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GENRE/

BARTHES
CODES

GENERIC CONVENTIONS
OF YOUR FILM
Which Genre(s) does your film belong to ?
The Ghost Writer is a hybrid of comedy (subgenres are improvisation and
deadpan) and mystery. The comedy conventions are use of two shots and
shot-reverse-shots to reinforce the use of dialogue and relationship
between the two main protagonists. Fast pace and snappy cuts further
demonstrate this. Comedic improvisational and witty dialogue play to the
audiences expectations. The mystery genre is downplayed but is enforced
by the narrative themes and characters
Which conventions did you NOT follow?(How did you vary the generic
conventions)
We subverted the mystery genre by having the ghost writers identity be an
extremely obvious twist to follow the comedy genre, there is a flashback
of a scene the audience has seen literally a minute ago. Some conventions
were used tongue in cheek, Alphonse, the counterpart to Steves
determined personality, creates a film so bad its hyperbole.

COMPARE AND
CONTRAST YOUR FILM
Compare and contrast your film to 3 examples(YOUR INFLUENTIAL FILMS).
Narrative structure
Plot
Fight Club
The Naked Gun
Themes
Amateurish versus professional
Characters
Flight of the Concords
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Kung Fury
The Worlds End

Setting/mise-en-scene
Harry Potter
Flight of the Concords
Cinematography/Editing (for example, types of shot, pace, transitions, music)
Grand Budapest Hotel

BARTHES CODES
Apply Barthes Codes to your film
For example, how did you create expectation (enigma)
As a comedy, subverting expectation is the key to making a successful film. A good example of subverting
expectation would be when The Ghost Writer has a massive monologue, talking about his past and
greatness; Steve and Alphonse, who have spent all of the movie dedicated to tracking him down, dont care
at all about who he is, they just want their money back. This is reinforced by the cuts to Steve and Alphonse
playing scrabble and a buzzer during the monologue.
How did you build suspense (action enigma etc.)
The primary enigma would be the mystery of the Ghost Writers identity, and as a comedy, his feats and
accomplishments are exaggerated to the point of him being the biggest conspiracy in Hollywood. When
Steve and Alphonse enter the Ghost Writers manor, the normally fast paced film moves a lot more slowly
and there are close up shots of weird paintings, reinforcing the mystery and weirdness of the character.
How did you use symbolism?
As a comedy, symbolism was downplayed but there are subtle indications. For example, both Steve and
Alphonse wear hats and similar style of clothing, this was intentional because it references the fact that they
have made the exact same movie. The two shots reinforce this. In every scene with The Ghost Writer
himself, he is never in the same shot as Steve and Alphonse, exaggerating his mysterious and ghostly nature
Did you create any intertextual references? (referential)
Terry has the green data wall from the Matrix as his desktop background, reinforcing the hacker character
clichs.

GENRE AS A
CONCEPT
Do you think genre is a useful concept to apply to your short film?
I am of the belief that genre can be used as a guideline but not a
rulebook. In my opinion the best films are ones which subvert the genre
expectations. Genre is good for pinning down the audience and
constructing, but you will be limited creatively if you follow every single
convention horrors films are the worst offenders. For example, every
slasher films antagonist is interchangeable.
Commercial (audiences depend on recognition but is this as
important for a short film?)
To an extent, no. I would say that genre conventions in blockbusters
are especially important as they need to appeal to a wide an audience
as possible. But with short films, I think genre is used to be subverted
rather than followed. For example, Im Here is a romance with
conventions from a sci-fi movie.