blues (1990), from the novel by Charles Willeford; and Out of Sight (1998), from the novel by Elmore Leonard. Several films by director-writer David Mamet involve noir elements: House of Games (1987), Homicide (1991), The Spanish Prisoner (1997), and Heist (2001). On television, Remington Steele (1982–87) and Moonlighting (1985–89) paid homage to classic noir while demonstrating an unusual appreciation of the sense of humor often found in the original cycle. Between 1983 and 1989, Mickey Spillane's hardboiled private eye Mike Hammer was played with wry gusto by Stacy Keach in a series and several stand-alone television films (an unsuccessful revival followed in 1997–98). The British miniseries The Singing Detective (1986), written by Dennis Potter, tells the story of a mystery writer named Philip Marlow; widely considered one of the finest neo-noirs in any medium, some critics rank it among the greatest television productions of all time.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Great tips though...

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Coens' referenced the noir tradition again with The Man Who Wasn't There (2001); a black-and-white crime melodrama set in 1949, it features a scene apparently staged to mirror the one from Out of the Past pictured above. Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001) continued in his characteristic vein, making the classic noir setting of Los Angeles the venue for a noir-inflected psychological jigsaw puzzle. British-born director Christopher Nolan's black-and-white debut, Following (1998), was an overt homage to classic noir. During the new century's first decade, he was one of the leading Hollywood directors of neo-noir with the acclaimed Memento (2000), the remake of Insomnia (2002), and his dark-toned superhero films, Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008).

Director Sean Penn's The Pledge (2001), though adapted from a very self-reflexive novel by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, plays noir comparatively straight, to devastating effect. Screenwriter David Ayer updated the classic noir bad-cop tale, typified by Shield for Murder (1954) and Rogue Cop (1954), with his scripts for Training Day (2001) and, adapting a story by James Ellroy, Dark Blue (2002); he later wrote and directed the even darker Harsh Times (2006). Michael Mann's Collateral (2004) features a performance by Tom Cruise as an assassin in the lineage of Le Samouraï. The torments of The Machinist (2004), directed by Brad Anderson, evoke both Fight Club and Memento. In 2005, Shane Black directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, basing his screenplay in part on a crime novel by Brett Halliday, who published his first stories back in the 1920s. The film plays with an awareness not only of classic noir but also of neo-noir reflexivity itself.

"Tar Pit"

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In this track from the score of Sin City (2005), composer John Debney employs solo saxophone and trumpet over orchestral strings, evoking a classic noir sound.

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With ultra-violent films such as Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and Thirst (2009), Park Chan-wook of South Korea has been the most prominent director outside of the United States to work regularly in a noir mode in the new millennium. The most commercially successful neo-noir of this period has been Sin City (2005), directed by Robert Rodriguez in extravagantly stylized black and white with the odd bit of color. The film is based on a series of comic books created by Frank Miller (credited as the film's codirector), which are in turn openly indebted to the works of Spillane and other pulp mystery authors. Similarly, graphic novels provide the basis for Road to Perdition (2002), directed by Sam Mendes, and A History of Violence (2005), directed by David Cronenberg; the latter was voted best film of the year in the annual Village Voice poll. Writer-director Rian Johnson's Brick (2005), featuring present-day high schoolers speaking a version of 1930s hardboiled argot, won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the Sundance Film Festival. The television series Veronica Mars (2004–7) also brought a youth-oriented twist to film noir. Examples of this sort of generic crossover have been dubbed teen noir.

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the post-classic era, the most significant trend in noir crossovers has involved science fiction. In Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville (1965), Lemmy Caution is the name of the old-school private eye in the city of tomorrow. The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972) centers on another implacable investigator and an amnesiac named Welles. Soylent Green (1973), the first major American example, portrays a dystopian, near-future world via a self-evidently noir detection plot; starring Charlton Heston (the lead in Touch of Evil), it also features classic noir standbys Joseph Cotten, Edward G. Robinson, and Whit Bissell. The film was directed by Richard Fleischer, who two decades before had directed several strong B noirs, including Armored Car Robbery (1950) and The Narrow Margin (1952)

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The cynical and stylish perspective of classic film noir had a formative effect on the cyberpunk genre of science fiction that emerged in the early 1980s; the film most directly influential on cyberpunk was Blade Runner (1982), directed by Ridley Scott, which pays evocative homage to the classic noir mode (Scott would subsequently direct the poignant noir crime melodrama Someone to Watch Over Me ). Scholar Jamaluddin Bin Aziz has observed how "the shadow of Philip Marlowe lingers on" in such other "future noir" films as Twelve Monkeys (1995), Dark City (1998), and Minority Report (2002). Fincher's feature debut was Alien 3 (1992), which evoked the classic noir jail film Brute Force.

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author avatar FIlm Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Cronenberg's Crash (1996), an adaptation of the speculative novel by J. G. Ballard, has been described as a "film noir in bruise tones". The hero is the target of investigation in Gattaca (1997), which fuses film noir motifs with a scenario indebted to Brave New World. The Thirteenth Floor (1999), like Blade Runner, is an explicit homage to classic noir, in this case involving speculations about virtual reality. Science fiction, noir, and anime are brought together in the Japanese films Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004), both directed by Mamoru Oshii. Anime television series with science fiction noir themes include Cowboy Bebop (1998), The Big O (1999), and Noir (2001)

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author avatar Parodies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film noir has been parodied many times, in many manners. In 1945, Danny Kaye starred in what appears to be the first intentional film noir parody, Wonder Man. That same year, Deanna Durbin was the singing lead in the comedic noir Lady on a Train, which makes fun of Woolrich-brand wistful miserablism. Bob Hope inaugurated the private-eye noir parody with My Favorite Brunette (1947), playing a baby photographer who is mistaken for an ironfisted detective. In 1947 as well, The Bowery Boys appeared in Hard Boiled Mahoney, which had a similar mistaken-identity plot; they spoofed the genre once more in 1953's Private Eyes (1953). Two RKO productions starring Robert Mitchum take film noir over the border into self-parody: The Big Steal (1949), directed by Don Siegel, and His Kind of Woman (1951). The "Girl Hunt" ballet in Vincente Minnelli's The Band Wagon (1953) is a ten-minute distillation of—and play on—noir in dance. The Cheap Detective (1978), starring Peter Falk, is a broad spoof of several films, including the Bogart classics The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. Carl Reiner's black-and-white Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) appropriates clips of classic noirs for a farcical pastiche, while his Fatal Instinct (1993) sends up noirs both classic (Double Indemnity) and neo (Basic Instinct). Robert Zemeckis's Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) develops a noir plot set in 1940s L.A. around a host of cartoon characters.

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author avatar Parodies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Noir parodies come in darker tones as well. Murder by Contract (1958), directed by Irving Lerner, is a deadpan joke on noir, with a denouement as bleak as any of the films it kids. An ultra-low-budget Columbia Pictures production, it may qualify as the first intentional example of what is now called a neo-noir film; it was likely a source of inspiration for both Melville's Le Samouraï and Scorsese's Taxi Driver. Belying its parodic strain, The Long Goodbye's final act is seriously grave. Taxi Driver caustically deconstructs the "dark" crime film, taking it to an absurd extreme and then offering a conclusion that manages to mock every possible anticipated ending—triumphant, tragic, artfully ambivalent—while being each, all at once. Flirting with splatter status even more brazenly, the Coens' Blood Simple is both an exacting pastiche and a gross exaggeration of classic noir. Adapted by director Robinson Devor from a novel by Charles Willeford, The Woman Chaser (1999) sends up not just the noir mode but the entire Hollywood filmmaking process, with seemingly each shot staged as the visual equivalent of an acerbic Marlowe wisecrack.

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author avatar Parodies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In other media, the television series Sledge Hammer! (1986–88) lampoons noir, along with such topics as capital punishment, gun fetishism, and Dirty Harry. Sesame Street (1969–curr.) occasionally casts Kermit the Frog as a private eye; the sketches refer to some of the typical motifs of noir films, in particular the voiceover. Garrison Keillor's radio program A Prairie Home Companion features the recurring character Guy Noir, a hardboiled detective whose adventures always wander into farce (Guy also appears in the Altman-directed film based on Keillor's show). Firesign Theatre's Nick Danger has trod the same not-so-mean streets, both on radio and in comedy albums. Cartoons such as Garfield's Babes and Bullets (1989) and comic strip characters such as Tracer Bullet of Calvin and Hobbes have parodied both film noir and the kindred hardboiled tradition—one of the sources from which film noir sprang and which it now overshadows

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author avatar Parodies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In their original 1955 canon of film noir, Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton identified twenty-two Hollywood films released between 1941 and 1952 as core examples; they listed another fifty-nine American films from the period as significantly related to the field of noir. A half-century later, film historians and critics had come to agree on a canon of approximately three hundred films from 1940–58. There remain, however, many differences of opinion over whether other films of the era, among them a number of well-known ones, qualify as film noirs or not. For instance, The Night of the Hunter (1955), starring Robert Mitchum in an acclaimed performance, is treated as a film noir by some critics, but not by others. Some critics include Suspicion (1941), directed by Alfred Hitchcock, in their catalogues of noir; others ignore it. Concerning films made either before or after the classic period, or outside of the United States at any time, consensus is even rarer.

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author avatar Parodies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

To support their categorization of certain films as noirs and their rejection of others, many critics refer to a set of elements they see as marking examples of the mode. The question of what constitutes the set of noir's identifying characteristics is a fundamental source of controversy. For instance, critics tend to define the model film noir as having a tragic or bleak conclusion, but many acknowledged classics of the genre have clearly happy endings (e.g., Stranger on the Third Floor, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and The Dark Corner), while the tone of many other noir denouements is ambivalent. Some critics perceive classic noir's hallmark as a distinctive visual style. Others, observing that there is actually considerable stylistic variety among noirs, instead emphasize plot and character type. Still others focus on mood and attitude. No survey of classic noir's identifying characteristics can therefore be considered definitive. In the 1990s and 2000s, critics have increasingly turned their attention to that diverse field of films called neo-noir; once again, there is even less consensus about the defining attributes of such films made outside the classic period

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author avatar Visual style
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The low-key lighting schemes of many classic film noirs are associated with stark light/dark contrasts and dramatic shadow patterning—a style known as chiaroscuro (a term adopted from Renaissance painting). The shadows of Venetian blinds or banister rods, cast upon an actor, a wall, or an entire set, are an iconic visual in noir and had already become a cliché well before the neo-noir era. Characters' faces may be partially or wholly obscured by darkness—a relative rarity in conventional Hollywood filmmaking. While black-and-white cinematography is considered by many to be one of the essential attributes of classic noir, the color films Leave Her to Heaven (1945) and Niagara (1953) are routinely included in noir filmographies, while Slightly Scarlet (1956), Party Girl (1958), and Vertigo (1958) are classified as noir by varying numbers of critics.

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author avatar Visual style
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film noir is also known for its use of low-angle, wide-angle, and skewed, or Dutch angle shots. Other devices of disorientation relatively common in film noir include shots of people reflected in one or more mirrors, shots through curved or frosted glass or other distorting objects (such as during the strangulation scene in Strangers on a Train), and special effects sequences of a sometimes bizarre nature. Night-for-night shooting, as opposed to the Hollywood norm of day-for-night, was often employed. From the mid-1940s forward, location shooting became increasingly frequent in noir.

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author avatar Visual style
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In an analysis of the visual approach of Kiss Me Deadly, a late and self-consciously stylized example of classic noir, critic Alain Silver describes how cinematographic choices emphasize the story's themes and mood. In one scene, the characters, seen through a "confusion of angular shapes", thus appear "caught in a tangible vortex or enclosed in a trap." Silver makes a case for how "side light is used ... to reflect character ambivalence", while shots of characters in which they are lit from below "conform to a convention of visual expression which associates shadows cast upward of the face with the unnatural and ominous"

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film noirs tend to have unusually convoluted story lines, frequently involving flashbacks and other editing techniques that disrupt and sometimes obscure the narrative sequence. Framing the entire primary narrative as a flashback is also a standard device. Voiceover narration, sometimes used as a structuring device, came to be seen as a noir hallmark; while classic noir is generally associated with first-person narration (i.e., by the protagonist), Stephen Neale notes that third-person narration is common among noirs of the semidocumentary style. Neo-noirs as varied as The Element of Crime (surrealist), After Dark, My Sweet (retro), and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (meta) have employed the flashback/voiceover combination.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Bold experiments in cinematic storytelling were sometimes attempted during the classic era: Lady in the Lake, for example, is shot entirely from the point of view of protagonist Philip Marlowe; the face of star (and director) Robert Montgomery is seen only in mirrors. The Chase (1946) takes oneirism and fatalism as the basis for its fantastical narrative system, redolent of certain horror stories, but with little precedent in the context of a putatively realistic genre. In their different ways, both Sunset Boulevard and D.O.A. are tales told by dead men. Latter-day noir has been in the forefront of structural experimentation in popular cinema, as exemplified by such films as Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, and Memento.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Crime, usually murder, is an element of almost all films noir; in addition to standard-issue greed, jealousy is frequently the criminal motivation. A crime investigation—by a private eye, a police detective (sometimes acting alone), or a concerned amateur—is the most prevalent, but far from dominant, basic plot. In other common plots the protagonists are implicated in heists or con games, or in murderous conspiracies often involving adulterous affairs. False suspicions and accusations of crime are frequent plot elements, as are betrayals and double-crosses. According to J. David Slocum, "protagonists assume the literal identities of dead men in nearly fifteen percent of all noir." Amnesia is fairly epidemic—"noir's version of the common cold", in the words of film historian Lee Server.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Crime, usually murder, is an element of almost all films noir; in addition to standard-issue greed, jealousy is frequently the criminal motivation. A crime investigation—by a private eye, a police detective (sometimes acting alone), or a concerned amateur—is the most prevalent, but far from dominant, basic plot. In other common plots the protagonists are implicated in heists or con games, or in murderous conspiracies often involving adulterous affairs. False suspicions and accusations of crime are frequent plot elements, as are betrayals and double-crosses. According to J. David Slocum, "protagonists assume the literal identities of dead men in nearly fifteen percent of all noir." Amnesia is fairly epidemic—"noir's version of the common cold", in the words of film historian Lee Server.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Films noir tend to revolve around heroes who are more flawed and morally questionable than the norm, often fall guys of one sort or another. The characteristic protagonists of noir are described by many critics as "alienated"; in the words of Silver and Ward, "filled with existential bitterness". Certain archetypal characters appear in many films noir—hardboiled detectives, femme fatales, corrupt policemen, jealous husbands, intrepid claims adjusters, and down-and-out writers. Among characters of every stripe, cigarette smoking is rampant. From historical commentators to neo-noir pictures to pop culture ephemera, the private eye and the femme fatale have been adopted as the quintessential film noir figures, though they do not appear in most films now regarded as classic noir. Of the twenty-three National Film Registry noirs, in only four does the star play a private eye: The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past, and Kiss Me Deadly. Just four others readily qualify as detective stories: Laura, The Killers, The Naked City, and Touch of Evil.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film noir is often associated with an urban setting, and a few cities—Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago, in particular—are the location of many of the classic films. In the eyes of many critics, the city is presented in noir as a "labyrinth" or "maze". Bars, lounges, nightclubs, and gambling dens are frequently the scene of action. The climaxes of a substantial number of films noir take place in visually complex, often industrial settings, such as refineries, factories, trainyards, power plants—most famously the explosive conclusion of White Heat, set at a chemical plant. In the popular (and, frequently enough, critical) imagination, in noir it is always night and it always rains.

A substantial trend within latter-day noir—dubbed "film soleil" by critic D. K. Holm—heads in precisely the opposite direction, with tales of deception, seduction, and corruption exploiting bright, sun-baked settings, stereotypically the desert or open water, to searing effect. Significant predecessors from the classic and early post-classic eras include The Lady from Shanghai; the Robert Ryan vehicle Inferno (1953); the French adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley, Plein soleil (Purple Noon in the U.S., more accurately rendered elsewhere as Blazing Sun or Full Sun; 1960); and director Don Siegel's version of The Killers (1964). The tendency was at its peak during the late 1980s and 1990s, with films such as Dead Calm (1989); After Dark, My Sweet; The Hot Spot; Delusion (1991); and Red Rock West, and TV's Miami Vice.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film noir is often described as essentially pessimistic. The noir stories that are regarded as most characteristic tell of people trapped in unwanted situations (which, in general, they did not cause but are responsible for exacerbating), striving against random, uncaring fate, and frequently doomed. The films are seen as depicting a world that is inherently corrupt. Classic film noir has been associated by many critics with the American social landscape of the era—in particular, with a sense of heightened anxiety and alienation that is said to have followed World War II. In author Nicholas Christopher's opinion, "it is as if the war, and the social eruptions in its aftermath, unleashed demons that had been bottled up in the national psyche." Film noirs, especially those of the 1950s and the height of the Red Scare, are often said to reflect cultural paranoia; Kiss Me Deadly is the noir most frequently marshaled as evidence for this claim.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film noir is often said to be defined by "moral ambiguity", yet the Production Code obliged almost all classic noirs to see that steadfast virtue was ultimately rewarded and vice, in the absence of shame and redemption, severely punished (however dramatically incredible the final rendering of mandatory justice might be). A substantial number of latter-day noirs flout such conventions: vice emerges triumphant in films as varied as the grim Chinatown and the ribald Hot Spot.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The tone of film noir is generally regarded as downbeat; some critics experience it as darker still—"overwhelmingly black", according to Robert Ottoson. Influential critic (and filmmaker) Paul Schrader wrote in a seminal 1972 essay that "film noir is defined by tone", a tone he seems to perceive as "hopeless". In describing the adaptation of Double Indemnity, noir analyst Foster Hirsch describes the "requisite hopeless tone" achieved by the filmmakers, which appears to characterize his view of noir as a whole. On the other hand, definitive film noirs such as The Big Sleep, The Lady from Shanghai, and Double Indemnity itself are famed for their hardboiled repartee, often imbued with sexual innuendo and self-reflexive humor—notes of another tone.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The historical drama is a film genre in which stories are based upon historical events and famous people. Some historical dramas are docudramas, which attempt an accurate portrayal of a historical event or biography, to the degree that the available historical research will allow. Other historical dramas are fictionalized tales that are based on an actual person and their deeds, such as Braveheart, which is loosely based on the 13th century knight William Wallace's fight for Scotland's independence.

Due to the sheer volume of films included in this genre and in the interest of continuity, this list is primarily focused on films pertaining to the history of Near Eastern and Western civilization. For films pertaining to the history of East Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia, please refer also to the list of historical drama films of Asia.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

One Million B.C. (1940)

One Million Years B.C. (1967)

Prehistoric Women (1950)

Prehistoric Women (1967)

Creatures the World Forgot (1971)

Quando le donne avevano la coda (1970)

Quando le donne persero la coda (1972)

Caveman (1981)

Quest for Fire (1981)

The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)

Bharat Ek Khoj (1988)

10,000 BC (2008)

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic elements such as spacecraft, robots, cyborgs, interstellar space travel or other technologies. Science fiction films have often been used to focus on political or social issues, and to explore philosophical issues like the human condition. In many cases, tropes derived from written science fiction may be used by filmmakers ignorant of or at best indifferent to the standards of scientific plausibility and plot logic to which written science fiction is traditionally held.

The genre has existed since the early years of silent cinema, when Georges Melies' A Trip to the Moon (1902) amazed audiences with its trick photography effects. The next major example in the genre was the 1927 film Metropolis. From the 1930s to the 1950s, the genre consisted mainly of low-budget B-movies. After Stanley Kubrick's 1968 landmark 2001: A Space Odyssey, the science fiction film genre was taken more seriously. In the late 1970s, big-budget science fiction films filled with special effects became popular with audiences after the success of Star Wars and paved the way for the blockbuster hits of subsequent decades.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

According to Vivian Sobchack:

Science fiction film is a film genre which emphasizes actual, extrapolative, or speculative science and the empirical method, interacting in a social context with the lesser emphasized, but still present, transcendentalism of magic and religion, in an attempt to reconcile man with the unknown (Sobchack 63).

This definition assumes that a continuum exists between (real-world) empiricism and (supernatural) transcendentalism, with science fiction film on the side of empiricism, and horror film and fantasy film on the side of transcendentalism. However, there are numerous well-known examples of science fiction horror films, epitomized by such pictures as Frankenstein and Alien.

The visual style of science fiction film can be characterized by a clash between alien and familiar images. This clash is implemented when alien images become familiar, as in A Clockwork Orange, when the repetitions of the Korova Milkbar make the alien decor seem more familiar. As well, familiar images become alien, as in the films Repo Man and Liquid Sky. For example, in Dr. Strangelove, the distortion of the humans make the familiar images seem more alien. Finally, alien and familiar images are juxtaposed, as in The Deadly Mantis, when a giant praying mantis is shown climbing the Washington Monument.

Cultural theorist Scott Bukatman has proposed that science fiction film allows contemporary culture to witness an expression of the sublime, be it through exaggerated scale, apocalypse or transcendence.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Science fiction films appeared early in the silent film era, typically as short films shot in black and white, sometimes with colour tinting. They usually had a technological theme and were often intended to be humorous. In 1902, Georges Méliès released Le Voyage dans la Lune, generally considered the first science fiction film, and a film that used early trick photography to depict a spacecraft's journey to the moon. Several early films merged the science fiction and horror genres. Examples of this are Frankenstein (1910), a film adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), based on the psychological tale by Robert Lewis Stevenson. Taking a more adventurous tack, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916) is a film based on Jules Verne’s famous novel of a wondrous submarine and its vengeful captain. In the 1920s, European filmmakers tended to use science fiction for prediction and social commentary, as can be seen in German films such as Metropolis (1927) and Frau im Mond (1929). Other notable science fiction films of the silent era include The Impossible Voyage (1904), The Motorist (1906), Conquest of the Pole (1912), Himmelskibet (1918), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919), L'Huomo Meccanico (1921), Paris Qui Dort (1923), Aelita (1924), Luch Smerti (1925) and The Lost World (1925).

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1930s there were several big budget science fiction films, notably Just Imagine (1930), King Kong (1933), Things to Come (1936) and Lost Horizon (1937). Starting in 1936, a number of science fiction comic strips were adapted as serials, notably Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, both starring Buster Crabbe. These serials, and the comic strips they were based on, were very popular with the general public. Other notable science fiction films of the 1930s include Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Doctor X (1932), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), F.P.1 (1932), Island of Lost Souls (1932), Deluge (1933), The Invisible Man (1933), Mad Love (1935), Trans-Atlantic Tunnel (1935), The Devil-Doll (1936), The Invisible Ray (1936), The Man Who Changed His Mind (1936), The Walking Dead (1936), Non-Stop New York (1937), and The Return of Doctor X (1939). The 1940s brought us Before I Hang (1940), Black Friday (1940), Dr. Cyclops (1940), The Devil Commands (1941), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), Man Made Monster (1941),It Happened Tomorrow (1944), It Happens Every Spring (1949), and The Perfect Woman (1949). The release of Destination Moon (1950) and Rocketship X-M (1950) brought us to what many people consider "the golden age of the science fiction film."

In the 1950s public interest in space travel and new technologies was great. While many 1950s science fiction films were low-budget B movies, there were several successful films with larger budgets and impressive special effects. These include The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), The Thing from Another World (1951), When Worlds Collide (1951), The War of the Worlds (1952), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), This Island Earth (1955), Forbidden Planet (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) and On the Beach (1959). There is often a close connection between films in the science fiction genre and the so-called "monster movie." Examples of this are Them! (1954), The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953), and The Blob (1958). During the 1950s, Ray Harryhausen, protege of master King Kong animator Willis O'Brien, used stop-motion animation to create special effects for the following notable science fiction films: It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955), Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) and 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

There were relatively few science fiction films in the 1960s, but some of the films transformed science fiction cinema. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) brought new realism to the genre, with its groundbreaking visual effects and realistic portrayal of space travel and influenced the genre with its epic story and transcendent philosophical scope. Other 1960s films included Planet of the Apes (1968) and Fahrenheit 451 (1966), which provided social commentary, and the campy Barbarella (1968), which explored the sillier side of earlier science fiction. Jean-Luc Godard's French "new wave" film Alphaville (1965) posited a futuristic Paris commanded by an artificial intelligence which has outlawed all emotion.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The era of manned trips to the moon in 1969 and the 1970s saw a resurgence of interest in the science fiction film. Andrei Tarkovsky’s slow-paced Solaris (1972). Science fiction films from the early 1970s explored the theme of paranoia, in which humanity is depicted as under threat from ecological or technological adversaries of its own creation, such as Silent Running (ecology), Westworld (man vs. robot), THX 1138 (man vs. the state), and Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (threat of brainwashing). Conspiracy thriller films of the 1970s included Soylent Green and Futureworld. The science fiction comedies of the 1970s included Woody Allen's Sleeper and John Carpenter's Dark Star.

Star Wars (1977) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978), were box-office hits that brought about a huge increase in science fiction films. In 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture brought the television series to the big screen for the first time. It was also in this period that The Walt Disney Company released many science fiction films for family audiences such as The Island at the Top of the World, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Black Hole, Flight of the Navigator, and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. Ridley Scott's films, such as Alien and Blade Runner, along with James Cameron's The Terminator, presented the future as dark, dirty and chaotic, and depicted aliens and androids as hostile and dangerous. In contrast, Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, one of the most successful films of the 1980s, presented aliens as benign and friendly.

The big budget adaptations of Frank Herbert's Dune, Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon and Arthur C. Clarke's sequel to 2001, 2010, were box office duds that dissuaded producers from investing in science fiction literary properties. Disney's Tron turned out to be a moderate success. The strongest contributors to the genre during the second half of the 1980s were James Cameron and Paul Verhoeven with The Terminator and RoboCop entries. Robert Zemeckis' 1985 film Back to the Future and its sequels were critically praised and became box office successes, not to mention international phenomena. James Cameron's 1986 sequel to Alien, Aliens, was very different from the original film, falling more into the action/science fiction genre, it was both a critical and commercial success and Sigourney Weaver was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards. The Japanese anime film Akira (1988) also had a big influence outside Japan when released.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1990s, the emergence of the world wide web and the cyberpunk genre spawned several movies on the theme of the computer-human interface, such as Total Recall (1990), The Lawnmower Man (1992), and The Matrix (1999). Other themes included disaster films (e.g., Armageddon and Deep Impact both from 1998), alien invasion (e.g., Independence Day from 1996) and genetic experimentation (e.g., Jurassic Park from 1993 and Gattaca from 1997).

As the decade progressed, computers played an increasingly important role in both the addition of special effects (thanks to Terminator 2:Judgment Day, and Jurassic Park) and the production of films. As software developed in sophistication it was used to produce more complicated effects. It also enabled filmmakers to enhance the visual quality of animation, resulting in films such as Ghost in the Shell (1995) from Japan, and The Iron Giant (1999) from the US.

During the first decade of the 2000s, superhero films abounded, as did earthbound science fiction such as the Matrix trilogy. In 2005, the Star Wars saga was completed with the darkly themed Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Science-fiction also returned as a tool for political commentary in films such as A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Minority Report, Sunshine, District 9, Children of Men, Serenity and Pandorum.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Science fiction films are often speculative in nature, and often include key supporting elements of science and technology. However, as often as not the "science" in a Hollywood science fiction movie can be considered pseudo-science, relying primarily on atmosphere and quasi-scientific artistic fancy than facts and conventional scientific theory. The definition can also vary depending on the viewpoint of the observer.

Many science fiction films include elements of mysticism, occult, magic, or the supernatural, considered by some to be more properly elements of fantasy or the occult (or religious) film. This transforms the movie genre into a science fantasy with a religious or quasi-religious philosophy serving as the driving motivation. The movie Forbidden Planet employs many common science fiction elements, but the film carries a profound message - that the evolution of a species toward technological perfection (in this case exemplified by the disappeared alien civilization called the "Krell") does not ensure the loss of primitive and dangerous urges. In the film this part of the primitive mind manifests itself as monstrous destructive force emanating from the freudian subconscious, or "Id".

Some films blur the line between the genres, such as films where the protagonist gains the extraordinary powers of the superhero. These films usually employ a quasi-plausible reason for the hero gaining these powers.

Not all science fiction themes are equally suitable for movies. In addition to science fiction horror, space opera is most common. Often enough, these films could just as well pass as westerns or World War II films if the science fiction props were removed. Common motifs also include voyages and expeditions to other planets, and dystopias, while utopias are rare.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Film theorist Vivian Sobchack argues that science fiction films differ from fantasy films in that while science fiction film seeks to achieve our belief in the images we are viewing, fantasy film instead attempts to suspend our disbelief. The science fiction film displays the unfamiliar and alien in the context of the familiar. Despite the alien nature of the scenes and science fictional elements of the setting, the imagery of the film is related back to mankind and how we relate to our surroundings. While the sf film strives to push the boundaries of the human experience, they remain bound to the conditions and understanding of the audience and thereby contain prosaic aspects, rather than being completely alien or abstract.

Genre films such as westerns or war movies are bound to a particular area or time period. This is not true of the science fiction film. However there are several common visual elements that are evocative of the genre. These include the spacecraft or space station, alien worlds or creatures, robots, and futuristic gadgets. More subtle visual clues can appear with changes of the human form through modifications in appearance, size, or behavior, or by means a known environment turned eerily alien, such as an empty city.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

While science is a major element of this genre, many movie studios take significant liberties with scientific knowledge. Such liberties can be most readily observed in films that show spacecraft maneuvering in outer space. The vacuum should preclude the transmission of sound or maneuvers employing wings, yet the sound track is filled with inappropriate flying noises and changes in flight path resembling an aircraft banking. The film makers, unfamiliar with the specifics of space travel, focus instead on providing acoustical atmosphere and the more familiar maneuvers of the aircraft.

Similar instances of ignoring science in favor of art can be seen when movies present environmental effects. Entire planets are destroyed in titanic explosions requiring mere seconds, whereas an actual event of this nature would likely take many hours.

The role of the scientist has varied considerably in the science fiction film genre, depending on the public perception of science and advanced technology. Starting with Dr. Frankenstein, the mad scientist became a stock character who posed a dire threat to society and perhaps even civilization. Certain portrayals of the "mad scientist", such as Peter Sellers's performance in Dr. Strangelove, have become iconic to the genre. In the monster films of the 1950s, the scientist often played a heroic role as the only person who could provide a technological fix for some impending doom. Reflecting the distrust of government that began in the 1960s in the U.S., the brilliant but rebellious scientist became a common theme, often serving a Cassandra-like role during an impending disaster.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The concept of life, particularly intelligent life, having an extraterrestrial origin is a popular staple of science fiction films. Early films often used alien life forms as a threat or peril to the human race, where the invaders were frequently fictional representations of actual military or political threats on Earth. Later some aliens were represented as benign and even beneficial in nature in such films as Escape to Witch Mountain, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

In order to provide subject matter to which audiences can relate, the large majority of intelligent alien races presented in films have an anthropomorphic nature, possessing human emotions and motivations. In films like Contact, The Box and The Day the Earth Stood Still, the aliens were nearly human in physical appearance, and communicated in a common earth tongue. A few films have tried to represent intelligent aliens as something utterly different from the usual humanoid shape (e.g. An intelligent life form surrounding an entire planet in Solaris, the ball shaped creature in Dark Star).

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A frequent theme among science fiction films is that of impending or actual disaster on an epic scale. These often address a particular concern of the writer by serving as a vehicle of warning against a type of activity, including technological research. In the case of alien invasion films, the creatures can provide as a stand-in for a feared foreign power.

Disaster films typically fall into the following general categories:

Alien invasion — hostile extraterrestrials arrive and seek to supplant humanity. They are either overwhelmingly powerful or very insidious. Typical examples include The War of the Worlds (1953 film), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 film), Independence Day (1996 film) and Signs (2002 film).

Environmental disaster — such as major climate change, or an asteroid or comet strike. Movies that have employed this theme include Soylent Green (1973), Waterworld (1995), and The Day after Tomorrow (2004).

Man supplanted by technology — typically in the form of an all-powerful computer, advanced robots or cyborgs, or else genetically-modified humans or animals. Among the films in this category are The Terminator (1984) and The Matrix (1999).

Nuclear war — usually in the form of a dystopic, post-holocaust tale of grim survival. Examples of such a storyline can be found in the movies Dr. Strangelove (1964), Planet of the Apes (1968), A Boy and His Dog (1975), Mad Max (1979) and The Book of Eli (2010).

Pandemic — a highly lethal disease, often one created by man, threatens or wipes out most of humanity in a massive plague. This topic has been treated in such films as The Andromeda Strain (1971), The Omega Man (1971), and 12 Monkeys (1995).

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author avatar Monster films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

While monster films do not usually depict danger on a global or epic scale, science fiction film also has a long tradition of movies featuring monster attacks. These differ from similar films in the horror or fantasy genres because science fiction films typically rely on a scientific (or at least pseudo-scientific) rationale for the monster's existence, rather than a supernatural or magical reason. Often, the science fiction film monster is created, awakened, or "evolves" because of the machinations of a mad scientist, a nuclear accident, or a scientific experiment gone awry. Typical examples include The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), Cloverfield and the Godzilla series of films.

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author avatar Monster films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The core mental aspects of what makes us human has been a staple of science fiction films, particularly since the 1980s. Blade Runner examined what made an organic-creation a human, while the RoboCop series saw an android mechanism fitted with the brain and reprogrammed mind of a human to create a cyborg. The idea of brain transfer was not entirely new to science fiction film, as the concept of the "mad scientist" transferring the human mind to another body is as old as Frankenstein.

Films such as Total Recall have popularized a thread of films that explore the concept of reprogramming the human mind. The theme of brainwashing in several films of the sixties and seventies including A Clockwork Orange and The Manchurian Candidate coincided with secret real-life government experimentation during Project MKULTRA. Voluntary erasure of memory is further explored as themes of the films Paycheck and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The anime series Serial Experiments Lain also explores the idea of reprogrammable reality and memory.

The idea that a human could be entirely represented as a program in a computer was a core element of the film Tron. This would be further explored in the film version of The Lawnmower Man, and the idea reversed in Virtuosity as computer programs sought to become real persons. In the Matrix series, the virtual reality world became a real world prison for humanity, managed by intelligent machines. In movies such as eXistenZ and Avatar, the nature of reality and virtual reality become intermixed with no clear distinguishing boundary.

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author avatar Robots
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Robots have been a part of science fiction since the Czech playwright Karel Čapek coined the word in 1921. In early films, robots were usually played by a human actor in a boxy metal suit, as in The Phantom Empire, although the female robot in Metropolis is an exception. The first depiction of a sophisticated robot in a United States film was in The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Robots in films are often sentient and sometimes sentimental, and they have filled a range of roles in science fiction films. Robots have been supporting characters, such as Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet, sidekicks (e.g., C-3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars), and extras, visible in the background to create a futuristic setting. As well, robots have been formidable movie villains or monsters (e.g., the robot Box in the 1976 film Logan's Run. In some cases, robots have even been the leading characters in science fiction films; in the 1982 film Blade Runner, many of the characters are bioengineered android "replicants".

Films like Bicentennial Man and A.I. Artificial Intelligence depicted the emotional fallouts of robots that are self-aware.

One popular theme in science fiction film is whether robots will someday replace humans, a question raised in the film adaptation of Isaac Asimov's I, Robot, or whether intelligent robots could develop a conscience and a motivation to take over or destroy the human race (as depicted in The Terminator).

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author avatar Time Travel
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The concept of time travel—travelling backwards and forwards through time—has always been a popular staple of science fiction film and science fiction television series. Time travel usually involves the use of some type of advanced technology, such as H. G. Wells' classic The Time Machine, or the commercially successful 1980s-era Back to the Future trilogy. Other movies, such as the Planet of the Apes series, explained their depictions of time travel by drawing on physics concepts such as the Special relativity phenomenon of time dilation (which could occur if a spaceship was travelling near the speed of light). Some films show time travel not being attained from advanced technology, but rather from an inner source or personal power, such as the 2000s-era films Donnie Darko and Mr. Nobody.

More conventional time travel movies use technology to bring the past to life in the present, or in a present that lies in our future. The film Iceman (1984) told the story of the reanimation of a frozen Neanderthal. The film Freejack (1992) shows time travel used to pull victims of horrible deaths forward in time a split-second before their demise, and then use their bodies for spare parts.

A common theme in time travel film is the paradoxical nature of travelling through time. In the French New Wave film La jetée (1962), director Chris Marker depicts the self-fulfilling aspect of a person being able to see their future by showing a child who witnesses the death of his future self. La Jetée was the inspiration for 12 Monkeys, (1995) director Terry Gilliam's film about time travel, memory, and madness. The Back to the Future series goes one step further and explores the result of altering the past, while in Star Trek: First Contact (1996) the crew must rescue the Earth from having its past altered by time-travelling cyborgs.

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author avatar Social Issues
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The science fiction film genre has long served as a useful vehicle for "safely" discussing controversial topical issues and often providing thoughtful social commentary on potential unforeseen future issues. Presentation of issues that are difficult or disturbing for an audience, can be made more acceptable when they are explored in a future setting or on a different, earth-like world. The altered context can allow for deeper examination and reflection of the ideas presented, with the perspective of a viewer watching remote events. Most controversial issues in science fiction films tend to fall into two general story lines, Utopian or dystopian. Either a society will become better or worse in the future. Because of controversy, most science fiction films will fall into the dystopian film category rather than the Utopian category.

The types of commentary and controversy presented in science fiction films often illustrate the particular concerns of the periods in which they were produced. Early science fiction films expressed fears about automation replacing workers and the dehumanization of society through science and technology. For example, 1951's The Man in the White Suit used a science fiction concept as a means to satirize postwar British "establishment" conservatism, industrial capitalists, and trade unions. Later films explored the fears of environmental catastrophe or technology-created disasters, and how they would impact society and individuals (i.e. Soylent Green).

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author avatar Social Issues
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The monster movies of the 1950s—like Godzilla (1954)—served as stand-ins for fears of nuclear war, communism and views on the cold war. In the 1970s, science fiction films also became an effective way of satirizing contemporary social mores with Silent Running and Dark Star presenting hippies in space as a riposte to the militaristic types that had dominated earlier films. Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange presented a horrific vision of youth culture, portraying a youth gang engaged in rape and murder, along with disturbing scenes of forced psychological conditioning serving to comment on societal responses to crime.

Logan's Run depicted a futuristic swingers utopia that practiced euthanasia as a form of population control and The Stepford Wives anticipated a reaction to the women's liberation movement. Enemy Mine demonstrated that the foes we have come to hate are often just like us, even if they appear alien.

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author avatar Social Issues
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Contemporary science fiction films continue to explore social and political issues. One recent example would be 2002's Minority Report, debuting in the months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and focused on the issues of police powers, privacy and civil liberties in the near-future United States. Some like Never Let Me Go explore the issues surrounding cloning.

More recently, the headlines surrounding events such as the Iraq War, international terrorism, the avian influenza scare, and U.S. anti-immigration laws have found their way into the consciousness of contemporary filmmakers. The 2006 film V for Vendetta drew inspiration from controversial issues such as The Patriot Act and the War on Terror, while science fiction thrillers such as Children of Men (also 2006) and District 9 (2009) commented on diverse social issues such as xenophobia, propaganda, and cognitive dissonance. Avatar (2009) had remarkable resemblance to colonialism of native land, mining by multinational-corporations and the Iraq War.

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author avatar Future Noir
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Lancaster University professor Jamaluddin Bin Aziz argues that as science fiction has evolved and expanded, it has fused with other film genres such as gothic thrillers and film noir. When science fiction integrates film noir elements, Bin Aziz calls the resulting hybrid form "future noir," a form which "... encapsulates a postmodern encounter with generic persistence, creating a mixture of irony, pessimism, prediction, extrapolation, bleakness and nostalgia." Future noir films such as Blade Runner, Twelve Monkeys, Dark City, and Children of Men use a protagonist who is "...increasingly dubious, alienated and fragmented", at once "dark and playful like the characters in Gibson’s Neuromancer", yet still with the "...shadow of Philip Marlowe..."

Future noir films that are set in a post-apocalyptic world "...restructure and re-represent society in a parody of the atmospheric world usually found in noir’s construction of a city — dark, bleak and beguiled." Future noir films often intermingle elements of the gothic thriller genre, such as Minority Report, which makes references to occult practices, and Alien, with its tagline ‘In space, no one can hear you scream’, and a space vessel, Nostromo, “that hark back to images of the haunted house in the gothic horror tradition.” Bin Aziz states that films such as James Cameron’s The Terminator are a sub-genre of ‘techno noir’ that create "...an atmospheric feast of noir darkness and a double-edged world that is not what it seems."

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author avatar Film Vs Literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

When compared to science fiction literature, science fiction films often rely less on the human imagination and more upon action scenes and special effect-created alien creatures and exotic backgrounds. Since the 1970s, film audiences have come to expect a high standard for special effects in science fiction films. In some cases, science fiction-themed films superimpose an exotic, futuristic setting onto what would not otherwise be a science-fiction tale. Nevertheless, some critically acclaimed science fiction movies have followed in the path of science fiction literature, using story development to explore abstract concepts.

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author avatar Science fiction Authors
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Jules Verne was the first major science fiction author to be adapted for the screen with Melies Le Voyage dans la Lune (1902) and 20,000 lieues sous les mers (1907), which used Verne's scenarios as a framework for fantastic visuals. By the time Verne's work fell out of copyright in 1950 the adaptations were treated as period pieces. His works have been adapted a number of times since then, including 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in 1954, From the Earth to the Moon in 1958, and Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1959.

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author avatar Science fiction Authors
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

H. G. Wells novels The Invisible Man, Things to Come and The Island of Doctor Moreau were all adapted into films during his lifetime while The War of the Worlds was updated in 1953 and again in 2005, adapted to film at least four times altogether. The Time Machine has had two film versions (1961 and 2002) while Sleeper in part is a pastiche of Wells' 1910 novel The Sleeper Awakes.

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author avatar Science fiction Authors
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

With the drop-off in interest in science fiction films during the 1940s, few of the 'golden age' science fiction authors made it to the screen. A novella by John W. Campbell provided the basis for The Thing from Another World (1951). Robert A. Heinlein contributed to the screenplay for Destination Moon in 1950, but none of his major works were adapted for the screen until the 1990s: The Puppet Masters in 1994 and Starship Troopers in 1997. Isaac Asimov's fiction influenced the Star Wars and Star Trek films, but it was not until 1988 that a film version of one of his short stories (Nightfall) was produced. The first major motion picture adaptation of a full-length Asimov work was Bicentennial Man (1999) (based on the short stories "Bicentennial Man" and "The Positronic Man", the latter co-written with Robert Silverberg), although 2004's I, Robot, a film loosely based on Asimov's book of short stories by the same name, drew more attention.

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author avatar Science fiction Authors
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The adaptation of science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke's novel as 2001: A Space Odyssey won the Academy Award for Visual Effects and offered thematic complexity not typically associated with the science fiction genre at the time. Its sequel, 2010, was commercially successful but less highly regarded by critics. Reflecting the times, two earlier science fiction works by Ray Bradbury were adapted for cinema in the 1960s with Fahrenheit 451 and The Illustrated Man. Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five was filmed in 1971 and Breakfast of Champions in 1998.

Philip K. Dick's fiction has been used in a number of science fiction films, in part because it evokes the paranoia that has been a central feature of the genre. Films based on Dick's works include Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Impostor (2001), Minority Report (2002), Paycheck (2003), A Scanner Darkly (2006), and The Adjustment Bureau (2011). These films are loose adaptations of the original story, with the exception of A Scanner Darkly, which is close to Dick's book.

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author avatar Fantasy films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Fantasy films are films with fantastic themes, usually involving magic, supernatural events, make-believe creatures, or exotic fantasy worlds. The genre is considered to be distinct from science fiction film and horror film, although the genres do overlap. Fantasy films often have an element of magic, myth, wonder, escapism, and the extraordinary.

