THE OCCURRENCE WITH TWO HEADS – project II

Research

Stuff from the brief / two heads research:

CatDog

(I vageuly remember watching it as a kid, but I know that I LOVED IT)

“The series follows the adventures of CatDog, a conjoined twin hybrid of a cat and dog with two heads (one at either end of its single body) and no tail or hind legs. The series depicts them as opposites, with disparate interests: Dog loves rock n’ roll, Cat loves Opera and classical polka. Dog loves to chase garbage trucks, Cat loves to read. However, they are best friends.”(Reference 1)

You must imagine how terrible it must be for that cat to live with an idiot of a dog attached to his back. It’s a perfect design for a dissaster and that makes it a really good project reference.

Noah and Nelly in the Skylark

“…loosely based around Noah’s Ark. However, Calveley’s surreal interpretation involves two-headed talking animals reminiscent of the pushmi-pullyu known to Doctor Dolittle. Each animal has a cheerful, optimistic head at one end and an unhappy, pessimistic head at the other. Even the SkylArk itself is a longship with a figurehead at either end, one smiling, the other frowning. Although there is only one animal of each type, they are referred to in the plural – Brian the lions and Rose the Elephants.” (Reference 2)

Same concept as in the CatDog but this time all of the animals are a double which again makes it a easy conflict maker especially that one head is always only happy and the other only sad.

Individual research:

Courage the Cowardly Dog – Three headed son of the Chicken from Outer Space

“One head is nerdy and has glasses, one head is an angry jerk, and the center head is an idiot with his tongue hanging out. The outer heads have complete control over their respective arm and they often punch each other while arguing.” (Reference 3)

 

Monster’s University – Terry and Terri

“They bicker from time to time but are also shown to share genuine care between each other.” (Reference 3)

Again the same example, one heads is fun and the other one is not. Perfect creation for an argument.

How To Train Your Dragon – Barf and Belch

Even thought the Barf and Belch have different personalities, very simmilar to their raiders Ruffnut and Tuffnut Thorston who can never agree on anything, the dragons can actually work better as a team than the humans and they allso get annoyed when they’re told to do two different things in one time. Also they have to cooperate in order to use their super power (one breaths gas and the other one lits it to make an explosion). I think it’s a really nice reference .

American Horror Story: Freak Show – Bette and Dot Tattle

Last example, from a “real” life. Everyone else thinks of them as freaks (of course, humans are evil). One is naive and the other is sceptic. They love each other but one becomes tired of the other. They have to cooperate in order to move and as none of the other references they want to be separated (or at least one of them does). Another good example, maybe a little bit drastic.

Things from articles recomended by Jemma and understanding the problem:

As a first thing I have to say that unfortunately I didn’t managed to put my hands on “Animation: Genre and Authorship” by Paul Wells“Film/Genre” by Rick Altman and “Film Art: An Introduction” by Kristin Thompson & David Bordwell all because I’m doing it out of term and I didn’t manage to find a pdf… Now back to the thing.

Let’s start with explaining what is genre.

“Genre – any category of literature, music, or other forms of art or entertainment, whether written or spoken, audio or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres form by conventions that change over time as new genres are invented and the use of old ones is discontinued. Often, works fit into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions.” (Reference 4)

Now let’s take a closer look at some interesting pieces I chose frome “An Introduction to Genre Theory” by Daniel Chandler. 

The first piece is revealing some categories in which we can group things when talking about genre.

