The High Concept Film

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

During the late 1970s, Justin Wyatt, a professor of radio, television, and film at the University of North Texas and a former market research analysis in the film industry, argues, a new approach to commercial filmmaking emerged, summed up by the phrase “high concept.” The essence of high concept, he explains, “is a striking, easily reducible narrative which also offers a high degree of marketability”. Typically, high concept films combined several elements: a narrative that could be summarized in a single phrase; an image or song that the potential audience associated with the film; “total look” style of cinematography characteristic of television and magazine advertisements and music videos; pre-sold stars or subject matter; character typing rather than character exposition; and merchandising tie-ins. (High Concept: Movies and Marketing in Hollywood (Texas Film Studies Series)

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