In fantasy films, the hero often undergoes some kind of mystical experience and must ask for assistance from powerful, superhuman forces. Ancient Greek mythological figures or Arabian Nights-type narratives are the typical storylines. Flying carpets, magic swords and spells, dragons, and ancient religious relics or objects are common elements. Bizarre and imaginary, invented lands include sci-fi worlds, fairy tale settings or other whimsical locales are common settings.

Usually, the main characters in fantasies are princes or princesses. Some fantasy-type films might also include quasi-religious or supernatural characters such as angels, lesser gods, fairies or in the case of live action/animation hybrids cartoon characters. Or they include gnomes, dwarves and elves. Strange phenomena and incredible characters (like monstrous characters that are divine or evil spirits or magicians and sorcerers) are put into fantasy films, and often overlap with supernatural films.

Fantasy films are most likely to overlap with the film genres of science fiction and horror. When the narrative of a fantasy film tends to emphasize advanced technology in a fantastic world, it may be considered predominantly a science fiction film. Or when the supernatural/fantasy forces are specifically intended to frighten the audience, a fantasy film falls more within the horror genre.

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author avatar Genre definitions
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The boundaries of the fantasy literary genre are not well-defined, and the same is therefore true for the film genre as well. Categorizing a movie as fantasy may thus require an examination of the themes, narrative approach and other structural elements of the film.

For example, much about the Star Wars saga suggests fantasy, yet it has the feel of science fiction, whereas much about Time Bandits (1981) suggests science fiction, yet it has the feel of fantasy. Some film critics borrow the literary term Science Fantasy to describe such hybrids of the two genres.

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author avatar Genre definitions
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Animated films featuring fantastic elements are not always classified as fantasy, particularly when they are intended for children. Bambi, for example, is not fantasy, nor is 1995's Toy Story, though the latter is probably closer to fantasy than the former. The Secret of NIMH from 1982, however, may be considered to be a fantasy film because there is actual magic involved.

Other children's movies, such as Walt Disney's 1937 classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is also difficult to categorize. Snow White features a medieval setting, dwarven characters, the use of sorcery, and other tropes common to fantasy. Yet many fans of the genre do not believe such movies qualify as fantasy, placing them in instead in a separate fairy tale genre.

Superhero films also fulfill the requirements of the fantasy or science fiction genres but are often considered to be a separate genre. Some critics, however, classify superhero literature and film as a subgenre of fantasy (Superhero Fantasy) rather than as an entirely separate category.

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author avatar Genre definitions
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Films that rely on magic primarily as a gimmick, such the 1976 film Freaky Friday and its 2003 re-make in which a mother and daughter magically switch bodies, may technically qualify as fantasy but are nevertheless not generally considered part of the genre.

Surrealist film also describes the fantastic, but it dispenses with genre narrative conventions and is usually thought of as a separate category. Finally, many Martial arts films feature medieval settings and incorporate elements of the fantastic (see for example Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), but fans of such films do not agree if they should also be considered examples of the fantasy genre.

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author avatar Subgenres
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Several sub-categories of fantasy films can be identified, although the delineations between these subgenres, much as in fantasy literature, are somewhat fluid.

The most common fantasy subgenres depicted in movies are High Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery. Both categories typically employ quasi-medieval settings, wizards, magical creatures and other elements commonly associated with fantasy stories.

High Fantasy films tend to feature a more richly developed fantasy world, and may also be more character-oriented or thematically complex. Often, they feature a hero of humble origins and a clear distinction between good and evil set against each other in an epic struggle. Many scholars cite J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novel as the prototypical modern example of High Fantasy in literature, and the recent Peter Jackson film adaptation of the books is a good example of the High Fantasy subgenre on the silver screen.

Sword and Sorcery movies tend to be more plot-driven than high fantasy and focus heavily on action sequences, often pitting a physically powerful but unsophisticated warrior against an evil wizard or other supernaturally-endowed enemy. Although Sword and Sorcery films sometimes describe an epic battle between good and evil similar to those found in many High Fantasy movies, they may alternately present the hero as having more immediate motivations, such as the need to protect a vulnerable maiden or village, or even being driven by the desire for vengeance.

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author avatar Subgenres
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The 1982 film adaptation of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, for example, is a personal (non-epic) story concerning the hero's quest for revenge and his efforts to thwart a single megalomaniac—while saving a beautiful princess in the process. Some critics refer to such films by the term Sword and Sandal rather than Sword and Sorcery, although others would maintain that the Sword and Sandal label should be reserved only for the subset of fantasy films set in ancient times on the planet Earth, and still others would broaden the term to encompass films that have no fantastic elements whatsoever. To some, the term Sword and Sandal has pejorative connotations, designating a film with a low-quality script, bad acting and poor production values.

Another important sub-genre of fantasy films that has become more popular in recent years is Contemporary Fantasy. Such films feature magical effects or supernatural occurrences happening in the "real" world of today. The most prominent example in the early 21st century is the Harry Potter series of films adapted from the novels of J. K. Rowling.

Films with live action and animation such as Disney's Mary Poppins, Pete's Dragon, Enchanted (film) and the Robert Zemeckis film Who Framed Roger Rabbit are also fantasy films although are more often referred to as Live action/animation hybrids (2 of those are also classified as a musicals).

Fantasy films set in the afterlife, called Bangsian Fantasy, are less common, although films such as the 1991 Albert Brooks comedy Defending Your Life would likely qualify. Other uncommon subgenres include Historical Fantasy and Romantic Fantasy, although 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl successfully incorporated elements of both.

As noted above, superhero movies and fairy tale films might each be considered subgenres of fantasy films, although most would classify them as altogether separate movie genres.

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author avatar Fantasy movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

As a cinematic genre, fantasy has traditionally not been regarded as highly as the related genre of science fiction film. Undoubtedly, the fact that until recently fantasy films often suffered from the "Sword and Sandal" afflictions of inferior production values, over-the-top acting and decidedly poor special effects was a significant factor in fantasy film's low regard. Even 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, which did much to improve the genre's reputation in public as well critical circles, was still derided in some quarters because of its comic book-like action sequences and tongue in cheek comedy.

Since the late 1990s, however, the genre has gained new respectability in a way, driven principally by the successful adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is notable due to its ambitious scope, serious tone and thematic complexity. These pictures achieved phenomenal commercial and critical success, and the third installment of the trilogy became the first fantasy film ever to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Harry Potter series has been a tremendous financial success, has achieved critical acclaim, and boasts an enormous and loyal fanbase.

Following the success of these ventures, Hollywood studios have greenlighted additional big-budget productions in the genre. These have included adaptations of the first, second, and third books in C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia series and the teen novel Eragon, as well as adaptations of Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, Holly Black's The Spiderwick Chronicles, Nickolodeon's TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Fantasia segment (along with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's original poem) The Sorcerer's Apprentice

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author avatar Fantasy movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Fantasy movies in recent years, such as the Lord of the Rings films, the first and third Narnia adaptations, and the first second, fourth and seventh Harry Potter adaptations have most often been released in November and December. This is in contrast to science fiction films, which are often released during the northern hemisphere summer (June - August). All 3 installments of the Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy films, however, were released in July 2003, July 2006 and May 2007 respectively, and the latest releases in the Harry Potter series were released in July, 2007 and July 2009. The huge commercial success of these pictures may indicate a change in Hollywood's approach to big-budget fantasy film releases.

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author avatar Fantasy movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Fantasy films have a history almost as old as the medium itself. However, fantasy films were relatively few and far between until the 1980s, when high-tech filmmaking techniques and increased audience interest caused the genre to flourish.

What follows are some notable Fantasy films.

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author avatar 1900-30s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the era of silent film the earliest fantasy films were those made by French film pioneer Georges Méliès from 1903. The most famous of these was 1902's A Trip to the Moon. In the Golden Age of Silent film (1918-1926) the most outstanding fantasy films were Douglas Fairbanks' The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen (1924) and Destiny (1921). other notables in the genre were F.W. Murnau's romantic ghost story Phantom, Tarzan of the Apes starring Elmo Lincoln, and D. W. Griffith's The Sorrows of Satan.

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author avatar 1930s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Following the advent of sound films, audiences of all ages were introduced to 1939's The Wizard of Oz. Also notable of the era, the iconic 1933 film King Kong borrows heavily from the Lost World subgenre of fantasy fiction as does such films as the 1935 adaption of H. Rider Haggard's novel She about an African expedition that discovers an immortal queen known as Ayesha "She who must be obeyed". Frank Capra's 1937 picture Lost Horizon transported audiences to the Himalayan fantasy kingdom of Shangri-La, where the residents magically never age. Other noteworthy fantasy film of the 30s include Tarzan the Ape Man in 1932 starring Johnny Weissmuller starting a successful series of talking pictures based on the fantasy-adventure novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the G. W. Pabst directed The Mistress of Atlantis from 1932. 1932 saw the release of the Universal Studios monster movie The Mummy which combined horror with a romantic fantasy twist. more light-hearted and comedic affairs from the decade include films like 1934s romantic drama film Death Takes a Holiday where Fredric March plays Death who takes a human body to experience life for three days, and 1937s Topper where a man is haunted by two fun loving ghosts who try to make his life a little more exciting.

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author avatar 1940s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The 1940s then saw several full color fantasy films produced by Alexander Korda, including The Thief of Bagdad (1940), a film on par with The Wizard of Oz, and Jungle Book (1942). In 1946, Jean Cocteau's classic adaptation of Beauty and the Beast won praise for its surreal elements and for transcending the boundaries of the fairy tale genre. Sinbad the Sailor (1947), starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., has the feel of a fantasy film though it does not actually have any fantastic elements. Conversely, It's a Wonderful Life and A Matter of Life and Death, both from 1946, do not feel like fantasy films yet both feature supernatural elements and the latter movie could reasonably be cited as an example of Bangsian fantasy.

Several other pictures featuring supernatural encounters and aspects of Bangsian fantasy were produced in the 1940s during World War II. These include Beyond Tomorrow, The Devil and Daniel Webster, and Here Comes Mr. Jordan, all from 1941, Heaven Can Wait the musical Cabin in the Sky (1943), the comedy The Horn Blows at Midnight and romances such as The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), One Touch of Venus and Portrait of Jennie, both 1948.

Although it's not classified as a fantasy film, Gene Kelly's Anchors Aweigh had a fantasy sequence called "The King who Couldn't Dance" in which Gene did a song and dance number with Jerry Mouse from Tom and Jerry.

Because these movies do not feature elements common to high fantasy or sword and sorcery pictures, some modern critics do not consider them to be examples of the fantasy genre.

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author avatar 1950s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1950s there were a few major fantasy films, including Darby O'Gill and the Little People and The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, the latter penned by Dr. Seuss. Jean Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy, begun in 1930 and completed in 1959, is based on Greek mythology and could be classified either as fantasy or surrealist film, depending on how the boundaries between these genres are drawn. Russian fantasy director Aleksandr Ptushko created three mythological epics from Russian fairytales, Sadko (1953), Ilya Muromets (1956), and Sampo (1959). Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi's 1953 film Ugetsu Monogatari draws on Japanese classical ghost stories of love and betrayal.

Other notable pictures from the 1950s that feature fantastic elements and are sometimes classified as fantasy are: Harvey (1950), featuring a púca of Celtic mythology; Scrooge, the 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol; and Ingmar Bergman's 1957 masterpiece, The Seventh Seal. Disney's 1951 animated film Alice in Wonderland is also a fantasy classic.

There were also a number of lower budget fantasies produced in the 1950s, typically based on Greek or Arabian legend. The most notable of these may be 1958's The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen and music by Bernard Herrmann.

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author avatar 1960s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Harryhausen worked on a series of fantasy films in the 1960s, most importantly Jason and the Argonauts (1963). Many critics have identified this film as Harryhausen's masterwork for its stop-motion animated statues, skeletons, harpies, hydra, and other mythological creatures. Other Harryhausen fantasy and science fantasy collaborations from the decade include the 1961 adaptation of Jules Verne's Mysterious Island, the critically panned One Million Years B.C. starring Raquel Welch, and The Valley of Gwangi (1969).

Capitalising on the success of the sword and sandal genre several Italian B-movies based on classical myth were made, including Ulysses (1955 film), Hercules Unchained and the Maciste series. Otherwise, the 1960s were almost entirely devoid of fantasy films. The fantasy picture 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, in which Tony Randall portrayed several characters from Greek mythology, was released in 1964. But the 1967 adaptation of the Broadway musical Camelot removed most of the fantasy elements from T. H. White's classic The Once and Future King, on which the musical had been based. The 1960s also saw a new adaption of Haggard's She in 1965 starring Ursula Andress as the immortal "She who must be obeyed" and was followed by a sequel in 1968 The Vengeance of She based loosely on the novel Ayesha: The Return of She both produced by Hammer Film Productions, 1968 also saw the release of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang based on a story by Ian Fleming with a script from Roald Dahl.

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author avatar 1970s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Fantasy elements of Arthurian legend were again featured, albeit absurdly, in 1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Harryhausen also returned to the silver screen in the 1970s with two additional Sinbad fantasies, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). The animated movie Wizards (1977) had limited success at the box office but achieved status as a cult film. There was also The Noah (1975) which was never released theatrically but became a cult favorite when it was finally released on DVD in 2006. Some would consider 1977's Oh God!, starring George Burns to be a fantasy film, and Heaven Can Wait (1978) was a successful Bangsian fantasy remake of 1941's Here Comes Mr. Jordan (not 1943's Heaven Can Wait).

A few low budget "Lost World" pictures were made in the 1970s, such as 1975's The Land That Time Forgot. Otherwise, the fantasy genre was largely absent from mainstream movies in this decade, although 1971's Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory were two fantasy pictures in the public eye the latter again being from Roald Dahl in both script and novel.

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author avatar 1980s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The release of the historical fantasy Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981 began a fantasy explosion which continues into the twenty-first century. Arthurian lore was once again explored in 1981's Excalibur helmed by John Boorman. Films such as the Ridley Scott movie Legend and starting with Time Bandits director Terry Gilliam's trilogy of fantasy epics Brazil in 1985, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen in 1986 saw a new artist streak with their surrealist imagery and thought provoking plots. The modern sword and sorcery boom also began at this time with 1982's Conan the Barbarian followed by Kull and Fire and Ice in 1983 as well as a boom in fairytale like fantasy films such as The Princess Bride in 1987 and Willow and 1988.

The 80s also started a trend in mixing modern settings and action movie effects with exotic concepts like Big Trouble in Little China by director John Carpenter which combined humor, martial arts and classic Chinese Folklore in a modern Chinatown setting starring Kurt Russell, and Highlander a film about immortal Scottish swordsmen, were both released in 1986.

Jim Henson produced two iconic fantasy films in the 80s, that being the solemn and grave The Dark Crystal and the more whimsical and lofty Labyrinth. Meanwhile Robert Zemeckis helmed Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in which featured several famous cartoon characters from the "Golden Age of animation" including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Droopy, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, Sylvester the cat, Tweety Pie and Jiminy Cricket among others.

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author avatar 1990s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Bram Stoker's Dracula

Edward Scissorhands

Batman Returns

Ghost in the Machine

The Green Mile

Groundhog Day

The Indian in the Cupboard

Hook (film)

Dragonheart

Jumanji

The Lawnmower Man

Meet Joe Black

Nightbreed

Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime)

The Wind in the Willows (Mr Toad's Wild Ride)

Kazaam

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author avatar 2000s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

17 Again (2009)

300 (2006)

Alvin & the Chipmunks (2007/2009/2011)

Big Fish (2003)

Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

The Brothers Grimm (2005)

The Chronicles of Narnia (2005/2007/2010)

Coraline (2009)

Corpse Bride (2005)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

D-War (2007)

Elf (2003)

Enchanted (2007)

Eragon (2006)

Fat Albert (2004)

The Golden Compass (2007)

Harry Potter (2001-11)

The Hexer (2001)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

Imagine That (2009)

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)

Inkheart / Inkworld trilogy (2008)

The Invention of Lying (2009)

King Kong (2005)

Lady in the Water (2006)

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

The Lord of the Rings (2001-03)

The Lovely Bones (2008)

Monsters Inc. (2001/2013)

Nanny McPhee (2005)

Night Watch (2004)

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003/2006/2007/2011)

Race to Witch Mountain (2009)

The Science of Sleep (2006)

The Seeker (2007)

The Master of Disguise (2002)

Shrek (2001/2004/2007/2010)

The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Spike (2008)

Spirited Away (2002)

Stardust (2007)

Twilight (2008-12)

Underworld (2003/2006/2009/2012)

Watchmen (2009) (set in an alternative version of history in which Richard Nixon went up for a third term and the United States won the Vietnam War due to the intervention of superheroes)

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

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author avatar 2010s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Brave (2012)

Clash of the Titans (2010) and its 2012 sequel, Wrath of the Titans

Conan the Barbarian (2011)

Dark Shadows (2012)

Gulliver's Travels (2010)

Hop (2011)

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Hugo (2011)

Immortals (2011)

John Carter (2012)

The Last Airbender (2010)

The Lorax (2012)

Man of Steel (2013)

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Mirror Mirror (2012)

Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)

Sucker Punch (2011)

Thor (2011)

Ted (2012)

Yogi Bear (2010)

Your Highness (2011)

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author avatar Sport films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

This list of sports films is a compilation of films in the genre covering sports activities. Sports movies have been made since the era of silent films, such as the 1915 film The Champion starring Charlie Chaplin. Films in this genre can range from serious (Raging Bull) to silly (Horse Feathers). A classic theme for sports films is the triumph of an individual or team who prevail despite the difficulties. Men often identify with sports films in ways they wouldn't with other genres, such as spy films.

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author avatar War Films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

War films are a film genre concerned with warfare, usually about naval, air or land battles, sometimes focusing instead on prisoners of war, covert operations, military training or other related subjects. At times war films focus on daily military or civilian life in wartime without depicting battles. Their stories may be fiction, based on history, docudrama, biographical, or even alternate history fiction.

The term anti-war film is sometimes used to describe films which bring to the viewer the pain and horror of war, often from a political or ideological perspective.

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author avatar Genre
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

John Belton identified four narrative elements of the war film within the context of Hollywood production: a) the suspension of civilian morality during times of war, b) primacy of collective goals over individual motivations, c) rivalry between men in predominantly male groups as well as marginalization and objectification of women, and d) depiction of the reintegration of veterans. Film scholar Kathryn Kane has pointed out similarities between the war film genre and the Western. Both genres use opposing concepts like war and peace, civilization and savagery. War films usually frame World War II as a conflict between good and evil as represented by the Allied forces and Nazi Germany whereas the Western portrays the conflict between "civilized" settlers and the "savage" indigenous peoples. Film historian Jeanine Basinger argues that a sub-genre, the World War II combat film, emerged in 1943. This sub-genre depicts military action whereas the war film genre need not portray armed combat

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author avatar Beginnings
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

One of the most influential silent films from the beginning of the twentieth century is Birth of a Nation (1915), the first half of which established many conventions for War films and Motion Pictures in general. This film has been described as a great film for a terrible cause. Protests and violence erupted in the wake of its opening and it became one of the first films to raise the issue of cinema's potentially detrimental effect on mass culture. Notably the film depicts the American Civil War in a manner reminiscent of the First World War, which was happening overseas at the time of its release.

In 1914-1918, both the Central Powers and the Allies produced war documentaries. The films were also used as propaganda in neutral countries like the United States. Among the most notable motion pictures was a film shot at the Eastern Front by cameraman Albert K. Dawson: The Battle and Fall of Przemysl (1915). Dawson was attached to the German, Austrian and Bulgarian armies as an official war photographer. His documentaries were released by The American Correspondent Film Company.

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author avatar 1920s-30s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

An early notable war film is Charlie Chaplin's Shoulder Arms made in 1918. The film set a style for war films to come and it can be considered the first comedy about war in film history. Films made in the years following World War I tended to emphasise the horror or futility of warfare, most notably The Big Parade (1925) and What Price Glory? (1926). With the sound era, films like All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) (and its much darker German counterpart Westfront 1918), Howard Hawks' Road to Glory (1936) and Grand Illusion (1937), focused on the futility of war for non-American soldiers whilst Hollywood produced American soldiers featuring in World War I comedies such as Buster Keaton's Doughboys (1930) and Wheeler & Woolsey's Half Shot at Sunrise (1930), or exciting tales of the U.S. Marine Corps putting down rebellions in Central America, China, and the Pacific Islands in films like Frank Capra's Flight (1930), The Leathernecks Have Landed (1936) and Tell it to the Marines (1926 film). Other films focused on the drama inherent in the new technology and fading chivalry of aerial combat in films such as Wings (1927), Hell's Angels (1930) and The Dawn Patrol (1930 and 1938 versions).

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author avatar 1940s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The first popular war films during the Second World War came from Britain and Germany and were often documentary or semi-documentary in nature. Examples include The Lion Has Wings and Target for Tonight (British) and Sieg im Westen (German).

By the early 1940s, the British film industry began to combine documentary techniques with fictional stories in films like Noël Coward's In Which We Serve (1942), Millions Like Us (1943) and The Way Ahead (1944). Others used the medium of the fiction film to carry a propaganda message; about the need for vigilance (Went the Day Well?) or to avoid "careless talk" (The Next of Kin).

The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 was passed by the United States Congress on September 16, 1940, becoming the first peacetime conscription in United States history. Hollywood reflected the interest of the American public in Conscription in the United States by having nearly every film studio bring out a military film comedy in 1941 with their resident comedian(s). Universal Pictures' Abbott and Costello came out with the first feature film on the subject Buck Privates and followed it with the team In The Navy and in the United States Army Air Corps to Keep 'Em Flying. Paramount Pictures' Bob Hope was Caught In The Draft, Warner Brothers told Phil Silvers and Jimmy Durante You're In The Army Now, Columbia Pictures put Fred Astaire in the army declaring You'll Never Get Rich, Hal Roach gave his new comedy team of William Tracy and Joe Sawyer Tanks a Million and 20th Century Fox had the former Hal Roach team of Laurel & Hardy going Great Guns. The minor studios such as Republic Pictures made Bob Crosby and Eddie Foy Jr Rookies on Parade and Monogram Pictures enlisted Nat Pendleton as Top Sergeant Mulligan. However, the first comedians to hit the screen in an army comedy were The Three Stooges as Boobs in Arms.

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author avatar 1950s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Serious 1941 films involving training for war included U.S. Cavalry in MGM's The Bugle Sounds, RKO's Parachute Battalion, Paramount Pictures I Wanted Wings and Warner Brothers' Dive Bomber. 20th Century Fox made the last pre-war military film about the U.S. Marine Corps To The Shores of Tripoli. When the Pearl Harbor attack occurred the studio reshot the ending to have John Payne reenlist in the Corps and march off with the Marines whilst his father implores him to 'Get a Jap for me'.

Prior to Pearl Harbor, Warner Brothers warned of Confessions of a Nazi Spy whilst PRC told of Hitler, Beast of Berlin. A metaphor for America was Gary Cooper as the real life Sergeant York who went from hillbilly hell-raiser, to pacifist, to a draftee comparing the Bible to the History of the United States and deciding that his marksmanship against the Germans was righteous.

After the United States entered the war in 1941 Hollywood began to mass-produce war films. Many of the American dramatic war films in the early 1940s were designed to celebrate American unity and demonize "the enemy." One of the conventions of the genre that developed during the period was of a cross-section of the American people who come together with a common purpose for the good of the country, i.e. the need for mobilization.

The American industry also produced films designed to extol the heroics of America's allies, such as Mrs. Miniver (about a British family on the home front), Edge of Darkness (Norwegian resistance fighters) and The North Star (the Soviet Union and its Communist Party). Towards the end of the war popular books became the source of films of higher quality and more serious tone, extoling more long-term values, including Guadalcanal Diary (film) (1943), Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) and They Were Expendable (1945). The film stars of the time that starred in these films, playing both heroes and villains alike include Greer Garson, Cary Grant, James Cagney, Raymond Massey, Basil Rathbone, Walter Slezak, Dana Andrews, Don Ameche, Richard Loo, Humphrey Bogart, Paul Henreid, Richard Conte, Anthony Quinn and the most popular film star of the era, John Wayne.

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author avatar 1950s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The years after World War II brought a large number of mostly patriotic war films, which used the war as a backdrop for dramas and adventure stories. Many films made in Britain drew on true stories, such as The Dam Busters (1954), Dunkirk (1958), Reach for the Sky (1956) telling the life of Douglas Bader and Sink the Bismarck! (1960). The immediate aftermath of the war in Hollywood avoided the action film and delved into problems experienced by the returning veterans, turning out a number of high quality films that included The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Battleground (1949), Home of the Brave (1949), Command Decision (1948), and Twelve O'Clock High (1949). The latter two examined the psychological effects of combat and the stresses of command.

Hollywood films in the 1950s and 1960s were often inclined towards spectacular heroics or self-sacrifice in films like Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), Halls of Montezuma (1950) or D-Day the Sixth of June (1956). They also tended to toward stereotyping: typically, a small group of ethnically diverse men would come together but would not be developed much beyond their ethnicity; the senior officer would often be unreasonable and unyielding; almost anyone sharing personal information - especially plans for returning home - would die shortly thereafter and anyone acting in a cowardly or unpatriotic manner would convert to heroism or die (or both, in quick succession). Twentieth-Century Fox made a succession of war films realistically filmed in black-and-white in the early 1950s that highlighted little-known aspects of World War II, among them The Frogmen, Go For Broke!, You're in the Navy Now, and Decision Before Dawn.

Another large group of films emerged from the plethora of popular war novels penned after the war. Their quality was largely dependent on their faithfulness to the plot or theme of the original, casting, direction, and production values. Much of their appeal for the American public was that they covered virtually every branch of the service involved in the war. These include: The Young Lions (1958), The Naked and the Dead (1958), Battle Cry (1955), Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), Captain Newman, M.D. (1963), The Caine Mutiny (1954), Away All Boats (1956), The Enemy Below (1957), From Here to Eternity (1953), Kings Go Forth (1958), Never So Few (1959), The Mountain Road (1960), and In Harm's Way (1965).

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author avatar POW Films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A popular sub-genre war films in the 1950s and 1960s was the prisoner of war film. This was a form popularised in Britain and recounted stories of real escapes from (usually German) P.O.W. camps in World War II. Examples include The Wooden Horse (1950), Albert R.N. (1953) and The Colditz Story (1955). Hollywood also made its own contribution to the genre with The Great Escape (1963) and the fictional Stalag 17 (1953). Other fictional P.O.W. films include The Captive Heart (1947), Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), King Rat (1965), Danger Within (1958), The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968). Unusually, the British industry also produced a film based on German escaper Franz von Werra, The One That Got Away in (1957).

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author avatar Post Vietnam Films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The effects of the Vietnam War tended to diminish the appetite for fictional war films by the turn of the 1970s. American war films produced during and just after the Vietnam War often reflected the disillusion of the American public towards the war. Most films made after the Vietnam War delved more deeply into the horrors of war than films made before it (This is not to say that there were no such films before the Vietnam War). Later war films like Catch-22 (set in WWII) and the black comedy MASH (set in Korea), reflected some of these attitudes. Another film, Patton (1970), showed the actions of real life General George S. Patton, but intermixed action with commentary about how he waged war, in North Africa and the Sicilian campaign, showing good and bad sides to a command. The smash film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor George C. Scott (he refused the Award).

In the decades following the War, the American film industry produced many war films either critical of American involvement in Vietnam, depicting American war crimes or the negative effects of war on combatants. These films included works by the most prominent actors and directors in American film and garnering the highest accolades and commercial success including:

Taxi Driver (1976) — nominated for four Academy Awards, directed by Martin Scorsese.

Coming Home (1978) — winner of three Academy Awards, directed by Hal Ashby.

The Deer Hunter (1978) — winner of five Academy Awards, including Academy Award for Best Picture, directed by Michael Cimino.

Apocalypse Now (1979) — winner of two Academy Awards, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Full Metal Jacket (1987) — directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Hamburger Hill (1987) — directed by John Irvin.

Casualties of War (1989) — directed by Brian De Palma.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Oliver Stone did a trilogy of Vietnam War films:

Platoon (1986) — winner of Academy Award for Best Picture.

Born on the Fourth of July (1989) — winner of two Academy Awards.

Heaven & Earth (1993)

Another subgenre were films that portrayed the American government cynically by reflecting upon the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue, the most known of which were Missing in Action (1984) and Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985).

An exception was the 1982 South Korean-American production Inchon about a battle in the Korean War, although both a critical and commercial failure.

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author avatar World War II
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The success of Steven Spielberg's realistic Saving Private Ryan in 1998 helped to usher in a revival of interest in World War II films. A number of these, such as Pearl Harbor and Enemy at the Gates were aimed at the blockbuster market, while others, like Enigma, Dark Blue World, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and Charlotte Gray, were more nostalgic in tone. Others were trying to represent a more harrowing side of the reality of the war such precursor movies as the German Joseph Vilsmaier's Stalingrad, Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot and the later, American director Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line.

Other notable films and TV series of the period dealing with World War II include:

Band of Brothers, The Pacific, The English Patient, Schindler's List, The Pianist, Defiance, Atonement, Katyn, Pornografia, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Adam Resurrected, The Reader, Valkyrie, Good, Life is Beautiful, Downfall, "The Road to Freedom (film) The Counterfeiters, Letters from Iwo Jima, Flags of Our Fathers, Miracle at St. Anna, The Good German, Inglourious Basterds, Days of Glory, Empire of the Sun.

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author avatar Other Wars
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Notable films dealing with World War I are Passchendaele and War Horse (film).

Notable films dealing with contemporary conflict include:

Red Dawn (2012 film), Children of Men, Afghan Luke, Tomorrow, When the War Began (film), Iron Sky, Taking Chance, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Black Hawk Down, Behind Enemy Lines, Jarhead, Battle for Haditha, Body of Lies, Syriana, Blood Diamond, G.I. Jane, Rendition, The Kite Runner, Tears of the Sun, The Hurt Locker, In the Valley of Elah, No Man's Land, Three Kings, Welcome to Sarajevo, Rambo, Brothers, Green Zone.

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author avatar The Military & Film Industry
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Many war films have been produced with the cooperation of a nation's military forces. The United States Navy has been very cooperative since World War II in providing ships and technical guidance; Top Gun is the most famous example. The U.S. Air Force provided considerable verisimilitude for The Big Lift, Strategic Air Command and A Gathering of Eagles, filmed on Air Force bases and using Air Force personnel in many roles.

Typically, the military will not assist filmmakers if the film is critical of them. Sometimes the military demands some editorial control in exchange for their cooperation, which can bias the result. Critics point out that the film Pearl Harbor's US-biased portrayal of events is a compensation for technical assistance received by the US armed forces. For another example, the U.S. Navy objected to elements of Crimson Tide, especially mutiny on board an American naval vessel, so the film was produced without their assistance.

If the home nation's military will not cooperate, or if filming in the home nation is too expensive, another country's may assist. Many 1950s and 1960s war films, including the Oscar-winning films Patton, Lawrence of Arabia, and Spartacus, were shot in Spain, which had large supplies of both Allied and Axis equipment. The Napoleonic epic Waterloo was shot in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union), using Soviet soldiers. The D-Day scenes in Saving Private Ryan were shot with the cooperation of the Irish army because the French couldn't afford to close down the real Omaha Beach due to it being a monument. All of the major sequences in Dark Blue World were shot in the Czech Republic, at a disused air force base. In the "Crimson Tide" example, the French Navy (Marine Nationale) assisted the production team with the French aircraft carrier Foch and one SNLE.

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author avatar Western Genre
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Western is a genre of various arts, such as film, television, radio, literature, painting and others. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Some Westerns are set as early as the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. There are also a number of films about Western-type characters in contemporary settings, such as Junior Bonner set in the 1970s and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada in the 21st century.

Westerns often portray how desolate and hard life was for frontier families. These families are faced with change that would severely alter their way of life. This may be depicted by showing conflict between natives and settlers or U.S. Cavalry or between cattle ranchers and farmers ("sodbusters"), or by showing ranchers being threatened by the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Despite being tightly associated with a specific time and place in American history, these themes have allowed Westerns to be produced and enjoyed across the world.

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author avatar Themes
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Western genre sometimes portrays the conquest of the wilderness and the subordination of nature in the name of civilization or the confiscation of the territorial rights of the original inhabitants of the frontier. The Western depicts a society organized around codes of honor and personal, direct or private justice (such as the feud), rather than one organized around rationalistic, abstract law, in which social order is maintained predominately through relatively impersonal institutions. The popular perception of the Western is a story that centers on the life of a semi-nomadic wanderer, usually a cowboy or a gunfighter.

In some ways, such protagonists may be considered the literary descendants of the knight errant which stood at the center of earlier extensive genres such as the Arthurian Romances. Like the cowboy or gunfighter of the Western, the knight errant of the earlier European tales and poetry was wandering from place to place on his horse, fighting villains of various kinds and bound to no fixed social structures but only to his own innate code of honor. And like knights errant, the heroes of Westerns frequently rescue damsels in distress. Similarly, the wandering protagonists of Westerns share many of the characteristics equated with the image of the ronin in modern Japanese culture.

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author avatar Themes
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Western typically takes these elements and uses them to tell simple morality tales, although some notable examples (e.g. the later Westerns of John Ford or Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven) are more morally ambiguous. Westerns often stress the harshness of the wilderness and frequently set the action in an arid, desolate landscape. Specific settings include isolated forts, ranches and homesteads; the Native American village; or the small frontier town with its saloon, general store, livery stable and jailhouse. Apart from the wilderness, it is usually the saloon that emphasizes that this is the "Wild West": it is the place to go for music (raucous piano playing), women (often prostitutes), gambling (draw poker or five card stud), drinking (beer or whiskey), brawling and shooting. In some Westerns, where "civilization" has arrived, the town has a church and a school; in others, where frontier rules still hold sway, it is, as Sergio Leone said, "where life has no value".

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author avatar Characteristics
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The American Film Institute defines western films as those "set in the American West that embod the spirit, the struggle and the demise of the new frontier." The term Western, used to describe a narrative film genre, appears to have originated with a July 1912 article in Motion Picture World Magazine. Most of the characteristics of Western films were part of 19th century popular Western fiction and were firmly in place before film became a popular art form. Western films commonly feature as their protagonists stock characters such as cowboys, gunslingers, and bounty hunters, often depicted as semi-nomadic wanderers who wear Stetson hats, bandannas, spurs, and buckskins, use revolvers or rifles as everyday tools of survival, and ride between dusty towns and cattle ranches on trusty steeds.

Western films were enormously popular in the silent era although, in common with all films of this period, relatively few of the thousands of silent Westerns made have survived to the present. However, with the advent of sound in 1927-28 the major Hollywood studios rapidly abandoned Westerns, leaving the genre to smaller studios and producers, who churned out countless low-budget features and serials in the 1930s. By the late 1930s the Western film was widely regarded as a 'pulp' genre in Hollywood, but its popularity was dramatically revived in 1939 by such major studio productions as Dodge City (starring Errol Flynn), Jesse James (with Tyrone Power in the title role), Union Pacific (with Joel McCrea), Destry Rides Again (featuring James Stewart in his first western,supported by Marlene Dietrich) and perhaps most notably, the release of John Ford's landmark Western adventure Stagecoach, which became one of the biggest hits of the year released though United Artists, and made John Wayne a mainstream screen star in the wake of a decade of headlining B westerns. Wayne had been introduced to the screen ten years earlier as the leading man in director Raoul Walsh's widescreen classic The Big Trail, which failed at the box office due to exhibitors' inability to switch over to widescreen during the Depression.

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author avatar Theme
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Western films often depict conflicts with Native Americans. While early Eurocentric Westerns frequently portray the "Injuns" as dishonorable villains, the later and more culturally neutral Westerns (notably those directed by John Ford) gave native Americans a more sympathetic treatment. Other recurring themes of Westerns include Western treks or perilous journeys (e.g. Stagecoach) or groups of bandits terrorising small towns such as in The Magnificent Seven.

Early Westerns were mostly filmed in the studio, just like other early Hollywood films, but when location shooting became more common from the 1930s, producers of Westerns used desolate corners of Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, or Wyoming. Productions were also filmed on location at movie ranches.

Often, the vast landscape becomes more than a vivid backdrop; it becomes a character in the film. After the early 1950s, various wide screen formats such as cinemascope (1953) and VistaVision used the expanded width of the screen to display spectacular Western landscapes. John Ford's use of Monument Valley as an expressive landscape in his films from Stagecoach (1939) to Cheyenne Autumn (1965) "present us with a mythic vision of the plains and deserts of the American West, embodied most memorably in Monument Valley, with its buttes and mesas that tower above the men on horseback, whether they be settlers, soldiers, or Native Americans"

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author avatar Theme
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Western genre itself has sub-genres, such as the epic Western, the shoot 'em up, singing cowboy Westerns, and a few comedy Westerns. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Western was re-invented with the revisionist Western.

Classical Westerns

Edwin S. Porter's 1903 film starring Broncho Billy Anderson The Great Train Robbery is often cited as the first Western, though George N. Fenin and William K. Everson point out that the "Edison company had played with Western material for several years prior to The Great Train Robbery." Nonetheless, they concur that Porter's film "set the pattern—of crime, pursuit, and retribution—for the Western film as a genre." The film's popularity opened the door for Anderson to become the screen's first cowboy star, making several hundred Western film shorts. So popular was the genre that he soon had competition in the form of Tom Mix and William S. Hart. The Golden Age of the Western film is epitomized by the work of two directors: John Ford and Howard Hawks (both of whom often used John Wayne in lead roles).

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author avatar Northerns
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Northern genre is a subgenre of Westerns taking place in Western Canada or Alaska. Examples include The Far Country with James Stewart and North to Alaska with John Wayne.

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author avatar Euro-Western
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

This is a colloquial idiom often used to describe Western films made in Western Europe. The term can sometimes, but not necessarily, include the Spaghetti Western subgenre (see below). One example of a Euro Western is the 1961 Anglo-Spanish film The Savage Guns. Several such films were made in Germany, derived from stories by novelist Karl May (cf. article on film adaptations).

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author avatar Spaghetti western
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

During the 1960s and 1970s, a revival of the Western emerged in Italy with the "Spaghetti Westerns" or "Italo-Westerns". The most famous of them is The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Many of these films are low-budget affairs, shot in locations (for example, the Spanish desert region of Almería) chosen for their inexpensive crew and production costs as well as their similarity to landscapes of the Southwestern United States. Spaghetti Westerns were characterized by the presence of more action and violence than the Hollywood Westerns. Also, the protagonists usually acted out of more selfish motives (money or revenge being the most common) than in the classical westerns.

The films directed by Sergio Leone have a parodic dimension (the strange opening scene of Once Upon a Time in the West being a reversal of Fred Zinnemann's High Noon opening scene) which gave them a different tone than the Hollywood Westerns. Veteran American actors Charles Bronson, Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood became famous by starring in Spaghetti Westerns, although the films also provided a showcase for other noted actors such as Jason Robards, James Coburn, Klaus Kinski and Henry Fonda. Eastwood, previously the lead in the television series Rawhide, unexpectedly found himself catapulted into the forefront of the film industry by Leone's A Fistful of Dollars.

Quentin Tarantino paid homage to spaghetti westerns with his Django Unchained, about a former slave trying to free his wife from slave traders. Tarantino called the movie a "southern"

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author avatar Meat-pie Western
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The meat pie Western is a slang term to used to describe an American Western-style movie or TV series set in Australia, and especially the Australian Outback. A play on the Italo-western moniker "spaghetti Westerns". Films such as Rangle River (1936), Kangaroo (1952), The Man from Snowy River (1982), Five Mile Creek (1983-85) - TV series, and Quigley Down Under (1991) are all representative of the genre. The terms is used to differentiate more Americanised Australian films from those with a more historical basis, such as ones about bushrangers.

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author avatar Osterns
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Eastern-European-produced Westerns were popular in Communist Eastern European countries, and were a particular favorite of Joseph Stalin. "Red Western" or "Ostern" films usually portrayed the American Indians sympathetically, as oppressed people fighting for their rights, in contrast to American Westerns of the time, which frequently portrayed the Indians as villains. They frequently featured Gypsies or Turkic people in the role of the Indians, due to the shortage of authentic Indians in Eastern Europe.

Gojko Mitić portrayed righteous, kind hearted and charming Indian chiefs (e.g. in Die Söhne der großen Bärin directed by Josef Mach). He became honorary chief of the tribe of Sioux when he visited the United States of America in the 1990s and the television crew accompanying him showed the tribe one of his films. American actor and singer Dean Reed, an expatriate who lived in East Germany, also starred in several films.

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author avatar Neo-western
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Although these films have contemporary American settings, they utilize Old West themes and motifs (a rebellious anti-hero, open plains and desert landscapes, and gunfights). For the most part, they still take place in the American West and reveal the progression of the Old West mentality into the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. This sub-genre often features Old West-type characters struggling with displacement in a "civilized" world that rejects their outdated brand of justice.

Examples include Hud starring Paul Newman (1963); Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway (1972) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974); Simon Wincer's Quigley Down Under; Robert Rodríguez's El Mariachi (1992); John Sayles' Lone Star (1996); Tommy Lee Jones' The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005); Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain (2005); Wim Wenders' Don't Come Knocking (2005); and the Coen brothers Academy Award–winning No Country For Old Men (2007). Call of Juarez: The Cartel is an example of a Neo-Western video game. The precursor to these was the radio series (1950 - 1952) Tales of the Texas Rangers, a contemporary detective drama set in Texas, featuring many of the characteristics of traditional Westerns.

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author avatar Science fiction western
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

This subgenre places science fiction elements within a traditional terran Western setting. Examples include Wild Wild West, Westworld, its sequel Futureworld, Cowboys & Aliens, "Back to the Future Part III", and the hybrid film Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter. Damnation is a video game example of the science fiction Western.

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author avatar Space Western
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Unlike the science fiction Western, the space Western transposes traditional genre themes onto a space frontier backdrop, updating them with futuristic technologies. Examples include Bravestarr, Outland, and Firefly (as well as the film Serenity based on Firefly).

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author avatar Indo Western
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Westerm films in india was first made in Telugu Mosagaalaku Mosagaadu in 1970. Following with films Ganga and Jakkamma starring Jaishankar in Tamil. But those films were more based on Classic Westerns. Spaghetti Westerns laid the groundwork for Sholay in 1975 after which it was called as curry western . Followed by Khote Sikkay and Rajinikanth film Thai Meethu Sathiyam in Tamil were some notable films of this Genre

In modern age Quick Gun Murugun a 2009 Indian comedy film which is a spoof on Indian western movies. The movie is based on a character created for television promos at the time of the launch of the music network Channel in 1994 which had cult following. In 2010 Irumbukkottai Murattu Singam "Western adventure comedy film" based on Cowboy movies and paying homages to the John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Jaishankar.

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author avatar Horror Western
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A developing sub-genre, with roots in films such as Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966), which depicts the legendary outlaw Billy the Kid fighting against the notorious vampire. The Ghoul Goes West was an unproduced Ed Wood film to star Bela Lugosi as Dracula in the Old West.

Recent examples include the 1999 film Ravenous, which deals with cannibalism at a remote US army outpost, and the 2008 film The Burrowers, about a band of trackers who are stalked by the titular creatures. The Red Dead Redemption downloadable content "Undead Nightmare" is an example of a horror western video game.

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author avatar Weird Western
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

This subgenre blends elements of a classic Western with other elements. The Wild Wild West and its later film adaptation blends the Western with steampunk and Jonah Hex blends the Western with superhero elements. This subgenre can encompass others, such as the Horror Western and the science fiction Western, e.g. Firefly

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author avatar Western Satire
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

This subgenre in its current usage is imitative in its style to mock, comment on, or trivialise the genre's established traits, subjects, auteurs' styles or some other target by means of humorous,satiric or ironic imitation. Such titles include Blazing Saddles, The Hallelujah Trail, The Scalphunters, Rustlers' Rhapsody, and Maverick.

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author avatar Genre Studies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1960s academic and critical attention to cinema as a legitimate art form emerged. American Westerns of the mid 20th Century romanticize the ideas of loyalty and virtue. Westerns of the late 20th Century possess a more negative view of the early American frontier. With the increased attention, film theory was developed to attempt to understand the significance of film. From this environment emerged (in conjunction with the literary movement) an enclave of critical studies called genre studies. This was primarily a semantic and structuralist approach to understanding how similar films convey meaning.