“a useful inventory of categories
used in film criticism, many of which have been accorded
the status of genres by various commentators:
Grouping by period or country (American
films of the 1930s), by director or star or producer
or writer or studio, by technical process
(Cinemascope films), by cycle (the ‘fallen
women’ films), by series (the 007 movies), by
style (German Expressionism), by structure
(narrative), by ideology (Reaganite cinema), by
venue (‘drive-in movies’), by purpose (home
movies), by audience (‘teenpix’), by subject or
theme (family film, paranoid-politics movies).
(Bordwell 1989, 148)
Another film theorist, Robert Stam, also refers to
common ways of categorizing films:
While some genres are based on story content
(the war film), other are borrowed from literature
(comedy, melodrama) or from other media
(the musical). Some are performer-based
(the Astaire-Rogers films) or budget-based
(blockbusters), while others are based on artistic
status (the art film), racial identity (Black
cinema), locat[ion] (the Western) or sexual
orientation (Queer cinema). (Stam 2000, 14).  (Reference 5)

 

Next quotations move the subject on how significant the existence of genre is to the society. I find this one important because we need to realise that even if something doesn’t have an official label it still is categorised by everyone (so if you wanna people think about something in a certain way – give it a label. God manipulation of the masses is so easy, right?)

“How we define a genre depends on our purposes;
the adequacy of our definition in terms of social science
at least must surely be related to the light that
the exploration sheds on the phenomenon. For instance
(and this is a key concern of mine), if we are
studying the way in which genre frames the reader’s
interpretation of a text then we would do well to
focus on how readers identify genres rather than on
theoretical distinctions. Defining genres may be
problematic, but even if theorists were to abandon
the concept, in everyday life people would continue
to categorize texts. John Swales does note that ‘a
discourse community’s nomenclature for genres is an
important source of insight’ (Swales 1990, 54),
though like many academic theorists he later adds
that such genre names ‘typically need further validation’
(ibid., 58). Some genre names would be likely to
be more widely-used than others: it would be interesting
to investigate the areas of popular consensus
and dissensus in relation to the everyday labeling of
mass media genres.” (Reference 5)

“Some Marxist commentators see genre as an instrument
of social control which reproduces the
dominant ideology. Within this perspective, the
genre ‘positions’ the audience in order to naturalize
the ideologies which are embedded in the text (Feuer
1992, 145).” (Reference 5)

“In contrast to those of a traditionalist literary
bent who tend to present ‘artistic’ texts as nongeneric,
it could be argued that it is impossible to
produce texts which bear no relationship whatsoever
to established genres. Indeed, Jacques Derrida proposed
that ‘a text cannot belong to no genre, it cannot
be without… a genre. Every text participates in
one or several genres, there is no genre-less text’
(Derrida 1981, 61).” (Reference 5)

Another important thing to remember is that classification changes with time, just liek everything.

“David Buckingham argues that ‘genre is not… simply
“given” by the culture: rather, it is in a constant process
of negotiation and change’ (Buckingham 1993,
137).” (Reference 5)

“As the generic corpus ceaselessly
expands, genres (and the relationships between
them) change over time; the conventions of
each genre shift, new genres and sub-genres emerge
and others are ‘discontinued’ (though note that certain
genres seem particularly long-lasting). Tzvetan
Todorov argued that ‘a new genre is always the
transformation of one or several old genres’ (cited in
Swales 1990, 36).” (Reference 5)

It is really important to understand where the categories come from and what for because it can happen that one day we wil have to give a genre to our film so we have to be aware that it’s not always an intuitional choice.

“From the perspective of many recent
commentators, genres first and foremost provide
frameworks within which texts are produced and
interpreted. Semiotically, a genre can be seen as a
shared code between the producers and interpreters
of texts included within it.” (Reference 5)

Every genre positions those who participate in
a text of that kind: as interviewer or interviewee,
as listener or storyteller, as a reader or
a writer, as a person interested in political
matters, as someone to be instructed or as
someone who instructs; each of these positionings
implies different possibilities for response
and for action. Each written text provides
a ‘reading position’ for readers, a position
constructed by the writer for the ‘ideal
reader’ of the text. (Kress 1988, 107)” (Reference 5)

Thus, embedded within texts are assumptions
about the ‘ideal reader’, including their attitudes towards
the subject matter and often their class, age,
gender and ethnicity.” (Reference 5)

“The genre may be considered as a practical
device for helping any mass medium to produce
consistently and efficiently and to relate
its production to the expectations of its customers.
Since it is also a practical device for
enabling individual media users to plan their
choices, it can be considered as a mechanism
for ordering the relations between the two
main parties to mass communication.
(McQuail 1987, 200)” (Reference 5)

To understand what audience expects, we have to know the value of genre.

