Perspectives on Film: Genre
The film is one of the most outstanding forms of entertainment. Most times, we are left wondering how the concept of a certain film came into existence, how it was made possible, and how it could also be replicated in other forms.
The Study of the film is what forces our imagination to move beyond how a film makes us feel. It forces us to ask why a certain film is better than another and also makes us look beyond the story to focus on the form of the film and the making of such a film.
Historical Aspect of Film / Television genre
Years before live action could be photographed, the theatres were the main place where films could be enjoyed, and it was strictly based on on-stage performance. However, due to the advent of technological advancement, motion pictures have taken over and almost forcing stage performance out of business, making people enjoy films from the comfort of their homes. With technological improvements comes critical and analytical thinking of how films are done, ought to be done, and things to be put in place for a perfect motion picture.
Various debates have arisen regarding motion pictures, which made it viewed as an art, a social phenomenon, a political tool, and technology. All these debates and discussions first ensued outside the realms of academics. These discussions kicked-started from prominent filmmakers such as Vsevolod Pudovkin, Sergei Eisenstein, and Maya Deren to social critics such as John Grierson, Siegfried Kracauer, and André Bazin. It was from these various discussions and debates that the academic study of film in the years after the Second World War took off.
The 1870s marked the creation of the first "motion picture," which was designed by Eadweard Muybridge using a series of twenty-four cameras set at one-foot intervals for the photographing of a horse gallop along a racetrack.
It was the American inventor Thomas Edison and his assistant William Dickson, who revolutionized the development of the basic film camera system that would later end up as the standard equipment of the film industry. This paradigm shift was rightly considered by Edison to be the future of the film industry.
Over the years, the film industry has witnessed the rise of prominent actors, directors, cinematographers, and even the evolution of technology has made the study of films to be a serious and concrete business. All these led to the development of the television genre.
Study of Film and Television Genre
The study of film and television genre is an act of learning more about a film, what is put into the production of the film, its directors, or producers. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the film industry witnessed the awaken of modernization, which led to the resurgence of film producers, directors and birthed the educational abstract.
In the study of films, Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, one of the foremost directors and the most studied filmmaker, identified the need to move beyond passive viewing of the content and focus on how the film's content is expressed. His opinion is based on the pattern of relationships among elements in the whole film, which is the interrelationship of both narrative and stylistic elements.
The narrative of a film deals with how the filmmaker tells us about a series of events and his choice on how to present such a narrative. The narrative method employed by the filmmaker may be from an omniscient point of view or the point of view of a certain character.
In film study, the stylistic elements are also of utmost importance. The foremost stylistic element is mise-en-scene. This is one of the most important aspects of filmmaking; it is from a French word which literally means "placing on stage." Mise-en-scene has to do with the meticulous arrangement of stage properties and the scenery in a play. In filmmaking parlance, the term mise-en-scene deals with everything in front of the camera, such as the lighting, actors, costume, make-up setting, and staging- essentially, the film's visual.
After the Mise en scene, you will progress to another stylistic element, which is the cinematography. Cinematography is the act of moving image capturing on film, which is then manipulated to give perfect images. For a great effect, one should be able to fully utilize and create a balance between the miss-en-scene and cinematographic.
Another stylistic element rooted in the film study is editing. The editing process is another important element that has to do with the coordination of two shots for a perfect combination of a scene.
Lastly, the role of sound in filmmaking cannot be overemphasized. Sound can be in three forms, speech, music, and noise. This sound can also be a part of the story world or mere external factor.
A student of the film should be able to give a vivid explanation and identify the crucial technical input poured into the construction of a film or a television genre. The sole purpose of this is to perfectly articulate the emotional, psychological, and cultural elements to have a broader understanding of filmmaking. To achieve this, a high level of concentration is required when we see films from different eras, not only for entertainment but also for critical appraisal of the stylistic elements employed and the chain of events that influence the filmmaker's choice.
This is the era of the motion picture, and the use of sophisticated equipment has made films a bit complicated to understand, and film studies help untangle the knot created by such complications. Again, the study of the film helps understand the art of film making.
Author: Frank Taylor