One of the results of genre studies is that some have argued that "Westerns" need not take place in the American West or even in the 19th century, as the codes can be found in other types of films. For example, a very typical Western plot is that an eastern lawman heads west, where he matches wits and trades bullets with a gang of outlaws and thugs, and is aided by a local lawman who is well-meaning but largely ineffective until a critical moment when he redeems himself by saving the hero's life. This description can be used to describe any number of Westerns, but also other films such as Die Hard, Top Gun, and Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai which are frequently cited examples of films that do not take place in the American West but have many themes and characteristics common to Westerns. Likewise, films set in the American Old West may not necessarily be considered "Westerns."

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author avatar Many Influences
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Many Western films after the mid-1950s were influenced by the Japanese samurai films of Akira Kurosawa. For instance The Magnificent Seven was a remake of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, and A Fistful of Dollars was a remake of Kurosawa's Yojimbo, which itself was inspired by Red Harvest, an American detective novel by Dashiell Hammett. Kurosawa was influenced by American Westerns and was a fan of the genre, most especially John Ford.

Despite the Cold War, the Western was a strong influence on Eastern Bloc cinema, which had its own take on the genre, the so called "Red Western" or "Ostern". Generally these took two forms: either straight Westerns shot in the Eastern Bloc, or action films involving the Russian Revolution and civil war and the Basmachi rebellion.

An offshoot of the Western genre is the "post-apocalyptic" Western, in which a future society, struggling to rebuild after a major catastrophe, is portrayed in a manner very similar to the 19th century frontier. Examples include The Postman and the Mad Max series, and the computer game series Fallout. Many elements of space travel series and films borrow extensively from the conventions of the Western genre. This is particularly the case in the space Western subgenre of science fiction. Peter Hyams' Outland transferred the plot of High Noon to Io, moon of Jupiter. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the Star Trek series, pitched his show as "Wagon Train to the stars" early on, but admitted later that this was more about getting it produced in a time that loved Western-themed TV series than about its actual content. The Book of Eli depicts the post apocalypse as a Western with large knives.

More recently, the space opera series Firefly used an explicitly Western theme for its portrayal of frontier worlds. Anime shows like Cowboy Bebop, Trigun and Outlaw Star have been similar mixes of science fiction and Western elements. The science fiction Western can be seen as a subgenre of either Westerns or science fiction. Elements of Western films can be found also in some films belonging essentially to other genres. For example, Kelly's Heroes is a war film, but action and characters are Western-like. The British film Zulu set during the Anglo-Zulu War has sometimes been compared to a Western, even though it is set in South Africa.

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author avatar Influences
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The character played by Humphrey Bogart in film noir films such as Casablanca, To Have and Have Not or The Treasure of the Sierra Madre—an individual bound only by his own private code of honor—has a lot in common with the classic Western hero. In turn, the Western, has also explored noir elements, as with the film Sugar Creek.

In many of Robert A. Heinlein's books, the settlement of other planets is depicted in ways explicitly modeled on American settlement of the West. For example, in his Tunnel in the Sky settlers set out to the planet "New Canaan", via an interstellar teleporter portal across the galaxy, in Conestoga wagons, their captain sporting mustaches and a little goatee and riding a Palomino horse—with Heinlein explaining that the colonists would need to survive on their own for some years, so horses are more practical than machines.

Stephen King's The Dark Tower is a series of seven books that meshes themes of Westerns, high fantasy, science fiction and horror. The protagonist Roland Deschain is a gunslinger whose image and personality are largely inspired by the "Man with No Name" from Sergio Leone's films. In addition, the superhero fantasy genre has been described as having been derived from the cowboy hero, only powered up to omnipotence in a primarily urban setting. The Western genre has been parodied on a number of occasions, famous examples being Support Your Local Sheriff!, Cat Ballou, Mel Brooks's Blazing Saddles, and Rustler's Rhapsody.

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author avatar Influences
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

George Lucas's Star Wars films use many elements of a Western, and Lucas has said he intended for Star Wars to revitalize cinematic mythology, a part the Western once held. The Jedi, who take their name from Jidaigeki, are modeled after samurai, showing the influence of Kurosawa. The character Han Solo dressed like an archetypal gunslinger, and the Mos Eisley Cantina is much like an Old West saloon.

Meanwhile, films such as The Big Lebowski, which plucked actor Sam Elliott out of the Old West and into a Los Angeles bowling alley, and Midnight Cowboy, about a Southern-boy-turned-gigolo in New York, transplanted Western themes into modern settings for both purposes of parody and homage.

A most recent example of a western film is "Django Unchained"- a 2012 American epic western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film starred Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson and was released on December 25, 2012 in North America.

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author avatar Television
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Television Westerns are a sub-genre of the Western. When television became popular in the late 1940s and 1950s, TV Westerns quickly became an audience favorite. Beginning with re-broadcasts of existing films soon a number of movie cowboys had their own TV shows. As the Western became more in demand new stories and stars were introduced. A number of long-running TV Westerns became classics in their own right. Notable TV Westerns include Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Have Gun – Will Travel, Maverick, Rawhide, The Virginian, The Big Valley, and Wagon Train.

The peak year for television Westerns was 1959, with 26 such shows airing during prime-time. Increasing costs of American television production led to most action half hour series vanishing in the early 1960s to be replaced by hour long television shows, increasingly in color. Traditional westerns died out in the late 1960s as a result of network changes in demographic targeting along with pressure from parental television groups. Future entries in the genre would incorporate elements from other genera such as crime drama and mystery whodunit elements. Western shows from the 1970s included McCloud, Hec Ramsey, Little House on the Prairie, and Kung Fu. In the 1990s and 2000s, hour-long Westerns and slickly packaged made-for-TV movie Westerns were introduced. Examples include Lonesome Dove and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. As well, new elements were once again added to the Western formula, such as the Western-science fiction show Firefly, created by Joss Whedon in 2002. Deadwood was a critically acclaimed Western series which aired on HBO from 2004 through 2006.

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author avatar Television
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Western fiction is a genre of literature set in the American Old West and most commonly between the years of 1860 and 1900. The first critically recognized Western was The Virginian by Owen Wister. Well-known writers of Western fiction include Zane Grey from the early 1900s and Louis L'Amour from the mid 20th century. Many writers better known in other genres like Elmore Leonard, Leigh Brackett, and Larry McMurtry have also written Western novels The genre's popularity peaked in the 1960s, due in part to the end of many pulp magazines, the popularity of televised Westerns, and the rise of the spy novel. Readership began to drop off in the mid- to late 1970s and has reached a new low in the 2000s. Most book stores, outside of a few Western states, only carry a small number of Western novels and short story collections.

Literary forms that share similar themes include stories of the American frontier, the gaucho literature of Argentina and tales of the settlement of the Australian Outback.

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author avatar Television
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A number of visual artists focused their work on representations of the American Old West. American West-oriented art is sometimes referred to as "Western Art" by Americans. This relatively new category of art includes paintings, sculptures and sometimes Native American crafts. Initially, subjects included exploration of the Western states and cowboy themes. Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell are two artists who captured the "Wild West" on canvas. Some art museums and art collectors feature American Western Art.

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author avatar Visual Art
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A number of visual artists focused their work on representations of the American Old West. American West-oriented art is sometimes referred to as "Western Art" by Americans. This relatively new category of art includes paintings, sculptures and sometimes Native American crafts. Initially, subjects included exploration of the Western states and cowboy themes. Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell are two artists who captured the "Wild West" on canvas. Some art museums and art collectors feature American Western Art.

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author avatar Other Media
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Western is popular in comic books, computer and video games, anime, role-playing games, and radio dramas.

Western comics have included serious entries (such as the classic comics of the late 1940s and early 1950s), and cartoon and parody (such as Lucky Luke and Cocco Bill). In the 1990s and 2000s, the Western comic leaned toward the Weird West sub-genre, usually involving supernatural monsters, or Christian iconography as in Preacher. However, more traditional western comics are found throughout this period, from Jonah Hex to Loveless.

With anime, genre entries tend towards the science fiction Western (Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Outlaw Star, etc.) although contemporary Westerns also appear (El Cazador de la Bruja, set in modern day Mexico).

Western computer games are often either straight Western or a Western-horror hybrid. Some Western themed-computer games include the 1970s game The Oregon Trail, the 1990s games Sunset Riders, Outlaws, and the 2000s-era Gun, Red Dead Revolver, Red Dead Redemption and Call of Juarez. Other video games adapt the science fiction Western or Weird West subgenres (Gunman Chronicles, Fallout, Mass Effect and Darkwatch).

Western radio dramas were very popular from the 1930s to the 1960s. Some popular shows include The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid, Doctor Six-Gun, Have Gun–Will Travel, and Gunsmoke

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author avatar 2000s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

in the 2000s The locations of action films are big, modern, cities are used for most films so that the chase sequences have large areas in which to move around.

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author avatar Hong Kong
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

At present, action films requiring big budget stunt work and special effects tend to be expensive. As such, they are regarded as mostly a large-studio genre in Hollywood, although this is not the case in Hong Kong action cinema, where action films are often modern variations of martial arts films. Because of these roots and their lower budgets, Hong Kong action films typically center on physical acrobatics, martial arts fight scenes, stylized gun-play, and dangerous stunt work performed by leading stunt actors, while American action films typically feature big explosions, car chases, stunt doubles and CGI special effects technology.

Hong Kong action cinema was at its peak from the 1970s to 1990s, when its action movies were experimenting with and popularizing various new techniques that would eventually be adopted by Hollywood action movies. This began in the early 1970s with the martial arts movies of Bruce Lee, which led to a wave of Bruceploitation movies that eventually gave way to the comedy kung fu films of Jackie Chan by the end of the decade. During the 1980s, Hong Kong action cinema had re-invented itself with various new kinds of movies. These included the modern martial arts action movies, featuring physical acrobatics and dangerous stunt work, of Jackie Chan and his stunt team as well as Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao; the wire fu and wuxia films of Tsui Hark, Yuen Woo-Ping, Jet Li and Donnie Yen; the gun fu, heroic bloodshed and Triad films of John Woo, Ringo Lam and Chow Yun-Fat; and the girls with guns films of Moon Lee and Michelle Yeoh.

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author avatar Sub-genres
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Action comedy - A sub-genre involving action and humor. The sub-genre became a popular trend in the 1980s when actors who were known for their background in comedy such as Eddie Murphy, began to take roles in action films. The action scenes within the genre are generally lighthearted and rarely involve death or serious injury. Comedy films such as Dumb & Dumber and Big Momma's House that contain action-laden sub-plots are not considered part of the genre as the action scenes have a more integral role in action comedies. Examples of action comedies include 48 Hrs. (1982), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Midnight Run (1988) and Bad Boys (1995).

Action horror - A subgenre combining the intrusion of an evil force, event, or supernatural personage of horror movies with the gunfights and frenetic chases of the action genre. Themes or elements often prevalent in typical action-horror films include gore, demons, vicious animals, vampires and, most commonly, zombies. This category also fuses the fantasy genre. Examples include Army of Darkness, Resident Evil, Ghost Rider, Planet Terror, Undead, Doomsday, Underworld, Constantine, Priest, Dawn of the Dead, Deep Rising, From Dusk till Dawn, Blade, Legion and End of Days.

Die Hard scenario - The story takes place in limited location; a single building, plane, or vessel - which is seized or under threat by enemy agents, but are opposed by a single hero who fights an extended battle within the location using stealth and cunning to attempt to defeat them. This sub-genre began with the film Die Hard and has become popular in Hollywood because of its crowd appeal and the relative simplicity of building sets for such a constrained piece. These films are sometimes described as "Die Hard on a...". Among the many films that have copied this formula are Under Siege (terrorists take over a ship), Broken Arrow (rerrorists hijack a nuclear weapon from a B-2 bomber), Snakes on a Plane (poisonous snakes take over a passenger plane), Speed, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory and Derailed (hostages are trapped on a train), Sudden Death (terrorists take over an Ice Hockey stadium), Passenger 57, Executive Decision and Air Force One (hostages are trapped on a plane), Con Air (criminals take over a transport plane), and Half Past Dead and The Rock (criminals or terrorists take over a prison). Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a recent spoof of this trend (as Die Hard in a mall).

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author avatar Sub-genres
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Disaster film - Having elements of thriller and sometimes science fiction films, the main conflict of this genre is some sort of natural or artificial disaster, such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, etc., or nuclear disasters that are shown with heavy action scenes, special effects, over the top destruction and, in modern day, use of CGI. Examples include Independence Day, Daylight, Earthquake, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Poseidon, The Towering Inferno, Dante's Peak, Deep Impact, Volcano, The Core, Armageddon and Twister.

Martial arts - A sub-genre of the action film, martial arts films contain numerous fights between characters, usually as the films' primary appeal and entertainment value, and often as a method of storytelling and character expression and development. Martial arts films contain many characters who are martial artists, and these roles are often played by actors who are real martial artists. If not, actors frequently train in preparation for their roles, or the action director may rely more on stylized action or filmmaking tricks. Martial films include The Karate Kid, Kung Fu Hustle, Fearless, Ninja Assassin, Ong-Bak, Shanghai Noon, Kill Bill, Fist of Legend, Iron Monkey, Drunken Master, Enter the Dragon, Mortal Kombat, The Raid: Redemption, Flashpoint, Champion of Death, Karate Bearfighter, Doberman Cop, Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon and The Street Fighter series.

Sci-fi action - Sharing many of the conventions of a science fiction film, sci-fi action films emphasizes gunplay, space battles, invented weaponry, and other sci-fi elements weaved into action film premises. Examples include G.I. Samurai, Terminator 2, The Matrix, Total Recall, Minority Report, The Island, Star Trek, Aliens, I, Robot, Transformers, Equilibrium, District 9, Serenity, Akira, Paycheck, Predator, Robocop, Avatar, Mad Max 2 and The Fifth Element

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author avatar Sub-genres
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Spy film: In which the hero is generally a government agent who must take violent action against agents of a rival government or (in recent years) terrorists. They often revolve spies who are involved in investigating various events, often on a global scale. The subgenre deals with the subject of fictional espionage, either in a realistic way (such as the adaptations of John Le Carré) or as a basis for fantasy (such as James Bond). It is a significant aspect of British cinema, with leading British directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Carol Reed making notable contributions and many films set in the British Secret Service. The subgenre showcases a combination of exciting escapism, heavy action, stylized fights, technological thrills, and exotic locales. Not all spy films fall in the action genre, only those showcasing heavy action such as frequent shootouts and car chases fall in action, spy films with lesser action would be in the thriller genre (see the spy entry in the subgenres of thriller film). Action films of this subgenre include Casino Royale, the Mission: Impossible franchise, Ronin, True Lies, Salt, From Paris with Love, The International, Patriot Games, xXx, Colombiana and the The Bourne series.

Superhero film - Usually having elements of science fiction and fantasy, they focus on the actions of one or more superheroes, who usually possess superhuman abilities relative to a normal person and are dedicated to protecting the public. These films are almost always action-oriented, and the first film of a particular character often includes a focus on the origin of the special powers including the first fight against the character's most famous supervillain archenemy. Examples include The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Spider-Man, The Avengers, X-Men, The Incredible Hulk and Superman.

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author avatar Actors
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Actors from the 1950s and 1960s such as John Wayne, Steve McQueen and Lee Marvin passed the torch in the 1970s to actors such as martial artist Bruce Lee, Tom Laughlin, Charles Bronson, Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood and Sonny Chiba. In the 1980s, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover had a popular string of "buddy cop" films in the Lethal Weapon franchise. Beginning in the mid-1980s, actors such as the burly ex-bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone wielded automatic weapons in a number of action films. Stern-faced martial artist Steven Seagal made a number of films. Bruce Willis played a Western-inspired hero in the popular Die Hard series of action films.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Asian actors Chow Yun-fat, Jet Li, and Jackie Chan appeared in a number of different types of action films, and US actors Wesley Snipes and Vin Diesel both had many roles. As well, several female actors had major roles in action films, such as Michelle Yeoh, Lucy Liu and ex-model Milla Jovovich. While Keanu Reeves and Harrison Ford both had major roles in action science fiction films (The Matrix and Blade Runner, respectively), Ford branched out into a number of other action genres, such as action-adventure films. US actor Matt Damon, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his sensitive portrayal of a math genius working as a janitor in Good Will Hunting, metamorphosed into an action hero with the car-chase and gunfire-filled Jason Bourne franchise.

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author avatar Actors
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

European action actors such as Belgian-born Jean-Claude Van Damme (Bloodsport, Hard Target, Timecop), Moroccan-born Jean Reno (Ronin), Swedish-born Dolph Lundgren (Showdown in Little Tokyo, Universal Soldier, The Expendables), Irish-born Colin Farrell (SWAT, Daredevil, Miami Vice), and English-born Jason Statham (The Transporter, The Expendables, Crank), appeared in a number of 1990s and 2000s-era action films. Also, the various actors who have portrayed James Bond.

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author avatar Directors
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Notable action film directors from the 1960s and 1970s include Sam Peckinpah, whose 1969 Western The Wild Bunch was controversial for its bloody violence and nihilist tone. Some of the influential and popular directors from the 1980s to 2000s include James Cameron (the first two Terminator films, Aliens, True Lies); Andrew Davis (Code of Silence, Above the Law, Under Siege); John Woo (Hong Kong action films such as Hard Boiled and US-made English-language films such as Hard Target, Broken Arrow and Face/Off); John McTiernan (the first and third Die Hard films, Predator, The Last Action Hero); Ridley Scott (Black Rain, Black Hawk Down); The Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix trilogy), Andrzej Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 the Grave, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li), Robert Rodriguez (Mexico trilogy, From Dusk till Dawn, Machete) and Michael Bay (the first two Bad Boys films, The Rock, Transformers trilogy); Louis Leterrier (the first two Transporter films, Unleashed). For a longer list, see the List of action film directors article.

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author avatar Directors
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Avi Lerner

Boaz Davidson

Bob Weinstein

Don Simpson

Harvey Weinstein

Jerry Bruckheimer

Jerry Weintraub

Joel Silver

Menahem Golan

Yoram Globus

The Wachowskis

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author avatar Adventure Films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Adventure films are a genre of film. Unlike action films, they often use their action scenes preferably to display and explore exotic locations in an energetic way.

The subgenres of adventure films include, swashbuckler film, disaster films, and historical dramas - which is similar to the epic film genre. Main plot elements include quests for lost continents, a jungle and/or desert settings, characters going on a treasure hunts and heroic journeys for the unknown. Adventure films are mostly set in a period background and may include adapted stories of historical or fictional adventure heroes within the historical context. Kings, battles, rebellion or piracy are commonly seen in adventure films. Adventure films may also be combined with other movie genres such as, science fiction, fantasy and sometimes war films.

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author avatar History
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The adventure film reached its peak of popularity in 1930s and 1940s Hollywood, when films such as Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Mark of Zorro were regularly made with major stars, notably Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power, who were closely associated with the genre. At the same time, Saturday morning serials were often using many of the same thematic elements as high-budget adventure films. In the early days of adventure films, the protagonists were mainly male. These heroes were courageous, often fighting suppression and facing tyrants. Recently these male heroic protagonists have occasionally been replaced by heroines, Lara Croft being an example.

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author avatar Popular Concepts
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

An outlaw fighting for justice or battling a tyrant (e.g., Robin Hood, Zorro or Star Wars)

Suspense and dangerous situations the characters must escape from.

Pirates (e.g., Captain Blood or Pirates of the Caribbean)

A journey or quest of some kind, such as searching for a lost city or for hidden treasure (e.g., King Solomon's Mines or Indiana Jones)

The Campbellian hero-myth cycle, coming of age, discovery of one's destiny (e.g., Star Wars, Dune, Lord of the Rings).

Allegorical themes as social commentary (e.g., Planet of the Apes or Star Trek)

Adventure films can contain stock characters and stereotypes. In some cases this has been accused of going as far as implicit racism; claimed examples of this are Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, First Blood and James Bond "kicking third-world people around" in Dr. No.

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author avatar Comedy
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Comedy film is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. These films are designed to elicit laughter from the audience. Comedies are generally light-hearted dramas and are made to amuse and entertain the audiences. The comedy genre often humorously exaggerates situations, ways of speaking, or the action and characters.

Films in this style traditionally have a happy ending (the black comedy being an exception). One of the oldest genres in film, some of the very first silent movies were comedies. Comedy, unlike other film genres, puts much more focus on individual stars, with many former stand-up comic transitioning to the film industry due to their popularity. While many comic films are lighthearted stories with no intent other than to amuse, others contain political or social commentary (such as Wag the Dog and Man of the Year).

The comedy genre can be considered the oldest film genre (and one of the most prolific and popular). Comedy was ideal for the early silent films, as it was dependent on visual action and physical humour rather than sound. Slapstick, one of the earliest forms of comedy, poked fun at physical mishap, usually in practical jokes, accidents and water soakings

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author avatar Comedy
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A comedy of manners film satirises the manners and affectations of a social class, often represented by stock characters. The plot of the comedy is often concerned with an illicit love affair or some other scandal. However, the plot is generally less important than its witty dialogue. This form of comedy has a long ancestry, dating back at least as far as Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare.

Slapstick (The Three Stooges is an excellent example of this kind of comedy) was popular in the earliest silent films, since they didn't need sound to be effective, and they were popular with non-English speaking audiences. The term slapstick was taken from the wooden sticks that clowns slapped together to promote audience applause. Slapstick films involve aggressive, physical and visual action, including harmless or painless cruelty and violence, horseplay, and often vulgar sight gags. Slapstick often required exquisite timing and well-honed performance skills.

In a fish out of water comedy film, the main character or character finds himself in an unusual environment, which drives most of the humour. Situations can be swapping gender roles, as in Tootsie (1982); an age changing role, as in Big (1988); a freedom-loving individual fitting into a structured environment, as in Police Academy (1984); a rural backwoodsman in the big city, as in "Crocodile" Dundee, and so forth. The Coen Brothers are known for using this technique in all of their films, though not always to comedic effect. Some films including people fitting the "fish-out-of-water" bill including The Big Lebowski and A Serious Man.

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author avatar Action Comedy
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A parody or spoof film is a comedy that satirizes other film genres or classic films. Such films employ sarcasm, stereotyping, mockery of scenes from other films, and the obviousness of meaning in a character's actions. Examples of this form include Blazing Saddles (1974), Airplane! (1980), and Young Frankenstein (1974).

The anarchic comedy film, as its name suggests, is a random or stream-of-consciousness type of humour which often lampoons a form of authority. The genre dates from the silent era, and the most famous examples of this type of film would be those produced by Monty Python. Others include Duck Soup (1933) and National Lampoon's Animal House .

The black comedy film deals with normally taboo subjects, including, death, murder, sexual relations, suicide and war, in a satirical manner. Examples include Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Ladykillers (1955), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), The Loved One (1965), MASH (1970), Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983), Brazil (1985), The War of the Roses (1989), Heathers (1989), Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), Keeping Mum (2005), and Burn After Reading (2008).

Gross-out films are a relatively recent development, and rely heavily on vulgar, sexual or "toilet" humour. Examples include Porky's (1982), Dumb and Dumber (1994), There's Something About Mary (1998), and American Pie (1999).

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author avatar Action Comedy
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Films in this sub-genre blend comic antics and action where the film stars combine wit and one-liners with a thrilling plot and daring stunts. The genre became a specific draw in North America in the eighties when comedians such as Eddie Murphy started taking more action oriented roles such as in 48 Hrs. and Beverly Hills Cop. These type of films are often buddy films, with mismatched partners such as in Midnight Run, Rush Hour, Bad Boys, and Hot Fuzz. Slapstick martial arts films became a mainstay of Hong Kong action cinema through the work of Jackie Chan among others. It may also focus on superheroes such as The Incredibles, Hancock or Kick-Ass.

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author avatar Comedy Horror
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Comedy horror is a type of horror film in which the usual dark themes are treated with a humorous approach. These films are either use goofy horror clichés such as in Scream, Young Frankenstein, Little Shop of Horrors, Haunted Mansion and Scary Movie where campy styles are favoured. Some are much more subtle and don't parody horror, such as An American Werewolf In London. Another style of comedy horror can also rely on over the top violence and gore such as in Dead Alive (1992), Evil Dead (1981), and Club Dread - such films are sometimes known as splatstick, a portmanteau of the words splatter and slapstick. It would be reasonable to put Ghostbusters in this category.

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author avatar Fantasy Comedy
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Fantasy comedy films are types of films that uses magic, supernatural and or mythological figures for comic purposes. Most fantasy comedy includes an element of parody, or satire, turning many of the fantasy conventions on their head such as the hero becoming a cowardly fool, the princess being a klutz. Examples of these films include Being John Malkovich, The Princess Bride, Night at the Museum, Groundhog Day, Click and Shrek.

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author avatar Black Comedy
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Much like comedy-horror, black comedy, or dark comedy, is a type of comedy film that often uses cruelty as the source of humour. Most black comedies involve crime or other intense moments like average school/workplace bullying. Some examples of these films include The Cable Guy, Ruthless People and Dr. Strangelove.

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author avatar Sci-Fi Comedy
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Sci-fi comedy films, like most hybrid genre of comedy use the elements of science fiction films to over the top extremes and exaggerated science fiction stereotypical characters. Popular examples of these types of films include Back to the Future, Spaceballs, Ghostbusters, Evolution, Innerspace, Galaxy Quest, Mars Attacks!, and Men in Black.

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author avatar Military Comedy
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Military comedy films involve comic situations in a military setting. When a film is primarily about the experience of civilians called into military service and being trained, it may be referred to as a "service comedy". Military and service comedies include:

Buck Privates

Carry On Sergeant

Catch-22

the Flagg and Quirt series

the Francis (1950 film) series

Good Morning, Vietnam

How I Won the War

I Was a Male War Bride

M*A*S*H

Mister Roberts

No Time for Sergeants

Operation Petticoat

Private Benjamin

The Private War of Major Benson

The Secret War of Harry Frigg

See Here, Private Hargrove

Stripes

Teahouse of the August Moon

Tropic Thunder

Up the Academy

McHale's Navy

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?

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author avatar 1895-1930
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Comic films began to appear in significant numbers during the era of silent films, roughly 1895 to 1930. The visual humour of many of these silent films relied on slapstick and burlesque. A very early comedy short was Watering the Gardener (1895) by the Lumière brothers. In American film, the most prominent comic actors of the silent era were Charlie Chaplin (although born in England, his success was principally in the U.S.), Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. In his native France and throughout the world, Max Linder was a major comic feature and might qualify as the first true film star.

A popular trend during the 1920s and afterward was comedy in the form of animated cartoons. Several popular characters of the period received the cartoon treatment. Among these were Felix the Cat, Mickey Mouse, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and Betty Boop.

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author avatar 1930s to 1950
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Toward the end of the 1920s, the introduction of sound into movies made possible dramatic new film styles and the use of verbal humour. During the 1930s, the silent film comedy was replaced by dialogue from film comedians such as the W. C. Fields and the Marx Brothers. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, who had made a number of very popular short silent films, used the arrival of sound to deepen their well-formed screen characterizations and enhance their visual humour, and went on to great success in talking films. The comedian Charlie Chaplin was one of the last silent film hold-outs, and his films during the 1930s were devoid of dialogue, although they did employ sound effects.

Screwball comedies, such as produced by Frank Capra, exhibited a pleasing, idealized climate that portrayed reassuring social values and a certain optimism about everyday life. Movies still included slapstick humour and other physical comedy, but these were now frequently supplemental to the verbal interaction. Another common comic production from the 1930s was the short subject. Hal Roach Studio specialized in this form. While Columbia was prolific, producing 190 Three Stooges releases, alone. These non-feature productions only went into decline in the 1950s when they were migrated to the television.

In the United Kingdom, film adaptations of stage farces were popular in the early 1930s, while the music hall tradition strongly influenced film comedy into the 1940s with Will Hay and George Formby among the top comedy stars of the time. In England in the late 1940s, Ealing Studios achieved popular success as well as critical acclaim with a series of films known collectively as the "Ealing comedies", from 1947 to 1957. They usually included a degree of social comment, and featured ensemble casts which often included Alec Guinness or Stanley Holloway. Among the most famous examples were Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955).

With the entry of the United States into World War II, Hollywood became focused on themes related to the conflict. Comedies portrayed military themes such as service, civil defense, boot-camp and shore-leave. The war-time restrictions on travel made this a boom time for Hollywood, and nearly a quarter of the money spent on attending movies.

The post-war period was an age of reflection on the war, and the emergence of a competing medium, the television. In 1948, television began to acquire commercial momentum and by the following year there were nearly a hundred television transmitters in American cities.

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author avatar 1930s to 1950
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

By the 1950s, the television industry had become a serious competition for the movie industry. Despite the technological limitations of the TV medium at the time, more and more people chose to stay home to watch the television. The Hollywood studios at first viewed the television as a threat, and later as a commercial market. Several comic forms that had previously been a staple of movie theaters transitioned to the television. Both the short subject and the cartoon now appeared on the television rather than in the theater, and the "B" movie also found its outlet on the television.

As television became filled with family-oriented comedies, the 1950s saw a trend toward more adult social situations. Only the Walt Disney studios continued to steadily release family comedies. The release of comedy films also went into a decline during this decade. In 1947 almost one in five films had been comic in nature, but by 1954 this was down to ten percent.

The 1950s saw the decline of past comedy stars and a certain paucity of new talent in Hollywood. Among the few popular new stars during this period were Judy Holliday and the comedy team phenom of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Lewis followed the legacy of such comedians as Keaton and Harold Lloyd, but his work was not well received by critics in the United States (in contrast to France where he proved highly popular.)

The British film industry produced a number of highly successful film series, however, including the Doctor series, the St. Trinian's films and the increasingly bawdy Carry On films. John and Roy Boulting also wrote and directed a series of successful satires, including Private's Progress (1956) and I'm All Right, Jack (1959). As in the United States, in the next decade much of this talent would move into television.

A number of French comedians were also able to find an English speaking audience in the 1950s, including Fernandel and Jacques Tati.

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author avatar 1960s to 1980s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The next decade saw an increasing number of broad, star-packed comedies including It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965) and The Great Race (1965). By the middle of the decade, some of the 1950s generation of American comedians, such as Jerry Lewis, went into decline, while Peter Sellers found success with international audiences in his first American film The Pink Panther. The bumbling Inspector Clouseau was a character Sellers would continue to return to over the next decade.

Toward the end of the 1950s, darker humour and more serious themes had begun to emerge, including satire and social commentary. Dr. Strangelove (1964) was a satirical comedy about Cold War paranoia, while The Apartment (1960), Alfie (1966) and The Graduate (1967) featured sexual themes in a way that would have been impossible only a few years previously.

In 1970, the black comedies Catch 22 and M*A*S*H reflected the anti-war sentiment then prevalent, as well as treating the sensitive topic of suicide. M*A*S*H would be toned down and brought to television in the following decade as a long-running series.

Among the leading lights in comedy films of the next decade were Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. Both wrote, directed and appeared in their movies. Brooks' style was generally slapstick and zany in nature, often parodying film styles and genres, including Universal horror films (Young Frankenstein), westerns (Blazing Saddles) and Hitchcock films (High Anxiety). Following his success on Broadway and on film with The Odd Couple playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon would also be prominent in the 1970s, with films like The Sunshine Boys and California Suite. Other notable film comedians who appeared later in the decade were Richard Pryor, Steve Martin and Burt Reynolds.

Most British comedy films of the early 1970s were spin-offs of television series, including Dad's Army and On the Buses. The greatest successes, however, came with the films of the Monty Python team, including And Now for Something Completely Different (1971), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and Monty Python's Life of Brian in 1979.

In 1980, the gag-based comedy Airplane!, a spoof of the previous decade's disaster film series was released and paved the way for more of the same including Top Secret! (1984) and the Naked Gun films. Popular comedy stars in the 1980s included Dudley Moore, Tom Hanks, Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. Many had come to prominence on the American TV series Saturday Night Live, including Bill Murray, Steve Martin and Chevy Chase. Eddie Murphy made a success of comedy-action films including 48 Hrs. (1982) and the Beverly Hills Cop series (1984–1993).

Also popular were the films of John Hughes such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off. He would later become best known for the Home Alone series of the early 1990s. The latter film helped a revival in comedies aimed at a family audience, along with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and its sequels.

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author avatar 1980s to 2010s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

One of the major developments of the 1990s was the re-emergence of the romantic comedy film, encouraged by the success of When Harry Met Sally... in 1989. Other examples included Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Clueless (1995) and You've Got Mail (1998) from the United States, and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Sliding Doors (1998) and Notting Hill (1999) from the United Kingdom. Spoofs remained popular as well, especially with the Scary Movie series and Not Another Teen Movie series.

Probably more representative of British humour were the working class comedies Brassed Off (1996) and The Full Monty (1997). Other British comedies examined the role of the Asian community in British life, including Bhaji on the Beach (1993), East Is East (1999), Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Anita and Me (2003) and Death at a Funeral.

Also there were "stoner" comedies, which usually involve two guys on an adventure with random things happening to them along the way. Big movies of this sub-genre would be "The Big Lebowski", Dude, Where's My Car, Big Nothing, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, and Pineapple Express. These movies usually have drug-related jokes and crude content.

Another development was the increasing use of "gross-out humour" usually aimed at a younger audience, in films like There's Something About Mary, American Pie and its sequels, and Freddy Got Fingered. In mid 2000s, the trend of "gross-out" movies is continuing, with adult-oriented comedies picking up the box office. But serious black comedies (also known as dramatic comedies or dramedies) were performing also well, such as The Weather Man, Broken Flowers and Shopgirl. In late 2006, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan blended vulgar humour with cultural satire.

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author avatar Drama Film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, sexuality, poverty, class divisions, violence against women and corruption put the characters in conflict with themselves, others, society and even natural phenomena. Drama is the most broad of movies genres and includes subgenres as romantic drama, sport films, period drama, courtroom drama and crime.

At the center of a drama is usually a character or characters who are in conflict at a crucial moment in their lives. They often revolve around families; movies like Ordinary People dig under the skin of everyday life to ask big questions and touch on the deepest emotions of normal people. Dramas often, but not always, have tragic or at least painful resolutions and concern the survival of some tragic crisis, like the death of a family member (Terms of Endearment), or a divorce (Kramer vs Kramer). Some of the greatest screen performances come from dramas, as there is ample opportunity for actors to stretch into a role that most other genres cannot afford.

Drama films have been nominated frequently for the Academy Award (particularly Best Picture) - more than any other film genre.

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author avatar Sub-genre
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Dramatic films include a very large spectrum of film genres. Because of the large number of drama films, these movies have been sub-categorized:

Crime drama and Legal drama – Character development based on themes involving criminals, law enforcement and the legal system.

Historical drama (epic) (including War drama) – Films that focus on dramatic events in history.

Docudrama: the difference between a docudrama and a documentary is that in a documentary it uses real people to describe history or current events; in a docudrama it uses professionally trained actors to play the roles in the current event, that is "dramatized" a bit. Not to be confused with docufiction.

Psychodrama:

Comedy-drama: is in which there is an equal, or nearly equal balance of humor and serious content.

Melodrama: a sub-type of drama films that uses plots that appeal to the heightened emotions of the audience. Melodramatic plots often deal with "crises of human emotion, failed romance or friendship, strained familial situations, tragedy, illness, neuroses, or emotional and physical hardship." Film critics sometimes use the term "pejoratively to connote an unrealistic, pathos-filled, campy tale of romance or domestic situations with stereotypical characters (often including a central female character) that would directly appeal to feminine audiences." Also called "women's movies", "weepies", tearjerkers, or "chick flicks". If they are targeted to a male audience, then they are called "guy cry" films.

Romance: a sub-type of dramatic film which dwells on the elements of romantic love.

Tragedy: a drama in which a character's downfall is caused by a flaw in their character or by a major error in judgment.

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author avatar Early Film 1950s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the early years of cinema, melodrama held sway, as the transition from silent cinema's pantomime left film with a more presentational manner. In the 1950s, however, the arrival of stage actors like Marlon Brando, trained in more naturalistic techniques, slowly changed drama to a more realistic tenor. A Streetcar Named Desire is considered a pivotal film in this development. By the late 1970s, melodrama was nearly finished as an overt genre, as the hunger for realism dominated film in groundbreaking movies like Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets.

From the silent era to the 1950s, Dramas were tools to teach the audience. Films like The Grapes of Wrath (1940) show the effects of the depression. Citizen Kane (1941) was said by Orson Welles to not be a biography of William Randolph Hearst, but a composite of many people from that era. In the 1950s, began a rise in well-known dramatic actors. Montgomery Clift, Glenn Ford, James Dean, Bette Davis, and Marilyn Monroe were notable dramatic actors. Dramatic Films focused on character relationships and development. All About Eve (1950) focused on women, and their relationship with men. Rebel Without a Cause (1955) displayed teenage angst. Films like 12 Angry Men (1957) and Anatomy of a Murder (1959) show the inner workings of a courtroom.

Some of the most critically acclaimed drama films in Asian cinema were produced during the 1950s, including Yasujirō Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953), Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu (1954), Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy (1955–1959), Guru Dutt's Pyaasa (1957), and the Akira Kurosawa films Rashomon (1950), Ikiru (1952) and Seven Samurai (1954).

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author avatar 1960s to 1970s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The 1960s brought politically driven dramas focusing on war, such as Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Flashback (1969) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Sports dramas became inspiration such as The Hustler (1961) and Downhill Racer (1969).

During the 1970s, modern dramatic directors made some of their first films. Francis Ford Coppola directed The Godfather (1972). Martin Scorsese directed Taxi Driver (1976), Mean Streets (1973), and musical drama New York, New York (1977). Sylvester Stallone created one of the most successful sports drama franchises with Rocky (1976) and also directed the sequel Rocky II (1979). In addition, in sports drama were films that focused on the struggle of athletes such as Brian's Song (1970), and The Longest Yard (1974). War films and specifically World War II films were produced, giving the most realistic adaptation of the war seen in films at that time. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), Patton (1970), and Apocalypse Now (1979), which all show the trials and hardships of war, are still considered classic war films.

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author avatar Genre Definition
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The boundaries of the fantasy literary genre are not well-defined, and the same is therefore true for the film genre as well. Categorizing a movie as fantasy may thus require an examination of the themes, narrative approach and other structural elements of the film.

For example, much about the Star Wars saga suggests fantasy, yet it has the feel of science fiction, whereas much about Time Bandits (1981) suggests science fiction, yet it has the feel of fantasy. Some film critics borrow the literary term Science Fantasy to describe such hybrids of the two genres.

Animated films featuring fantastic elements are not always classified as fantasy, particularly when they are intended for children. Bambi, for example, is not fantasy, nor is 1995's Toy Story, though the latter is probably closer to fantasy than the former. The Secret of NIMH from 1982, however, may be considered to be a fantasy film because there is actual magic involved.

Other children's movies, such as Walt Disney's 1937 classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is also difficult to categorize. Snow White features a medieval setting, dwarven characters, the use of sorcery, and other tropes common to fantasy. Yet many fans of the genre do not believe such movies qualify as fantasy, placing them in instead in a separate fairy tale genre.

Superhero films also fulfill the requirements of the fantasy or science fiction genres but are often considered to be a separate genre. Some critics, however, classify superhero literature and film as a subgenre of fantasy (Superhero Fantasy) rather than as an entirely separate category.

Films that rely on magic primarily as a gimmick, such the 1976 film Freaky Friday and its 2003 re-make in which a mother and daughter magically switch bodies, may technically qualify as fantasy but are nevertheless not generally considered part of the genre.

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author avatar Genre Definition
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Surrealist film also describes the fantastic, but it dispenses with genre narrative conventions and is usually thought of as a separate category. Finally, many Martial arts films feature medieval settings and incorporate elements of the fantastic (see for example Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), but fans of such films do not agree if they should also be considered examples of the fantasy genre.

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author avatar Sub-genre
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Several sub-categories of fantasy films can be identified, although the delineations between these subgenres, much as in fantasy literature, are somewhat fluid.

The most common fantasy subgenres depicted in movies are High Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery. Both categories typically employ quasi-medieval settings, wizards, magical creatures and other elements commonly associated with fantasy stories.

High Fantasy films tend to feature a more richly developed fantasy world, and may also be more character-oriented or thematically complex. Often, they feature a hero of humble origins and a clear distinction between good and evil set against each other in an epic struggle. Many scholars cite J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novel as the prototypical modern example of High Fantasy in literature, and the recent Peter Jackson film adaptation of the books is a good example of the High Fantasy subgenre on the silver screen.

Sword and Sorcery movies tend to be more plot-driven than high fantasy and focus heavily on action sequences, often pitting a physically powerful but unsophisticated warrior against an evil wizard or other supernaturally-endowed enemy. Although Sword and Sorcery films sometimes describe an epic battle between good and evil similar to those found in many High Fantasy movies, they may alternately present the hero as having more immediate motivations, such as the need to protect a vulnerable maiden or village, or even being driven by the desire for vengeance.

The 1982 film adaptation of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, for example, is a personal (non-epic) story concerning the hero's quest for revenge and his efforts to thwart a single megalomaniac—while saving a beautiful princess in the process. Some critics refer to such films by the term Sword and Sandal rather than Sword and Sorcery, although others would maintain that the Sword and Sandal label should be reserved only for the subset of fantasy films set in ancient times on the planet Earth, and still others would broaden the term to encompass films that have no fantastic elements whatsoever. To some, the term Sword and Sandal has pejorative connotations, designating a film with a low-quality script, bad acting and poor production values.

Another important sub-genre of fantasy films that has become more popular in recent years is Contemporary Fantasy. Such films feature magical effects or supernatural occurrences happening in the "real" world of today. The most prominent example in the early 21st century is the Harry Potter series of films adapted from the novels of J. K. Rowling.

Films with live action and animation such as Disney's Mary Poppins, Pete's Dragon, Enchanted (film) and the Robert Zemeckis film Who Framed Roger Rabbit are also fantasy films although are more often referred to as Live action/animation hybrids (2 of those are also classified as a musicals).

Fantasy films set in the afterlife, called Bangsian Fantasy, are less common, although films such as the 1991 Albert Brooks comedy Defending Your Life would likely qualify. Other uncommon subgenres include Historical Fantasy and Romantic Fantasy, although 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl successfully incorporated elements of both.

As noted above, superhero movies and fairy tale films might each be considered subgenres of fantasy films, although most would classify them as altogether separate movie genres.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

As a cinematic genre, fantasy has traditionally not been regarded as highly as the related genre of science fiction film. Undoubtedly, the fact that until recently fantasy films often suffered from the "Sword and Sandal" afflictions of inferior production values, over-the-top acting and decidedly poor special effects was a significant factor in fantasy film's low regard. Even 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, which did much to improve the genre's reputation in public as well critical circles, was still derided in some quarters because of its comic book-like action sequences and tongue in cheek comedy.

Since the late 1990s, however, the genre has gained new respectability in a way, driven principally by the successful adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is notable due to its ambitious scope, serious tone and thematic complexity. These pictures achieved phenomenal commercial and critical success, and the third installment of the trilogy became the first fantasy film ever to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Harry Potter series has been a tremendous financial success, has achieved critical acclaim, and boasts an enormous and loyal fanbase.

Following the success of these ventures, Hollywood studios have greenlighted additional big-budget productions in the genre. These have included adaptations of the first, second, and third books in C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia series and the teen novel Eragon, as well as adaptations of Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, Holly Black's The Spiderwick Chronicles, Nickolodeon's TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Fantasia segment (along with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's original poem) The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Fantasy movies in recent years, such as the Lord of the Rings films, the first and third Narnia adaptations, and the first second, fourth and seventh Harry Potter adaptations have most often been released in November and December. This is in contrast to science fiction films, which are often released during the northern hemisphere summer (June - August). All 3 installments of the Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy films, however, were released in July 2003, July 2006 and May 2007 respectively, and the latest releases in the Harry Potter series were released in July, 2007 and July 2009. The huge commercial success of these pictures may indicate a change in Hollywood's approach to big-budget fantasy film releases.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Fantasy films have a history almost as old as the medium itself. However, fantasy films were relatively few and far between until the 1980s, when high-tech filmmaking techniques and increased audience interest caused the genre to flourish.

