Is Genre the Universal Language? Audio podcast of panel session I hosted at the 2014 Screen Producers Australia conference is now available. Joining me on stage where three eminent producers and directors - Roy Lee (The Ring, The Grudge, Bates Motel) Michael Rymer (American Horror Story, Battlestar Galactica, Hannibal) & Chris Brown (Daybreak’s, Bait, The Railwayman).
It was a great discussion offering genuine insight on both creative and commercial elements of development & production of Horror, SciFi and Fantasy films. You can listen to the full discussion here.
“Genre films are understood universally – and make up the greatest proportion of the top films at the yearly box office. A genre film can dissolve cultural and language barriers at film markets all over the world. They attract audiences and have the most commercial appeal in the international marketplace. However creatively they are often misunderstood.
While some of global Hollywood’s great masters of cinema are acknowledged for their classic genre work (Ford, Capra, Scott, Scorsese) – or for transcending genre with high concept work in these categories – the commercial success of genre tends to position most films to play to the lowest common denominator.
Genre films provide globally recognisable plots, characters and settings, but they also involve a complex layering of psychology and thematic, compelling and enduring characters – and an intense sense of place – all packaged with ironic flourishes and kinetic energy.
This session will unravel some of the challenges of staying true to a genre and to your audience. It’s this combination of elements that makes producing genre films fascinating. Panelists will discuss their approach to the highly creative aspects of genre filmmaking.
In today’s challenging environment of rapidly changing consumer habits, producers are also recalibrating approaches to releasing and marketing a genre film. While genre films are known for their box office clout many do also fail – what are the pitfalls? How easy are they to finance? Panelists will also discuss their experiences of setting up and producing a genre film compared to their work in drama”
Roy Lee - Producer, Vertigo Entertainment US
Michael Rymer – Producer/Writer/Director – Astral Pictures
Chris Brown – Producer, Pictures In Paradise
Mike Jones – Head of Story Development, Portal Entertainment, UK