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Moving Images


Films have always been created with diverse views in mind in that some have been created to serve entertainment purposes, others as exposes while others have been created for educational use. However, the most common feature in all this film is the influence of the genre they are based in and the mindset of the director. Directors often influence the course of the film in that most of these films reflect their desires and interests. This is the reason certain movies can only be identified with particular directors. Another thing that affects the making of films is their genre. Different genres demand distinct methods of directing. For instance, horror movies may require enhanced cinematography than drama films. This is because the scene rather than the actors influence the outcome of horror movies. This essay will review diverse elements related to films in the American society and other societies.

Television Series as Work of Art

Anderson (2008) asks a question that many people would ask in a response to HBOs deed to influence audiences to view TV series as works of art. He states that TV programs have always been seen as eye-catching attractions meant to lure the audiences to the adverts on TV. No one had ever dreamed that these TV serials could be looked at in any other way because of its cinematography and the messages conveyed by the movies. However, some scholars think that these serials can be looked at as works of art especially looking at the skill required to produce a watchable program. Additionally, TV series can be interpreted as cultural representatives in that most of them contain some cultural sense. In addition, they are full of social implications.

However, the fact that these programs still inspire a feeling of indifference, and bad nostalgia implies that the effort by some quarters to view the films as a work of art is still misplaced. HBO has tried its best to change these beliefs and make people see TV series as works of art. Their efforts began when the stellar TV series began airing. The thought behind their action was that works of art get a huge respect for their audiences. The thrill that makes people pays huge amounts of money to either view a gallery or buy a piece of art comes stems from the respect that these audiences proffer to the artists and the art itself. From this belief, HBO noted that altering people’s attitudes would be a step in the right direction in TV broadcasting.

The Sopranos integrates a mixture of generic influences, cinematic and televisual elements. The series also offers an array of a trendy culture and past media and basic forms. Perhaps the main difference between The Sopranos and another series is the inter-textual references that bring an assurance that the scenes beyond the one the audience are watching would be likable. In truth, The Sopranos makes the audience like they belong to the program because apart from enhancing the knowledge possessed by the audience, it also contains aspects synonymous with the audience.

Iconography, Conventions and Audience Expectations of the Horror Genre

Trends in audience perceptions on horror films

The years between 1930 and 1970 oversaw the making of horror films, which were obviously poor in quality compared to other film genres. Indeed, these programs were few and sparsely distributed in TV since most people viewed them as imitations of real life’s occurrences. The horror movies were left for the children and the young adults because the adults thought that it was absurd to watch such movies. Occasionally, these movies would be aired in theaters when all the other film genres have been exhausted. Some movies show the perceptions of people towards this genre. However, other films such as Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963) helped to change these perceptions partly because of the quality of its pictures and plot. Additionally, the fact that the movies were set in the distant past implied that any normalcy synonymous with horror movies had been removed. This implied that the audience could watch these movies without any fright because the notion that they could happen in reality was long gone.

However, some such as Them (1954) had glimpses of reality as the ants in the film seemed to portray the future. Indeed, the supposition that the impact of the atomic bomb and the Cold War would create monsters was the basis for this film. However, the audience were increasing from one day to the next indicating the changing insight into the horror genre. Even then, the directors of such films endeavored to separate the audience from the events happening in the film. This happened after the realization that horror movies inspired fear that did not augur well with the audience.

Iconography of Horror Movies Screaming is the main feature often seen in horror films, and it puts a focus on the commencement of evil in the story. Screaming often occurs after the discovery of a spooky element capable of taking someone’s life. Screaming in horror films often connote human fear for the unexpected while the title of the film is designed to indicate that the audience will experience fear while watching the movie. Although horror films are purposed at bringing fear and edginess in the audience, some incorporate several aspects to make them unforgettable. The adrenaline levels of the audience are raised in the process meaning that the audience is engaged throughout the film. There are several elements synonymous with horror films namely

Discovery – This is usually seen at the beginning of the film as the characters go on with their endeavors usually an expedition. Like the rest of the characters congregate in one place, one character, usually the adventurous one, ventures into another scene. He or she becomes the first to discover the evil, which either kills him or her or maims her. The others come to find out about the existence of the evil later.