What follows are some notable Fantasy films.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the era of silent film the earliest fantasy films were those made by French film pioneer Georges Méliès from 1903. The most famous of these was 1902's A Trip to the Moon. In the Golden Age of Silent film (1918-1926) the most outstanding fantasy films were Douglas Fairbanks' The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen (1924) and Destiny (1921). other notables in the genre were F.W. Murnau's romantic ghost story Phantom, Tarzan of the Apes starring Elmo Lincoln, and D. W. Griffith's The Sorrows of Satan.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Following the advent of sound films, audiences of all ages were introduced to 1939's The Wizard of Oz. Also notable of the era, the iconic 1933 film King Kong borrows heavily from the Lost World subgenre of fantasy fiction as does such films as the 1935 adaption of H. Rider Haggard's novel She about an African expedition that discovers an immortal queen known as Ayesha "She who must be obeyed". Frank Capra's 1937 picture Lost Horizon transported audiences to the Himalayan fantasy kingdom of Shangri-La, where the residents magically never age. Other noteworthy fantasy film of the 30s include Tarzan the Ape Man in 1932 starring Johnny Weissmuller starting a successful series of talking pictures based on the fantasy-adventure novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the G. W. Pabst directed The Mistress of Atlantis from 1932. 1932 saw the release of the Universal Studios monster movie The Mummy which combined horror with a romantic fantasy twist. more light-hearted and comedic affairs from the decade include films like 1934s romantic drama film Death Takes a Holiday where Fredric March plays Death who takes a human body to experience life for three days, and 1937s Topper where a man is haunted by two fun loving ghosts who try to make his life a little more exciting.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The 1940s then saw several full color fantasy films produced by Alexander Korda, including The Thief of Bagdad (1940), a film on par with The Wizard of Oz, and Jungle Book (1942). In 1946, Jean Cocteau's classic adaptation of Beauty and the Beast won praise for its surreal elements and for transcending the boundaries of the fairy tale genre. Sinbad the Sailor (1947), starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., has the feel of a fantasy film though it does not actually have any fantastic elements. Conversely, It's a Wonderful Life and A Matter of Life and Death, both from 1946, do not feel like fantasy films yet both feature supernatural elements and the latter movie could reasonably be cited as an example of Bangsian fantasy.

Several other pictures featuring supernatural encounters and aspects of Bangsian fantasy were produced in the 1940s during World War II. These include Beyond Tomorrow, The Devil and Daniel Webster, and Here Comes Mr. Jordan, all from 1941, Heaven Can Wait the musical Cabin in the Sky (1943), the comedy The Horn Blows at Midnight and romances such as The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), One Touch of Venus and Portrait of Jennie, both 1948.

Although it's not classified as a fantasy film, Gene Kelly's Anchors Aweigh had a fantasy sequence called "The King who Couldn't Dance" in which Gene did a song and dance number with Jerry Mouse from Tom and Jerry.

Because these movies do not feature elements common to high fantasy or sword and sorcery pictures, some modern critics do not consider them to be examples of the fantasy genre.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1950s there were a few major fantasy films, including Darby O'Gill and the Little People and The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, the latter penned by Dr. Seuss. Jean Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy, begun in 1930 and completed in 1959, is based on Greek mythology and could be classified either as fantasy or surrealist film, depending on how the boundaries between these genres are drawn. Russian fantasy director Aleksandr Ptushko created three mythological epics from Russian fairytales, Sadko (1953), Ilya Muromets (1956), and Sampo (1959). Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi's 1953 film Ugetsu Monogatari draws on Japanese classical ghost stories of love and betrayal.

Other notable pictures from the 1950s that feature fantastic elements and are sometimes classified as fantasy are: Harvey (1950), featuring a púca of Celtic mythology; Scrooge, the 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol; and Ingmar Bergman's 1957 masterpiece, The Seventh Seal. Disney's 1951 animated film Alice in Wonderland is also a fantasy classic.

There were also a number of lower budget fantasies produced in the 1950s, typically based on Greek or Arabian legend. The most notable of these may be 1958's The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen and music by Bernard Herrmann.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Harryhausen worked on a series of fantasy films in the 1960s, most importantly Jason and the Argonauts (1963). Many critics have identified this film as Harryhausen's masterwork for its stop-motion animated statues, skeletons, harpies, hydra, and other mythological creatures. Other Harryhausen fantasy and science fantasy collaborations from the decade include the 1961 adaptation of Jules Verne's Mysterious Island, the critically panned One Million Years B.C. starring Raquel Welch, and The Valley of Gwangi (1969).

Capitalising on the success of the sword and sandal genre several Italian B-movies based on classical myth were made, including Ulysses (1955 film), Hercules Unchained and the Maciste series. Otherwise, the 1960s were almost entirely devoid of fantasy films. The fantasy picture 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, in which Tony Randall portrayed several characters from Greek mythology, was released in 1964. But the 1967 adaptation of the Broadway musical Camelot removed most of the fantasy elements from T. H. White's classic The Once and Future King, on which the musical had been based. The 1960s also saw a new adaption of Haggard's She in 1965 starring Ursula Andress as the immortal "She who must be obeyed" and was followed by a sequel in 1968 The Vengeance of She based loosely on the novel Ayesha: The Return of She both produced by Hammer Film Productions, 1968 also saw the release of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang based on a story by Ian Fleming with a script from Roald Dahl.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Fantasy elements of Arthurian legend were again featured, albeit absurdly, in 1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Harryhausen also returned to the silver screen in the 1970s with two additional Sinbad fantasies, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). The animated movie Wizards (1977) had limited success at the box office but achieved status as a cult film. There was also The Noah (1975) which was never released theatrically but became a cult favorite when it was finally released on DVD in 2006. Some would consider 1977's Oh God!, starring George Burns to be a fantasy film, and Heaven Can Wait (1978) was a successful Bangsian fantasy remake of 1941's Here Comes Mr. Jordan (not 1943's Heaven Can Wait).

A few low budget "Lost World" pictures were made in the 1970s, such as 1975's The Land That Time Forgot. Otherwise, the fantasy genre was largely absent from mainstream movies in this decade, although 1971's Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory were two fantasy pictures in the public eye the latter again being from Roald Dahl in both script and novel.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The release of the historical fantasy Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981 began a fantasy explosion which continues into the twenty-first century. Arthurian lore was once again explored in 1981's Excalibur helmed by John Boorman. Films such as the Ridley Scott movie Legend and starting with Time Bandits director Terry Gilliam's trilogy of fantasy epics Brazil in 1985, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen in 1986 saw a new artist streak with their surrealist imagery and thought provoking plots. The modern sword and sorcery boom also began at this time with 1982's Conan the Barbarian followed by Kull and Fire and Ice in 1983 as well as a boom in fairytale like fantasy films such as The Princess Bride in 1987 and Willow and 1988.

The 80s also started a trend in mixing modern settings and action movie effects with exotic concepts like Big Trouble in Little China by director John Carpenter which combined humor, martial arts and classic Chinese Folklore in a modern Chinatown setting starring Kurt Russell, and Highlander a film about immortal Scottish swordsmen, were both released in 1986.

Jim Henson produced two iconic fantasy films in the 80s, that being the solemn and grave The Dark Crystal and the more whimsical and lofty Labyrinth. Meanwhile Robert Zemeckis helmed Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in which featured several famous cartoon characters from the "Golden Age of animation" including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Droopy, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, Sylvester the cat, Tweety Pie and Jiminy Cricket among others.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Bram Stoker's Dracula

Edward Scissorhands

Batman Returns

Ghost in the Machine

The Green Mile

Groundhog Day

The Indian in the Cupboard

Hook (film)

Dragonheart

Jumanji

The Lawnmower Man

Meet Joe Black

Nightbreed

Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime)

The Wind in the Willows (Mr Toad's Wild Ride)

Kazaam

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

17 Again (2009)

300 (2006)

Alvin & the Chipmunks (2007/2009/2011)

Big Fish (2003)

Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

The Brothers Grimm (2005)

The Chronicles of Narnia (2005/2007/2010)

Coraline (2009)

Corpse Bride (2005)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

D-War (2007)

Elf (2003)

Enchanted (2007)

Eragon (2006)

Fat Albert (2004)

The Golden Compass (2007)

Harry Potter (2001-11)

The Hexer (2001)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

Imagine That (2009)

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)

Inkheart / Inkworld trilogy (2008)

The Invention of Lying (2009)

King Kong (2005)

Lady in the Water (2006)

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

The Lord of the Rings (2001-03)

The Lovely Bones (2008)

Monsters Inc. (2001/2013)

Nanny McPhee (2005)

Night Watch (2004)

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003/2006/2007/2011)

Race to Witch Mountain (2009)

The Science of Sleep (2006)

The Seeker (2007)

The Master of Disguise (2002)

Shrek (2001/2004/2007/2010)

The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Spike (2008)

Spirited Away (2002)

Stardust (2007)

Twilight (2008-12)

Underworld (2003/2006/2009/2012)

Watchmen (2009) (set in an alternative version of history in which Richard Nixon went up for a third term and the United States won the Vietnam War due to the intervention of superheroes)

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Brave (2012)

Clash of the Titans (2010) and its 2012 sequel, Wrath of the Titans

Conan the Barbarian (2011)

Dark Shadows (2012)

Gulliver's Travels (2010)

Hop (2011)

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Hugo (2011)

Immortals (2011)

John Carter (2012)

The Last Airbender (2010)

The Lorax (2012)

Man of Steel (2013)

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Mirror Mirror (2012)

Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)

Sucker Punch (2011)

Thor (2011)

Ted (2012)

Yogi Bear (2010)

Your Highness (2011)

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Ghosts and monsters still remained a frequent feature of horror, but many films used the supernatural premise to express the horror of the demonic. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961) based on the Henry James novel The Turn of the Screw and The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963) are two such horror-of-the-demonic films from the early 1960s, both made in the UK by American studios. In Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968), set in New York, the devil is made flesh. Meanwhile, ghosts were a dominant theme in Japanese horror, or 'J-horror', in such films as Kwaidan, Onibaba (both 1964) and Kuroneko (1968).

Zombies in Romero's influential Night of the Living Dead.

An influential American horror film of this period was George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968). Produced and directed by Romero, on a budget of $114,000, it grossed $12 million at the box office in the United States and $30 million internationally. This horror-of-Armageddon film about zombies blends psychological insights with gore, it moved the genre even further away from the gothic horror trends of earlier eras and brought horror into everyday life.

Low-budget gore-shock films from the likes of Herschell Gordon Lewis also appeared. Examples include Blood Feast (1963), a devil-cult story, and Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964), a ghost town inhabited by psychotic cannibals), which featured splattering blood and body dismemberment.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The end of the Production Code of America in 1964, the financial successes of the low-budget gore films of the ensuing years, and the critical and popular success of Rosemary's Baby, led to the release of more films with occult themes in the 1970s. The Exorcist (1973), the first of these movies, was a significant commercial success, and was followed by scores of horror films in which the Devil represented the supernatural evil, often by impregnating women or possessing children. The genre also included gory horror movies with sexual overtones, made as "A-movies" (as opposed to "B movies").

"Evil children" and reincarnation became popular subjects. Robert Wise's film Audrey Rose (1977) for example, deals with a man who claims that his daughter is the reincarnation of another dead person. Alice, Sweet Alice (1977), is another Catholic-themed horror slasher about a little girl's murder and her sister being the prime suspect. Another popular Satanic horror movie was The Omen (1976), where a man realizes that his five-year-old adopted son is the Antichrist. Invincible to human intervention, Satan became the villain in many horror films with a postmodern style and a dystopian worldview.

Another example is The Sentinel (1977 film), in which a fashion model discovers that her new brownstone residence may actually be a portal to Hell. The movie includes seasoned actors such as Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith and Eli Wallach and such future stars as Christopher Walken and Jeff Goldblum.

The ideas of the 1960s began to influence horror films, as the youth involved in the counterculture began exploring the medium. Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) recalled the Vietnam war; George A. Romero satirized the consumer society in his zombie sequel, Dawn of the Dead (1978); Canadian director David Cronenberg featured the "mad scientist" movie sub-genre by exploring contemporary fears about technology and society, and reinventing "body horror", starting with Shivers (1975).

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Also in the 1970s, horror author Stephen King debuted on the film scene as many of his books were adapted for the screen, beginning with Brian De Palma's adaptation of King's first published novel, Carrie (1976), which was nominated for Academy Awards. Next, was his third published novel, The Shining (1980), which was a sleeper at the box office, with mixed reviews, but eventually began to be considered a classic. Carrie became the 9th highest-grossing film of 1976. King himself did not like The Shining, because it was barely faithful to the 1977 best-seller novel.

John Carpenter created Halloween (1978). Sean Cunningham made Friday the 13th (1980). Wes Craven directed A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984). This sub-genre would be mined by dozens of increasingly violent movies throughout the subsequent decades, and Halloween became a successful independent film. Other notable '70s slasher films include Bob Clark's Black Christmas (1974), which was released before Halloween, and was another start of the sub-genre.

In 1975, Steven Spielberg began his ascension to fame with Jaws (1975). The film kicked off a wave of killer animal stories such as Orca (1977), and Up from the Depths. Jaws is often credited as being one of the first films to use traditionally B movie elements such as horror and mild gore in a big-budget Hollywood film.

Alien (1979) combined the naturalistic acting and graphic violence of the 1970s with the monster movie plots of earlier decades, and used science fiction. The film was extremely successful in terms of both box-office and critical reception, being called "Jaws in space", and a landmark film for the science fiction genre.

On a similar note, John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) was also a mix of horror and sci fi, however unlike Alien it was neither a box-office nor critical hit. However, nearly 20 years after its release it was praised for using ahead-of-its-time special effects and paranoia.

The 1980s saw a wave of gory "B movie" horror films – although most of them were panned by critics, many became cult classics and later saw success with critics. A significant example is Sam Raimi's Evil Dead movies, which were low-budget gorefests but had a very original plotline which was later praised by critics. Other horror film examples include cult vampire classic Fright Night (1985) and The Lost Boys (1987

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the first half of the 1990s, the genre continued many of the themes from the 1980s. The slasher films A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween and Child's Play all saw sequels in the 1990s, most of which met with varied amounts of success at the box office, but all were panned by fans and critics, with the exception of Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) and the hugely successful Silence of the Lambs (1991).

New Nightmare, with In the Mouth of Madness (1995), The Dark Half (1993), and Candyman (1992), were part of a mini-movement of self-reflexive or metafictional horror films. Each film touched upon the relationship between fictional horror and real-world horror. Candyman, for example, examined the link between an invented urban legend and the realistic horror of the racism that produced its villain. In the Mouth of Madness took a more literal approach, as its protagonist actually hopped from the real world into a novel created by the madman he was hired to track down. This reflective style became more overt and ironic with the arrival of Scream (1996).

In Interview with the Vampire (1994), the "Theatre de Vampires" (and the film itself, to some degree) invoked the Grand Guignol style, perhaps to further remove the undead performers from humanity, morality and class. The horror movie soon continued its search for new and effective frights. In 1985's novel The Vampire Lestat by author Anne Rice (who penned Interview...'s screenplay and the 1976 novel of the same name) suggests that its antihero Lestat inspired and nurtured the Grand Guignol style and theatre.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Two main problems pushed horror backward during this period: firstly, the horror genre wore itself out with the proliferation of nonstop slasher and gore films in the eighties. Secondly, the adolescent audience which feasted on the blood and morbidity of the previous decade grew up, and the replacement audience for films of an imaginative nature were being captured instead by the explosion of science-fiction and fantasy films, courtesy of the special effects possibilities with advances made in computer-generated imagery.

To re-connect with its audience, horror became more self-mockingly ironic and outright parodic, especially in the latter half of the 1990s. Peter Jackson's Braindead (1992) (known as Dead Alive in the USA) took the splatter film to ridiculous excesses for comic effect. Wes Craven's Scream (written by Kevin Williamson) movies, starting in 1996, featured teenagers who were fully aware of, and often made reference to, the history of horror movies, and mixed ironic humour with the shocks (despite Scream 2 and 3 utilising less use of the humour of the original, until Scream 4 in 2011, and rather more references to horror film conventions). Along with I Know What You Did Last Summer (written by Kevin Williamson as well) and Urban Legend, they re-ignited the dormant slasher film genre.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The start of the 2000s saw a quiet period for the genre. The release of an extended version of The Exorcist in September 2000 was successful despite the film having been available on home video for years. Valentine (2001), notably starring David Boreanaz, had some success at the box office, but was derided by critics for being formulaic and relying on foregone horror film conventions. Franchise films such as Freddy vs. Jason also made a stand in theaters. Final Destination (2000) marked a successful revival of teen-centered horror and spawned four sequels. The Jeepers Creepers series was also successful. Films such as Orphan, Wrong Turn, Cabin Fever, House of 1000 Corpses, and the previous mentions helped bring the genre back to Restricted ratings in theaters.

Some pronounced trends have marked horror films. A French horror film Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) became the second-highest-grossing French language film in the United States in the last two decades. The success of foreign language foreign films continued with the Swedish films Marianne (2011) and Let the Right One In (2008), which was later the subject of a Hollywood remake, Let Me In (2010). Another trend is the emergence of psychology to scare audiences, rather than gore. The Others (2001) proved to be a successful example of psychological horror film. A minimalist approach which was equal parts Val Lewton's theory of "less is more" (usually employing the low-budget techniques utilized on The Blair Witch Project, 1999) has been evident, particularly in the emergence of Asian horror movies which have been remade into successful Americanized versions, such as The Ring (2002), and The Grudge (2004). In March 2008, China banned the movies from its market.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

There has been a major return to the zombie genre in horror movies made after 2000. The Resident Evil video game franchise was adapted into a film released in March 2002. Four sequels have followed. The British film 28 Days Later (2002) featured an update on the genre with The Return of the Living Dead (1985) style of aggressive zombie. The film later spawned a sequel: 28 Weeks Later. An updated remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004) soon appeared as well as the zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead (2004). This resurgence led George A. Romero to return to his Living Dead series with Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2010).

A larger trend is a return to the extreme, graphic violence that characterized much of the type of low-budget, exploitation horror from the post-Vietnam years. Films such as Audition (1999), Wrong Turn (2003), and the Australian film Wolf Creek (2005), took their cues from The Last House on the Left (1972), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and The Hills Have Eyes (1977). An extension of this trend was the emergence of a type of horror with emphasis on depictions of torture, suffering and violent deaths, (variously referred to as "horror porn", "torture porn", Splatterporn, and even "gore-nography") with films such as The Collector, The Tortured, Saw, and Hostel, and their respective sequels, frequently singled out as examples of emergence of this sub-genre. The Saw film series holds the Guinness World Record of the highest-grossing horror franchise in history. Finally with the arrival of Paranormal Activity (2009), which was well received by critics and an excellent reception at the box office, minimal thought started by The Blair Witch Project was reaffirmed and is expected to be continued successfully in other low-budget productions.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Remakes of earlier horror movies became routine in the 2000s. In addition to 2004's remake of Dawn of the Dead, as well as 2003's remake of both Herschell Gordon Lewis' cult classic 2001 Maniacs and the remake of Tobe Hooper's classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, there was also the 2007 Rob Zombie written and directed remake of John Carpenter's Halloween. The film focused more on Michael's backstory than the original did, devoting the first half of the film to Michael's childhood. It was critically panned by most, but was a success in its theatrical run, spurring its own sequel. This film helped to start a "reimagining" riot in horror flim makers. Among the many remakes or "reimaginings" of other popular horror films and franchises are films such as Friday the 13th (2009), A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), Children of the Corn (2009), Prom Night (2008), My Bloody Valentine (2009) and The Wolfman (2010).

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Action Horror - A subgenre combining the intrusion of an evil force, event, or supernatural personage of horror movies with the gunfights and frenetic chases of the action genre. Themes or elements often prevalent in typical action-horror films include gore, demons, vicious animals, vampires and, most commonly, zombies. This category also fuses the fantasy genre. Examples include Resident Evil, Ghost Rider, Planet Terror, Undead, Doomsday, Underworld, Constantine, Priest, Dawn of the Dead, Deep Rising, From Dusk till Dawn, Blade, Legion and End of Days.

Body horror – In which the horror is principally derived from the graphic destruction or degeneration of the body. Other types of body horror include unnatural movements, or the anatomically incorrect placement of limbs to create 'monsters' out of human body parts. David Cronenberg is one of the notable directors of the genre. Some body horror films include Altered States, The Invasion, The Fly, Rosemary's Baby, Eraserhead, The Thing, Re-Animator, Hellraiser, Videodrome, Cabin Fever, Virus and Teeth.

Comedy horror – Combines the elements of comedy and horror fiction. The comedy horror genre almost always inevitably crosses over with the black comedy genre. The short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving is cited as "the first great comedy-horror story". Examples include An American Werewolf in London, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Gremlins, Bad Taste, Braindead, Beetlejuice, Arachnophobia, Terror Firmer, Eight Legged Freaks, Shaun of the Dead, Evil Dead II, Tucker & Dale vs Evil, and Slither.

Gothic horror – Gothic horror is a type of story that contains elements of goth and horror. At times it may have romance that unfolds in the setting of a horror tale, usually suspenseful. Some of the earliest horror movies were of this sub-genre. Examples include universal horror films such as The Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy. Modern gothic horrors include Sleepy Hollow, Interview with the Vampire, Underworld, The Wolfman, From Hell, Dorian Gray, Let Me In and The Woman in Black.

Natural horror – A sub-genre of horror films "featuring nature running amok in the form of mutated beasts, carnivorous insects, and normally harmless animals or plants turned into cold-blooded killers." This genre may sometimes overlap with the science fiction and action/adventure genre. Examples include The Birds, Black Sheep, Jaws, Mimic, Deep Rising, Them!, The Swarm, Pet Sematary, Lake Placid, Primeval, Anaconda, Snakes on a Plane, The Cave, Piranha 3D and The Ruins.

Psychological horror – Relies on characters' fears, guilt, beliefs, eerie sound effects, relevant music, emotional instability and at times, the supernatural and ghosts, to build tension and further the plot. Examples include A Tale of Two Sisters, Dark Water, Gothika, Ring, Ju-on: The Grudge, The Exorcist, Session 9, Silent Hill, The Others, The Mothman Prophecies, The Blair Witch Project, 1408, The Shining, Stir of Echoes, The Innocents, Frailty, Sinister (film) The Changeling, and The Sixth Sense.

Science Fiction horror – Often revolves around subjects that include but are not limited to killer aliens, mad scientists, and/or experiments gone wrong. Examples include Alien, Pandorum, The Fly, Event Horizon, Apollo 18, Doom, Pitch Black, The Mist, and It Came from Outer Space.

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author avatar Fantasy Movies
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Slasher film – Often revolves around a psychopathic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, mainly with a cutting tool such as a knife or axe. Slasher films may at times overlap with the crime, mystery and thriller genre, and they are not all of the horror genre. Examples of this genre include Psycho, Black Christmas, Halloween, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Prom Night, Scream, Pieces, Hatchet, Friday the 13th, Child's Play, Candyman, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Splatter film – These films deliberately focus on graphic portrayals of gore and graphic violence. Through the use of special effects and excessive blood and guts, they tend to display an overt interest in

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author avatar Influences On Society
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Horror films' evolution throughout the years has given society a new approach to resourcefully utilize their benefits. The horror film style has changed over time, but in 1996 Scream set off a "chain of copycats", leading to a new variety of teenage, horror movies. This new approach to horror films began to gradually earn more and more income as seen in the progress of Scream movies; the first movie earned six million and the third movie earned one-hundred and one million. The importance that horror films have gained in the public and producers’ eyes is one obvious effect on our society.

Horror films' income expansion is only the first sign of the influences of horror flicks. The role of women and how women see themselves in the movie industry has been altered by the horror genre. In early times, horror films such as My Bloody Valentine (1981), Halloween (1978), and Friday the 13th (1980) pertained mostly to a male audience in order to "feed the fantasies of young men". Their main focus was to express the fear of women and show them as monsters; however, this ideal is no longer prevalent in horror films. Women have become not only the main audience and fans of horror films but also the main protagonists of contemporary horror films. The horror industry is producing more and more movies with the main protagonist being a female and having to evolve into a stronger person in order to overcome some obstacle. This main theme has drawn a larger audience of women movie-goers to the theaters in modern times than ever historically recorded. Movie makers also go as far as to integrate women relatable topics such as pregnancy, motherhood, lesbian relationships, and babysitting jobs into their films in order to gain even more female oriented audiences.

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author avatar Influences Internationally
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Horror is just one genre of movies, yet the influences that it presents to the international community are large. Firstly they tend to be a vessel for showing eras of audiences issues across the globe visually and in the most effective manner. Jeanne Hall, a film theorist, agrees with the use of horror films in easing the process of understanding issues by making use of their optical elements. The use of horror films to help audiences understand international prior historical events occurs, for example, to show the horridness of the Vietnam war, the Holocaust and the worldwide AIDS epidemic. However, horror movies do not always present positive endings. In fact, in many occurrences the manipulation of horror presents cultural definitions that are not accurate, yet set an example to which a person relates to that specific cultural from then on in their life. The visual interpretations of a films can be lost in the translation of their elements from one culture to another like in the adaptation of the Japanese film Ju on" into the American film The Grudge. The cultural components from Japan were slowly "siphoned away" to make the film more relatable to an American audience. This deterioration that can occur in an international remake happens by over-presenting negative cultural assumptions that, as time passes, sets a common ideal about that particular culture in each individual. Holm's discussion of The Grundge remakes presents this idea by stating, "It is, instead, to note that The Grundge films make use of an untheorized notion of Japan... that seek to directly represent the country.

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author avatar Mystery Film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Mystery film is a sub-genre of the more general category of crime film and at times the thriller genre. It focuses on the efforts of the detective, private investigator or amateur sleuth to solve the mysterious circumstances of a crime by means of clues, investigation, and clever deduction.

The plot often centers on the deductive ability, prowess, confidence, or diligence of the detective as they attempt to unravel the crime or situation by piecing together clues and circumstances, seeking evidence, interrogating witnesses, and tracking down a criminal.

Suspense is often maintained as an important plot element. This can be done through the use of the soundtrack, camera angles, heavy shadows, and surprising plot twists. Alfred Hitchcock used all of these techniques, but would sometimes allow the audience in on a pending threat then draw out the moment for dramatic effect.

This genre has ranged from early mystery tales, fictional or literary detective stories, to classic Hitchcockian suspense-thrillers to classic private detective films. A related film sub-genre is spy films

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author avatar Definition and Characteristics
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Mystery films mainly focus with solving a crime or a puzzle. The mystery generally revolves around a murder which must then be solved by policemen, private detectives, or amateur sleuths. The viewer is presented with a series of likely suspects, some of who are "red herrings," - persons with motive to commit the crime who didn't actually do it - and attempts to solve the puzzle along with the investigator. At times the viewer is presented with information not available to the main character. Intensity, anxiety, and suspense build to an exciting climax, often with the detective (or protagonist) using his fists or gun to solve the crime. The central character usually explores the unsolved crime, unmasks the perpetrator, and puts an end to the effects of the villainy.

The successful mystery film adheres to one of two story types, known as Open and Closed. The Closed (or whodunit) mystery conceals the identity of the perpetrator until late in the story, adding an element of suspense during the apprehension of the suspect, as the audience is never quite sure who it is. The Open mystery, in contrast, reveals the identity of the perpetrator at the top of the story, showcasing the "perfect crime" which the audience then watches the protagonist unravel, usually at the very end of the story, akin to the unveiling scenes in the Closed style.

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author avatar Literacy influences
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Mystery novels have proven to be a good medium for translation into film. The sleuth often forms a strong leading character, and the plots can include elements of drama, suspense, character development, uncertainty and surprise twists. The locales of the mystery tale are often of a mundane variety, requiring little in the way of expensive special effects. Successful mystery writers can produce a series of books based on the same sleuth character, providing rich material for sequels.

Until at least the 1980s, women in mystery films have often served a dual role, providing a relationship with the detective and frequently playing the part of woman-in-peril. The women in these films are often resourceful individuals, being self-reliant, determined and as often duplicitous. They can provide the triggers for the events that follow, or serve as an element of suspense as helpless victims.

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author avatar Literacy influences
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The earliest mystery films reach back to the silent era. The first detective film is often cited as Sherlock Holmes Baffled, a very short Mutoscope reel created between 1900 and 1903 by Arthur Marvin. It is the earliest-known film to feature the character of detective Sherlock Holmes, albeit in a barely recognisable form.

In France, the popular Nick Carter detective novels inspired the first film serial, Nick Carter, le roi des détectives (1908). This six-episode series was followed with Nouveaux aventures de Nick Carter in 1909. Louis Feuillade created the highly popular Fantômas (1913-1914) serial based on the best-selling serial novel about Juve, a super-criminal who is pursued by a Holmes/Dupin-inspired detective. (Jean Dujardin wears a mask and costume similar to Juve's in an apparent homage in The Artist, a nostalgic 2011 film about silent cinema.) Later detective serials by Feuillade include The Vampires (1915), Judex (1916), Tih Minh (1918), and Barrabas (1919). Feuillade's films, which combined realism, poetic imagery, and pure fantasy, influenced the American The Perils of Pauline (1914 serial), directors such as René Clair, and the Surrealists (André Breton, et al.).

The earliest true mystery films include The Gold Bug (1910), also from France, and The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1914). Both are derived from Edgar Allan Poe stories, which is appropriate as Poe created detective fiction as well as the first private detective character, C. Auguste Dupin. In 1932, Universal Pictures renamed him Pierre Dupin in Murders in the Rue Morgue, an atmospheric horror-mystery starring Bela Lugosi. The film was remade twice more in 1953 and 1971. Poe's second Dupin story, The Mystery of Marie Rogêt, was filmed in 1942. More recently, The Raven (2012) presented a fictionalized account of the last days of Poe's life. Here, the author pursues a mysterious serial killer whose murders are directly inspired by his stories.

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author avatar Literacy influences
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Charles Dickens' unfinished 1870 novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood was completed by another author and eventually adapted to the screen. Two films, now believed lost, were made in 1909 and 1914. Universal produced The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 1935. The story was remade again in 1993. Universal, known mostly for its long list of classic horror films, also created perhaps the first supernatural horror-whodunit hybrid with Night Monster in 1942.

American author Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876–1958), is credited with inventing the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing (as well as the phrase, "The butler did it"). Her 1920 "old dark house" novel (and play) The Bat was filmed in 1926 as The Bat, again in 1930 as The Bat Whispers, and a third time in the 1959 remake, The Bat, starring Vincent Price. Another movie based on a play, The Cat and the Canary (1927), pioneered the popular "comedy-mystery" genre. Remade several times, including a 1939 version with Bob Hope, formulaic haunted house comedies continued well into the 1940s.

Undoubtedly the most famous of the amateur detectives to appear on the silver screen is the archetypal Sherlock Holmes. Since 1903 Holmes has been portrayed by a multitude of actors in over 200 films. Perhaps the earliest detective comedy is Buster Keaton's Sherlock, Jr. from 1924. Until recently, the only American-made series starred Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Holmes and Dr. Watson. Together they made 14 highly popular films between 1939 and 1946. The first two, at 20th Century Fox, were period piece mysteries set in the late-Victorian era of the original stories. By the third film, Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942), now at Universal Studios, Holmes was updated to the present day. Several films dealt with World War II and thwarting Nazi spies.

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author avatar Literacy influences
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

opular novelist Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) created the archetypal British aristocratic sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey in 1923. Peter Haddon first played Wimsey in The Silent Passenger (1935), written by Sayers specifically for the screen. This was followed by Busman's Honeymoon (1940), also released as Haunted Honeymoon, with Robert Montgomery as Wimsey. Ironically, Montgomery would also play the classic American hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe in The Lady in the Lake (1947).

Doubleday's The Crime Club imprint published a variety of mystery novels that also inspired a radio show. Universal Pictures struck a deal to produce a series of 11 Crime Club mystery films released from 1937 to 1939. These include The Westlake Case (1937) and Mystery of the White Room (1939).

Other famous literary sleuths who were brought to the screen include Charlie Chan, Ellery Queen, Nancy Drew, Nero Wolfe, and Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. To date, 32 films and dozens of television adaptations have been made based on Christie's novels alone. British private detective and adventurer Bulldog Drummond was featured in no less than 24 films from 1922 to 1969 and was the prototype for Ian Fleming's James Bond character.

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author avatar Classic Periods: the 1930s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A few silent Charlie Chan films, now lost, were produced in the 1920s. Starting in 1929, the B-picture unit at Fox Film Corporation (soon to become 20th Century Fox) began a series of 28 highly popular Charlie Chan films. (Monogram Pictures continued the series from 1944 to 1949 with 17 more entries.) The success of the Chan films led Fox to hire German actor Peter Lorre to play Japanese sleuth Mr. Moto in 8 films from 1937 to 1939. Monogram responded by creating their own gentlemanly Oriental detective, Mr. Wong, adapted from a Hugh Wiley story. Starting with Mr. Wong, Detective, Boris Karloff played Wong in 5 of 6 films produced from 1938 to 1941.

Over at Warner Brothers studios, the Perry Mason novels by Erle Stanley Gardner were faithfully adapted into a series of six films from 1934 to 1937. Most of these placed the crusading attorney in a standard murder mystery whodunit story. Warner Bros. also created the Torchy Blane films which were notable for featuring one of the few female sleuths in a series. Starting with Smart Blonde, Glenda Farrell played the brassy, mystery-solving news reporter in 8 of 9 films made between 1936 and 1939. Another novel film is When Were You Born (1938) with Chinese actress Anna May Wong as an astrologer who helps solve a murder using her star-gazing talents.

In 1932 RKO Pictures (known then as RKO Radio Pictures Inc.) purchased the rights to a Hildegarde Withers story by Stuart Palmer and launched a six-film series starting with The Penguin Pool Murder. Edna May Oliver played Withers, a schoolteacher with a yen for sleuthing who becomes involved with a police inspector. The last film was released in 1937.

The popular Philo Vance detective novels by S. S. Van Dine inspired 15 feature films made from 1929 to 1947. The Canary Murder Case (1929), starring William Powell as Vance, has been called the first modern detective film. Initially made as a silent movie, it was converted into a talkie halfway into production. (Co-star Louise Brooks was blacklisted by Paramount Pictures after famously refusing to return to Hollywood to dub her dialog.) Powell played the suave New York detective in the first three films. A pre-Sherlock Holmes Basil Rathbone played Vance in the 4th movie. Powell returned once more for the fifth feature, the highly-regarded The Kennel Murder Case (1933) produced by Warner Brothers.

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author avatar Classic Periods: the 1930s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Powell then landed his signature role playing the equally debonair Nick Charles opposite Myrna Loy as his carefree wife "Nora" in the hugely popular Thin Man series. Six films in all were produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1934 to 1947. Based on The Thin Man novel by Dashiell Hammett, these were witty, sophisticated romps that combined elements of the screwball comedy film within a complex murder mystery plot.

Many of the films of this period concluded with an explanatory detective dénouement that quickly became a cinematic (and literary) cliche. With the suspects gathered together, the detective would dramatically announce that "The killer is in this very room!" before going over the various clues that revealed the identity of the murderer.

The 1930s was the era of the elegant gentleman detective who solved drawing-room whodunit murders using his wits rather than his fists. Most were well-to-do amateur sleuths who solved crimes for their own amusement, carried no weapons, and often had quirky or eccentric personality traits. This type of crime-fighter fell out of fashion in the 1940s as a new breed of tough, hardboiled professional private detectives based on the novels of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and an ensuing slew of imitators were adapted to film.

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author avatar 1940s to 1950s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

With the onset of World War II, crime films and melodramas in particular suddenly took on a dark mood of cynicism and despair that had not existed in the optimistic 1930s. Eventually, this cycle of films (which cuts across several genres) would be called film noir by French film critics. Pessimistic, unheroic stories about greed, lust, and cruelty became central to the mystery genre. Grim, violent films featuring cynical, trenchcoat-wearing private detectives who were almost as ruthless as the criminals they pursued became the industry standard. The wealthy, aristocratic sleuth of the previous decade was replaced by the rough-edged, working-class gumshoe. Humphrey Bogart became the definitive cinema shamus as Sam Spade in Hammett's The Maltese Falcon (1941) and as Philip Marlowe in Chandler's The Big Sleep (1946). Dick Powell also made an indelible impression as Marlowe in the classic Murder, My Sweet (1944), adapted from Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely. The Falcon Takes Over (1942), starring George Sanders, was also based on the same novel.

Chandler's The Lady in the Lake was filmed in 1947 with Robert Montgomery starring and directing. This film is most noteworthy for the revolutionary way it is filmed entirely from Marlowe's viewpoint. The audience sees only what he does. Montgomery only appears on camera a few times, once in a mirror reflection. Also in 1947, Chandler's novel The High Window was made into the film The Brasher Doubloon starring George Montgomery. This was essentially a remake of Time to Kill (1942), a Michael Shayne adventure starring Lloyd Nolan.

Raymond Chandler also wrote an original screenplay for The Blue Dahlia (1946) starring Alan Ladd. The Glass Key (1942), also starring Ladd, was the second film adaptation of Hammett's novel.

Another standout film of the period is Out of the Past (1947) starring Robert Mitchum, who would go on to play Philip Marlowe three decades later. Otto Preminger's Laura (1944) is also a classic murder mystery featuring Dana Andrews as a lone-wolf police detective.

Pulp novel detective Nick Carter returned in a trilogy of films released by MGM starring Walter Pidgeon: Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939), Sky Murder (1940), and Phantom Raiders (1940). Columbia produced a serial, Chick Carter, Detective in 1946. The lead character was changed to Nick Carter's son as the studio could not afford the rights to produce a Nick Carter serial. The whodunit novels of Baynard Kendrick about blind private detective Mac Maclain were made into two films starring Edward Arnold, Eyes in the Night (1942) and The Hidden Eye (1945).

The popular radio show The Whistler was turned into a series of 8 mystery films from 1944 to 1948. Richard Dix would introduce the stories and alternate between playing a hero, a villain, or a victim of circumstance. In Mysterious Intruder (1946), he was a private eye. It was one of the few series to gain acceptance with the public and critics alike.

Chester Morris played Boston Blackie, a former jewel thief turned detective, in fourteen films from 1941 to 1949. Produced by Columbia Pictures, many were mysteries laced with comic relief such as Meet Boston Blackie (1941), Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion (1945), The Phantom Thief (1945), and Boston Blackie's Chinese Venture (1949). Columbia also turned the Crime Doctor radio show into a series of mystery films starring Warner Baxter. Most of them followed the standard whodunit formula. Ten features were produced beginning with Crime Doctor in 1943 and ending with Crime Doctor's Diary (1949).

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author avatar 1940s to 1950s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Another popular series featured George Sanders as the suave Falcon. Sixteen films were made from 1941 to 1949. Sanders decided to leave the series during the fourth entry, The Falcon's Brother. His character was killed off and replaced by his real-life brother, Tom Conway. Comedian Red Skelton played inept radio detective "The Fox" in a trio of comedies, Whistling in the Dark (1941), Whistling in Dixie (1942), and Whistling in Brooklyn (1943).

Brett Halliday's "Michael Shayne" detective novels were made into a series of 12 B-movies between 1940 and 1947 (starring Lloyd Nolan and later Hugh Beaumont). Mickey Spillane's equally rugged Mike Hammer character was adapted to film with I, the Jury (1953), My Gun is Quick (1957), and the influential Kiss Me Deadly (1955). Spillane even played Hammer once in the 1963 film The Girl Hunters.

With Spellbound (1945), director Alfred Hitchcock created perhaps the first psychological mystery thriller. This film, along with Fear in the Night (1947), explores the effects of amnesia, hypnosis, and psychoanalysis. Both films also feature surreal dream sequences which are essential to the plot.

The Fat Man, a popular radio show during the 1940s and early 1950s was a detective drama based on characters by Dashiell Hammett. It spawned a one-shot film, The Fat Man in 1951.

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author avatar Provisional detectives
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A frequently used variation on the theme involved an average person who is suddenly forced to turn ad hoc detective in order to solve the murder of a friend or clear their own name. Prime examples include Ella Raines in Phantom Lady (1944), Lucille Ball in both The Dark Corner (1946) and Lured (1947), Alan Ladd in the aforementioned The Blue Dahlia, George Raft in Johnny Angel (1945), June Vincent and Dan Duryea in Black Angel (1946), Humphrey Bogart in Dead Reckoning (1947), and Dick Powell in Cry Danger (1951).

Perhaps the last word in this sub-genre is D.O.A. (1950), where a man dying from a slow-acting poison has to solve his own murder in the hours he has left. This film was remade in 1969 as Color Me Dead and again as D.O.A. in 1988.

Also among this group, the issue of racism as motive for murder is central to Crossfire (1947), Bad Day at Black Rock (1954), and A Soldier's Story (1984).

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author avatar Ten little Indians
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Agatha Christie's highly influential 1939 novel Ten Little Indians (originally Ten Little Niggers, later changed to And Then There Were None) presented the concept of a mysterious killer preying on a group of strangers trapped at an isolated location (in this case, Indian Island). This was made into a classic film And Then There Were None in 1945. Three more films, all titled Ten Little Indians, were released in 1965, 1974, and 1989 along with the 1987 Russian film Desyat Negrityat.

This premise has been used countless times, especially in "old dark house" genre horror films. A few examples include Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970) directed by Mario Bava, Identity (2003), Mindhunters (2004), made-for-television films (Dead Man's Island, 1996), a miniseries (Harper's Island, 2009), and episodic television such as The Avengers ("The Superlative Seven"), The Wild Wild West ("The Night of The Tottering Tontine") both from 1967, and Remington Steele ("Steele Trap") in 1982.

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author avatar Revival and revitionist era
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The 1960s and 1970s saw a neo-noir resurgence of the hardboiled detective film (and gritty police drama), based on the classic films of the past. These fall into three basic categories: modern updates of old films and novels, atmospheric period piece films set in the 1930s and 1940s, and new, contemporary detective stories that pay homage to the past.

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author avatar Classics made contemporary
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Veteran private eye Philip Marlowe returned as a modern-day sleuth in 1969's Marlowe played by James Garner (based on Chandler's The Little Sister), and in Robert Altman's revisionist The Long Goodbye (1973) played by Elliott Gould. Robert Mitchum is Marlowe in the 1978 remake of The Big Sleep set in contemporary London. Paul Newman portrays a modernized Lew Archer (changed to Harper) in Harper (1966) and The Drowning Pool (1976), based on Ross Macdonald's 1949-1950 novels.

Gunn, set in the mod millieu of 1967, is an update of the Peter Gunn TV series (1958–1961) starring Craig Stevens. Bulldog Drummond returned as a contemporary sleuth in Deadlier Than the Male (1967) and Some Girls Do (1969). The 1982 remake of I, the Jury brought back Mike Hammer (revived again in the 1984-1987 television series, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer). Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) is a modernized adaptation of Brett Halliday's 1941 Michael Shayne novel Bodies Are Where You Find Them.

The old-fashioned whodunit of the 1930s was given a fresh update in Sleuth (1972), The Last of Sheila (1973), and the comedy Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978).

The early films of Brian De Palma include the slasher comedy Murder a la Mod (1968), the Hitchcock-inspired Sisters (1973), and Obsession (1976), a remake of Hitchcock's 1958 classic Vertigo. The influence of Hitchcock emerged in several French thrillers, especially The Champagne Murders (1967) directed by Claude Chabrol and The Bride Wore Black (1968) by François Truffaut.

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author avatar Period peace films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The many period piece films set in the 1930s and 1940s are led by Roman Polanski's classic Chinatown (1974) starring Jack Nicholson and its belated sequel, The Two Jakes (1990), which Nicholson also directed. Robert Mitchum played Marlowe once again in Farewell, My Lovely (1975), perhaps the most faithful adaptation of this often-filmed book. The obscure Chandler (1972) is set in the 1940s but has nothing to do with Raymond Chandler's writings. The television film Goodnight, My Love (1972) with Richard Boone and two short-lived TV series, Banyon (1972–73) and City of Angels (1976) were also set in the 1930s and pay tribute to the Sam Spade/Philip Marlowe model. And the 1975 telefilm Who Is the Black Dahlia? recreates the true unsolved murder case from 1947.

