Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Stereotypical Conventions in Modern Hollywood Film

I have decided that as a response to my essay findings, I want to produce a ridiculous Hollywood film trailer. I want the trailer to act as a spoof, appearing as if trying to cram in every popular genre we see today in Hollywood to target a fictional mass audience. To achieve this, I have been considering the stereotypical approaches in modern film.

One popular style of directing we see emerging is the found footage approach. Seen in films like 'The Balir Witch Project' and 'Cloverfield,' the use of shaky handheld cameras is a stylized approach incorporated in many films today.

Although chronicle doesn't seem to market itself as a found footage film (real life, usually a hoax), it mimics this jerky home-video style most likely due to the fact that viewers associate it with the popular 'Paranormal Activity' franchise. The film could probably have been directed using a traditional approach and had the same effect, whereas other found footage films often find a relevant use for the shaky approach (group of friends shooting a documentary, man documenting a mysterious monster's rampage through the city on a home video camera).

Another popular theme we can see in film is the alien invasion/ disaster movie. Impressive visual effects showing some of man's greatest architectural marvels crumbling to the ground seems to market well to the general modern filmgoer. The theme of cities falling and mankind coming to end has been repeated countless times. A recent film I saw which seemed to follow these safe conventions was 'Battle: Los Angeles.' Likely due to a raised interest in the American armed forces due current conflict in foreign countries, and the 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare' franchise, the film tracks a team of american marines readying themselves for duty. When supposed astroids turn out to be alien invaders, the team are sent to defend the city of LA. The character backstories were weak and Cliché, making it hard to relate to any of the characters. The film simply seemed to show a lazy safe approach to producing a movie for the mass market:

Romance is also a popular theme in modern film. Twilight seems to be to take classic horror conventions such as Vampires and Werewolves, and add a theme of romance and teen angst. Although I have not seen or read anything from the Twilight series, here is a trailer:

There is also the hearty family comedy. With this genre, we often witness some sort of transformation conveying a message. Perhaps a heartless villain is forced to watch over a child, developing a fatherlike bond as a result and causing him to change his evil ways. Perhaps there is a coming of age plot line, where a group of friends must accept that they are growing up and must move on from their childhood traditions to support a family. Perhaps a father sets out to teach his children to value family and health as oppose to money and material products:

These are just the few genres that I could incorporate in my trailer. Hopefully, by working to these obvious genres, I can create a ridiculous Hollywood film trailer, outlining the receptive style in mainstream modern film as oppose to the individual style of the auteur.

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