Confirmation – This is the point where the characters are persuaded that the evil exists. This raises the fear of the characters as they try to escape while others strategize on how to attack the evil and exterminate it. More times than not, several characters die in the process. The few that remain are successful in getting rid of the evil.

Conventions of Horror Films

There are several conventions that and differentiate and define the horror genre. These may include stylistic conventions or other conventions that make the genre a distinction from the others. The stylistic conventions may include


The sound and music in horror films are made in such a way to create suspense that informs the viewer of the incoming danger in the subsequent scenes. These sounds are scary and indicate that the action is creepy. In the past, horror films did not put much emphasis on sound and music as they put it nowadays. This made the films appear low quality and unwatchable because they never met their purpose of scaring people. Even so, they had a certain effect on the viewers because they were horrific. Music and sound increase the nervousness of the viewers because of their chilliness. Music has been used over time to signify a horror movie such that there are sounds that are synonymous with the genre.


Although all genres lighting is used in several film genres to portray different things in diverse scenes, the horror genre is known to use light and lack of it extensively. Indeed, horror movies are synonymous with low lighting, which enables the directors to produce a contrast of intense light and darkness. Therefore, generating shadows vital in providing a mood needed in a horror film. Scholars state that the shadows act as imagery allowed horror and noir to make the dark stories to be displayed on the screen. Low lighting creates a huge suspense because both the characters and the audience have no idea of what is surrounding them. Moreover, the evil in these films operate more effectively in the darkness implying that during the darkness, the audience is expecting to view an evil event. This creates anxiety and fear in the audience as it foreshadows future events in that particular movie. In this sense, horror films can be known through low lighting, which changes as the film reaches certain points.

In truth, the faint light introduces a dark atmosphere where the unknown often operates while surrounding the actors. The viewers are obviously frightened by these events since they have no idea of what is going to ensue. Most of them sympathize with the characters, and this becomes the reason they get scared throughout the movie. Since viewers have a clue of the principles of a horror film, they have an estimate of what is going to occur to the character. However, they do not know what exactly will happen and at what time. This leaves them at the highest point of suspense.

Low –lighting was an emphasis of horror films in the past since the art of filmmaking was still low. However, some modern horror films do not focus on light so much as the characters and the sounds in the film. The setting of the movie is also very important because it produces that chilling effect. For instance, Wrong Turn series are set in the forest where the monsters become the hallmark of the movie because they have experience in this environment.

Camera Work

A particular camera work has become synonymous with horror movies hence becoming one of its conventions. Canted angles, intense close-ups, shots from both the point of view and constant shots have become the elements that built anxiety within the audience. Indeed, horror movies exhibit slow movement of the camera, which symbolize that an event is about to occur. This element coupled with the underlying music and sounds generates tension among the viewers hence enhancing the effect of the cinema on the viewers.

The camera allows the viewers to watch the movie in a different way from other movies since this convention can show the subsequent events. This implies that horror movies have an aura of predictability that is attractive to many audiences. Changing these conventions may have a distinctive effect on several groups of audiences since a change is always opinionated. Some may be irked by the changes because of the attractiveness of knowing what is happening next while some may be thrilled due to the undesirability of predictability. However, the outcome of genres in film must be predictable since it is the only way that these genres can be defined. Moreover, an audience chooses to watch a certain genre because of the conventions identified with it. This implies that there have very little changes in the conventions of horror movies concerning camera styles since its inception due to the needs of the audiences.

The horror film conventions and iconography defined above defined viewers expectations as they are the main elements of horror movies. However, these expectations have changed over time, as the audiences demand movies that do not necessarily imitate reality. Moreover, since the quality of pictures in movies was stressed, the viewers expected that the horror genre would be made of high-quality pictures too. Recently, any movie with a low picture quality is never watched since the critics start by reviewing the quality of the images in the film.

National and international cinema

Although Hollywood cinemas may have different settings, they reflect the production strategies synonymous with American. Although the setting may appear to be other parts of the world, the strategies always used reflect Hollywood’s style. Most American films, including those done in other parts of the world are founded on Hollywood values and principles. One watches a movie and without being told the location of the production, they sense that it is from Hollywood from the quality of pictures and the plot of the film. Hollywood films have become very popular to an extent that they can no longer be termed as national cinema. Indeed, most of the events in the Hollywood movies emphasize on events happening in other countries rather than those happening in America. Perhaps the major element that shows the American in the movies is the actors who hail from the Hollywood. However, the improvement of the film industry all over the world implies the existence of movies that imitate, or differentiate itself from Hollywood. One such cinema is the British Cinema, which is seen as imitating the strategies used in Hollywood.