Agatha Christie's elegant Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Death on the Nile (1978) were colorful, lavish productions rich in 1930s period detail. Also a series of lighthearted Miss Marple mysteries were loosely adapted from Christie's novels. Margaret Rutherford starred in Murder, She Said (1961), Murder Most Foul (1964), Murder Ahoy! (1965), and did a humorous cameo appearance as Marple in the Hercule Poirot mystery The Alphabet Murders (1965).

The evergreen Sherlock Holmes was given the first of many revisionist treatments in Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970). In The Seven Percent Solution (1976), Dr. Sigmund Freud himself cures Holmes of his drug addiction. And two films, A Study in Terror (1965) and Murder by Decree (1979), which includes scenes of lurid gore, put Holmes in pursuit of the mysterious real-life serial murderer Jack the Ripper. Most of these later films are inventions that have little or nothing to do with the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, puts the teenage sleuth in an action-adventure story replete with computer-generated special effects. The reinvention of Holmes has continued up to recent times as evidenced by the revamped, big-budget Warner Bros. series directed by Guy Ritchie. In Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), the cerebral detective (played by Robert Downey, Jr.) is transformed into an athletic (and romantic) action hero in a steampunk fantasy version of Victorian England.

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author avatar Memory loss mysteries
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Using amnesia as a central plot device (an idea which originated in the 1940s) also had a resurgence in the mystery-thriller genre. Here the protagonist loses his pre-existing memories after some mental or physical trauma and embarks on a quest to recover his identity. At the same time he finds himself at the center of a mysterious conspiracy involving murder or espionage. The three main examples of this trend are Mirage (1965) with Gregory Peck, The Third Day (1965) starring George Peppard, and Mister Buddwing (1966) with James Garner.

Concurrently, the hero-gets-amnesia story became a frequently used television cliche (see TV tropes). There was A Man Called Shenandoah (1965–1966) – a series about a man with no memories – and countless episodes of crime-dramas, adventure shows, and comedies including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1966), Get Smart (1967), The Wild Wild West, The Big Valley, Star Trek (all from 1968), It Takes a Thief (1969), The Mod Squad (1971), Hawaii Five-O (1972), and Gunsmoke (1973). By the mid-1970s, this now shop-worn plot device became dormant once again until resurfacing in a spate of mystery thrillers in the 1990s.

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author avatar Italian Galleo Trillers
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In Italy, a new type of controversial horror-based thriller called the Giallo film (which began in the 1960s) became a popular and influential genre by the early 1970s. Films in this category range from police procedurals to gothic horror. The stories tend to center around a series of grisly murder sequences with shocking grand guignol style gore, sometimes mixed with sadistic eroticism (the victims often being beautiful women). The villains are usually mysterious, psychopathic serial killers (often wearing masks or disguises) who are eventually hunted down by the police and/or an average person turned sleuth. The first important film in this genre is Blood and Black Lace (1964) directed by Mario Bava.

Some examples that follow a standard murder mystery format include Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970) by Mario Bava, three by director Dario Argento: The Cat o' Nine Tails, Four Flies on Grey Velvet (both 1971), and Deep Red (1975) – as well as A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971), The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971), Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971), Who Saw Her Die? (1972), What Have You Done to Solange? (1972), Casa d'appuntamento (aka The French Sex Murders, 1972), and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972).

The Giallo style has had an enduring influence on horror films in general as well as the subgenre slasher and splatter films that would soon follow. Early examples of this influence can be seen in the 1967 British film Berserk! and the American mystery-thrillers No Way to Treat a Lady (1968), Klute (1971), Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971), based on an Italian novel, Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), and Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972).

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author avatar From Blow Up to Blow Out
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

One mystery film stands out in a category by itself. Michelangelo Antonioni's provocative Blowup (1966) is a unique anti-whodunit symbolizing the aimless hedonism of the 1960s. A swinging London photographer uncovers clues to a murder, but solving the crime is rendered irrelevant in a society where no one really cares. This contrasts sharply with the ending of The Maltese Falcon where Sam Spade solves the murder of his partner, Miles Archer. He sacrifices the woman he's fallen for, not because he was fond of Archer (he wasn't), but because it's the right thing to do.

In 1981, Brian De Palma remade this as Blow Out, turning it into a more traditional political thriller. In the DVD audio commentary for The Conversation, director Francis Ford Coppola revealed that Blowup was a major source of inspiration for that film.

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author avatar 1980s till present
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Since the mid-1970s, only a handful of films with private detectives have been produced. These include I, the Jury, Angel Heart, Hollywood Harry, The Two Jakes, Devil in a Blue Dress, Pure Luck, Under Suspicion, Twilight with Paul Newman, and Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone.

Raymond Chandler's original Philip Marlowe short stories from the '30s (which he later expanded into novels) were adapted by the HBO cable network into eleven one-hour episodes for cable television. The series, Philip Marlowe: Private Eye (1983–1986), starred Powers Boothe as the hard-bitten detective.

Films with female detectives have not fared well. Kathleen Turner as private eye V.I. Warshawski (1991), was to be the start of a new franchise based on the book series by Sara Paretsky, but the film was a box-office failure. Plans to turn the Honey West novels into a film have been in and out of development for over a decade with no film in sight.

Since 1980, ten films based on the ever-popular novels of Agatha Christie have been released. Two with eccentric sleuth Hercule Poirot, Evil Under the Sun (1982), Appointment with Death (1988), and one with Miss Marple The Mirror Crack'd (1980). Christie herself became the subject of a mystery film in 1979's Agatha starring Vanessa Redgrave. The film was a fictional speculation on her famous 11-day disappearance in 1926.

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author avatar Erotic thrillers
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the early 1980s, a popular new genre (a.k.a. neo-noir) suddenly emerged that was directly inspired by the moody, fatalistic film noir crime dramas of the 1940s. Given a revisionist makeover, the implied sexuality of the vintage films was enhanced and made explicit in a new wave of erotic thrillers. The most influential of these are Body Heat (1981) with Kathleen Turner, and two from Brian De Palma: the Hitchcock-influenced Dressed to Kill (1980) and Body Double (1984). Other thrillers of this period inspired by Hitchcock include The Bedroom Window (1987), largely a remake of Rear Window (1954), and Roman Polanski's Frantic (1988).

Many of these films, such as the 1981 remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice, Angel Heart (1987), Stripped to Kill (1987), Basic Instinct (1992), and Sliver (1993) gained more notoriety for their exploitative use of explicit sex and nudity than for anything else. The frontal male nudity in Color of Night (1994) created controversy as did the graphic sex scenes between Madonna and Willem Dafoe in Body of Evidence (1993) and Meg Ryan's image-changing nude scene from In the Cut (2003). None of these films were well received by the critics and most did poorly at the box office.

The critics, as well as the public, were far more receptive to Blue Velvet (1986) by David Lynch. This combined an art-film aesthetic with strong sexuality, violence, and suspense woven into a murder mystery plot set, with deliberate irony, in a seemingly idyllic small town in America.

One of the few noteworthy films to successfully balance sexuality and suspense is the Al Pacino thriller Sea of Love (1989).

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author avatar Military mysteries
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Complex murder mysteries related to military men began with Crossfire (1947). More recent examples include A Soldier's Story (1984), No Way Out (1987), The Presidio (1988), A Few Good Men (1992), Courage Under Fire (1996), The General's Daughter (1999), and Basic (2003).

The police procedural film, often with a surprise twist ending, has also remained a vital format with Cruising (1980), Gorky Park (1983), Tightrope (1984), The Dead Pool (1988), Mortal Thoughts (1991), Rising Sun (1993), Striking Distance (1993), The Usual Suspects (1995), Lone Star (1996), Under Suspicion (2000), Blood Work (2002), Mindhunters (2004), and Righteous Kill (2008).

The political thriller involving murder, cover-ups, and high-level conspiracies is represented by such films as Murder at 1600 (1997), Enemy of the State (1998), and State of Play (2009).

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author avatar Psychological thriller
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1990s, a new trend, sometimes called Psycho-noir (psychological thriller and film-noir combined), emerged. This blends mystery, horror and suspense into stories centered around clever, sociopathic serial killers. The Hannibal Lecter novels by Thomas Harris have inspired four films, Manhunter (1986), the Academy Award-winning The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Hannibal (2001), and Red Dragon (2002).

Other films in this category include Seven (1995), Kiss the Girls (1997), adapted from the James Patterson novel, The Bone Collector (1999), Mercy (2000), Along Came a Spider (2001), also by Patterson, Insomnia (2002), and Taking Lives (2004).

The 2007 film Zodiac is an account of the real hunt for a serial killer in the San Francisco area in the late-1960s and early 1970s. Contemporary real-life serial killings have been portrayed in The Alphabet Killer, Ed Gein, Gacy, Ted Bundy and Dahmer. The French period-piece film Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) examines a series of killings that took place in France in the 18th century.

In many modern day mystery-thrillers, everyday characters (such as teens, mothers, fathers, businesspeople, etc.) are dragged into a dangerous conflict or a mysterious situation, either by fate or their own curiosity. Common elements in these stories include searching for a missing person (a friend or family member) as in Flightplan (2005) with Jodie Foster, while being surrounded by red herrings, espionage, criminal or political conspiracies, and friends/relatives with a secret past or a double life.

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author avatar Psychological thriller
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Films in this category include the Scream franchise (1996–2011), Saw franchise (2004–2010), The Orphanage (2006), What Lies Beneath (2000), Cry_Wolf (2005), Devil (2010), Secret Window (2004), The Ring (2002), The Machinist (2004), The Forgotten (2005), The Number 23 (2006) Identity (2003), and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010).

The retrograde amnesia plot also resurfaced in a new wave of mysteries and thrillers where discovering the lead character's true identity and/or history forms the core of the story. Main examples include: The Morning After (1986), Shattered (1991), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), Memento (2000), the Bourne (film series) (2002–2012), and Shutter Island (2010). Kenneth Branagh's highly stylized Dead Again (1991) pays homage to Hitchcock and Orson Wells in a complex story of amnesia, hypnosis, and reincarnation. There are also science fiction thrillers such as Total Recall (1990), remade in 2012, and Paycheck (2003) which center around technology-induced memory loss.

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author avatar Revitionist period peace films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Period-piece L.A. police detective stories (set in the 1940s and 1950s) returned — with a harder edge and a contemporary sensibility that references current issues — in Mulholland Falls (1996), and L.A. Confidential (1997) which was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won two. Both True Confessions (1981) and De Palma's The Black Dahlia (2006) are based on an actual unsolved Hollywood murder case from 1947. Hollywoodland (2006) explores the mysterious 1959 death of actor George Reeves, who is portrayed by Ben Affleck.

Raymond Chandler's final unfinished novel, Poodle Springs, from 1958, was completed by another author and made into an HBO cable film in 1998. Set in 1963, it stars James Caan as Philip Marlowe.

Radioland Murders (1994), set in 1939, is a rare example of a nostalgic comedy mystery. This recreates the era of old-time radio programs and pays homage to the screwball comedy films of the 1930s.

Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), set in Los Angeles c. 1948, features an African-American private eye. The film captures the atmosphere of the hard-boiled detective stories of the past as well as the racial climate of the times.

Coming full circle, Robert Altman's nostalgic Gosford Park (2001), set in an English mansion in 1932, is an original story that revives the old-fashioned murder mystery format.

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author avatar Genre Blends
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

By the 1970s and 1980s, detective and mystery stories began to appear in other genres, sometimes as the framing device for a horror, fantasy or science fiction film or placed in an earlier, nontraditional time period.

Hec Ramsey, a 1972-74 television series starred Richard Boone as a Sherlock Holmes-type detective in the Old West at the turn of the 19th to 20th century.

The science fiction films Soylent Green (1973), Outland (1981), Minority Report (2002), and I, Robot (2004) all involve futuristic police detectives solving a murder that leads to a larger conspiracy.

Escape to Witch Mountain (1975), Return from Witch Mountain (1978) and Race to Witch Mountain (2009), created by Alexander Key and produced by The Walt Disney Company are about two children from another world searching for their origins.

The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975), supernatural detective story about a man who solves his own murder from a previous life.

Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) is a Giallo-inspired murder mystery thriller that involves the paranormal.

Looker (1981), a science fiction murder mystery film involving futuristic computer technology.

Blade Runner (1982), a neo-noir science fiction classic set in the future. This comes closest to capturing the spirit of Raymond Chandler's Marlowe with Harrison Ford's sardonic, voice-over narration.

The Name of the Rose (1986), from the Umberto Eco novel, features a 13th century Sherlock Holmsian monk. The medieval era Brother Cadfael series of television mysteries also took the form of historical fiction.

Angel Heart (1987), set in 1948, begins as a retro detective yarn but soon becomes a supernatural horror shocker. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), and the cult TV series of which this is a prequel, also blends murder-mystery forensic work with supernatural horror.

Alien Nation (film) (1988), a murder-mystery police procedural in a science fiction setting. A race of stranded aliens must co-exist with humans on Earth in the near future. The story uses aliens to explore the issues of xenophobia, exploitation, and racism.

Faceless (1988) is a gory Jess Franco private-eye horror-mystery.

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author avatar Genre Blends
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) is a cable film with gumshoe Harry P. Lovecraft (a reference to horror/fantasy author H. P. Lovecraft) set in a fantasy version of 1948 Los Angeles where sorcery and voodoo abound. This was followed by Witch Hunt in 1994, a mock fantasy/mystery set in 1953. Private eye Lovecraft (Dennis Hopper) uncovers witchcraft and murder in Hollywood.

Lord of Illusions (1995), Clive Barker story of supernatural horror with New York P.I. Harry D'Amour, who has an affinity for the occult.

Sleepy Hollow (1999), set in 1799, this features a constable who uses Holmsian scientific methods and forensic science to solve a series of murders in this horror-fantasy film from Tim Burton.

The Harry Potter films (2001–2011) are fantasy stories that contain many mysteries concerning the main characters, especially in the first three entries: The Philosopher's Stone (2001), The Chamber of Secrets (2002) and The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).

The Reckoning (2003), a murder-mystery set in medieval England.

Someone Behind You (2007), is a South Korean supernatural thriller/murder mystery based on a comic book.

Yesterday Was a Lie (2008), neo-noir black-and-white detective mystery combines science fantasy and film noir.

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author avatar Parodies & Homages
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Who Done It? (1942), an Abbott and Costello comedy, is one of the first film spoofs of the genre.

Lady on a Train (1945) is a murder mystery comedy starring Deanna Durbin that also satirizes film noir.

In My Favorite Brunette (1947), Bob Hope is a cowardly baby photographer who is mistaken for a private detective (played by Alan Ladd in a brief cameo). Later that year, The Bowery Boys released Hard Boiled Mahoney with the same mistaken-identity plot.

Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), A&C are detectives out to save a man framed by mobsters.

Private Eyes (1953), The Bowery Boys open up a detective agency after Sach develops the ability to read minds.

Grindhouse sexploitation filmmakers also spoofed the genre. Nature's Playmates (1962) is one of exploitation producer H.G. Lewis' many "nudie-cutie" flicks. A beautiful female private eye tours Florida nudist camps in search of a missing man with a distinctive tattoo. Surftide 77 (1962) parodied TV detective series Surfside 6 (1960-1962). Take It Out In Trade (1970) is Ed Wood's softcore porn take on the Philip Marlowe films. Cry Uncle! (1971) is another sex comedy inspired by vintage private eye films. Ginger (1971), The Abductors (1972), and Girls Are for Loving (1973) are softcore sexploitation comedies featuring Cheri Caffaro as tough private-eye Ginger. England also produced the sex comedy Adventures of a Private Eye (1977).

The Pink Panther (1964) is the first in a series of comedies featuring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau.

They Might be Giants (1971) stars George C. Scott as a mental patient who believes he is Sherlock Holmes. He and his female psychiatrist (Dr. Watson) go on a Don Quixote-type odyssey through New York.

Gumshoe (1971) is a crime comedy about a man so inspired by Bogart's films he decides to play private eye.

The Black Bird (1975), critically panned comedy sequel to The Maltese Falcon starring George Segal as Sam Spade Jr. and Elisha Cook, Jr. reprising his role of Wilmer Cook.

The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975), a Gene Wilder comedy.

Murder by Death (1976) is Neil Simon's broad spoof of mystery films and Sam Spade, Charlie Chan, and Miss Marple. This was followed by The Cheap Detective (1978), an even broader spoof starring Peter Falk as a Bogart-like private eye.

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author avatar Parodies & Homages
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Late Show (1977), quirky, contemporary detective story is largely an affectionate tribute to the classic Hammett/Chandler era.

A trio of Chevy Chase comedies, Foul Play (1978), Fletch (1985), and Fletch Lives pays homage to vintage detective films and Hitchcock.

The Man with Bogart's Face (1980), a detective has his face changed and becomes involved in a mystery that resembles The Maltese Falcon.

The Private Eyes (1980) is a detective comedy with Tim Conway and Don Knotts.

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982), set in the 1940s and filmed in black and white, Steve Martin plays a traditional hard-boiled detective who interacts with vintage film clips in Carl Reiner's cut-and-paste film noir farce.

Hammett (1982), fictional account of Dashiell Hammett involved in actual mysteries that inspired his novels.

Trenchcoat (1983), comedy about a female mystery writer who has to solve a real crime.

Clue (1985), set in 1956, a period-piece whodunit spoof based on the popular board game.

The Singing Detective (1986), a British miniseries about a mystery writer named Philip Marlow who is confined to a hospital bed. There his vivid fantasies of being an old-fashioned gumshoe are brought to life. Later remade as a feature film The Singing Detective in 2003.

In 1987 Robert Mitchum was the guest host on Saturday Night Live where he played Philip Marlowe for the last time in the parody sketch, "Death Be Not Deadly". The show also ran a short film he made called Out of Gas, a mock sequel to his 1947 classic Out of the Past. Jane Greer reprised her role from the original film.

Without a Clue (1988) comedy about an actor (Michael Caine) hired to impersonate Sherlock Holmes.

The Naked Gun (1988) and its sequels features Leslie Nielsen as an inept police lieutenant. Based on the short-lived Police Squad! TV series.

The Gumshoe Kid (1990), an adolescent obsessed with Bogart gets his chance to be a detective in this R-rated comedy with Tracy Scoggins.

A Low Down Dirty Shame (1994), comedy with Keenen Ivory Wayans as a private detective.

The Naked Detective (1996), an R-rated softcore parody of film noir with fetish model/actress Julia Parton.

The Scream franchise (1996)-(2011), which is a satire of the horror genre, has heavy elements of the detective, mystery and crime fiction genres, and is often self-referential.

A Gun, a Car, a Blonde (1997), a paraplegic's fantasy (filmed in black and white) of being a tough private eye in a 1950s film noir world.

Brown's Requiem (1998), detective story based on James Ellroy's Chandleresque first novel.

Zero Effect (1998) updates the Sherlock Holmes concept with a detective who is brilliant when working on a case but an obnoxious cretin when off duty.

Where's Marlowe? (1998) drama about film makers following a low-level L.A. private detective.

Camouflage (2001), private-eye comedy with Leslie Nielsen.

Woody Allen's nostalgia for film noir, mysteries, and Bogart's tough-guy persona is evident in Play it Again, Sam (1972), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001).

Twilight (1998), Paul Newman stars in this old-fashioned private eye yarn that's reminiscent of earlier films in the genre as well as his two Lew Harper films.

I Heart Huckabees (2004) offbeat philosophical comedy involves two "existential detectives" (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) hired to uncover the meaning of life.

Broken Lizard's Club Dread (2004) is a murder mystery film that spoofs slasher films.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), crime-noir comedy inspired by hardboiled detective fiction and vapid L.A. culture.

A Prairie Home Companion (2006), film of Garrison Keillor's radio show features the recurring character Guy Noir, a Chandler-esque hardboiled detective whose adventures always wander into farce.

In the season 6, episode 11 of Married... with Children, Al Bundy dreams he's a private detective who's being framed for the murder of a rich woman's father.

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author avatar Romance Films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Romance films (or romance movies) are romantic love stories recorded in visual media for broadcast in theaters and on television that focus on passion, emotion, and the affectionate romantic involvement of the main characters and the journey that their genuinely strong, true and pure romantic love takes them through dating, courtship or marriage. Romance films make the romantic love story or the search for strong and pure love and romance the main plot focus. Occasionally, romance lovers face obstacles such as finances, physical illness, various forms of discrimination, psychological restraints or family that threaten to break their union of love. As in all quite strong, deep, and close romantic relationships, tensions of day-to-day life, temptations (of infidelity), and differences in compatibility enter into the plots of romantic films.

Romantic films often explore the essential themes of love at first sight, young with older love, unrequited romantic love, obsessive love, sentimental love, spiritual love, forbidden love/romance, platonic love, sexual and passionate love, sacrificial love explosive and destructive love, and tragic love. Romantic films serve as great escapes and fantasies for viewers, especially if the two people finally overcome their difficulties, declare their love, and experience life "happily ever after", implied by a reunion and final kiss. In romantic television series, the development of such romantic relationships may play out over many episodes, and different characters may become intertwined in different romantic arcs.

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author avatar Sub-genre
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Romantic drama side of love. The plot usually revolves around an obstacle which prevents deep and true romantic love between two people. Music is often employed to indicate the emotional mood, creating an atmosphere of greater insulation for the couple. The conclusion of a romantic drama typically does not indicate whether a marriage will occur. Some examples of romantic drama films are The Bridges of Madison County, Falling in Love, Casablanca and Last Tango in Paris.

Chick flick is a term often associated with romance films as many are targeted to a female audience. Although many romance films may be targeted at women, this is not a defining characteristic of a romance film and a chick flick does not necessarily have a romance as a central theme, revolve around the romantic involvement of characters or even contain a romantic relationship. As such, the terms cannot be used interchangeably. Films of this genre include Dirty Dancing, The Notebook, Dear John, A Walk to Remember, and Romeo + Juliet.

Romantic comedies are films with light-hearted, humorous plotlines, centered on romantic ideals such as that true love is able to surmount most obstacles. Humor in such films tends to be of a verbal, low-key variety or situational, as opposed to slapstick. Films within this genre include, Love Actually, Moonstruck, As Good as It Gets, Something's Gotta Give, It Happened One Night, When Harry Met Sally..., The Family Stone, It's Complicated, Three to Tango, 27 Dresses, and The Holiday.

Romantic action comedies are films that blend romantic comedy and action. Exampls include Killers, Knight and Day, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, This Means War and The Bounty Hunter.

Romantic thriller is a genre of film which has a storyline combining elements of the romance film and the thriller genre. Some examples of romantic thriller films are The Adjustment Bureau, The Phantom of the Opera, The Tourist, The Bodyguard, Unfaithful, and Wicker Park

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author avatar Thrillers
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Thriller is a broad genre of literature, film, and television programming that uses suspense, tension and excitement as the main elements. Thrillers heavily stimulate the viewer's moods giving them a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, uncertainty, surprise, anxiety and/or terror. Thriller films tend to be adrenaline-rushing, gritty, rousing and fast-paced. Literary devices such as red herrings, plot twists and cliffhangers are used extensively. A thriller is a villain-driven plot, whereby he or she presents obstacles that the protagonist must overcome.

Common subgenres are psychological thrillers, crime thrillers and mystery thrillers. Another common subgenre of thriller is the spy genre which deals with fictional espionage. Successful examples of thrillers are the films of Alfred Hitchcock. The horror and action genres often overlap with the thriller genre.

In 2001, the American Film Institute in Los Angeles made its definitive selection of the top 100 greatest American "heart-pounding" and "adrenaline-inducing" films of all time. To be eligible, the 400 nominated films had to be American-made films, whose thrills have "enlivened and enriched America's film heritage". AFI also asked jurors to consider "the total adrenaline-inducing impact of a film's artistry and craft".

Homer's Odyssey is one of the oldest stories in the Western world and is regarded as an early prototype of the thriller. One of the earliest thriller movies was Harold Lloyd's comic Safety Last! (1923), with a character performing a daredevil stunt on the side of a skyscraper. Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang helped to shape the modern-day thriller genre beginning with The Lodger (1926) and M (1931), respectively.

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author avatar Definition of Thriller
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The aim for thrillers is to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seats. The protagonist in these films is set against a problem – an escape, a mission, or a mystery. No matter what sub-genre a thriller film falls into, it will emphasize the danger that the protagonist faces. The tension with the main problem is built on throughout the film and leads to a highly stressful climax. The cover-up of important information from the viewer, and fight and chase scenes are common methods in all of the thriller subgenres, although each subgenre has its own unique characteristics and methods.

A thriller provides the sudden rush of emotions, excitement, sense of suspense and exhilaration that drive the narrative, sometimes subtly with peaks and lulls, sometimes at a constant, breakneck pace thrills. In this genre, the objective is to deliver a story with sustained tension, surprise, and a constant sense of impending doom. It keeps the audience cliff-hanging at the "edge of their seats" as the plot builds towards a climax. Thrillers tend to be fast-moving, psychological, threatening, mysterious and at times involve larger-scale villainy such as espionage, terrorism and conspiracy.

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author avatar Definition of Thriller
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Thrillers may be defined by the primary mood that they elicit: fearful excitement. In short, if it "thrills", it is a thriller. As the introduction to a major anthology explains:

“ ...Thrillers provide such a rich literary feast. There are all kinds. The legal thriller, spy thriller, action-adventure thriller, medical thriller, police thriller, romantic thriller, historical thriller, political thriller, religious thriller, high-tech thriller, military thriller. The list goes on and on, with new variations constantly being invented. In fact, this openness to expansion is one of the genre's most enduring characteristics. But what gives the variety of thrillers a common ground is the intensity of emotions they create, particularly those of apprehension and exhilaration, of excitement and breathlessness, all designed to generate that all-important thrill. By definition, if a thriller doesn't thrill, it's not doing its job. ”

—James Patterson, June 2006, "Introduction," Thriller

Writer Vladimir Nabokov, in his lectures at Cornell University, said: "In an Anglo-Saxon thriller, the villain is generally punished, and the strong silent man generally wins the weak babbling girl, but there is no governmental law in Western countries to ban a story that does not comply with a fond tradition, so that we always hope that the wicked but romantic fellow will escape scot-free and the good but dull chap will be finally snubbed by the moody heroine."

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author avatar Themes & Characters
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Common methods and themes in crime thrillers are mainly ransoms, captivities, heists, revenge, kidnappings. More common in mystery thrillers are investigations and the whodunit technique. Common elements in psychological thrillers are mind games, psychological themes, stalking, confinement/deathtraps, horror-of-personality, and obsession. Elements such as fringe theories, false accusations and paranoia are common in paranoid thrillers. Threats to entire countries, spies, espionage, conspiracies, assassins and electronic surveillance are common in spy thrillers

The primary elements of the thriller genre:

The protagonist(s) faces death, either their own or somebody else's.

The force(s) of antagonism must initially be cleverer and/or stronger than the protagonist's.

The main storyline for the protagonist is either a quest or a character who cannot be put down.

The main plotline focuses on a mystery that must be solved.

The film's narrative construction is dominated by the protagonist's point of view.

All action and characters must be credibly realistic/natural in their representation on screen.

The two major themes that underpin the thriller genre are the desire for justice and the morality of individuals.

One small, but significant, aspect of a thriller is the presence of innocence in what is seen as an essentially corrupt world.

The protagonist(s) and antagonist(s) may battle, themselves and each other, not just on a physical level, but on a mental one as well.

Either by accident or their own curiousness, characters are dragged into a dangerous conflict or situation that they are not prepared to resolve.

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author avatar Themes & Characters
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Characters include criminals, stalkers, assassins, innocent victims (often on the run), menaced women, characters with deep dark pasts, psychotic individuals, spree killers, sociopaths, agents, terrorists, cops and escaped cons, private eyes, people involved in twisted relationships, world-weary men and women, psycho-fiends, and more. The themes frequently include terrorism, political conspiracy, pursuit, or romantic triangles leading to murder.

The protagonists are frequently ordinary citizens unaccustomed to danger, although commonly in crime thrillers, they may also be "hard men" accustomed to danger such as police officers and detectives. While protagonists of thrillers have traditionally been men, women lead characters are increasingly common. In psychological thrillers, the protagonists are reliant on their mental resources, whether it be by battling wits with the antagonist or by battling for equilibrium in the character's own mind. The suspense often comes from two or more characters preying upon one another's minds, either by playing deceptive games with the other or by merely trying to demolish the other's mental state

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author avatar Stories & Settings
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Plots of thrillers involve characters which come into conflict with each other or with outside forces – the threat is sometimes abstract or unseen. An atmosphere of creepy menace and sudden violence, such as crime and murder, characterize thrillers. Thrillers often present the world and society as dark, corrupt and dangerous. But in Hollywood they usually feature upbeat endings in which evil is overcome. The tension usually arises when the character(s) is placed in a menacing situation, a mystery, or a trap from which escaping seems impossible. Life is threatened, usually because the principal character is unsuspectingly or unknowingly involved in a dangerous or potentially deadly situation.

Thrillers emphasize the puzzle aspect of the plot. There are clues and the viewer/reader should be able to determine the solution at about the same times as the main character. In thrillers the compelling questions isn’t necessarily who did it but whether the villain will be caught before committing another crime. Hitchcock's films often placed an innocent victim (an average, responsible person) into a strange, life-threatening or terrorizing situation, in a case of mistaken identity, misidentification or wrongful accusation.

Thrillers take place mostly in ordinary suburbs and cities, although sometimes they may take place wholly or partly in exotic settings such as foreign cities, deserts, polar regions, or the high seas. Usually, tough, resourceful, but essentially ordinary heroes are pitted against villains determined to destroy them, their country, or the stability of the free world. Often in a thriller the protagonist is faced with what seem to be insurmountable problems in his mission, carried out against a ticking clock, the stakes are high and although resourceful they face personal dilemmas along the way forcing them to make sacrifices for others.

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author avatar Thriller & Mystery
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Thrillers often overlap with mystery stories but are distinguished by the structure of their plots. In a thriller, the hero must stop the plans of an enemy rather than uncover a crime that has already happened. Mystery thrillers also occur on a much grander scale: the crimes that must be prevented are serial or mass murder, terrorism, assassination, or the overthrow of governments. Jeopardy and violent confrontations are standard plot elements in the mystery-thriller genre (i.e., Triangle), unlike in the mystery genre where the story is more downbeat and dramatic (i.e., Changeling).

While a mystery climaxes when the mystery is solved (i.e., Gosford Park), a mystery thriller climaxes when the hero finally defeats the villain (after reveal), saves his own life and often the lives of others (i.e., Oldboy). There is very little violence, menace and threat in mystery/detective films (especially between the villain and other innocent people), whilst the violence is quite intense in thrillers and the villain is more ruthless. In thrillers influenced by film noir and tragedy, the compromised hero is often killed in the process.

A thriller isn't just about someone being murdered. There is always something bigger and more important at stake behind the murder that may endanger more lives. Where in a mystery the motive for a crime such as insurance fraud can be greed, in a thriller mere money doesn't come across as believable for all the terrible things the antagonist will do.

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author avatar Thriller & Crimes
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Often the two overlap. However, pure crime films/novels focus on a specific crime or set of crimes, and solving the mystery or tracking down the criminal(s), with no or little violence but more drama throughout. Thrillers are usually fiction-based and fast in pace, while crime fiction tend to be more leisurely paced, dramatic and realistic. Generally, violence is also lacking in a crime fiction, but this depends if the work is based on the mafia, where violence is intense.

Some crime films showcase more on the gangster life, personal drama of the criminals and even their biographical film (i.e., The Godfather). Crime-thrillers, on the other hand, have more threat and suspense in them and may involve espionage (spying), frequent killings and other non-criminal conflicts (i.e., Heat). Unlike crime thrillers, crime films usually offer a more serious, grim and realistic portrayal of the criminal environment, emphasizing character development and complex narratives over suspense sequences, chase scenes and violence.

In crime fiction, the hero might be a police officer, or a private eye, who can still be tough and resourceful. He is pitted against villains determined to destroy him, although, unlike in thrillers, not necessarily other people, the country or the stability of the free world. Unlike in crime fiction, thrillers keep the emphasis away from the gangster, melodrama or the detective in the crime-related plot, and rather focus more on the suspense and danger that is generated.

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author avatar History in literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Ancient epic poems such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer's Odyssey and the Mahābhārata use similar narrative techniques as modern thrillers. In the Odyssey, the hero Odysseus makes a perilous voyage home after the Trojan War, battling extraordinary hardships in order to be reunited with his wife Penelope. He has to contend with villains such as the Cyclops, a one-eyed giant, and the Sirens, whose sweet singing lures sailors to their doom. In most cases, Odysseus uses cunning instead of brute force to overcome his adversaries.

Little Red Riding Hood (1697), an early example of a psycho-stalker story, is a fairy tale about a girl who walks through the woods to deliver food to her sick grandmother. A wolf wants to eat the girl but is afraid to do so in public. He approaches Little Red Riding Hood and she naively tells him where she is going. He suggests the girl pick some flowers, which she does. In the meantime, he goes to the grandmother's house and gains entry by pretending to be the girl. He swallows the grandmother whole (in some stories, he locks her in the closet) and waits for the girl, disguised as the grandma.

The Three Apples, a tale in the One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), is the earliest known murder mystery and suspense thriller with multiple plot twists and detective fiction elements. In this tale, a fisherman discovers a heavy locked chest along the Tigris river and he sells it to the Abbasid Caliph, Harun al-Rashid, who then has the chest broken open only to find inside it the dead body of a young woman who was cut into pieces. Harun orders his vizier, Ja'far ibn Yahya, to solve the crime and find the murderer within three days. This whodunit mystery may be considered an archetype for detective fiction.

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author avatar History in literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Count of Monte Cristo (1844) is a swashbuckling revenge thriller about a man named Edmond Dantès who is betrayed by his friends and sent to languish in the notorious Château d'If. His only companion is an old man who teaches him everything from philosophy to mathematics to swordplay. Just before the old man dies, he reveals to Dantès the secret location of a great treasure. Shortly after, Dantès engineers a daring escape and uses the treasure to reinvent himself as the Count of Monte Cristo. Thirsting for vengeance, he sets out to punish those who destroyed his life.

The Riddle of the Sands (1903) is "the first modern thriller", according to Ken Follett, who described it as "an open-air adventure thriller about two young men who stumble upon a German armada preparing to invade England".

Heart of Darkness (1903) is a first-person within a first-person account about a man named Marlowe who travels up the Congo River in search of an enigmatic Belgian trader named Kurtz. Layer by layer, the atrocities of the human soul and man's inhumanity to man are peeled away. Marlowe finds it increasingly difficult to tell where civilization ends and where barbarism begins. Today this might be described as a psychological thriller.

The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915) is an early thriller by John Buchan, in which an innocent man becomes the prime suspect in a murder case and finds himself on the run from both the police and enemy spies.

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author avatar History in literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Manchurian Candidate (1959) is a classic of Cold War paranoia. A squad of American soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed by Communists. False memories are implanted, along with a subconscious trigger that turns them into assassins at a moment's notice. They are soon reintegrated into American society as sleeper agents. One of them, Major Bennett Marco, senses that not all is right, setting him on a collision course with his former comrade Sergeant Raymond Shaw, who is close to being activated as an assassin.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) by John le Carré is set in the world of Cold War espionage and helped to usher in an era of more realistic thriller fiction, based around professional spies and the battle of wits between rival spymasters.

The Bourne Identity (1980) is one of the first thrillers to be written in the modern style that we know today. A man with gunshot wounds is found floating unconscious in the Mediterranean Sea. Brought ashore and nursed back to health, he wakes up with amnesia. Fiercely determined to uncover the secrets of his past, he embarks on a quest that sends him spiraling into a web of violence and deceit. He is astounded to learn that knowledge of hand-to-hand combat, firearms, and trade craft seem to come naturally to him.

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author avatar Early thrillers
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Alfred Hitchcock's first thriller was his third silent film The Lodger (1926), a suspenseful Jack the Ripper story. His next thriller was Blackmail (1929), his and Britain's first sound film. Of Hitchcock's fifteen major features made between 1925 and 1935, only six were suspense films, the two mentioned above plus Murder!, Number Seventeen, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and The 39 Steps. From 1935 on, however, most of his output was thrillers.

One of the earliest spy films was Fritz Lang's Spies (1928), the director's first independent production, with an anarchist international conspirator and criminal spy character named Haghi (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), who was pursued by good-guy Agent No. 326 (Willy Fritsch) (aka Det. Donald Tremaine, English version) – this film anticipated the James Bond films of the future. Another was Greta Garbo's portrayal of the real-life, notorious, seductive German double agent code-named Mata Hari (Gertrud Zelle) in World War I in Mata Hari (1932), who performed a pearl-draped dance to entice French officers to divulge their secrets.

The chilling German film M (1931) directed by Fritz Lang, starred Peter Lorre (in his first film role) as a criminal deviant who preys on children. The film's story was based on the life of serial killer Peter Kurten (known as the 'Vampire of Düsseldorf'). Edward Sutherland's crime thriller Murders in the Zoo (1933) from Paramount starred Lionel Atwill as a murderous and jealous zoologist.

Other British directors, such as Walter Forde, Victor Saville, George A. Cooper, and even the young Michael Powell made more thrillers in the same period; Forde made nine, Vorhaus seven between 1932 and 1935, Cooper six in the same period, and Powell the same. Hitchcock was following a strong British trend in his choice of genre.

Notable examples of Hitchcock's early British suspense-thriller films include The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), his first spy-chase/romantic thriller, The 39 Steps (1935) with Robert Donat handcuffed to Madeleine Carroll and The Lady Vanishes (1938).

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author avatar 1940s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Hitchcock continued to perfect his recognizable brand of suspense-thriller, directing Foreign Correspondent (1940), the haunting Oscar-winning Rebecca (1940), which is about the unusual romance between a young woman (Joan Fontaine) and an emotionally distant rich widower (Laurence Olivier) – overshadowed by a vindictive housekeeper (Judith Anderson), Suspicion (1941) about a woman in peril from her own husband (Cary Grant), Saboteur (1942) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943), which was Hitchcock's own personal favorite and based upon the actual case of a 1920s serial killer known as The Merry Widow Murderer.

Director George Cukor's psychological thriller Gaslight (1944) featured a scheming husband (Charles Boyer) plotting to make his innocent young wife (Ingrid Bergman) go insane, in order to acquire her inheritance. The film noir, Laura (1944) was about a thrilling murder investigation made by a police detective (Dana Andrews), with suspects including a columnist (Clifton Webb) and a fiancee (Vincent Price).

In The Spiral Staircase (1946), a mute domestic servant (Dorothy McGuire) in a house was terrorized by a serial murderer, thinking she was the next victim. In a thriller starring Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth titled The Lady From Shanghai (1948), a woman, her crippled lawyer/husband and his partner, and an Irish sailor ended up involved in a murder scheme. In Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), an invalid woman (Barbara Stanwyck) overheard a murder plot on the phone – against herself. The Third Man (1949), told the story of a writer (Joseph Cotten) in post-World War II Vienna who found out that his old friend (Orson Welles), a black marketeer, was not dead after all.

Spy films of the '40s included Fritz Lang's atmospheric post-war spy melodrama Cloak and Dagger (1946), with Gary Cooper starring as atomic scientist and physics professor Alvah Jasper (a character based upon A-bomb co-developer J. Robert Oppenheimer), on a mission to discover Germany's secret plans to build an A bomb. Henry Hathaway's 13 Rue Madeleine (1947), a documentary-style wartime espionage tale with James Cagney (as Bob Sharkey), an O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services) agent sent into occupied France to uncover the site of a German missile silo before the Allied landing at Normandy on D-Day.

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author avatar 1950s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1950s, Hitchcock added technicolor to his thrillers, now with exotic locales and glamorous stars. He reached the zenith of his career with a succession of classic films such as, Strangers on a Train (1951) which is about two train passengers: tennis pro Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker) who staged a battle of wits and traded murders with each other, Dial M For Murder (1954) with Ray Milland as a villainous husband who attempts to murder his wealthy wife (Grace Kelly), Rear Window (1954) which is about man (James Stewart) being convinced that his neighbour is a killer, To Catch a Thief (1955), a lightweight thriller set in South of France, Vertigo (1958), with James Stewart as a retired police detective who becomes obsessed with the disturbed enigmatic 'wife' (Kim Novak) of an old friend, and North by Northwest in which an advertising executive (Cary Grant) is mistaken for a non-existent spy and chased across the country while aided by a mysterious woman (Eva Marie Saint).

Non-Hitchcock thriller of the 50's include, the film-noirish Niagara (1953) by Henry Hathaway, with Marilyn Monroe as the trashy femme fatale who schemes to kill her unstable husband (Joseph Cotten), director Robert Aldrich's violent and fast-paced film Kiss Me Deadly (1955) featured Ralph Meeker as fictional detective Mike Hammer encountering nuclear apocalypse, The Night of the Hunter (1955), director Charles Laughton's only film, with Robert Mitchum playing a Bible-thumping, homicidal preacher victimizing two young children with a secret about the location of stolen money. Orson Welles' unique crime thriller, Touch of Evil (1958) with a pre-Psycho Janet Leigh as a terrorized wife, Charlton Heston as a Mexican narcotics agent, and the director himself as an evil border-town cop.

The spy films in the 50's included Henry Hathaway's Diplomatic Courier (1952), with Tyrone Power as an undercover secret agent in search of documents with details of the Russian invasion of Yugoslavia and Joseph Mankiewicz's 5 Fingers (1952) with James Mason as undercover agent Ulysses Diello (code-named Cicero), working in the British embassy in Turkey during WWII, selling secrets to the Nazis. The film was based upon the novel Operation Cicero by real-life "Cicero" L.C. Moyzisch.

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author avatar 1960s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Director Michael Powell's tense Peeping Tom (1960), with Carl Boehm as a psychopathic cameraman – the film was released prior to Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). After Hitchcock's classic films of the 1950s, he produced the shocking and engrossing thriller Psycho (1960) about a loner mother-fixated motel owner and taxidermist.

J. Lee Thompson's Cape Fear (1962) with Robert Mitchum had a menacing ex-con seeking revenge at an attorney (Gregory Peck) and his family, director Stanley Donen's stylish, romantic thriller Charade (1963), which had numerous plot twists, Identity changes, and a search for hidden loot that stars the pair of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn on location in Paris. Roman Polanski's first film in English, the frightening and surrealistic Repulsion (1965) – with Catherine Deneuve as a young woman who goes increasingly mad. A famous thriller of its release date was Wait Until Dark (1967) by director Terence Young with Audrey Hepburn as a victimized blind woman in her Manhattan apartment and Alan Arkin as the evil and sadistic con man searching for drugs (hidden in a doll).

The 007 films inspired other spy films like the 'Harry Palmer' spy mystery trilogy featured a reluctant, bespectacled, unglamorous British secret serviceman (Michael Caine) (from the best-selling novel by Len Deighton) in The Ipcress File (1965), Funeral in Berlin (1967) and Billion Dollar Brain (1967). More spy films spawned; Richard Burton was British undercover agent Alec Leamas (code-named Expendable) in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965) and Sidney Lumet's The Deadly Affair (1967), Terence Young's The Triple Cross (1967), based on a true story, starred Christopher Plummer as Eddie Chapman, a safe-cracker who joined with the Germans during the war, and then became a British double-agent.

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author avatar 1990s till present
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The decade started with Rob Reiner's Misery (1990), based on the book by Stephen King, with Kathy Bates as an unbalanced fan named Annie who terrorizes, in her care, an incapacitated author named Paul (James Caan); in one horrifying scene, she 'hobbles' his ankles so that he can't escape, a battered wife who left her sadistic husband to find a better life was vengefully pursued in Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Curtis Hanson's The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), with Rebecca De Mornay as a nanny intent on seeking revenge against her dead obstetrician husband's patient (Annabella Sciorra), Unlawful Entry (1992) with Ray Liotta as cop being obsessed with a woman he saved, Barbet Schroeder's suspenseful Single White Female (1992), with Bridget Fonda and her obsessed roommate-from-hell Jennifer Jason Leigh, Harold Becker's Malice (1993) with Alec Baldwin and Nicole Kidman, and lastly Anthony Minghella's psychological thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) with Matt Damon being obsessed with, and then assuming the identity of, Jude Law.

However, despite how common the obsession theme was in this decade, there was another popular theme of the thriller genre – detectives/FBI agents hunting down a serial killer. The famous was Jonathan Demme's highly acclaimed Best Picture-winning crime thriller The Silence of the Lambs (1991) where a young FBI agent Jodie Foster in a psychological war against a cannibalistic psychiatrist named Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), while tracking down transgender serial killer Buffalo Bill and David Fincher's crime thriller Se7en (1995), which was about the search for a serial killer who re-enacts the seven deadly sins.

Until today, thrillers do borrow themes and elements from those in the past decades. However, to cut the repetitiveness, there are a number of recent thrillers that maintain the aspects of the horror genre; having more gore/sadistic violence, brutality, terror and body counts. The recent thrillers which took this approach include Eden Lake (2008), The Last House on the Left (2009), P2 (2007), Captivity (2007) and Funny Games (2008). Even action scenes have gotten more elaborate in thriller films within the past 10 years, especially in spy thrillers. Thrillers such as Joy Ride (2001), Unknown (2011), Hostage (2005), Cellular (2006), A History of Violence (2005) and Firewall (2006) were borderline-action.

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author avatar Sub-genres
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The thriller genre can include the following sub-genres, which may include elements of other genres:

Conspiracy thriller: In which the hero/heroine confronts a large, powerful group of enemies whose true extent only s/he recognizes. The Chancellor Manuscript and The Aquitaine Progression by Robert Ludlum fall into this category, as do films such as Awake, Snake Eyes, The Da Vinci Code, Edge of Darkness, Absolute Power, Marathon Man, In the Line of Fire, Capricorn One, and JFK.

Crime thriller: This particular genre is a hybrid type of both crime films and thrillers that offers a suspenseful account of a successful or failed crime or crimes. These films often focus on the criminal(s) rather than a policeman. Central topics of these films include serial killers/murders, robberies, chases, shootouts, heists and double-crosses. Some examples of crime thrillers involving murderers include, Seven, No Country for Old Men, Silence of the Lambs, Untraceable, Mindhunters, Kiss the Girls, Along Came a Spider", Collateral and Copycat. Examples of crime thrillers involving heists or robberies includes The Asphalt Jungle, The Score, Rififi, Entrapment and The Killing.

Erotic thriller: A type of thriller that has an emphasis on eroticism and where a sexual relationship plays an important role in the plot. It has become popular since the 1980s and the rise of VCR market penetration. The genre includes such films as Basic Instinct, Chloe, Color of Night, Dressed to Kill, Eyes Wide Shut, In the Cut, Lust, Caution and Single White Female.

Political thriller: In which the hero/heroine must ensure the stability of the government that employs him. The success of Seven Days in May (1962) by Fletcher Knebel, The Day of the Jackal (1971) by Frederick Forsyth, and The Manchurian Candidate (1959) by Richard Condon established this sub-genre. Examples include, Topaz, Notorious, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Interpreter, Proof of Life, State of Play and The Ghost Writer.

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author avatar Sub-genres
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Psychological thriller: In which (until the often violent resolution) the conflict between the main characters is mental and emotional, rather than physical. Characters, either by accident or their own curiousness, are dragged into a dangerous conflict or situation that they are not prepared to resolve. Characters are not reliant on physical strength to overcome their brutish enemies, but rather are reliant on their mental resources, whether it be by battling wits with a formidable opponent or by battling for equilibrium in the character's own mind. At times, the characters attempt solving, or are involved in, a mystery. The suspense created by psychological thrillers often comes from two or more characters preying upon one another's minds, either by playing deceptive games with the other or by merely trying to demolish the other's mental state. The Alfred Hitchcock films Suspicion, Shadow of a Doubt, and Strangers on a Train and David Lynch's bizarre and influential Blue Velvet are notable examples of the type, as are The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Machinist, Don't Say A Word, House of 9, Trapped, Flightplan, Shutter Island, Secret Window, Identity, Red Eye, Phone Booth, Psycho, The River Wild, Nick of Time, P2, Breakdown, Panic Room, Misery, Straw Dogs and its remake, Cape Fear, The Collector, Frailty, The Good Son and Funny Games.

Spy thriller: In which the protagonist is generally a government agent who must take violent action against agents of a rival government or (in recent years) terrorists. The subgenre usually deals with the subject of fictional espionage in a realistic way (such as the adaptations of John Le Carré). It is a significant aspect of British cinema, with leading British directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Carol Reed making notable contributions and many films set in the British Secret Service. The spy film usually fuses the action and science fiction genres, however, some spy films fall safely in the action genre rather than thriller (e.i. James Bond), especially those having frequent shootouts, car chases and such (see the spy entry in the subgenres of action film). Thrillers within this subgenre include Spy Game, Hanna, Traitor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Tourist, The Parallax View, The Tailor of Panama, Taken, Unknown, The Recruit, The Debt, The Good Shepherd and Three Days of the Condor.

Supernatural thriller: In which the film brings in an otherworldly element (such as fantasy and/or the supernatural) mixed with tension, suspense and plot twists. Sometimes the protagonist and/or villain has some psychic ability and superpowers. Examples include, Lady in the Water, Fallen, Frequency, Next, Knowing, In Dreams, Flatliners, Jacob's Ladder, Chronicle, The Skeleton Key, What Lies Beneath, Unbreakable, The Gift, and The Dead Zone.

Techno thriller: A suspense film in which the manipulation of sophisticated technology plays a prominent part. There is a bit of action and science fiction. Examples include The Thirteenth Floor, Jurassic Park, I, Robot, Eagle Eye, Hackers, The Net, Futureworld, eXistenZ and Virtuosity.

Legal thriller: A suspense film in which in which the major characters are lawyers and their employees. The system of justice itself is always a major part of these works, at times almost functioning as one of the characters. Examples include, The Pelican Brief, Presumed Innocent, The Jury, The Kappa File, The Lincoln Lawyer, Hostile Witness and Silent Witness.

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author avatar Fiction & Literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Novelists closely associated with the genre include Eric Ambler, Ted Bell, Dan Brown, Lincoln Child, Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, Michael Crichton, Nelson DeMille, Ian Fleming, Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, Graham Greene, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, Alistair MacLean, Andy McNab, David Morrell, James Phelan, Douglas Preston, and Matthew Reilly.

Film

D.J. Caruso

Henri-Georges Clouzot

Joel and Ethan Coen

Jonathan Demme

Brian De Palma

David Fincher

John Frankenheimer

William Friedkin

Alfred Hitchcock

Gregory Hoblit

Stephen Hopkins

John Huston

Peter Jackson

Philip Kaufman

Stanley Kubrick

Michael Mann

John McTiernan

Christopher Nolan

Phillip Noyce

Wolfgang Petersen

Roman Polanski

Sydney Pollack

Carol Reed

Joel Schumacher

Ridley Scott

Tony Scott

M. Night Shyamalan

Don Siegel

Steven Soderbergh

Steven Spielberg

Quentin Tarantino

Tom Tykwer

Orson Welles

Billy Wilder

James Cameron

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author avatar Television
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

There have been at least two television series called simply Thriller, one made in the U.S. in the 1960s and one made in the UK in the 1970s. Although in no way linked, both series consisted of one-off dramas, each utilising the familiar motifs of the genre.

24 is a fast-paced television series with a premise inspired by the War on Terror. Each season takes place over the course of twenty-four hours, with each episode happening in "real time". Featuring a split-screen technique and a ticking onscreen clock, 24 follows the exploits of federal agent Jack Bauer as he races to foil terrorist threats.

Lost, which deals with the survivors of a plane crash, sees the castaways on the island forced to deal with a monstrous being that appears as a cloud of black smoke, a conspiracy of "Others" who have kidnapped or killed their fellow castaways at various points, a shadowy past of the island itself that they are trying to understand, polar bears, and the fight against these and other elements as they struggle simply to stay alive and get out of the island.

Prison Break follows Michael Scofield, an engineer who has himself incarcerated in a maximum-security prison in order to break out his brother, who is on death row for a crime he did not commit. In the first season Michael must deal with the hazards of prison life, the other inmates and prison staff, and executing his elaborate escape plan, while outside the prison Michael's allies investigate the conspiracy that led to Lincoln being framed. In the second season, Michael, his brother and several other inmates escape the prison and must evade the nationwide manhunt for their re-capture, as well as those who want them dead.

Other examples include, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Criminal Minds, Without a Trace, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The 4400, Medium, revenge, Numb3rs, The Twilight Zone and The X-Files.

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author avatar Animation
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images to create an illusion of movement. The most common method of presenting animation is as a motion picture or video program, although there are other methods. This type of presentation is usually accomplished with a camera and a projector or a computer viewing screen which can rapidly cycle through images in a sequence. Animation can be made with either hand rendered art, computer generated imagery, or three-dimensional objects, e.g. puppets or clay figures, or a combination of techniques. The position of each object in any particular image relates to the position of that object in the previous and following images so that the objects each appear to fluidly move independently of one another. The viewing device displays these images in rapid succession, usually 24, 25, or 30 frames per second.

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author avatar History
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Early examples of attempts to capture the phenomenon of motion drawing can be found in paleolithic cave paintings, where animals are depicted with multiple legs in superimposed positions, clearly attempting to convey the perception of motion.

A 5,000 year old earthen bowl found in Iran in Shahr-i Sokhta has five images of a goat painted along the sides. This has been claimed to be an example of early animation. However, since no equipment existed to show the images in motion, such a series of images cannot be called animation in a true sense of the word.

A Chinese zoetrope-type device had been invented in 180 AD. The phenakistoscope, praxinoscope, and the common flip book were early popular animation devices invented during the 19th century.

These devices produced the appearance of movement from sequential drawings using technological means, but animation did not really develop much further until the advent of cinematography.

There is no single person who can be considered the "creator" of film animation, as there were several people working on projects which could be considered animation at about the same time.

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author avatar History
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Georges Méliès was a creator of special-effect films; he was generally one of the first people to use animation with his technique. He discovered a technique by accident which was to stop the camera rolling to change something in the scene, and then continue rolling the film. This idea was later known as stop-motion animation. Méliès discovered this technique accidentally when his camera broke down while shooting a bus driving by. When he had fixed the camera, a hearse happened to be passing by just as Méliès restarted rolling the film, his end result was that he had managed to make a bus transform into a hearse. This was just one of the great contributors to animation in the early years.

The earliest surviving stop-motion advertising film was an English short by Arthur Melbourne-Cooper called Matches: An Appeal (1899). Developed for the Bryant and May Matchsticks company, it involved stop-motion animation of wired-together matches writing a patriotic call to action on a blackboard.

J. Stuart Blackton was possibly the first American film-maker to use the techniques of stop-motion and hand-drawn animation. Introduced to film-making by Edison, he pioneered these concepts at the turn of the 20th century, with his first copyrighted work dated 1900. Several of his films, among them The Enchanted Drawing (1900) and Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) were film versions of Blackton's "lightning artist" routine, and utilized modified versions of Méliès' early stop-motion techniques to make a series of blackboard drawings appear to move and reshape themselves. 'Humorous Phases of Funny Faces' is regularly cited as the first true animated film, and Blackton is considered the first true animator.

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author avatar History
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Another French artist, Émile Cohl, began drawing cartoon strips and created a film in 1908 called Fantasmagorie. The film largely consisted of a stick figure moving about and encountering all manner of morphing objects, such as a wine bottle that transforms into a flower. There were also sections of live action where the animator’s hands would enter the scene. The film was created by drawing each frame on paper and then shooting each frame onto negative film, which gave the picture a blackboard look. This makes Fantasmagorie the first animated film created using what came to be known as traditional (hand-drawn) animation.

The author of the first puppet-animated film (i.e. The Beautiful Lukanida (1912)) was the Russian-born (ethnically Polish) director Wladyslaw Starewicz, known as Ladislas Starevich.

Following the successes of Blackton and Cohl, many other artists began experimenting with animation. One such artist was Winsor McCay, a successful newspaper cartoonist, who created detailed animations that required a team of artists and painstaking attention for detail. Each frame was drawn on paper; which invariably required backgrounds and characters to be redrawn and animated. Among McCay's most noted films are Little Nemo (1911), Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) and The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918).

The production of animated short films, typically referred to as "cartoons", became an industry of its own during the 1910s, and cartoon shorts were produced to be shown in movie theaters. The most successful early animation producer was John Randolph Bray, who, along with animator Earl Hurd, patented the cel animation process which dominated the animation industry for the rest of the decade.

El Apóstol (Spanish: "The Apostle") was a 1917 Argentine animated film utilizing cutout animation, and the world's first animated feature film. Unfortunately, a fire that destroyed producer Frederico Valle's film studio incinerated the only known copy of El Apóstol, and it is now considered a lost film.

Computer animation has become popular since Toy Story (1995), the first animated film completely made using this technique.

In 2008, the animation market was worth US$68.4 billion.

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author avatar Traditional Animation
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Traditional animation (also called cel animation or hand-drawn animation) was the process used for most animated films of the 20th century. The individual frames of a traditionally animated film are photographs of drawings, which are first drawn on paper. To create the illusion of movement, each drawing differs slightly from the one before it. The animators' drawings are traced or photocopied onto transparent acetate sheets called cels, which are filled in with paints in assigned colors or tones on the side opposite the line drawings. The completed character cels are photographed one-by-one onto motion picture film against a painted background by a rostrum camera.

The traditional cel animation process became obsolete by the beginning of the 21st century. Today, animators' drawings and the backgrounds are either scanned into or drawn directly into a computer system. Various software programs are used to color the drawings and simulate camera movement and effects. The final animated piece is output to one of several delivery media, including traditional 35 mm film and newer media such as digital video. The "look" of traditional cel animation is still preserved, and the character animators' work has remained essentially the same over the past 70 years. Some animation producers have used the term "tradigital" to describe cel animation which makes extensive use of computer technology.

Examples of traditionally animated feature films include Pinocchio (United States, 1940), Animal Farm (United Kingdom, 1954), and Akira (Japan, 1988). Traditional animated films which were produced with the aid of computer technology include The Lion King (US, 1994) Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) (Japan, 2001), and Les Triplettes de Belleville (France, 2003).

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author avatar Traditional Animation
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Full animation refers to the process of producing high-quality traditionally animated films, which regularly use detailed drawings and plausible movement. Fully animated films can be done in a variety of styles, from more realistically animated works such as those produced by the Walt Disney studio (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King) to the more 'cartoony' styles of those produced by the Warner Bros. animation studio. Many of the Disney animated features are examples of full animation, as are non-Disney works such as The Secret of NIMH (US, 1982), The Iron Giant (US, 1999), and Nocturna (Spain, 2007).

Limited animation involves the use of less detailed and/or more stylized drawings and methods of movement. Pioneered by the artists at the American studio United Productions of America, limited animation can be used as a method of stylized artistic expression, as in Gerald McBoing Boing (US, 1951), Yellow Submarine (UK, 1968), and much of the anime produced in Japan. Its primary use, however, has been in producing cost-effective animated content for media such as television (the work of Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, and other TV animation studios) and later the Internet (web cartoons).

Rotoscoping is a technique, patented by Max Fleischer in 1917, where animators trace live-action movement, frame by frame. The source film can be directly copied from actors' outlines into animated drawings, as in The Lord of the Rings (US, 1978), or used in a stylized and expressive manner, as in Waking Life (US, 2001) and A Scanner Darkly (US, 2006). Some other examples are: Fire and Ice (USA, 1983) and Heavy Metal (1981).

Live-action/animation is a technique, when combining hand-drawn characters into live action shots. One of the earlier uses of it was Koko the Clown when Koko was drawn over live action footage. Other examples would include Who Framed Roger Rabbit (USA, 1988), Space Jam (USA, 1996) and Osmosis Jones (USA, 2001).

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author avatar Stop Motion
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Stop-motion animation is used to describe animation created by physically manipulating real-world objects and photographing them one frame of film at a time to create the illusion of movement. There are many different types of stop-motion animation, usually named after the medium used to create the animation. Computer software is widely available to create this type of animation.

Puppet animation typically involves stop-motion puppet figures interacting with each other in a constructed environment, in contrast to the real-world interaction in model animation. The puppets generally have an armature inside of them to keep them still and steady as well as constraining them to move at particular joints. Examples include The Tale of the Fox (France, 1937), The Nightmare Before Christmas (US, 1993), Corpse Bride (US, 2005), Coraline (US, 2009), the films of Jiří Trnka and the TV series Robot Chicken (US, 2005–present).

Puppetoon, created using techniques developed by George Pal, are puppet-animated films which typically use a different version of a puppet for different frames, rather than simply manipulating one existing puppet.

Clay animation

Clay animation, or Plasticine animation (often called claymation, which, however, is a trademarked name), uses figures made of clay or a similar malleable material to create stop-motion animation. The figures may have an armature or wire frame inside of them, similar to the related puppet animation (below), that can be manipulated to pose the figures. Alternatively, the figures may be made entirely of clay, such as in the films of Bruce Bickford, where clay creatures morph into a variety of different shapes. Examples of clay-animated works include The Gumby Show (US, 1957–1967) Morph shorts (UK, 1977–2000), Wallace and Gromit shorts (UK, as of 1989), Jan Švankmajer's Dimensions of Dialogue (Czechoslovakia, 1982), The Trap Door (UK, 1984). Films include Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Chicken Run and The Adventures of Mark Twain.

Cutout animation is a type of stop-motion animation produced by moving 2-dimensional pieces of material such as paper or cloth. Examples include Terry Gilliam's animated sequences from Monty Python's Flying Circus (UK, 1969–1974); Fantastic Planet (France/Czechoslovakia, 1973) ; Tale of Tales (Russia, 1979), The pilot episode of the TV series (and sometimes in episodes) of South Park (US, 1997).

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author avatar Stop Motion
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Silhouette animation is a variant of cutout animation in which the characters are backlit and only visible as silhouettes. Examples include The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Weimar Republic, 1926) and Princes et princesses (France, 2000).

Model animation refers to stop-motion animation created to interact with and exist as a part of a live-action world. Intercutting, matte effects, and split screens are often employed to blend stop-motion characters or objects with live actors and settings. Examples include the work of Ray Harryhausen, as seen in films such Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and the work of Willis O'Brien on films such as King Kong (1933 film).

Go motion is a variant of model animation which uses various techniques to create motion blur between frames of film, which is not present in traditional stop-motion. The technique was invented by Industrial Light & Magic and Phil Tippett to create special effects scenes for the film The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Another example is the dragon named Vermithrax from Dragonslayer (1981 film).

Object animation refers to the use of regular inanimate objects in stop-motion animation, as opposed to specially created items.

Graphic animation uses non-drawn flat visual graphic material (photographs, newspaper clippings, magazines, etc.) which are sometimes manipulated frame-by-frame to create movement. At other times, the graphics remain stationary, while the stop-motion camera is moved to create on-screen action.

Brickfilm A sub genre of object animation involving using Lego or other similar brick toys to make an animation. These have had a recent boost in popularity with the advent of video sharing sites like YouTube, and the availability of cheap cameras, and animation software.

Pixilation involves the use of live humans as stop motion characters. This allows for a number of surreal effects, including disappearances and reappearances, allowing people to appear to slide across the ground, and other such effects. Examples of pixilation include The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb and Angry Kid shorts.

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author avatar Computer Animation
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Computer animation encompasses a variety of techniques, the unifying factor being that the animation is created digitally on a computer. This animation takes less time than previous traditional animation.

2D animation

2D animation figures are created and/or edited on the computer using 2D bitmap graphics or created and edited using 2D vector graphics. This includes automated computerized versions of traditional animation techniques such as of, interpolated morphing, onion skinning and interpolated rotoscoping.

2D animation has many applications, including analog computer animation, Flash animation and PowerPoint animation. Cinemagraphs are still photographs in the form of an animated GIF file of which part is animated.

3D animation

Main articles: Computer animation and 3D computer graphics

3D animation is digitally modeled and manipulated by an animator. The animator starts by creating an external 3D mesh to manipulate. A mesh is a geometric configuration that gives the visual appearance of form to a 3D object or 3D environment. The mesh may have many vertices which are the geometric points which make up the mesh; it is given an internal digital skeletal structure called an armature that can be used to control the mesh with weights. This process is called rigging and can be programmed with movement with keyframes.

Other techniques can be applied, such as mathematical functions (ex. gravity, particle simulations), simulated fur or hair, effects such as fire and water simulations. These techniques fall under the category of 3D dynamics.

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author avatar Terms
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Cel-shaded animation is used to mimic traditional animation using CG software. Shading looks stark, with less blending colors. Examples include, Skyland (2007, France), Appleseed Ex Machina (2007, Japan), The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (2002, Japan)

Machinima – Films created by screen capturing in video games and virtual worlds.

Motion capture is used when live-action actors wear special suits that allow computers to copy their movements into CG characters. Examples include Polar Express (2004, USA), Beowulf (2007, USA), A Christmas Carol (2009, USA), The Adventures of Tintin (2011, USA)

Photo-realistic animation is used primarily for animation that attempts to resemble real life, using advanced rendering that makes detailed skin, plants, water, fire, clouds, etc. to mimic real life. Examples include Up (2009, USA), Kung-Fu Panda (2008, USA), Ice Age (2002, USA).

2D animation techniques tend to focus on image manipulation while 3D techniques usually build virtual worlds in which characters and objects move and interact. 3D animation can create images that seem real to the viewer.

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author avatar Other Animation Techniques
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Drawn on film animation: a technique where footage is produced by creating the images directly on film stock, for example by Norman McLaren, Len Lye and Stan Brakhage.

Paint-on-glass animation: a technique for making animated films by manipulating slow drying oil paints on sheets of glass, for example by Aleksandr Petrov.

Erasure animation: a technique using tradition 2D medium, photographed over time as the artist manipulates the image. For example, William Kentridge is famous for his charcoal erasure films, and Piotr Dumała for his auteur technique of animating scratches on plaster.

Pinscreen animation: makes use of a screen filled with movable pins, which can be moved in or out by pressing an object onto the screen. The screen is lit from the side so that the pins cast shadows. The technique has been used to create animated films with a range of textural effects difficult to achieve with traditional cel animation.

Sand animation: sand is moved around on a back- or front-lighted piece of glass to create each frame for an animated film. This creates an interesting effect when animated because of the light contrast.

Flip book: a flip book (sometimes, especially in British English, called a flick book) is a book with a series of pictures that vary gradually from one page to the next, so that when the pages are turned rapidly, the pictures appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change. Flip books are often illustrated books for children, but may also be geared towards adults and employ a series of photographs rather than drawings. Flip books are not always separate books, but may appear as an added feature in ordinary books or magazines, often in the page corners. Software packages and websites are also available that convert digital video files into custom-made flip books.

Zoetrope: a device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures. The term zoetrope is from the Greek words ζωή (zoē), meaning "alive, active", and τροπή (tropē), meaning "turn", with "zoetrope" taken to mean "active turn" or "wheel of life".

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author avatar Awards
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

As with any other form of media, animation too has instituted awards for excellence in the field. The original awards for animation were given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for animated shorts from the year 1932, during the 5th Academy Awards function. The first winner of the Academy Award was the short Flowers and Trees, a production by Walt Disney Productions and United Artists. However, the Academy Award for a feature length animated motion picture was only instituted for the year 2001, and awarded during the 74th Academy Awards in 2002. It was won by the movie Shrek, produced by DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images. Since then, Disney/Pixar have produced the most number of movies either to win or be nominated for the award. The list of both awards can be obtained here:

Academy Award for Best Animated Feature

Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film

Several other countries have instituted an award for best animated feature film as part of their national film awards: BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film (since 2006), César Award for Best Animated Film (since 2011), Goya Award for Best Animated Film (since 1989), Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year (since 2007). Also since 2007, the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Animated Feature Film has been awarded at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Since 2009, the European Film Awards have awarded the European Film Award for Best Animated Film.

The Annie Award is another award given out for excellence in the field of animation. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Annie Awards are only received due to achievements in the field of animation and not for any other field of technical and artistic endeavor. They were re-organized in 1992, to create a new field for Best Animated feature. The 1990s were dominated by Walt Disney, however newer studios, led by Pixar, have now begun to consistently vie for this award. The list of awardees is as follows:

Annie Award for Best Animated Feature

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author avatar Documentary
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record. A 'documentary film' was originally shot on film stock—the only medium available—but now includes video and digital productions that can be either direct-to-video, made as a television program or released for screening in cinemas. "Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries.

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author avatar Documentary
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In popular myth, the word documentary was coined by Scottish documentarian John Grierson in his review of Robert Flaherty's film Moana (1926), published in the New York Sun on 8 February 1926, written by "The Moviegoer" (a pen name for Grierson).

Grierson's principles of documentary were that cinema's potential for observing life could be exploited in a new art form; that the "original" actor and "original" scene are better guides than their fiction counterparts to interpreting the modern world; and that materials "thus taken from the raw" can be more real than the acted article. In this regard, Grierson's definition of documentary as "creative treatment of actuality" has gained some acceptance, with this position at variance with Soviet film-maker Dziga Vertov's provocation to present "life as it is" (that is, life filmed surreptitiously) and "life caught unawares" (life provoked or surprised by the camera).

The American film critic Pare Lorentz defines a documentary film as "a factual film which is dramatic." Others further state that a documentary stands out from the other types of non-fiction films for providing an opinion, and a specific message, along with the facts it presents.

Documentary Practice is the complex process of creating documentary projects. It refers to what people do with media devices, content, form, and production strategies in order to address the creative, ethical, and conceptual problems and choices that arise as they make documentaries.

There are clear connections in terms of practice with magazine and newspaper feature-writing and indeed to non-fiction literature. Many of the generic forms of documentary, for example the biopic or profile; or the observational piece. These generic forms are explored on the University of Winchester Journalism Department 'features web' where 'long form journalism' is classified by genre or content, rather than in terms of production as film, radio or 'print'.

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author avatar Documentary
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Early film (pre-1900) was dominated by the novelty of showing an event. They were single-shot moments captured on film: a train entering a station, a boat docking, or factory workers leaving work. These short films were called "actuality" films; the term "documentary" was not coined until 1926. Many of the first films, such as those made by Auguste and Louis Lumière, were a minute or less in length, due to technological limitations.

Films showing many people (for example, leaving a factory) were often made for commercial reasons: the people being filmed were eager to see, for payment, the film showing them. One notable film clocked in at over an hour and a half, The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight. Using pioneering film-looping technology, Enoch J. Rector presented the entirety of a famous 1897 prize-fight on cinema screens across the country.

The French surgeon Eugène-Louis Doyen started a series of surgical films sometime before July 1898. Until 1906, the year of his last film, Doyen recorded more than 60 operations. As Doyen said that his first films taught him how to correct professional errors he had been unaware of. For scientific purposes, after 1906 Doyen combined 15 of his films into three compilations, two of which survive, the six-film series Extirpation des tumeurs encapsulées (1906), and the four-film Les Opérations sur la cavité crânienne (1911). These and five other of Doyen's films survive.

Frame from one of Marinescu's science films (1899).

Between July 1898 and 1901 the Romanian professor Gheorghe Marinescu made several science films in his neurology clinic in Bucharest: The walking troubles of organic hemiplegy (1898), The walking troubles of organic paraplegies (1899), A case of hysteric hemiplegy healed through hypnosis (1899), The walking troubles of progressive locomotion ataxy (1900) and Illnesses of the muscles (1901). All these short films have been preserved. The professor called his works "studies with the help of the cinematograph," and published the results, along with several consecutive frames, in issues of "La Semaine Médicale" magazine from Paris, between 1899 and 1902. In 1924, Auguste Lumiere recognized the merits of Marinescu's science films: "I've seen your scientific reports about the usage of the cinematograph in studies of nervous illnesses, when I was still receiving "La Semaine Médicale," but back then I had other concerns, which left me no spare time to begin biological studies. I must say I forgot those works and I am thankful to you that you reminded them to me. Unfortunately, not many scientists have followed your way."

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author avatar Documentary
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Travelogue films were very popular in the early part of the 20th century. They were often referred to by distributors as "scenics." Scenics were among the most popular sort of films at the time. An important early film to move beyond the concept of the scenic was In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914), which embraced primitivism and exoticism in a staged story presented as truthful re-enactments of the life of Native Americans.

Contemplation is a separate area. Pathé is the best-known global manufacturer of such films of the early 20th century. A vivid example is Moscow clad in snow (1909).

Early color motion picture processes such as Kinemacolor -- known for the feature With Our King and Queen Through India (1912) -- and Prizmacolor -- known for Everywhere With Prizma (1919) and the five-reel feature Bali the Unknown (1921) -- used travelogues to promote the new color processes. In contrast, Technicolor concentrated primarily on getting their process adopted by Hollywood studios for fictional feature films.

Also during this period, Frank Hurley's feature documentary film, South (1919), about the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was released. The film documented the failed Antarctic expedition led by Ernest Shackleton in 1914.

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author avatar Romanticism
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

With Robert J. Flaherty's Nanook of the North in 1922, documentary film embraced romanticism; Flaherty filmed a number of heavily staged romantic films during this time period, often showing how his subjects would have lived 100 years earlier and not how they lived right then. For instance, in Nanook of the North Flaherty did not allow his subjects to shoot a walrus with a nearby shotgun, but had them use a harpoon instead. Some of Flaherty's staging, such as building a roofless igloo for interior shots, was done to accommodate the filming technology of the time.

Paramount Pictures tried to repeat the success of Flaherty's Nanook and Moana with two romanticized documentaries, Grass (1925) and Chang (1927), both directed by Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack.

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author avatar The City Synphony
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The continental, or realist, tradition focused on humans within human-made environments, and included the so-called "city symphony" films such as Walter Ruttmann's Berlin, Symphony of a City (of which Grierson noted in an article that Berlin represented what a documentary should not be), Alberto Cavalcanti's Rien que les heures, and Dziga Vertov's Man with the Movie Camera. These films tend to feature people as products of their environment, and lean towards the avant-garde.

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author avatar Kino Pravda
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Dziga Vertov was central to the Soviet Kino-Pravda (literally, "cinematic truth") newsreel series of the 1920s. Vertov believed the camera—with its varied lenses, shot-counter shot editing, time-lapse, ability to slow motion, stop motion and fast-motion—could render reality more accurately than the human eye, and made a film philosophy out of it.

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author avatar Newsreel tradition
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The newsreel tradition is important in documentary film; newsreels were also sometimes staged but were usually re-enactments of events that had already happened, not attempts to steer events as they were in the process of happening. For instance, much of the battle footage from the early 20th century was staged; the cameramen would usually arrive on site after a major battle and re-enact scenes to film them.

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author avatar 1920s to 1940s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The propagandist tradition consists of films made with the explicit purpose of persuading an audience of a point. One of the most notorious propaganda films is Leni Riefenstahl's film Triumph of the Will (1935), which chronicled the 1934 Nazi Party Congress and was commissioned by Adolf Hitler. Leftist filmmakers Joris Ivens and Henri Storck directed Borinage (1931) about the Belgian coal mining region. Luis Buñuel directed a "surrealist" documentary Las Hurdes (1933).

Pare Lorentz's The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) and The River (1938) and Willard Van Dyke's The City (1939) are notable New Deal productions, each presenting complex combinations of social and ecological awareness, government propaganda, and leftist viewpoints. Frank Capra's Why We Fight (1942–1944) series was a newsreel series in the United States, commissioned by the government to convince the U.S. public that it was time to go to war. Constance Bennett and her husband Henri de la Falaise produced two feature length documentaries, Legong: Dance of the Virgins (1935) filmed in Bali, and Kilou the Killer Tiger (1936) filmed in Indochina.

In Canada the Film Board, set up by John Grierson, was created for the same propaganda reasons. It also created newsreels that were seen by their national governments as legitimate counter-propaganda to the psychological warfare of Nazi Germany (orchestrated by Joseph Goebbels).

In Britain, a number of different filmmakers came together under John Grierson. They became known as the Documentary Film Movement. Grierson, Alberto Cavalcanti, Harry Watt, Basil Wright, and Humphrey Jennings amongst others succeeded in blending propaganda, information, and education with a more poetic aesthetic approach to documentary. Examples of their work include Drifters (John Grierson), Song of Ceylon (Basil Wright), Fires Were Started and A Diary for Timothy (Humphrey Jennings). Their work involved poets such as W. H. Auden, composers such as Benjamin Britten, and writers such as J. B. Priestley. Among the best known films of the movement are Night Mail and Coal Face.

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author avatar 1950s to 1970s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Cinéma vérité (or the closely related direct cinema) was dependent on some technical advances in order to exist: light, quiet and reliable cameras, and portable sync sound.

Cinéma vérité and similar documentary traditions can thus be seen, in a broader perspective, as a reaction against studio-based film production constraints. Shooting on location, with smaller crews, would also happen in the French New Wave, the filmmakers taking advantage of advances in technology allowing smaller, handheld cameras and synchronized sound to film events on location as they unfolded.

Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are important differences between cinéma vérité (Jean Rouch) and the North American "Direct Cinema" (or more accurately "Cinéma direct"), pioneered by, among others, Canadians Allan King, Michel Brault and Pierre Perrault, and Americans Robert Drew, Richard Leacock, Frederick Wiseman and Albert and David Maysles.

The directors of the movement take different viewpoints on their degree of involvement with their subjects. Kopple and Pennebaker, for instance, choose non-involvement (or at least no overt involvement), and Perrault, Rouch, Koenig, and Kroitor favor direct involvement or even provocation when they deem it necessary.

The films Primary and Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (both produced by Robert Drew), Harlan County, USA (directed by Barbara Kopple), Dont Look Back (D. A. Pennebaker), Lonely Boy (Wolf Koenig and Roman Kroitor) are all frequently deemed cinéma vérité films.

The fundamentals of the style include following a person during a crisis with a moving, often handheld, camera to capture more personal reactions. There are no sit-down interviews, and the shooting ratio (the amount of film shot to the finished product) is very high, often reaching 80 to one. From there, editors find and sculpt the work into a film. The editors of the movement—such as Werner Nold, Charlotte Zwerin, Muffie Myers, Susan Froemke, and Ellen Hovde—are often overlooked, but their input to the films was so vital that they were often given co-director credits.

Famous cinéma vérité/direct cinema films include Les Raquetteurs, Showman, Salesman, Near Death, The Children Were Watching, and Grey Gardens.

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author avatar Political weapons
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1960s and 1970s, documentary film was often conceived as a political weapon against neocolonialism and capitalism in general, especially in Latin America, but also in a changing Quebec society. La Hora de los hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces, from 1968), directed by Octavio Getino and Fernando E. Solanas, influenced a whole generation of filmmakers. Among the many political documentaries produced in the early 1970s was "Chile: A Special Report," public television's first in-depth expository look of the September 1973 overthrow of the Salvador Allende government in Chile by military leaders under Augusto Pinochet, produced by documentarians Ari Martinez and José Garcia.

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author avatar Modern Documentaries
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Box office analysts have noted that this film genre has become increasingly successful in theatrical release with films such as Fahrenheit 9/11, Super Size Me, Food, Inc., Earth, March of the Penguins, Religulous, and An Inconvenient Truth among the most prominent examples. Compared to dramatic narrative films, documentaries typically have far lower budgets which makes them attractive to film companies because even a limited theatrical release can be highly profitable.

The nature of documentary films has expanded in the past 20 years from the cinema verité style introduced in the 1960s in which the use of portable camera and sound equipment allowed an intimate relationship between filmmaker and subject. The line blurs between documentary and narrative and some works are very personal, such as the late Marlon Riggs's Tongues Untied (1989) and Black Is...Black Ain't (1995), which mix expressive, poetic, and rhetorical elements and stresses subjectivities rather than historical materials.

Historical documentaries, such as the landmark 14-hour Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years (1986 – Part 1 and 1989 – Part 2) by Henry Hampton, Four Little Girls (1997) by Spike Lee, and The Civil War by Ken Burns, UNESCO awarded independent film on slavery 500 Years Later, expressed not only a distinctive voice but also a perspective and point of views. Some films such as The Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris incorporated stylized re-enactments, and Michael Moore's Roger & Me placed far more interpretive control with the director. The commercial success of these documentaries may derive from this narrative shift in the documentary form, leading some critics to question whether such films can truly be called documentaries; critics sometimes refer to these works as "mondo films" or "docu-ganda." However, directorial manipulation of documentary subjects has been noted since the work of Flaherty, and may be endemic to the form due to problematic ontological foundations.

Although documentaries are financially more viable with the increasing popularity of the genre and the advent of the DVD, funding for documentary film production remains elusive. Within the past decade the largest exhibition opportunities have emerged from within the broadcast market, making filmmakers beholden to the tastes and influences of the broadcasters who have become their largest funding source.

Modern documentaries have some overlap with television forms, with the development of "reality television" that occasionally verges on the documentary but more often veers to the fictional or staged. The making-of documentary shows how a movie or a computer game was produced. Usually made for promotional purposes, it is closer to an advertisement than a classic documentary.

Modern lightweight digital video cameras and computer-based editing have greatly aided documentary makers, as has the dramatic drop in equipment prices. The first film to take full advantage of this change was Martin Kunert and Eric Manes' Voices of Iraq, where 150 DV cameras were sent to Iraq during the war and passed out to Iraqis to record themselves.

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author avatar Documentaries without words
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Films in the documentary form without words have been made. From 1982, the Qatsi trilogy and the similar Baraka could be described as visual tone poems, with music related to the images, but no spoken content. Koyaanisqatsi (part of the Qatsi trilogy) consists primarily of slow motion and time-lapse photography of cities and many natural landscapes across the United States. Baraka tries to capture the great pulse of humanity as it flocks and swarms in daily activity and religious ceremonies.

Bodysong was made in 2003 and won a British Independent Film Award for "Best British Documentary."

The 2004 film Genesis shows animal and plant life in states of expansion, decay, sex, and death, with some, but little, narration.

There are websites that provide thousands of free documentaries such as http://www.topdocumentarystream.com/. In the website there are several categories from where you can easily choose great and interesting documentaries.

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author avatar Other documentarires
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Docufiction

Docufiction is a hybrid genre from two basic ones, fiction film and documentary, practiced since the first documentary films were made.

Compilation films

Compilation films were pioneered in 1927 by Esfir Schub with The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty. More recent examples include Point of Order (1964), directed by Emile de Antonio about the McCarthy hearings and The Atomic Cafe which is made entirely out of found footage that various agencies of the U.S. government made about the safety of nuclear radiation (for example, telling troops at one point that it is safe to be irradiated as long as they keep their eyes and mouths shut). Similarly, The Last Cigarette combines the testimony of various tobacco company executives before the U.S. Congress with archival propaganda extolling the virtues of smoking.

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author avatar Other documentarires
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Academy Award for Documentary Feature

Joris Ivens Award, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), (named after Joris Ivens)

Grand Prize Visions du Réel

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author avatar Experimental Film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Experimental film or experimental cinema is a type of cinema. Experimental film is an artistic practice relieving both of visual arts and cinema. Its origins can be found in European avant-garde movements of the twenties. Experimental cinema has built its history through the texts of theoreticians like P. Adams Sitney (and others film critics in different countries), and its distribution process through non profit organizations like The Film-Makers' Cooperative in New York, and similar cooperatives in many other countries through the world.

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author avatar Experimental Film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The term describes a range of filmmaking styles that are generally quite different from, and often opposed to, the practices of mainstream commercial and documentary filmmaking. Avant-garde is also used, for the films shots in the twenties in the field of history’s avant-gardes currents in France or Germany, to describe this work, and "underground" was used in the sixties, though it has also had other connotations. Today the term "experimental cinema" prevails, because it’s possible to make experimental films without the presence of any avant-garde movement in the cultural field.

While "experimental" covers a wide range of practice, an experimental film is often characterized by the absence of linear narrative, the use of various abstracting techniques—out-of-focus, painting or scratching on film, rapid editing—the use of asynchronous (non-diegetic) sound or even the absence of any sound track. The goal is often to place the viewer in a more active and more thoughtful relationship to the film. At least through the 1960s, and to some extent after, many experimental films took an oppositional stance toward mainstream culture.

Most such films are made on very low budgets, self-financed or financed through small grants, with a minimal crew or, often a crew of only one person, the filmmaker. Some critics have argued that much experimental film is no longer in fact "experimental" but has in fact become a mainstream film genre. Many of its more typical features—such as a non-narrative, impressionistic, or poetic approaches to the film's construction—define what is generally understood to be "experimental"

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author avatar European Avant Garde
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Two conditions made Europe in the 1920s ready for the emergence of experimental film. First, the cinema matured as a medium, and highbrow resistance to the mass entertainment began to wane. Second, avant-garde movements in the visual arts flourished. The Dadaists and Surrealists in particular took to cinema. René Clair's Entr'acte (1924) featuring Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray, and with music by Erik Satie, took madcap comedy into nonsequitur.

Artists Hans Richter, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp, Germaine Dulac, and Viking Eggeling all contributed Dadaist/Surrealist shorts. Fernand Leger, Dudley Murphy, and Man Ray created the film Ballet Mécanique (1924), sometimes described as Dadaist, Cubist, or Futurist. Duchamp created the abstract film Anémic Cinéma (1926).

Alberto Cavalcanti directed Rien que les heures (1926), Walter Ruttmann directed Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis (1927), and Dziga Vertov filmed Man With a Movie Camera (1929), experimental ¨city symphonies¨ of Paris, Berlin, and Moscow, respectively.

The most famous experimental film is generally considered to be Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí's Un chien andalou (1929). Hans Richter's animated shorts, Oskar Fischinger's abstract films, and Len Lye's GPO films would be excellent examples of more abstract European avant-garde films.

Working in France, another group of filmmakers also financed films through patronage and distributed them through cine-clubs, yet they were narrative films not tied to an avant-garde school. Film scholar David Bordwell has dubbed these French Impressionists, and included Abel Gance, Jean Epstein, Marcel L'Herbier, and Dimitri Kirsanoff. These films combines narrative experimentation, rhythmic editing and camerawork, and an emphasis on character subjectivity.

In 1952, the Lettrists avant-garde movement in France, caused riots at the Cannes Film Festival, when Isidore Isou's Traité de bave et d'éternité (also known as Venom and Eternity) was screened. After their criticism of Charlie Chaplin at the 1952 press conference in Paris for Chaplin's Limelight, there was a split within the movement. The Ultra-Lettrists continued to cause disruptions when they announced the death of cinema and showed their new hypergraphical techniques. The most notorious film of which is Guy Debord's Howlings in favor of de Sade (Hurlements en Faveur de Sade) from 1952.

The Soviet filmmakers, too, found a counterpart to modernist painting and photography in their theories of montage. The films of Dziga Vertov, Sergei Eisenstein, Lev Kuleshov, Alexander Dovzhenko, and Vsevolod Pudovkin were instrumental in providing an alternate model from that offered by classical Hollywood. While not experimental films per se, they contributed to the film

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author avatar The birth of experimental cine
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The U.S. had some avant-garde films before World War II, such as Manhatta (1921) by Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand, and The Life and Death of 9413: a Hollywood Extra (1928) by Slavko Vorkapich and Robert Florey. However, much pre-war experimental film culture consisted of artists working, often in isolation, on film projects. Painter Emlen Etting (1905-1993) directed dance films in the early 1930s that are considered experimental, and artist Douglass Crockwell (1904–1968) made animations with blobs of paint pressed between sheets of glass in his studio at Falls River, New York.

In Rochester, New York, medical doctor and philanthropist James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber directed The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) and Lot in Sodom (1933). Harry Smith, Mary Ellen Bute, artist Joseph Cornell, and Christopher Young made several European-influenced experimental films. Smith and Bute were both influenced by Oskar Fischinger, as were many avant garde animators and filmmakers. In 1930 appears the magazine Experimental Cinema with, for the first time, the two words directly connected without any space between them. The editors were Lewis Jacobs and David Platt. In October 2005, a large collection of films of that time were restored and re-released on DVD, titled Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant Garde Film 1894-1941.