Indeed, British Cinema is seen as lacking its culture as it portrays cultures from other parts of the world. However, this aspect has catered for the Western, who is thrilled by the prospect of watching diverse culture apart from their culture. An example of such a flick is the Crocodile Dundee. The fact that these movies may utilize non-American actors does not imply that they are not imitating Hollywood. In fact, these actors play Hollywood characters making them seem like Hollywood movies. Therefore, while movies from different parts of the world try to have a national outlook, the effect of Hollywood standards is still visible in their films. This is perhaps Hollywood has been taunted as the best film production in the universe, a fact that is arguably true.

The impact of the Director on the outcome of a film

Films combine elements such as the script, the setting, the actors, the designers, the director, and the support staff in its production. However, the director is seen as the major element that determines the course of the film because his or her ideas come to the fore during the production of the film. The fact that film production requires versatility implies that the director can choose to change particular aspects to fit the preferences of his or her audiences. This can also be seen in the outcomes of films as two directors can direct a movie and the two movies receive different receptions from the audiences. Moreover, different genres have different directors.

Elements of cinematography such as the camera angle are the main factors that determine the impact of directors on a film. These elements make the director the author of the movie and hence he or she is responsible for all the events in the movie. One director who portrays the ideas in the auteur theory is Joss Whedon, whose style of directing is seen to influence the outcome of the film.

Whedon has revolutionized auteur theory by establishing another form through his unchanged production staff. Indeed, Whedon uses a skilled staff motivated by their previous successes, scripts that are proven factually and statistically and support from other directors, producers, and writers in this field. In truth, his reliance on experience has made him one of the most revered directors in the industry. His recurring utilization of a creative team and his collectively structured production strategy has enabled him to create an evolution in the auteur theory.

Whedon’s Strategy and his production personnel have influenced movies since he started directing film in 1997. This is evident in his movie Buffy made his first movie in the years 1997. Although his style of directing was inspired by those of former successful directors, Whedon went further and created a brand of his own seen as one of the best in the industry up to date.

The movies created by Whedon have always had a future look like most of them are based on fictitious events occurring in the future. Moreover, his act of thinking outside the ordinary has allowed him to achieve great strides in the industry. This aspect in him has, however, developed over time as it can be seen from programs including as Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, and the Avengers. Therefore, the notion that film ooze the character of its director is entirely true mainly because of the strategies and the production team.

High Art and commercial forms

The concept of postmodernism has posed many challenges in its definition mainly because it has recently been used. Moreover, different people have distinct definitions of the term implying that there is no agreement yet on its universal meaning. Art has been used to portray this fact although at different stages since every artist comes up with a piece that best explains what they think postmodernism is. This implies that the concept will be ever-present in this era of globalization as the arts industry is moving in that direction.

Multiculturalism and Globalization are always increasing in the current world because of the linkage of economies and politics. However, some studies show that the concept of postmodernism is slowly being replaced by the creolization. In this sense, creolization has a deeper meaning than multiculturalism. This is because the former implies the rise of original tribes such as Africans, Spanish among others. Creolization does not imply the mixture of cultures but an up rise of individual cultures. Multiculturalism, on the other hand, implies that a country has a mixture of cultures. This brings in the concept of high art and art meant for commercial purposes. Artwork in the current world has been made for commercial purposes since the only intention is money minting. Nevertheless, some forms of art such as music videos still have a sense of high art where the listeners are inspired by the foundations of the music.

Elvis Presley, King Creole (1958) can be used as a film depicting high art because the film is based on rock music, which was Presley’s forte. The film is about a young man named Danny, who fails in his exams and decides to take a job at a club to support his family. The people who have a fetish for rock music can only realize the essence of this film. This means that the film is not meant for multitudes and hence cannot be used for commercial purposes.

Recently, music videos, movies, and even serial have been designed to attract people to watch the adverts on TV. However, there are some, which still stress on the foundations of filmmaking. This is a proper indication of the direction that the film industry is moving as producers, actors, and even directors focus on making more money.