With Slavko Vorkapich, John Hoffman made two visual tone poems, Moods of the Sea (aka Fingal's Cave, 1941) and Forest Murmurs (1947). The former film is set to Felix Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture and was restored in 2004 by film preservation expert David Shepard.

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author avatar The birth of experimental cine
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid is considered by some to be one of the first important American experimental films. It provided a model for self-financed 16 mm production and distribution, one that was soon picked up by Cinema 16 and other film societies. Just as importantly, it established an aesthetic model of what experimental cinema could do. Meshes had a dream-like feel that hearkened to Jean Cocteau and the Surrealists, but equally seemed personal, new and American. Early works by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Shirley Clarke, Gregory Markopoulos, Jonas Mekas, Willard Maas, Marie Menken, Curtis Harrington and Sidney Peterson followed in a similar vein. Significantly, many of these filmmakers were the first students from the pioneering university film programs established in Los Angeles and New York. In 1946, Frank Stauffacher started the "Art in Cinema" series of experimental films at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where Oskar Fischinger's films were featured in several special programs, influencing artists such as Jordan Belson and Harry Smith to make experimental animation.

They set up "alternative film programs" at Black Mountain College (now defunct) and the San Francisco Art Institute. Arthur Penn taught at Black Mountain College, which points out the popular misconception in both the art world and Hollywood that the avant-garde and the commercial never meet. Another challenge to that misconception is the fact that late in life, after each's Hollywood careers had ended, both Nicholas Ray and King Vidor made avant-garde films.

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author avatar Materialism
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The film society and self-financing model continued over the next two decades, but by the early 1960s, a different outlook became perceptible in the work of American avant-garde filmmakers. Artist Bruce Conner created early examples such as A Movie (1958) and Cosmic Ray (1962). As P. Adams Sitney has pointed out, in the work of Stan Brakhage and other American experimentalists of early period, film is used to express the individual consciousness of the maker, a cinematic equivalent of the first person in literature. Brakhage's Dog Star Man (1961–64) exemplified a shift from personal confessional to abstraction, and also evidenced a rejection of American mass culture of the time. On the other hand, Kenneth Anger added a rock sound track to his Scorpio Rising (1963) in what is sometimes said to be an anticipation of music videos, and included some camp commentary on Hollywood mythology. Jack Smith and Andy Warhol incorporated camp elements into their work, and Sitney posited Warhol's connection to structural film.

Some avant-garde filmmakers moved further away from narrative. Whereas the New American Cinema was marked by an oblique take on narrative, one based on abstraction, camp and minimalism, Structural-Materialist filmmakers like Hollis Frampton and Michael Snow created a highly formalist cinema that foregrounded the medium itself: the frame, projection, and most importantly, time. It has been argued that by breaking film down into bare components, they sought to create an anti-illusionist cinema, although Frampton's late works owe a huge debt to the photography of Edward Weston, Paul Strand, and others, and in fact celebrate illusion. Further, while many filmmakers began making rather academic "structural films" following Film Culture's publication of an article by P. Adams Sitney in the late 1960s, many of the filmmakers named in the article objected to the term.

A critical review of the structuralists appeared in a 2000 edition of the art journal Art In America. It examined structural-formalism as a conservative philosophy of filmmaking.

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author avatar The 1970s
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Conceptual art in the 1970s pushed even further. Robert Smithson, a California-based artist, made several films about his earthworks and attached projects. Yoko Ono made conceptual films, the most notorious of which is Rape, which finds a woman and invades her life with cameras following her back to her apartment as she flees from the invasion. Around this time a new generation was entering the field, many of whom were students of the early avant-gardists. Leslie Thornton, Peggy Ahwesh, and Su Friedrich expanded upon the work of the structuralists, incorporating a broader range of content while maintaining a self-reflexive form.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Laura Mulvey's writing and filmmaking launched a flourishing of feminist filmmaking based on the idea that conventional Hollywood narrative reinforced gender norms and a patriarchal gaze. Their response was to resist narrative in a way to show its fissures and inconsistencies. Chantal Akerman and Sally Potter are just two of the leading feminist filmmakers working in this mode in the 1970s. Video art emerged as a medium in this period, and feminists like Martha Rosler and Cecelia Condit took full advantage of it.

In the 1980s feminist, gay and other political experimental work continued, with filmmakers like Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Tracey Moffatt, Sadie Benning and Isaac Julien among others finding experimental format conducive to their questions about identity politics.

The queercore movement gave rise to a number experimental queer filmmakers such as G.B. Jones (a founder of the movement) in the 1990s and later Scott Treleaven, among others.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

With very few exceptions, Curtis Harrington among them, the artists involved in these early movements remained outside of the mainstream commercial cinema and entertainment industry. A few taught occasionally, and then, starting in 1966, many became professors at universities such as the State Universities of New York, Bard College, California Institute of the Arts, the Massachusetts College of Art, University of Colorado at Boulder, and the San Francisco Art Institute.

Many of the practitioners of experimental film do not in fact possess college degrees themselves, although their showings are prestigious. Some have questioned the status of the films made in the academy, but longtime film professors such as Stan Brakhage, Ken Jacobs, Ernie Gehr, and many others, continued to refine and expand their practice while teaching. The inclusion of experimental film in film courses and standard film histories, however, has made the work more widely known and more accessible.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Beginning in 1946, Frank Stauffacher ran the "Art in Cinema" program of experimental and avant-garde films at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

From 1949 to 1975, the Festival international du cinéma expérimental de Knokke-le-Zoute—located in Knokke-Heist, Belgium—was the most proeminant festival of experimental cinema in the World. It permits the discovery of American avant-garde in 1958 with Brakhage's films and many others European and American filmmakers.

From 1947 to 1963, the New York-based Cinema 16 functioned as the primary exhibitor and distributor of experimental film in the United States. Under the leadership of Amos Vogel and Marcia Vogel, Cinema 16 flourished as a nonprofit membership society committed to the exhibition of documentary, avant-garde, scientific, educational, and performance films to ever-increasing audiences.

In 1962, Jonas Mekas and about 20 other film makers founded The Film-Makers' Cooperative in New York City. Soon similar artists cooperatives were formed in other places: Canyon Cinema in San Francisco, the London Film-Makers' Co-op, and Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Center.

Following the model of Cinema 16, experimental films have been exhibited mainly outside of commercial theaters in small film societies, microcinemas, museums, art galleries, archives and film festivals.

Several other organizations in both Europe and North America helped develop experimental film. These included Anthology Film Archives in New York City, The Millennium Film Workshop, the British Film Institute in London, the National Film Board of Canada and the Collective for Living Cinema.

Some of the more popular film festivals, such as Ann Arbor Film Festival, the New York Film Festival's "Views from the Avant-Garde" Side Bar and the International Film Festival Rotterdam prominently feature experimental works.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The New York Underground Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, the LA Freewaves Experimental Media Arts Festival, MIX NYC the New York Experimental Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and Toronto's Images Festival also support this work and provide venues for films which would not otherwise be seen. There is some dispute about whether "underground" and "avant-garde" truly mean the same thing and if challenging non-traditional cinema and fine arts cinema are actually fundamentally related.

Venues such as Anthology Film Archives, San Francisco Cinematheque, Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, California, Tate Modern, London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris often include historically significant experimental films and contemporary works. Screening series no longer in New York that featured experimental work include the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema, Ocularis and the Collective for Living Cinema.

Recently Pacific Film Archive eliminated their experimental Tuesday night program. A new curator (since 2000) of the Whitney Museum stated in a 2001 interview on Charlie Rose that he believed it was the responsibility of the Anthology Film Archives to show the work because the work is essentially unsellable and the Whitney was not interested in "renting" video art and films. He went on to intimate that it would fall out of favor in coming biennials. (PBS/Charlie Rose).. However this statement appears irrelevant, as The Whitney has exhibited experimental film in exhibitions, installations, and screenings since then, e.g. screening series for the Summer of Love exhibition, films in biennials, and the installation of Oskar Fischinger's Raumlichtkunst in 2012.

Some distributors of experimental film today include Le Collectif Jeune Cinema, Cinédoc, and Light Cone in Paris, Canyon Cinema in San Francisco, Canadian Filmmaker's Distribution Centre, The Film-Makers' Cooperative in New York, and Lux in London. Sixteen mm prints are still available through these organisations, and some archives. Center for Visual Music distributes curated film programs of experimental animation, including that of Oskar Fischinger, Jordan Belson, Mary Ellen Bute and others.

All these associations and movements have permitted the birth and development of national experimental films and schools like “body cinema” ("Écoles du corps" or "Cinéma corporel") and “post-structural” movements in France, and “structural/materialism" in England for example

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Though experimental film is known to a relatively small number of practitioners, academics and connoisseurs, it has influenced and continues to influence cinematography, visual effects and editing.

The genre of music video can be seen as a commercialization of many techniques of experimental film. Title design and television advertising have also been influenced by experimental film.

Many experimental filmmakers have also made feature films, and vice versa. Notable examples include Kathryn Bigelow, Curtis Harrington, Peter Greenaway, Derek Jarman, Jean Cocteau, Isaac Julien, Sally Potter, David Lynch, Gus Van Sant and Luis Buñuel, although the degree to which their feature filmmaking takes on mainstream commercial aesthetics differs widely.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The musical film is a film genre in which songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative, sometimes accompanied by dancing. The songs usually advance the plot or develop the film's characters, though in some cases they serve merely as breaks in the storyline, often as elaborate "production numbers".

The musical film was a natural development of the stage musical after the emergence of sound film technology. Typically, the biggest difference between film and stage musicals is the use of lavish background scenery and locations that would be impractical in a theater. Musical films characteristically contain elements reminiscent of theater; performers often treat their song and dance numbers as if there is a live audience watching. In a sense, the viewer becomes the deictic audience, as the performer looks directly into the camera and performs to it.

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author avatar Anonymous
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Warner Brothers produced the first screen operetta, The Desert Song in 1929. They spared no expense and photographed a large percentage of the film in Technicolor. This was followed by the first all-color, all-talking musical feature which was entitled On with the Show (1929). The most popular film of 1929 was the second all-color, all-talking feature which was entitled Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929). This film broke all box office records and remained the highest grossing film ever produced until 1939. Suddenly the market became flooded with musicals, revues and operettas. The following all-color musicals were produced in 1929 and 1930 alone: The Show of Shows (1929), Sally (1929),The Vagabond King (1930), Follow Thru (1930), Bright Lights (1930), Golden Dawn (1930), Hold Everything (1930), The Rogue Song (1930), Song of the Flame (1930), Song of the West (1930), Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930), Under A Texas Moon (1930), Bride of the Regiment (1930), Whoopee! (1930), The King of Jazz (1930), Viennese Nights (1930), Kiss Me Again (1930). In addition, there were scores of musical features released with color sequences.

Hollywood released more than 100 musical films in 1930, but only 14 in 1931. By late 1930, audiences had been oversaturated with musicals and studios were forced to cut the music from films that were then being released. For example, Life of the Party (1930) was originally produced as an all-color, all-talking musical comedy. Before it was released, however, the songs were cut out. The same thing happened to Fifty Million Frenchmen (1931) and Manhattan Parade (1932) both of which had been filmed entirely in Technicolor. Marlene Dietrich sang songs successfully in her films, and Rodgers and Hart wrote a few well-received films, but even their popularity waned by 1932. The public had quickly come to associate color with musicals and thus the decline in their popularity also resulted in a decline in color productions.

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author avatar Busby Berkeley
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The taste in musicals revived again in 1933 when director Busby Berkeley began to enhance the traditional dance number with ideas drawn from the drill precision he had experienced as a soldier during the First World War. In films such as 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), Berkeley choreographed a number of films in his unique style. Berkeley's numbers typically begin on a stage but gradually transcend the limitations of theatrical space: his ingenious routines, involving human bodies forming patterns like a kaleidoscope, could never fit onto a real stage and the intended perspective is viewing from straight above.

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author avatar Musical Stars
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Musical stars such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were among the most popular and highly respected personalities in Hollywood during the classical era; the Fred and Ginger pairing was particularly successful, resulting in a number of classic films, such as Top Hat (1935), Swing Time (1936) and Shall We Dance (1937). Many dramatic actors gladly participated in musicals as a way to break away from their typecasting. For instance, the multi-talented James Cagney had originally risen to fame as a stage singer and dancer, but his repeated casting in "tough guy" roles and gangster films gave him few chances to display these talents. Cagney's Oscar-winning role in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) allowed him to sing and dance, and he considered it to be one of his finest moments.

Many comedies (and a few dramas) included their own musical numbers. The Marx Brothers' films included a musical number in nearly every film, allowing the Brothers to highlight their musical talents. Their final film, entitled Love Happy (1949), featured Vera-Ellen, considered to be the best dancer among her colleagues and professionals in the half century.

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author avatar The freed Unit
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

During the late 1940s and into the 1950s, a production unit at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer headed by Arthur Freed made the transition from old-fashioned musical films, whose formula had become repetitive, to something new. (However, they also produced Technicolor remakes of such musicals as Show Boat, which had previously been filmed in the 1930s.) In 1939, Freed was hired as associate producer for the film Babes in Arms. Starting in 1944 with Meet Me in St. Louis, the Freed Unit worked somewhat independently of its own studio to produce some of the most popular and well-known examples of the genre. The products of this unit include Easter Parade (1948), On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952) and The Band Wagon (1953). This era saw musical stars become household names, including Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Ann Miller, Donald O'Connor, Cyd Charisse, Mickey Rooney, Vera-Ellen, Jane Powell, Howard Keel, and Kathryn Grayson. Fred Astaire was also coaxed out of retirement for Easter Parade and made a permanent comeback. also involved in this film was the amazing Sian Carr, who played herself

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author avatar The Post classical era
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1960s, 1970s and continuing up to today the musical film became less of a bankable genre that could be relied upon for sure-fire hits. Audiences for them lessened and fewer musical films were produced as the genre became less mainstream and more specialized.

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author avatar The Post classical era
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1960s the success of the films West Side Story, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music suggested that the traditional musical was in good health. However popular musical tastes were being heavily affected by rock and roll and the freedom and youth associated with it, and indeed Elvis Presley made a few films that have been equated with the old musicals in terms of form. Most of the musical films of the 1950s and 1960s such as Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music were straightforward adaptations or restagings of successful stage productions. The most successful musical of the 1960s created specifically for film was Mary Poppins, one of Disney's biggest hits.

Despite the success of these musicals, Hollywood also produced a series of musical flops in the late 1960s and early 1970s which appeared to seriously misjudge public taste. The commercially and/or critically unsuccessful films included Camelot, Finian's Rainbow, Hello Dolly!, Sweet Charity, Doctor Dolittle, Star!, Darling Lili, Paint Your Wagon, Song of Norway, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Man of La Mancha, Lost Horizon and Mame. Collectively and individually these failures crippled several of the major studios.

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author avatar The Post classical era
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1970s, film culture and the changing demographics of filmgoers placed greater emphasis on gritty realism, while the pure entertainment and theatricality of classical era Hollywood musicals was seen as old-fashioned. Changing cultural mores and the abandonment of the Hays Code in 1968 also contributed to changing tastes in film audiences. The 1973 film of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar was met with some criticism by religious groups, but was well received. By the mid-1970s filmmakers avoided the genre in favor of using music by popular rock or pop bands as background music, partly in hope of selling a soundtrack album to fans. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was originally released in 1975 and was a critical failure until it started midnight screenings in the 1980s where it achieved cult status. 1976 saw the release of the low-budget comic musical, The First Nudie Musical, released by Paramount. The 1978 film version of Grease was a smash hit; its songs were original compositions done in a 1950s pop style. However, the sequel Grease 2 bombed at the box-office. Films about performers which incorporated gritty drama and musical numbers interwoven as a diegetic part of the storyline were produced, such as All That Jazz, Saturday Night Fever, and New York, New York. Some musicals released in the New Hollywood period experimented with the form, such as Bugsy Malone and Lisztomania. The film musicals that were still being made were financially and critically less successful than in their heyday. They include The Wiz, At Long Last Love, Funny Lady (Barbra Streisand's sequel to Funny Girl), A Little Night Music and Hair amongst others. The critical wrath against At Long Last Love in particular was so strong that it was never released on home video. 1971's Fiddler on the Roof was a more traditional musical closely adapted from the stage musical and was a popular and critical success.

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author avatar The Post classical era
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

By the 1980s, financiers grew increasingly confident in the musical genre, partly buoyed by the relative health of the musical on Broadway and London's West End. Productions of the 1980s and 1990s included The Apple, Xanadu, Annie, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Victor Victoria, Footloose, Little Shop of Horrors, Forbidden Zone, Absolute Beginners, Evita and Everyone Says I Love You. However, Can't Stop the Music, starring The Village People, was a calamitous attempt to resurrect the old-style musical and was released to audience indifference in 1980. Little Shop of Horrors was based on an off-Broadway musical adaptation of a 1960 Roger Corman film, a precursor of later film-to-stage-to-film adaptations, including The Producers.

Many animated films of the period - predominately from Disney - included traditional musical numbers. Howard Ashman, Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz had previous musical theatre experience and wrote songs for animated films during this time, supplanting Disney workhorses the Sherman Brothers. Starting with 1989's The Little Mermaid, the Disney Renaissance gave new life to the Film Musical. Other successful animated musicals included Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas from Disney proper, The Nightmare Before Christmas from Disney division Touchstone Pictures, The Prince of Egypt from DreamWorks, Anastasia from Fox and Don Bluth, and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut from Paramount. (Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King were adapted for the stage after their blockbuster success.)

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author avatar The Post classical era
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 2000s, the musical film began to rise in popularity once more, with new works such as Moulin Rouge!, Across the Universe, 8 Mile, Repo! The Genetic Opera, and Enchanted; film adaptations of stage shows, such as Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Fame, Dreamgirls, Sweeney Todd, and Mamma Mia!; and even film versions of stage shows that were themselves based on non-musical films, such as The Producers, Hairspray, Reefer Madness, and Nine. Across the Universe, Moulin Rouge!, and Mamma Mia! continued the trend of incorporating familiar hit songs in the sub-genre known as jukebox musicals. Under the mainstream radar, there have been acclaimed independent musical films, such as Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Dancer in the Dark; and foreign musical films, such as 8 Women, The Other Side of the Bed and Yes Nurse! No Nurse!. Some musicals films of the decade became successes without receiving a theatrical release, like the first two made-for-television High School Musical films and the web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. In 2004, the New York Musical Theatre Festival presented a week-long festival of modern film musicals that included 10 independent features made since 1996, as well as several programs of short film musicals. In contrast to the 1990s, fewer major animated features of the 2000s included musical numbers, as the success of Pixar and DreamWorks computer animated films (which were not musicals) upset Disney's dominance. The 2009 film The Princess and the Frog was considered a throwback to the Disney musical style.

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author avatar The Post classical era
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Original compositions

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009)

Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (2010)

Score: A Hockey Musical (2010)

Maximum Shame (2010)

Burlesque (2010)

Tangled (2010)

Rio (2011)

The Muppets (2011)

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011)

The Devil's Carnival (2012)

The Lorax (2012)

Enchanted 2 (TBA)

Welcome to Harlem - the Movie Musical Comedy (2012)

Based on a Broadway musical

Mama, I Want to Sing! (2012)

Rock of Ages (2012)

Les Misérables (2012)

Aida (TBA)

Altar Boyz (TBA)

American Idiot (TBA)

The Color Purple (TBA)

Follies (TBA)

Into the Woods (TBA)

Miss Saigon (TBA)

My Fair Lady (TBA)

South Pacific (TBA)

Spring Awakening (TBA)

[Rent 2005

[Mamma Mia 2008

Remakes

Sparkle (2012)

Les Misérables (2012)

Annie (TBA)

A Star is Born (TBA)

Jesus Christ Superstar (TBA)

Valley Girl (TBA)

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author avatar Spanish musicals
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Spain has a history and tradition of musical films that were made independent of Hollywood influence. The first films arise during the Second Spanish Republic of the 1930s and the advent of sound films. A few zarzuelas (Spanish operetta) were even adapted as screenplays during the silent era. The beginnings of the Spanish musical were focused on romantic Spanish archetypes: Andalusian villages and landscapes, gypsys, "bandoleros", and copla and other popular folk songs included in story development. These films had even more box-office success than Hollywood premieres in Spain. The first Spanish film stars came from the musical genre: Imperio Argentina, Estrellita Castro, Florián Rey (director) and, later, Lola Flores, Sara Montiel and Carmen Sevilla. The Spanish musical started to expand and grow. Juvenile stars appear and top the box-office. Marisol, Joselito, Pili & Mili and Rocío Dúrcal were the major figures of musical films from 60's to 70's. Due to Spanish transition to democracy and rise of "Movida culture", the musical genre felt into a decadence of production and box-office, only saved by Carlos Saura and his flamenco musical films.

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author avatar Indian Musicals
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

An exception to the decline of the musical film is Indian cinema, especially the Bollywood film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), where the majority of films have been and still are musicals. The majority of films produced in the Tamil industry based in Chennai (formerly Madras), Telugu industry based in Hyderabad, and Malayalam industry are also musicals.

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author avatar Western films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 2000s, Bollywood musicals played an instrumental role in the revival of the musical film genre in the Western world. Baz Luhrmann stated that his successful musical film Moulin Rouge! (2001) was directly inspired by Bollywood musicals. The film thus pays homage to India, incorporating an Indian-themed play based on the ancient Sanskrit drama The Little Clay Cart and a Bollywood-style dance sequence with a song from the film China Gate. The Guru and The 40-Year-Old Virgin also feature Indian-style song-and-dance sequences; the Bollywood musical Lagaan (2001) was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; two other Bollywood films Devdas (2002) and Rang De Basanti (2006) were nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film; and Danny Boyle's Academy Award winning Slumdog Millionaire (2008) also features a Bollywood-style song-and-dance number during the film's end credits.

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author avatar Soviet musicals
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Unlike the musical films of Hollywood and Bollywood, popularly identified with escapism, the Soviet musical was first and foremost a form of propaganda. Vladimir Lenin said that cinema was “the most important of the arts.” His successor, Joseph Stalin, also recognized the power of cinema in efficiently spreading Communist Party doctrine. Films were widely popular in the 1920s, but it was foreign cinema that dominated the Soviet filmgoing market. Films from Germany and the U.S. proved more entertaining than Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein’s historical dramas. By the 1930s it was clear that if the Soviet cinema was to compete with its Western counterparts, it would have to give audiences what they wanted: the glamour and fantasy they got from Hollywood. The musical film, which emerged in the 1930s embodied the ideal combination of entertainment and official ideology.

A struggle between laughter for laughter’s sake and entertainment with a clear ideological message would define the golden age of the Soviet musical of the 1930s and 1940s. Then-head of the film industry Boris Shumyatsky sought to emulate Hollywood’s conveyor belt method of production, going so far as to suggest the establishment of a Soviet Hollywood

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author avatar The jolly fellowes
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In 1930 the esteemed Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein went to the United States with fellow director Grigori Aleksandrov to study Hollywood’s filmmaking process. The American films greatly impacted Aleksandrov, particularly the musicals. He returned in 1932, and in 1934 directed The Jolly Fellows, the first Soviet musical. The film was light on plot and focused more on the comedy and musical numbers. Party officials at first met the film with great hostility. Aleksandrov defended his work by arguing the notion of laughter for laughter’s sake. Finally, when Aleksandrov showed the film to Stalin, the leader decided that musicals were an effective means of spreading propaganda. Messages like the importance of collective labor and rags-to-riches stories would become the plots of most Soviet musicals.

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author avatar Movie for the millions
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The success of The Jolly Fellows ensured a place in Soviet cinema for the musical format, but immediately Shumyatsky set up strict guidelines to make sure the films promoted Communist values. Shumyatsky’s decree “Movies for the Millions” demanded conventional plots, characters, and montage to successfully portray Socialist Realism (the glorification of industry and the working class) on film.

The first successful blend of a social message and entertainment was Aleksandrov’s Circus (1936). It starred his wife, Lyubov Orlova (an operatic singer who had also appeared in The Jolly Fellows) as an American circus performer who has to immigrate to the USSR from the U.S. because she has a mixed race child, whom she had with a black man. Amidst the backdrop of lavish musical productions, she finally finds love and acceptance in the USSR, providing the message that racial tolerance can only be found in the Soviet Union.

The influence of Busby Berkeley’s choreography on Aleksandrov’s directing can be seen in the musical number leading up to the climax. Another, more obvious reference to Hollywood is the Charlie Chaplin impersonator who provides comic relief throughout the film. Four million people in Moscow and Leningrad went to see Circus during its first month in theaters.

Another of Aleksandrov’s more popular films was The Bright Path (1940). This was a reworking of the fairytale Cinderella set in the contemporary Soviet Union. The Cinderella of the story was again Orlova, who by this time was the most popular star in the USSR. It was a fantasy tale, but the moral of the story was that a better life comes from hard work. Whereas in Circus, the musical numbers involved dancing and spectacle, the only type of choreography in Bright Path is the movement of factory machines. The music was limited to Orlova’s singing. Here, work provided the spectacle.

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author avatar Ivan pyryev
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The other director of musical films was Ivan Pyryev. Unlike Aleksandrov, the focus of Pyryev’s films was life on the collective farms. His films, Tractor Drivers (1939), The Swineherd and the Shepherd (1941), and his most famous, Cossacks of the Kuban (1949) all starred his wife, Marina Ladynina. Like in Aleksandrov’s Bright Path, the only choreography was the work the characters were doing on film. Even the songs were about the joys of working.

Rather than having a specific message for any of his films, Pyryev promoted Stalin’s slogan “life has become better, life has become more joyous.” Sometimes this message was in stark contrast with the reality of the time. During the filming of Cossacks of the Kuban, the Soviet Union was going through a postwar famine. In reality, the actors who were singing about a time of prosperity were hungry and malnourished. The films did, however, provide escapism and optimism for the viewing public.

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author avatar Volga-volga
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The most popular film of the brief era of Stalinist musicals was Alexandrov’s 1938 film Volga-Volga. The star, again, was Lyubov Orlova and the film featured singing and dancing, having nothing to do with work. It is the most unusual of its type. The plot surrounds a love story between two individuals who want to play music. They are unrepresentative of Soviet values in that their focus is more on their music than their jobs. The gags poke fun at the local authorities and bureaucracy. There is no glorification of industry since it takes place in a small rural village. Work is not glorified either, since the plot revolves around a group of villagers using their vacation time to go on a trip up the Volga to perform in Moscow.

Volga-Volga followed the aesthetic principles of Socialist Realism rather than the ideological tenets. It became Stalin’s favorite film and he gave it as a gift to President Roosevelt during WWII. It is another example of one of the films that claimed life is better. Released at the height of Stalin’s purges, it provided escapism and a comforting illusion for the public

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author avatar Short film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A short film is any film not long enough to be considered a feature film. No consensus exists as to where that boundary is drawn: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as "an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits". The term featurette originally applied to a film longer than a short subject, but shorter than a standard feature film.

The increasingly rare term short subject means approximately the same thing. An industry term, it carries more of an assumption that the film is shown as part of a presentation along with a feature film. Short is an abbreviation for either term. Short films can be professional or amateur productions. Short films are often screened at local, national, or international film festivals. Short films are often made by independent filmmakers for non profit, either with a low budget, no budget at all, and in rare cases big budgets. Short films are usually funded by film grants, non profit organizations, sponsor, or out of pocket funds. These films are used by indie filmmakers to prove their talent in order to gain funding for future films from private investors, entertainment companies, or film studios. Short films do qualify for Academy Awards if screened in Los Angeles.

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author avatar Short film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Longer and shorter films coexisted with similar popularity throughout the early days of film. However, comedy short films were produced in large numbers compared to lengthy features such as D.W. Griffith's, "Birth of Nation" . By the 1920s, a ticket purchased a varied program including a feature and several supporting works from categories such as second feature, short comedy, 5–10 minute cartoon, and newsreel.

Short comedies were especially popular, and typically came in a serial or series (such as the Our Gang movies, or the many outings of Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp character). Even though there was often no set release schedule, these series could be considered somewhat like a modern TV sitcom – lower in status than feature films but nevertheless very popular (comedians such as Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton all 'graduated' from shorts to features).

Animated cartoons came principally as short subjects, as did newsreels. Virtually all major film production companies had units assigned to develop and produce shorts, and many companies, especially in the silent and very early sound era, produced mostly or only short subjects.

In the 1930s, the distribution system changed in many countries owing to the Great Depression. Instead of the cinema owner assembling a program of their own choice, the studios sold a package centered on a main and supporting feature, a cartoon and little else. With the rise of the double feature as a cinema programming format, 2-reel shorts went into decline as a commercial category. Hal Roach, for example, moved Laurel and Hardy full-time into feature films after 1935, and halved his popular Our Gang films to one reel. By the 1940s, he'd moved out of short films altogether (though MGM continued the Our Gang shorts until 1944).

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author avatar Short film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Later shorts include George O'Hanlon's Joe McDoakes movies, and the animated work of studios such as Walt Disney Productions, Leon Schlesinger Productions/Warner Bros. Cartoons, Walter Lantz and Fleischer / Famous Studios. By the mid 1950s, with the rise of television, the commercial live-action short was virtually dead, The Three Stooges being the last major series of 2-reelers, ending in 1959. Short films had become a medium for student, independent and specialty work.

Cartoon shorts had a longer life, due in part to the implementation of lower-cost limited animation techniques, but also declined in this period. Warner Bros., one of the most prolific of the golden era, shut down its studio permanently in 1969. Woody Woodpecker was the last of the "golden era" cartoons to end, shutting down in 1972. The Pink Panther was the last regular theatrical cartoon short series, having begun in 1964 (and thus having spent its entire existence in the limited animation era) and ended in 1980. By the 1960s, the market for animated shorts had largely shifted to television, and even the existing theatrical shorts were being secondarily syndicated to television stations.

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author avatar Short film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A few animated shorts continue within mainstream commercial distribution. For instance, Pixar has screened a short along each of its feature films during its initial theatrical run since 1995 (producing shorts permanently since 2001). Since Disney acquired Pixar in 2005, Disney has also produced animated shorts since 2007 with the Goofy short How to Hook Up Your Home Theater and produced a series of live action ones featuring The Muppets for viewing on YouTube as viral videos to promote the 2011 movie of the same name.

Dreamworks Animation often produces a short sequel to include in the special edition video releases of major features, and are typically of a sufficient length to be broadcast as a TV special. Warner Brothers often includes old animated shorts from its considerable library, connected only thematically, on the DVD releases of classic WB movies.

Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures organize an annual release of Academy Award nominated short films in theatres across the US, UK, Canada and Mexico throughout February / March.

Shorts are occasionally broadcast as filler when a feature film or other work doesn't fit the standard broadcast schedule. ShortsTV was the first television channel dedicated to short films.

However, short films generally rely on festival exhibition to reach an audience. Such movies can also be distributed via the Internet. Certain websites which encourage the submission of user-created short films, such as YouTube and Vimeo have attracted large communities of artists and viewers. Sites like FILMSshort and the BBC Film Network focus on showcasing curated shorts.

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author avatar Short film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Short films are a typical first stage for new professional filmmakers. But professional actors and crews still choose to create short films as alternative form of expression. Short film making is growing in popularity as equipment becomes cheaper and more amateurs are making movies. "Prosumer" or semi-professional cameras now cost under USD$3,000, and free or low-cost software is widely available that is capable of video editing, post-production work and DVD authoring.

Tropfest is the world's largest short film festival and is generally regarded as one of the most prestigious. Tropfests now take place in Australia (its birthplace), Arabia, the US and elsewhere. Originating in 1993, Tropfest is often credited as being at least partially responsible for the recent popularity of short films internationally.

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author avatar Short film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Short short films are sometimes considered to be a category of their own. The International Festival of Very Shorts is a festival based in Paris, which shows only movies less than three minutes long. Filminute, the international one-minute film festival, has presented and promoted a collection of one-minute films across multiple media since September 2006.

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author avatar Children's film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A child's film is a film aimed for children as its audience. As opposed to a family film, no special effort is made to make the film attractive for other audiences. The film may or may not be about children. In Unshrinking the Kids: Children's Cinema and the Family Film which is a chapter in In Front of the Children ed. Cary Bazalgette and David Buckingham BFI (1995), Cary Bazalgette and Terry Staples argue that "Children's films can be defined as offering mainly or entirely a child's point of view" p.96.

Categoria de "filme pentru copii" reprezintă o categorie distinctă din "filme pentru familie", fiind parte componentă a acesteia. Între cele două nu se poate de pus semnul egalităţii, avînd în vedere că "filmele pentru copii" au ca grup ţintă copii cu vîrsta 0 - 6 ani şi acestea nu conţin eforturi regizorale sau financiare suplimentare pentru a atrage ca public şi alte categorii de spectatori. Filmele "pentru familie" conţin eforturi regizorale şi financiare suplimentare îndreptate spre atragerea în categoria grupului ţintă şi adulţii. Printre filmele pentru copii se pot enumera ecranizările poveştilor pentru copii, care nu sunt modificate şi completate cu elemente moderne, precum şi acele create special pentru copii cu vîrsă de 0 - 6 ani, care încă nu posedă la nivel aptitudinile de a citi.

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author avatar Children's film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Children's film can encourage younger members of the community to "imitate the role models of the glamor industry" ("Negative Influences of Media", Manali Oak, February 2010.) Oak argues that "media often hypes the scintillating things about the celebrities". This may then cause children that have been exposed to this media to "see only the negatives around them". Psychological effects are often seen in terms of "people's outlook". Oak concludes: "While a certain amount of exposure to the ever-evolving media is essential for introducing ourselves to the world outside, an excessive one is detrimental to the overall well-being of society".

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author avatar Children's film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Blue Bird (1918)

Our Gang (1922)

Peter Pan (1924)

A Kiss for Cinderella (1925)

Wizard of Oz (1925)

The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)

Alice in Wonderland (1933)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Gulliver's Travels (1939)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

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author avatar Children's film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

1940

The Blue Bird

Pinocchio

Fantasia

The Thief of Bagdad

1941

Dumbo

Mr. Bug Goes to Town

The Reluctant Dragon

1942

Bambi

1943

Lassie Come Home

Saludos Amigos

1944

Meet Me in St. Louis

National Velvet

The Three Caballeros

1946

It's a Wonderful Life

Make Mine Music

Song of the South

The Yearling

1947

Fun and Fancy Free

Miracle on 34th Street

1948

Melody Time

1949

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Little Women

So Dear to My Heart

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author avatar Children's film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

1950

Cinderella

Treasure Island

1951

Alice in Wonderland

1953

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T

Peter Pan

White Mane

1954

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Animal Farm

1955

Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier

Lady and the Tramp

1956

Around the World in Eighty Days

Davy Crockett and the River Pirates

The Animal World

The Red Balloon

1957

Johnny Tremain

Old Yeller

1958

The Light in the Forest

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

1959

Darby O'Gill and the Little People

The Shaggy Dog

Sleeping Beauty

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author avatar Children's film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

1960

Pollyanna

Swiss Family Robinson

Those Calloways

1961

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

Mysterious Island

The Parent Trap

1962

Gay Purr-ee

Jack the Giant Killer

1963

Bye Bye Birdie

The Incredible Journey

Savage Sam

Jason and the Argonauts

Summer Magic

The Sword in the Stone

Flipper

1964

Flipper's New Adventure

Hey There, It's Yogi Bear

The Incredible Mr. Limpet

Mary Poppins

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

7 Faces of Dr. Lao

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

1965

That Darn Cat!

The Sound Of Music

1966

Batman (PG)

Born Free (PG)

Follow Me, Boys!

Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN

The Man Called Flintstone

The Ugly Dachshund

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree

1967

The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin

Doctor Dolittle

The Gnome Mobile

The Jungle Book

Son of Godzilla

1968

Blackbeard's Ghost

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Love Bug

Mad Monster Party

The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day

Yours, Mine and Ours

1969

A Boy Named Charlie Brown

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes

The Phantom Tollbooth

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author avatar Children's film
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

2010

Alice in Wonderland (PG)

Alpha and Omega (PG)

Bob the Builder: The Legend of the Golden Hammer

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (PG)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (PG)

Despicable Me (PG)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (PG)

Furry Vengeance (PG)

Gulliver's Travels (PG)

How to Train Your Dragon (PG)

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (PG)

Marmaduke (PG)

Megamind (PG)

Misty Island Rescue

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (PG)

Open Season 3 (PG)

Ramona and Beezus

Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster (PG)

Shrek Forever After (PG)

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (PG)

The Spy Next Door

Starstruck

Tangled (PG)

Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue

Tooth Fairy

Toy Story 3

Yogi Bear (PG)

2011

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked

Arthur Christmas (PG)

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2

Bob the Builder: Big Dino Dig

Cars 2

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (PG)

Dolphin Tale (PG)

A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!

Gnomeo and Juliet

Happy Feet 2 (PG)

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (PG)

Hop (PG)

Hugo (PG)

Johnny English Reborn (PG)

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG)

Level Up (TV-PG)

Mars Needs Moms (PG)

The Muppets (PG)

Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension

Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions

Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram and White—Victini and Zekrom

Mr. Popper's Penguins (PG)

Prom (PG)

Puss in Boots (PG)

Rango (PG)

Rio

Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure

The Smurfs (PG)

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (PG)

The Adventures of Tintin (PG)

We Bought a Zoo (PG)

Winnie the Pooh

Zookeeper (PG)

2012

Brave (PG)

Chimpanzee

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG)

Fairly Odd Christmas

Frankenweenie (PG)

Hotel Transylvania (PG)

Ice Age: Continental Drift (PG)

Katy Perry: Part of Me (PG)

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (PG)

Life of Pi (PG)

The Lorax (PG)

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (PG)

ParaNorman (PG)

The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG)

Rise of the Guardians (PG)

So Undercover

Tinker Bell and the Secret of the Wings

Wreck-It Ralph (PG)

2013

The Croods

Despicable Me 2

Epic

Monsters University

Oz: The Great and Powerful (PG)

The Smurfs 2

See also

British Film Institute list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14

List of animated feature films

List of computer-animated films

List of stop-motion films

List of Disney feature films

Children's television series

Children's literature

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Children's literature (also called juvenile literature) consists of the stories (including in books) and poems which are enjoyed by or targeted primarily at children. Modern children's literature is classified in different ways, including by genre or the intended age of the reader.

Children's literature has its roots in the stories and songs that adults told their children before publishing existed, as part of the wider oral tradition. Because of this it can be difficult to track the development of early stories. Even since widespread printing, many classic tales were originally created for adults and have been adapted for a younger audience. Although originally children's literature was often a re-writing of other forms, since the 1400s there has been much literature aimed specifically at children, often with a moral or religious message. To some extent the nature of children's fiction, and the divide between older children's and adult fiction became blurred as time went by and tales appealing to both adult and child had substantial commercial success.

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

There is no single, widely accepted definition of children's literature.:15-17 It can be broadly defined as anything that children read, but a more useful definition may be fiction, poetry, and drama intended for and used by children and young people,:xvii a list to which many add non-fiction. Nancy Anderson of the College of Education at the University of South Florida defines children's literature as all books written for children, "excluding works such as comic books, joke books, cartoon books, and nonfiction works that are not intended to be read from front to back, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference material".

Classifying children's literature is equally confusing. As the International Companion Encyclopedia Of Children's Literature says, "The boundaries of genre... are not fixed but blurred.":4 Sometimes no agreement can be reached even on whether a given work is best categorized as adult or children's literature, and many books are marketed for both adults and children. J. K. Rowling's series about Harry Potter was written and marketed for children, but it was so popular among children and adults that The New York Times created a separate bestseller list for children's books to list them.

When people think of children's literature they probably mean books, or at least print. But narratives existed before printing, and the roots of some best-known children's tales go back to storytellers of old.:30 Seth Lerer, in the opening of Children's Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter, says "This book presents a history of what children have heard and read... The history I write of is a history of reception"

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Children's literature can be divided a number ways. Two useful divisions are genre and intended age of the reader.

By genre

A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by technique, tone, content, or length. Anderson lists six categories of children's literature, with some significant subgenres:

Picture books, including concept books (teaching an alphabet or counting for example), pattern books, and wordless books.

Traditional literature, including folktales, which convey the legends, customs, superstitions, and beliefs of people in past times. This genre can be further broken down into myths, fables, legends, and fairy tales.

Fiction, including fantasy, realistic fiction, and historical fiction.

Non-fiction.

Biography and autobiography.

Poetry and verse.

By age category

The criteria for these divisions are vague and books near a borderline may be classified either way. Books for younger children tend to be written in very simple language, use large print, and have many illustrations. Books for older children use increasingly complex language, normal print, and fewer, if any, illustrations.

Picture books, appropriate for pre-readers or ages 0–5.

Early reader books, appropriate for children age 5–7. These books are often designed to help a child build his or her reading skills.

Chapter book, appropriate for children ages 7–12.

Short chapter books, appropriate for children ages 7–9.

Longer chapter books, appropriate for children ages 9–12.

Young-adult fiction appropriate for children age 12–18.

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Children's stories have always been accompanied by pictures.:320 A papyrus from Byzantine Egypt shows illustrations accompanying the story of Hercules' labors. Today children's books are illustrated in a way that rarely occurs in adult literature in the 20th or 21st century, except in graphic novels. Generally, artwork plays a greater role in books intended for the youngest readers (especially pre-literate children). Children's picture books can be an accessible source of high quality art for young children. Even after children learn to read well enough to enjoy a story without illustrations, they continue to appreciate the occasional drawings found in chapter books.

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

According to Joyce Whalley in The International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, an illustrated book differs from a book with illustrations, in that "a good illustrated book is one where the pictures enhance or add depth to the text.":221 Using this definition, the first illustrated children's book is considered Orbis Pictus by the Moravian author Comenius. Orbis Pictus had a picture on every page, followed by the name of the object in Latin and English. It was translated into English the year after it appeared, and was used in homes and schools around Europe and Great Britain for years:220

Early children's books like Orbis Pictus were illustrated by woodcut, and many times the same image was repeated in a number of books regardless of how appropriate the illustration was to the story:322 Newer processes, including copper and steel engraving began being used in the 1830s. One of the first uses of Chromolithography, a way of making multi-colored prints, in a children's book was Struwwelpeter, published in Germany in 1845. English illustrator Walter Crane refined its use in children's books in the late 1800s.

Walter Crane's chromolithograph illustration for The Frog Prince, 1874.

Another illustration method appearing in children's books was etching, used by George Cruikshank in the 1850s. By the 1860s top artists in the west were illustrating for children, including Crane, Randolph Caldecott, Kate Greenaway and John Tenniel. Most pictures were still black-and-white, and many color pictures were hand colored, often by child labor.:224-226 The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators credits Caldecott with "the concept of extending the meaning of text beyond literal visualization".:350

In India Nandalal Bose, whose paintings are considered artistic treasures, illustrated books for children from the late 1800s into the 1900s.:811 The early Twentieth-century brought more highly regarded illustrators to the pages of children's books. Artists like Kay Nielson, Edmund Dulac and Arthur Rackham produced illustrations that are still reprinted today.:224-227 The development in printing capabilities found itself reflected in children's books. After World War II offset lithography became more refined, and by the 1950s painter-style illustrations like Brian Wildsmith's were common.

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

According to Aspects and Issues in the History of Children's Literature from the International Research Society for Children's Literature, the development of literature for children anywhere in the world follows the same basic path. All children's literature, whatever its current stage of development, begins with spoken stories, songs and poems. In the beginning the same tales that adults tell and enjoy are adapted for children. Then stories are created specifically for children, to educate, instruct and entertain them. In the final stage literature for children is established as separate from that of adults, having its own genres, divisions, expectations and canon.:x-xi The development of children's literature is influenced by the social, educational, political and economic resources of the country or ethnic group.

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Every people group has its own mythology, unique fables and other traditional stories told for the instruction and entertainment of adults and children:654 The earliest written folk-type tales include the Panchatantra from India, composed about 200 AD, it may be "the world's oldest collection of stories for children",:807 though other sources believe it was intended for adults.:301 The Jakatas, stories from India about the birth of Buddha, go back to the second or third centuries BC A few of these stories, particularly those where Buddha took the shape of an animal, would have been enjoyed by children.:302 The source stories for The Arabian Nights, perhaps also originally from India, have also been traced back this far.:271

As an example of oral stories that certainly would have been enjoyed by children, the tale of The Asurik Tree goes back at least 3,000 years in Persia, now Iran.

The greatest ancient Greek poet, Homer, lived sometime between 1200 BC and 600 BC. Author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, Homer's work contributed to the development of all Western literature, including that for children. Between 750 and 650 BC Hesiod told stories that became a major source of Greek mythology.:308-309

Irish folktales can be traced as far back as 400 BC. These stories of witches, fairies and magic spells were preserved by storytellers traveling across the island. For centuries Ireland's geographic isolation helped preserve them

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Papyri from the 400s AD tell versions of Aesop's fables.:39

In Imperial China, children attended public events with their parents, where they would listen to the complicated tales of professional story-tellers. Often rhyming, the stories were accompanied by drums, cymbals and other traditional instruments. Children would also have watched the plays performed at festivals and fairs. Though not specifically intended for children, the elaborate costumes, acrobatics and martial arts would have held even a young child's interest. Smaller gatherings were accompanied by puppet shows and shadow plays. The stories often explained the background behind the festival, covering folklore, history and politics. Story-telling may have reached its peak during the Song Dynasty from 960-1279 AD. This traditional literature was used for instruction in Chinese schools until the Twentieth-century:830-831

Greek and Roman literature from this age is thought to contain "nothing that could be considered a children’s book in the sense of a book written to give pleasure to a child". However, children would have enjoyed listening to stories such as the Odyssey and Aesop’s Fables, since Aesop and Homer, along with the Greek playwrights were "at the heart of early reading and writing":37 in Greece at this time.

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Panchatantra was translated from Sanskrit into Kannada in 1035 AD.:813 The first children's book in Urdu may be Pahelian by the Indian poet Amir Khusrow, who wrote poems and riddles for children in the 1200s-1300s.:814

Buddhism spread in China during the early part of this period, bringing with it tales later known as Journey to the West. Chinese children would have enjoyed many of these stories of "fantasy, the supernatural, demons and monsters.":832

There are two schools of thought about children and European Medieval literature. The first developed from the writings of Philippe Ariès in the 1960s and holds that, because children at this time were not viewed as greatly different from adults, they were not given significantly different treatment.:5 Those holding this point of view see no evidence of children's fiction as such existing in Europe during the Middle Ages, although they recognize that instructional texts in Latin were written specifically for children, by clerics like the Venerable Bede, and Ælfric of Eynsham.:11

Those who disagree with Ariès make several arguments, explained by Gillian Adams in her essay Medieval Children's Literature: Its Possibility and Actuality. One is that just because a culture does not view childhood as modern Western societies do does not mean children's literature cannot develop there. Another is that modern Western scholars have defined literature for children too narrowly, and fail to acknowledge what does exist. for example, they point to Marie de France's translation of Aesop's fables, and the Play of Daniel from the 1100s:46 Daniel Kline, in Medieval Literature for Children says modern and Medieval literature for children have common goals: "conveying the values, attitudes, and information necessary for children and youth to survive or even advance within their cultures.":4 Kline divides children's literature in Europe during this time into five genres: Didactic and Moral, Conduct-related, Educational, Religious, and Popular.:6-8

The debate on interpretaion aside, scholars cite this period as the time as when "many of the genres that continue to feature in writing for children emerge.":10 Examples of literature children would have enjoyed during this time include Gesta Romanorum, the Roman fables of Avianus, the French Book of the Knight of La Tour-Landry and the Welsh Mabinogion. In Ireland many of the thousands of folk stories were being recorded in the Eleventh and Twelfth centuries. Written in Old Irish on vellum, they began reaching through Europe, influencing other folk tales with stories of magic, witches and fairies.

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

During the Byzantine Empire the Bible and Chritian hymns and stories were popular. The takeover of Greece by the Ottomans meant the enslaved Greeks had to rely on songs, lullabies, and other easily shared methosds of cultural preservation. According to Vassilis Anagnostopoulos in The International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, these verses constitute the first children's poetry.:760

Hornbooks appeared in England during this time, teaching children basic information such as the alphabet and the Lord's Prayer. In 1484 William Caxton published Aesop's Fables, followed by Le Morte d'Arthur in 1485. These books were intended for adults, but enjoyed by children as well. Geoffrey Chaucer's writings were retold for children by the late 1400s,:77 and often European printers released versions of Aesop's Fables in their native languages

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Russia's earliest children's books, primers, appeared around this time. An early example is ABC-Book, an alphabet book published by Ivan Fyodorov in 1571.:765

The first Danish children's book, The Child's Mirror by Niels Bredal in 1568, was an adaptation of a book of courtesy for children by the Dutch priest Erasmus. Finland had Abckiria, a primer released in 1543, but very few children's books were published there until the 1850s. A Pretty and Splendid Maiden's Mirror, and adaptation of a German book for young women, became the first Swedish children's book upon its 1591 publication:700, 706

In Italy Giovanni Francesco Straparola released The Facetious Nights of Straparola in the 1550s. Called the first European storybook to contain fairy-tales, it eventually had seventy-five separate stories and was written for an adult audience. Giulio Cesare Croce also borrowed from stories children would have enjoyed for his books.:757

Chapbooks, pocket-sized pamphlets that were often folded instead of being stitched,:32 were published in Britain and spread to the United States. Illustrated by woodblock printing, these inexpensive booklets reprinted popular ballads, historical retellings and folk tales. Though not specifically published for children at this time, they would have been enjoyed by them.:8 Johanna Bradley in From Chapbooks to Plum Cake says that chapbooks kept imaginative stories from being lost to readers under the strict Puritan influence of the time.

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The first picture book published in Russia, Karion Istomin's The Illustrated Primer, appeared in 1694:765

During this time the concept of childhood changed drastically in Europe. They began to be seen as separate beings, innocent and in need of protection and training by the adults around them.:6-7 Because of this shift in thinking books now began to be printed and distributed specifically for children.:9 In 1634 the Pentamerone from Italy became the first major published collection of European folk tales. Charles Perrault began recording fairy tales in France, publishing his first collection in 1697. They were not well received among French literary society, who saw them as only fit for old people and children.:272, 718 In 1658 Jan Ámos Comenius in Bohemia published the informative illustrated Orbis Pictus, directed at children under six learning to read. It is considered to be the first picture book produced specifically for children.:7

The Puritans, mainly in England and North America, also played a major role in developing writing for children, publishing books intended to teach children to read and to instruct them in religious teachings. Some of the longest used and most popular were by James Janeway, but the one book to come out of this movement that is still widely read today is The Pilgrim's Progress (1678) by John Bunyan.

There are sources that reference hornbooks brought from England by the Puritans to help educate their children before 1633. The first children's book published in what would become the United States was a catechism for children written in verse by the Puritan John Cotton. Known as Spiritual Milk for Babes], it was published in 1646, appearing both in England and Boston. Another early book,

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The New England Primer was in print by 1691, and continued to be used in schools for 100 years. The Primer begins "In Adam's fall We sinned all..." and continues through the alphabet. It also contained religious maxims, acronyms, spelling help and other educational items, all decorated by woodcuts

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

China still had no separate stories for children. Dream of the Red Chamber, written in in this period and published in 1791, told a story of romance and friendship that children would have enjoyed.:832

Greece was still under control of the Ottomans. During the last half of this century Greeks living throughout Europe had children's books translated, printed and sent to Greek schools, bring European influence into Greece's children's literature.:760

In Russia, Peter the Great's interest in modernizing his country through Westernization helped Western children's literature to dominate the field through the 1700s.:765 Catherine the Great wrote allegories for children, and during her reign Nikolai Novikov started the first juvenile magazine in Russia.:765

Sweden had published fables and a children's magazine by 1766. In the Netherlands Hieronymus van Alphen is still remembered for the children's poems he began publishing in 1778. By the late 1700s writing for children had exploded there. According to the contemporary novelist Betje Wolff, "This is the era, in which one writes for children.":706, 710

1719 saw the publication of Robinson Crusoe by Danial Defoe, an English Puritan. The first contemporary adventure novel, it quickly became "one of the most popular books in all English literature":38 One year after its publication it was translated into French, and by 1769 forty editions and adaptations had been published in German.:130 At this point most children's literature in Germany, including juvenile magazines and encyclopedias, was translated, usually from French

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A number of foundational English language books appeared during this time. William Roscoe's story poem The Butterfly's Ball in 1802 is considered a "landmark publication":20 in fantasy literature. Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes, which appeared in 1857, is considered the foundational book in the school story tradition.:7-8 Lewis Carroll's fantasy Alice's Adventures in Wonderland appeared in 1865 in England. The first "English masterpiece written for children",:44 its publication opened the "First Golden Age" of children's literature in Great Britain and Europe that continued until the early 1900s.:18 It was also a foundational book in the development of fantasy literature. In 1883 Carlo Collodi wrote the first Italian fantasy novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio, which was translated many times.

In the United States, Clement Moore's Christmas classic A Visit from St. Nicholas appeared in 1822. Publisher and writer Peter Parley began publishing his geography, biography, history, science and adventure stories, "selling a total of seven million copies by ... 1860.":478 After the American Civil War ended in 1865 children's publishing entered a period of growth. Boys' book writer Oliver Optic published over 100 books. 1868 brought the publication of the "epoch-making book",:45 Little Women, the fictionalized autobiography of Louisa May Alcott. This coming of age story established the genre of realistic family books in the United States. Mark Twain released Tom Sawyer in 1876, and in 1880 another bestseller, Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings, a collection of African American folk tales adapted and compiled by Joel Chandler Harris, appeared.

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In India many writers of stature in Hindustani began writing books for children. The first full-length children's book was Khar Khar Mahadev by Narain Dixit, serialized in one of the popular children's magazines in 1957. Other writers include Premchand and poet Sohan Lal Dwivedi.:811 In 1919 Bengali language nonsense rhymes written and illustrated by Sukumar Ray appeared, along with Barngtarbratn by artist and children's writer Abanindranath Tagore. Benagli children's literature flourished in the later part of the twentieth century. Educator Gijubhai Badheka published over 200 children's books in the Gujarati language, many of them still popular.:812 Children's Book Trust publishing was founded in India in 1957 by political cartoonist K. Shankar Pillai. The firm became known for high quality children's books, many of them released in several languages.One of the best writers was Pandit Krushna Chandra Kar in oriya literature who wrote many good books for childrens like "Pari Raija","Kuhuka Raija","Panchatantra" ,"Adi Jugara Galpa Mala", He wrote biography of many historical personalities like "Kapila Deva". In 1978 it organized a writer's competition to encourage quality children's writing. The following year the Children's Book Trust began a writing workshop and organized the First International Children's Book Fair in New Delhi.:809 Children's magazines, available in many languages, were widespread throughout India during this century.:811-820

The Chinese Revolution of 1911 and World War II brought political and social change that also revolutionized children's literature in the country. Western science, technology and literature became fashionable, and the first pieces of literature intended solely for Chinese children were translations of Aesop's fables, Western fairy tales and The Arabian Nights. China's first modern publishing firm, Commercial Press, established several children's magazines, including Youth Magazine and Educational Pictures for Children.:832-833 The first Chinese children's writer was Sun Yuxiu, an editor of Commercial Press, whose story The Kingdom Without a Cat was written in the language of the time instead of the classical style used previously. Yuxiu encouraged novelist Shen Dehong to write for children also. Dehong went on to re-write twenty-eight stories based on classical Chinese literature specifically for children. In 1932 the first full-length Chinese novel for children was published - Big Lin and Little Lin by Zhang Tianyi.

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Chinese Revolution of 1949 changed children's literature again. Many children's writers were denounced, though Tianyi and Ye Shengtao continued to write for children, creating works that aligned with Maoist ideology. The 1976 death of Mao Zedong saw more changes sweep China. Many writers from the early part of the century were brought back, their work becoming available again. 1990 saw the release of General Anthology of Modern Children's Literature of China, a fifteen-volume anthology of children's literature since the 1920s.:834-835

Children's non-fiction gained great importance in Russia at the beginning of the century. A ten-volume children's encyclopedia was published in 1913-1914. Vasily Avenarius wrote fictionalized biographies of important people like Nikolai Gogol and Alexander Pushkin around the same time, and scientists wrote for books and magazines for children. Children's magazines flourished; by the end of the century there were sixty-one. Lidia Charskaya and Klavdiya Lukashevich continued the popularity of girl's fiction. Realism took on a gloomy turn, often showing children from lower-classes being mistreated. The most popular boys' material was Sherlock Holmes and similar stories from detective magazines.:768

The October Revolution of 1917 saw the state taking over control of children's literature. Maksim Gorky edited the first children's magazine under Soviet rule, Northern Lights. The 1920s have been called the Golden Age of Children's Literature in Russia,:769 led by Samuil Marshak, the "founder of (Soviet) children's literature".:193 As head of the children's section of the State Publishing House and editor of several children's magazines Marshak exercised enormous influence,:192-193 recruiting Boris Pasternak and Osip Mandelstam to write for children.

1932 saw the formation of the USSR Union of Writers, the writer's organization of the Communist Party. With a children's branch, the official oversight of the professional organization brought children's writers under the control of the state and the police. Communist principles like collectivism and solidarity became important themes in children's literature. Biographies were written about revolutionaries like Lenin and Pavlik Morozov. Alexander Belyayev, writing in the 1920s and 1930s, became Russia's first science fiction writer.:770 According to Ben Hellman in the International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, during the Soviet period "war was to occupy a prominent place in juvenile reading, partly compensating for the lack of adventure stories.":771 More political changes in Russia after World War II brought further change in children's literature. Today the field is in a state of flux, with some older authors being rediscovered and others abandoned

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In Great Britain and Europe the Golden Age of Children's Literature ended with World War I. The period between it and World War II was much slower in children's publishing through Great Britain and most of Europe. The main exceptions in England were the publications of Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne in 1926 and The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien in 1937.:682-683 Europe experienced a similar slow-down, though the "one of the first mysteries written specifically for children,":315 Children's paperback were first released in England 1941 under the Puffin Books imprint, and their lower prices helped make book buying possible for children during World War II.:475-476 Erich Kastner's popular novel Emil and the Detectives was published in Germany in 1930.

In the 1950s the book market in Europe began recovering from effects of two world wars. In England C. S. Lewis published the first of installment of his Chronicles of Narnia series in 1950. Children's Fantasy literature remained strong in Great Britain through the 1900s. The historical novel also became popular with children, but the adventure novel did not regain its former popularity. The first juvenile science fiction novel was The Angry Planet by John Kier Cross, published in England in 1947. In Wales the Welsh Joint Education Committee and the Welsh Books Council encouraged the publication of children's books in the Welsh language as well as books in English about Wales. Efforts in Ireland in the 1980s saw the founding of similar publishers in Ireland. The period during and following World War II became the Classical Age of the picture book in Switzerland, with works by Alois Carigiet, Felix Hoffmann and Hans Fischer.:683-685, 399, 692, 697, 750 1963 was the first year of the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy, "the most important international event dedicated to the children’s publishing". For four days it brings together writers, illustrators, publishers and book buyers from around the world.

American children's literature saw the publication of one of its most famous books in 1900, when L. Frank Baum's fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in Chicago. "By combining the English fondness for word play with the American appetite for outdoor adventure", Connie Epstein in International Companion Encyclopedia Of Children's Literature says Baum "developed an original style and form that stands alone".:479 Baum was to write thirteen more Oz novels and the Oz series was continued by other writers into the 1960s.

North America between the wars saw continued growth in the field, due in large part to the growth and influence of libraries in both Canada and the United States. Children's reading rooms in libraries, staffed by specially trained librarians, helped create demand for classic juvenile books. Reviews of children's releases began appearing regularly in Publishers Weekly and The Bookman magazine, and the first Children's Book Week was launched in 1919. That same year Louise Seaman Bechtel became the first person to head a juvenile book publishing department in the country. She was followed by May Massee in 1922 and Alice Dalgliesh in 1934

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author avatar Children's literature
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The American Library Association began awarding the Newbery Medal for children's books in 1922, the first children's book award in the world. The Caldecott Medal for illustration followed in 1938.
The first book by Laura Ingalls Wilder about her life on the American frontier, Little House in the Big Woods appeared in 1932.:471 In 1937 Dr. Seuss published his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. The young adult book market developed during this period, thanks to the popular writers John R. Tunis' sports books, the novel Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly and Helen Dore Boylston's "Sue Barton" nurse books.:11

The already vigorous growth in children's books became a boom in the 1950s and children's publishing became big business.:481 In 1952 American journalist E. B. White published Charlotte's Web, "one of the very few books for young children that face, squarely, the subject of death.":467 Maurice Sendak illustrated more than two dozen books during the decade, establishing himself as an innovator in book illustration.:481 The Sputnik crisis that began in 1957 provided increased interest and government money for schools and libraries to buy science and math books and the non-fiction book market "seemed to materialize overnight.":482

In 1997 J. K. Rowling published the first book in The Harry Potter Series, in England. Despite its huge success, the children's book market in Britain suffered at the end of the century. A difficult economy, competition from television and video games, and rising books costs have been blamed, though picture books continue to do well

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author avatar Scholarships
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Scholarship on children's literature is conducted by professional organizations, dedicated publications, individual researchers and university courses. Scholarship in children's literature is primarily conducted in three different disciplinary fields: (1) literary studies (literature and language departments), (2) library and information science, and (3) education. (Wolf, et al., 2011).

Literary Perspective: Typically, children's literature scholars from literature departments in universities (English, German, Spanish, etc. departments) conduct literary analyses of books. This literary criticism may focus on an author, a thematic or topical concern, genre, period, or literary device. The results of this type of research are typically published as books or articles in scholarly journals, including Children's Literature Association Quarterly, Children's Literature in Education, Children's Literature, The Lion and the Unicorn, and International Research in Children's Literature.

Library & Information Science Perspective: The field of Library and Information Science has a long history of conducting research related to children's literature.

Education Perspective: Most educational researchers studying children's literature explore issues related to the use of children's literature in classroom settings. They may also study topics such as home use, children's out-of-school reading or parents' use of children's books. Children's literature has long been used by teachers to augment classroom instruction.

Scholarly associations & centers: the Children's Literature Association, the International Research Society for Children's Literature, the Library Association Youth Libraries Group, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators the Irish Society for the Study of Children's Literature, IBBY Canada and Centre for International Research in Childhood: Literature, Culture, Media (CIRCL), National Centre for Research in Children's Literature.

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author avatar Awards
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Some noted awards for children's literature are:

Africa: The Golden Baobab Prize runs an annual competition for African writers of Children's stories. It is one of the few African literary awards that recognizes writing for children and young adults and the only pan-African writing competition that recognizes promising African writers of children's literature. Every year, it invites entries of unpublished African-inspired stories written for an audience of 8 to 11-year-olds (Category A) or 12 to 15-year-olds (Category B) and by writers aged 18 or below (the Rising Writer Prize).

Australia: the Children's Book Council of Australia runs a number of annual CBCA book awards

Canada: the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature and Illustration (English and French). A number of the provinces' school boards and library associations also run popular "children's choice" awards where candidate books are read and championed by individual schools and classrooms. These include the Blue Spruce (grades K-2) Silver Birch Express (grades 3–4), Silver Birch (grades 5–6) Red Maple (grades 7–8) and White Pine (High School) in Ontario. Programs in other provinces include The Red Cedar and Stellar Awards in B.C., the Willow Awards in Saskatchewan, and the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards. IBBY Canada offers a number of annual awards.

The Philippines: The Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature for Short Story for Children in English and Filipino Language (Maikling Kathang Pambata) since 1989 and Children's Poetry in English and Filipino Language since 2009. The Pilar Perez Medallion for Young Adult Literature (2001 and 2002). The major awards are given by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People. They include the PBBY-Salanga Writer's Prize for excellence in writing and the PBBY-Alcala Illustrator's Prize for excellence in illustration. The Ceres Alabado Award for Outstanding Contribution in Children's Literature; the Gintong Aklat Award (Golden Book Award); The Gawad Komisyon para sa Kuwentong Pambata (Commission Award for Children's Literature in Filipino) and the National Book Award (given by the Manila Critics' Circle) for Outstanding Production in Children's Books and Young Adult Literature.

United States: the major awards are given by the American Library Association Association for Library Service to Children. They include the Newbery Medal for writing, Michael L. Printz Award for writing for teens, Caldecott Medal for illustration, Golden Kite Award in various categories from the SCBWI, Sibert Medal for informational, Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning readers, Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for impact over time, Batchelder Award for works in translation, Coretta Scott King Award for work by an African-American writer, and the Belpre Medal for work by a Latino writer. Other notable awards are the

Writer Astrid Lindgren, 1924

National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the Orbis Pictus Award for excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children.

United Kingdom and Commonwealth: the Carnegie Medal for writing and the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration; the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize; and the Guardian Award.

Internationally: the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Ilustrarte Bienale for illustration, the BolognaRagazzi Award for art work and design.

Online: the Cybils Awards, or Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards, are the first major series of book awards given by children's and young adult book bloggers.

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author avatar Family films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Teen films is a film genre targeted at teenagers and young adults in which the plot is based upon the special interests of teenagers, such as coming of age, first love, rebellion, conflict with parents, teen angst or alienation. Often these normally serious subject matters are presented in a glossy, stereotyped or trivialized way. Some teen films appeal to young males while others appeal to young females.

Films in this genre are often set in high schools, or contain characters that are of high school age. Sexual themes are also common, as are crude forms of humor.

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author avatar Family films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

A family film is a film genre that is designed to appeal to a variety of age groups and, thus, families. Family films generally do not contain content that would be deemed unsuitable for children. They are usually rated G or PG by the Motion Picture Association of America.

In December 2005, Steven Spielberg's 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial came first in a poll of the 100 Greatest Family Films. The genre today generates billions of dollars per annum

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author avatar Bibliography
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Allen, Robert C. "Home Alone Together: Hollywood and the 'Family' Film". Identifying Hollywood's Audiences: Cultural Identity and the Movies, eds. Melvyn Stokes and Richard Maltby. London: British Film Institute, 1999 (pp. 109-34). ISBN 978-0851707396

Bazalgette, Cary and Terry Staples. "Unshrinking The Kids: Children’s Cinema and the Family Film". In Front of the Children: Screen Entertainment and Young Audiences, eds. Cary Bazalgette and David Buckingham. London: British Film Institute, 1995 (pp. 92-108). ISBN 978-0851704531

Brown, Noel. The Hollywood Family Film: A History, From Shirley Temple to Harry Potter. London: I.B. Tauris, 2012. ISBN 978-1780762708

Kramer, Peter. "Would You Take Your Child to See This Film?: The Cultural and Social Work of the Family Adventure Movie". Contemporary Hollywood Cinema, eds. Steve Neale and Murray Smith. London: Routledge, 1998 (pp. 294-311). ISBN 978-0415170109

Kramer, Peter. "The Best Disney Film Never Made': Children’s Films and The Family Audience in American Cinema since the 1960s'. Genre And Contemporary Hollywood, ed. Steve Neale. London: British Film Institute, 2002 (pp. 185-200). ISBN 978-0851708874

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author avatar Teen Films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

As well as the classic teen film, which is similar to a romantic comedy, there are hybrid genres including:

Teen sci-fi

Teen horror

Teen drama

Teen comedy

Teen musicals

There are many more types of teen films which can then be divided again into sub-categories. This can be found at list of teen films.

Beach films

Early examples of the genre in the United States include the "beach party films" of the 1950s and 60s, such as the Gidget series.

Codes and conventions

Codes and conventions of teen films vary depending on the cultural context of the film, but they can include proms, alcohol, illegal substances, high school, parties and all-night raves, losing one's virginity, relationships, social groups and cliques, and American pop-culture.

The classic codes and conventions of teen film come from American films where one of the most widely used conventions are the stereotypes and social groups. The wide range stereotypes most commonly used include:

The Jock/Cheerleader

School Diva

The Geek/Nerd

The Rebel

The Misfit, or The Outcast

The Average Girl/Boy (the boy/girl next door)

The New Girl/Boy

The Loner

The Band Geek

Apart from the characters there are many other codes and conventions of teen film. These films are often set in or around high schools as this allows for many different social cliques to be shown. This is different in hybrid teen films, but for the classic romantic comedy teen film this is almost always the case.

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author avatar Teen Films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The initial stereotypes for Teen Film were established by the film The Breakfast Club in the 1980s and proved to be an effective short cut to character introduction with the audience who identified and recognized them as stereotypes. The Jock, Cheerleader and social outcast become a familiar and pleasurable feature for the audience. However genres are dynamic, they change and develop to meet the expectations of their target audience, teenagers.

Noteworthy writers and directors

George Lucas

George Lucas pioneered the genre by writing and directing the 1973 film American Graffiti.

John Hughes

The genre gained more credibility during the 1980s with the appearance of writer/director John Hughes. His legacy of teen films (The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, etc.) proved to be popular not only with audiences, but with critics also.

Éric Rohmer

Éric Rohmer, a pioneering director from the French New Wave, was notable for focusing on young adults or youth and their complications with love in a number of his films. Some of such works include La Collectionneuse, Claire's Knee, Pauline at the Beach, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, and A Summer's Tale.

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author avatar Teen Films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Popular actors in teen films have included Annette Funicello, Hayley Mills, and Sal Mineo, in the 1960s and 70s, members of the Brat Pack, John Cusack in the 80s and early 90s, and Sarah Michelle Gellar, Neve Campbell, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seann William Scott, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jason Biggs, and other teenage sensations in the late 90s and throughout the 2000s, who were either pre-teens or teens at the time of the movies themselves.

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Pornographic films or sex films are films that depict sexual fantasies and seek to create in the viewer sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction. Such films usually include erotically stimulating material such as nudity and the explicit portrayal of sexual activity. The industry generally refers to such films as adult films, which generally fall into a number of sub-genres.

The invention of the motion picture in the early 1900s provided a new medium for the presentation of pornography and erotica. Like pornography in general, pornographic films were regarded as obscene and attempts have been made to suppress them, with varying degrees of success. They were typically available only by underground distribution, for projection at home or in private clubs and also at night cinemas. Only in the 1970s were pornographic films semi-legitimized; and by the 1980s, pornography on home video achieved wider distribution. The rise of the Internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s similarly changed the way pornography was distributed and furthermore complicated the censorship regimes around the world and the legal prosecution of obscenity.

Pornography is a thriving, financially profitable business. According to a 2004 Reuters article, "The multi-billion-dollar industry releases about 11,000 titles on DVD each year." Pornographic films can be sold or rented out on video or DVD, shown through Internet and special channels and pay-per-view on cable and satellite, and in adult theaters.

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Production of erotic films commenced almost immediately after the invention of the motion picture. Two of the earliest pioneers were Frenchmen Eugène Pirou and Albert Kirchner. Kirchner (under the name "Léar") directed the earliest surviving erotic film for Pirou. The 7-minute 1896 film Le Coucher de la Mariee had Louise Willy performing a bathroom striptease. Other French filmmakers also considered that profits could be made from this type of risqué films, showing women disrobing.

Because Pirou is nearly unknown as a pornographic filmmaker, credit is often given to other films for being the first. In Black and White and Blue (2008), one of the most scholarly attempts to document the origins of the clandestine 'stag film' trade, Dave Thompson recounts ample evidence that such an industry first had sprung up in the brothels of Buenos Aires and other South American cities by the turn of 20th century, and then quickly spread through Central Europe over the following few years. However, none of these earliest pornographic films are known to have survived. According to Patrick Robertson's Film Facts, "the earliest pornographic motion picture which can definitely be dated is A L'Ecu d'Or ou la bonne auberge" made in France in 1908. The plot depicts a weary soldier who has a tryst with a servant girl at an inn. The Argentinian El Satario, whose original title could have been El Sátiro (The Satyr), might be even older; it has been dated to somewhere between 1907 and 1912. He also notes that "the oldest surviving pornographic films are contained in America's Kinsey Collection. One film demonstrates how early pornographic conventions were established. The German film Am Abend (1910) is a ten-minute film which begins with a woman masturbating alone in her bedroom, and progresses to scenes of her with a man performing straight sex, fellatio and anal penetration."

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In Austria, cinemas would organise men-only theatre nights (called Herrenabende) at which adult films would be shown. Johann Schwarzer formed his Saturn-Film production company which between 1906 and 1911 produced 52 erotic productions, each of which contained young local women fully nude, to be shown at those screenings. Before Schwarzer's productions, erotic films were provided by the Pathé brothers from French produced sources. In 1911, Saturn was dissolved by the censorship authorities and the films destroyed.

Pornographic movies were widespread in the silent movie era of the 1920s, and were often shown in brothels. Soon illegal, stag films, or blue films as they were called, were produced underground by amateurs for many years starting in the 1940s. Processing the film took considerable time and resources, with people using their bathtubs to wash the film when processing facilities (often tied to organized crime) were unavailable. The films were then circulated privately or by traveling salesman, but being caught viewing or possessing them put one at the risk of prison.

The post-war era saw developments that further stimulated the growth of a mass market. Technological developments, particularly the introduction of the 8mm and super-8 film gauges, resulted in the widespread use of amateur cinematography. Entrepreneurs emerged to supply this market. In Britain, the productions of Harrison Marks were "soft core", but considered risqué in the 1950s. On the continent, such films were more explicit. Lasse Braun was a pioneer in quality colour productions that were, in the early days, distributed by making use of his father's diplomatic privileges.

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1960s, social and judicial attitudes towards the explicit depiction of sexuality began to change. For example, Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967) included numerous frank scenes of nudity and staged sexual intercourse. In one particularly controversial scene, Lena kisses her lover's flaccid penis. The film was exhibited in mainstream cinemas, but in 1969 it was banned in Massachusetts allegedly for being pornographic. The ban was challenged in the courts, with the Supreme Court of the United States ultimately declaring that the film was not obscene, paving the way for other sexually explicit films. Another Swedish film Language of Love (1969) was also sexually explicit, but was framed as a quasi-documentary sex educational film, which made its legal status uncertain though controversial.

In 1969, Denmark became the first country to abolish all laws outlawing pornography, including hardcore pornography. The example was followed by toleration in the Netherlands, also in 1969. As a result, there was an explosion of pornography commercially produced in those countries . Now that being a pornographer was legal, there was no shortage of businessmen who invested in plant and equipment capable of turning out a mass-produced, cheap, but quality product. Vast amounts of this new pornography, both magazines and films, were smuggled into other parts of Europe, where it was sold "under the counter" or (sometimes) shown in "members only" cinema clubs.

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the 1970s, more permissive legislation permitted the rise of adult theaters in the United States and many other countries. There was also a proliferation of coin-operated "movie booths" in sex shops that displayed pornographic "loops" (so called because they projected a movie from film arranged in a continuous loop).

Denmark started producing comparatively big-budget theatrical feature film sex comedies such as Bordellet (1972), the Bedside-films (1970–1976) and the Zodiac-films (1973–1978), starring mainstream actors (a few of whom even performed their own sex scenes) and usually not thought of as "porno films" though all except the early Bedside-films included hardcore pornographic scenes. Several of these films still rank among the most seen films in Danish film history and all remain favourites on home video.

The first explicitly pornographic film with a plot that received a general theatrical release in the U.S. is generally considered to be Mona the Virgin Nymph (also known as Mona), a 59-minute 1970 feature by Bill Osco and Howard Ziehm, who went on to create the relatively high-budget hardcore/softcore (depending on the release) cult film Flesh Gordon.

The 1971 film Boys in the Sand represented a number of pornographic firsts. As the first generally available gay pornographic film, the film was the first to include on-screen credits for its cast and crew (albeit largely under pseudonyms), to parody the title of a mainstream film (in this case, The Boys in the Band), and to be reviewed by The New York Times. Other notable American hardcore feature films of the 1970s include Deep Throat (1972), Behind the Green Door (1972), The Devil in Miss Jones (1973), Radley Metzger's The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1975) and Debbie Does Dallas (1978). These were shot on film and screened in mainstream movie theaters. The prediction that frank depictions of onscreen sex would soon become commonplace did not eventuate. William Rotsler expressed this in 1973, "Erotic films are here to stay. Eventually they will simply merge into the mainstream of motion pictures and disappear as a labeled sub-division. Nothing can stop this." In Britain, however, Deep Throat was not approved in its uncut form until 2000 and not shown publicly until June 2005.

One important court case in the U.S. was Miller v. California (1973). The case established that obscenity was not legally protected, but the case also established the Miller test, a three-pronged test to determine obscenity (which is not legal) as opposed to indecency (which may or may not be legal).

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

With the arrival of the home video cassette recorder in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the pornographic movie industry experienced massive growth and spawned adult stars like Seka, Ron Jeremy, Christy Canyon, Ginger Lynn, John Holmes, and Traci Lords and directors, such as Gregory Dark. By 1982, most pornographic films were being shot on the cheaper and more convenient medium of videotape. Many film directors resisted this shift at first because of the different image quality that video tape produced, however, those who did change soon were collecting most of the industry's profits since consumers overwhelmingly preferred the new format. The technology change happened quickly and completely when directors realised that continuing to shoot on film was no longer a profitable option. This change moved the films out of the theaters and into people's private homes. This was the end of the age of big budget productions and the mainstreaming of pornography. It soon went back to its earthy roots and expanded to cover every fetish possible since filming was now so inexpensive. Instead of hundreds of pornographic films being made each year, thousands now were, including compilations of just the sex scenes from various videos. One could now not only watch pornography in the comfort and privacy of one's own home, but also find more choices available to satisfy specific fantasies and fetishes.

Similarly, the camcorder spurred changes in pornography in the 1980s, when people could make their own amateur sex movies, whether for private use, or for wider distribution.

The year 1987 saw an important legal case in the U.S. when the de facto result of California v. Freeman was the legalization of hardcore pornography. Ironically, the prosecution of Harold Freeman was initially planned as the first in a series of legal cases that would have effectively outlawed the production of such movies.

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the late 1990s, pornographic films were distributed on DVD. These offered better quality picture and sound than the previous video format and allowed innovations such as "interactive" videos that let users choose such variables as multiple camera angles, multiple endings and computer-only DVD content.

The introduction and widespread availability of the Internet further changed the way pornography was distributed. Previously videos would be ordered from an adult bookstore, or through mail-order; but with the Internet people could watch pornographic movies on their computers, and instead of waiting weeks for an order to arrive, a movie could be downloaded within minutes (or, later, within a few seconds).

Pornography can be distributed over the Internet in a number of ways, including paysites, video hosting services, and peer-to-peer file sharing. While pornography had been traded electronically since the 1980s, it was in the invention of the World Wide Web in 1991 as well as the opening of the Internet to the general public around the same time that led to an explosion in online pornography.

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Viv Thomas, Paul Thomas, Andrew Blake, Antonio Adamo, and Rocco Siffredi were prominent directors of pornographic films in the 1990s. In 1998, the Danish, Oscar-nominated film production company Zentropa became the world's first mainstream film company to openly produce hardcore pornographic films, starting with Constance (1998). That same year, Zentropa also produced Idioterne (1998), directed by Lars von Trier, which won many international awards and was nominated for a Golden Palm in Cannes. The film includes a shower sequence with a male erection and an orgy scene with close-up penetration footage (the camera viewpoint is from the ankles of the participants, and the close-ups leave no doubt as to what is taking place). Idioterne started a wave of international mainstream arthouse films featuring explicit sexual images, such as Catherine Breillat's Romance, which starred pornstar Rocco Siffredi.

In 1999, the Danish TV-channel Kanal København started broadcasting hardcore films at night, uncoded and freely available to any TV-viewer in the Copenhagen area (as of 2009, this is still the case, courtesy of Innocent Pictures, a company started by Zentropa)

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The global pornographic film industry is dominated by the United States, with the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California being the heart of the industry. This being the case, most figures on the size of the industry refer solely to the United States. Pornographic film studios are also located in Houston, Texas, Las Vegas, Nevada, and in New York City. These produce primarily amateur or "independent" porn films.

In 1975, the total retail value of all the hardcore pornography in the United States was estimated at $5–10 million. The 1979, Revision of the Federal Criminal Code stated that "in Los Angeles alone, the porno business does $100 million a year in gross retain volume." According to the 1986 Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, American adult entertainment industry has grown considerably over the past thirty years by continually changing and expanding to appeal to new markets, though the production is considered to be low-profile and clandestine.

The total current income of the country's adult entertainment is often estimated at $10–13 billion, of which $4–6 billion are legal. The figure is often credited to a study by Forrester Research and was lowered in 1998. In 2007 The Observer newspaper also gave a figure of $13 billion. Other sources, quoted by Forbes (Adams Media Research, Veronis Suhler Communications Industry Report, and IVD), even taking into consideration all possible means (video networks and pay-per-view movies on cable and satellite, web sites, in-room hotel movies, phone sex, sex toys, and magazines) mention the $2.6–3.9 billion figure (without the cellphone component). USA Today claimed in 2003 that websites such as Danni's Hard Drive and Cybererotica.com generated $2 billion in revenue in that year, which was allegedly about 10% of the overall domestic porn market at the time. The adult movies income (from sale and rent) was once estimated by AVN Publications at $4.3 billion but the figure obtaining is unclear. According to the 2001 Forbes data the annual income distribution is:

Adult Video $500 million to $1.8 billion

Internet $1 billion

Magazines $1 billion

Pay-per-view $128 million

Mobile $30 million

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The Online Journalism Review, published by the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California, weighed in with an analysis that favored Forbes' number. The financial extent of adult films, distributed in hotels, is hard to estimate—hotels keep statistics to themselves or do not keep them at all.

The world's largest adult movie studio Vivid Entertainment generates an estimated $100 million a year in revenue, distributing 60 films annually and selling them in video stores, hotel rooms, on cable systems, and on the internet. Spanish-based studio Private Media Group was listed on the NASDAQ until November 2011. Video rentals soared from just under 80 million in 1985 to a half-billion by 1993. Some subsidiaries of major corporations are the largest pornography sellers, like News Corporation's DirecTV. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, once pulled in $50 million from adult programming. Revenues of companies such as Playboy and Hustler were small by comparison.

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Pornographic films attempt to present a sexual fantasy and the actors selected for a particular role are primarily selected on their ability to create that fantasy. Depending on the genre of the film, the on-screen appearance and physical features of the main actors and their ability to create the sexual mood of the film is of critical importance. Most actors specialise in certain genres. Irrespective of the genre, most actors are required to appear nude in pornographic films.

In heterosexual sex films, the primary focus is on the women in them, who are mostly selected for their willingness and experience in performing the required sex acts and on their on-screen appearance. Most male performers in heterosexual pornography are generally selected less for their looks than for their sexual prowess, namely their ability to do three things: achieve an erection while on a busy film set, maintain that erection while performing on camera, and then ejaculate on cue.

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Traditionally, pornographic film actors mainined a low profile, using pseudonyms to maintain a level of anonymity. Arguably the first pornstar to become a household name was Linda Lovelace (a pseudonym) from the United States, who starred in the 1972 feature Deep Throat. Casey Donovan, star of the first mainstream pornographic hit Boys in the Sand in 1971, achieved name recognition nearly a year before Deep Throat debuted. The success of Deep Throat, which grossed millions of dollars worldwide, spawned a slew of other films and pornographic film stars such as Marilyn Chambers (Behind the Green Door), Gloria Leonard (The Opening of Misty Beethoven), Georgina Spelvin (The Devil in Miss Jones), and Bambi Woods (Debbie Does Dallas). Other well-known performers from the 1970s and early 1980s included Seka, John Holmes, Ginger Lynn Allen, Veronica Hart, Nina Hartley and Amber Lynn.

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the United States, the Supreme Court held in 1969 that State laws making mere private possession of obscene material a crime are invalid. Further attempts were made in the 1970s in the United States to close down the pornography industry, this time by prosecuting those in the industry on prostitution charges. The prosecution started in the courts in California in the case of People v. Freeman. The California Supreme Court acquitted Freeman and distinguished between someone who takes part in a sexual relationship for money (prostitution) versus someone whose role is merely portraying a sexual relationship on-screen as part of their acting performance. The State did not appeal to the United States Supreme Court making the decision binding in California, where most pornographic films are made today.

At present, no other state in the United States has either implemented or accepted this legal distinction between commercial pornography performers versus prostitutes as shown in the Florida case where sex film maker Clinton Raymond McCowen, aka "Ray Guhn", was indicted on charges of "soliciting and engaging in prostitution" for his creation of pornography films which included "McCowen and his associates recruited up to 100 local men and women to participate in group sex scenes, the affidavit says." The distinction that California has in its legal determination in the Freeman decision is usually denied in most states' local prostitution laws, which do not specifically exclude performers from such inclusion.

In some cases, some states have ratified their local state laws for inclusion to prevent California's Freeman decision to be applied to actors who are paid a fee for sexual actions within their state borders. One example is the state of Texas whose prostitution law specifically states:

An offense is established under Subsection (a)(1) whether the actor is to receive or pay a fee. An offense is established under Subsection (a)(2) whether the actor solicits a person to hire him or offers to hire the person solicited.

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author avatar Pornographic films
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

In the United States, federal law prohibits the sale, distribution or dissemination of obscene materials through the mail, over the broadcast airwaves, on cable or satellite TV, on the Internet, over the telephone or by any other means that cross state lines. Most states also have specific laws banning the sale or distribution of obscene pornography within state borders. The only protection for obscene material recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States is personal possession in the home Stanley v. Georgia.

The Supreme Court of the United States affirmed in Miller v. California that obscenity was not protected speech. Further, the court ruled that each community is responsible for setting its own standards about what is considered to be obscene material. If pornographic material is prosecuted and brought to trial, a jury can deem it obscene based on:

whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards" would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest

whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state law and

whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

In many countries pornography is legal to distribute and to produce, however, there are some restrictions. Pornography is also banned in some countries, in particular in the Muslim world and China and India, but can be accessed through the Internet in some of these nations.

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Where in heaven and on Earth did all these comments come from? In as much as I am not comfortable, I think they seem genuine. Thanks a lot guys....

by the way, I like the comment with the screen writer's salary... What a great info and I sure will take note of that. Thanks once again guys.

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author avatar Greencha
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Thanks thats really interesting Good luck with yours....

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Thanks a lot greencha

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author avatar Andy McGuirie
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Thanks for the info, buddy. I am working on a screenplay now and I will remember this article when the appropriate time comes.

By the way, how did you generate so many followers/views? I'm still struggling with exposure even with highly rated articles on hubpages

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

You are highly welcome friend.... What are we here for? As for your question, I am also on hubpages and I think you will find the answer to your question in this very hub of mine...

http://funommakama3.hubpages.com/hub/The-Hubbing-Experience-The-Starting-Point-Of-An-Enthusiastic-And-Energetic-Newbies-Journey

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author avatar Christopher Dapo
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

Wonderful article, Funom! I might try these now that you've enlightened me to their whereabouts. I'm originally a game designer but my work could also spawn some fascinating movies, too.

Thanks for the great insight and for providing such detailed information. I know who I'll think of if things work out ;)

- Christopher

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

I am happy it helped you a lot. As a game designer who can also work out movies from your creativity, I advice you submit your material to Amazon studios, It is simply the best place for you. I'm really glad this helped.

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author avatar Johnny Knox
21st Jun 2013 (#)

Great article and quite useful tips for any aspiring writer, Funom. Many thanks for sharing!

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author avatar Funom Makama
22nd Jun 2013 (#)

thanks Johnny Knox

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
28th Jun 2013 (#)

Wow!
This page appears to be the second longest page after your 1000 songs page.

You have astounding capabilities and talents more than being a doc.

Best wishes.

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author avatar Funom Makama
29th Jun 2013 (#)

Thanks a lot Rath... It's been a while. I hope you are doing great

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author avatar Ptrikha
29th Sep 2014 (#)

Great article and good many choices. I will check out on Amazon studios.

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