“Abercrombie notes that ‘television producers set out to exploit genre
conventions… It… makes sound economic sense. Sets,
properties and costumes can be used over and over
again. Teams of stars, writers, directors and technicians
can be built up, giving economies of scale’
(Abercrombie 1996, 43). He adds that ‘genres permit
the creation and maintenance of a loyal audience
which becomes used to seeing programmes within a
genre’ (ibid.). Genres can be seen as ‘a means of controlling
demand’ (Neale 1980, 55).The relative stability
of genres enables producers to predict audience
expectations. Christine Gledhill notes that ‘differences
between genres meant different audiences
could be identified and catered to… This made it easier
to standardize and stabilise production’ (Gledhill
1985, 58). In relation to the mass media, genre is part
of the process of targeting different market sectors.” (Reference 5)

“A representation of a car chase only makes
sense in relation to all the others we have seen
– after all, we are unlikely to have experienced
one in reality, and if we did, we would, according
to this model, make sense of it by
turning it into another text, which we would
also understand intertextually, in terms of
what we have seen so often on our screens.
There is then a cultural knowledge of the concept
‘car chase’ that any one text is a prospectus
for, and that it used by the viewer to decode
it, and by the producer to encode it.
(Fiske 1987, 115)” (Reference 5)

The last piece from this article which I decided to share in here I choese because there is something I don’t agree with. in the list of the “main genres of melodrama” they grouped horro with fantastic genres – maybe it’s because the artile is more than 10 years old now but I’m pretty sure horror doesn’t have to be a fantasy many people proved that in a real life so. Why don’t we just class this as an example to prove that genres change with time.

melodrama

(Reference 5)

Now time for understanding the animation in the whole genre mess.

First we have a great quote by Brad Bird an American filmmaker known for animated and live-action films (ex. “The Iron Giant”, “Tomorrowland”).

“People think of animation only doing things where people are dancing around and doing a lot of histrionics, but animation is not a genre. And people keep saying, ‘The animation genre.’ It’s not a genre! A Western is a genre! Animation is an art form, and it can do any genre. You know, it can do a detective film, a cowboy film, a horror film, an R-rated film or a kids’ fairy tale. But it doesn’t do one thing. And, next time I hear, ‘What’s it like working in the animation genre?’ I’m going to punch that person!” (Reference 6)

Well…. I do agree. Animation is not a genre. And even after reading this article FORBES written by Scott Mendelson the guy who claims to like animation. I still stand that ANIMATION IS NOT A GENRE. here is a little quote explaining what’s the guy’s problem and underneath I explain why I don’t agree.

“Why can’t Dreamworks’ Penguins Of Madagascar be a gruesome R-rated Michael Mann-style crime caper? Why can’t we have straight dramas, pure human comedies, and R-rated horror tales that happen to be animated? Why can’t animation be a medium for the kind of comic book superhero film that would be much too expensive for live-action, or for the kind of R-rated superhero tale that can’t really justify the $150 million that a live-action version might cost? The freedom that animation offers is arguably limitless, yet so much of it, the best and the worst, is intended as childrens’ entertainment and crammed into the same “kid-friendly and broadly comedic adventure” box. But for the moment, animation in America is indeed a genre, since most American animated films target the same audience with many of the same tools.” (Reference 7)

“Until animation truly diversifies itself, until films like Watership Down, Cool World, Waking Life, Beowulf, and arguably Rango become at least a little more commonplace, we must unfortunately discuss the financial aspects, if not artistic aspects as well, of animated films as a genre, rather than merely a medium to tell all different kinds of stories in all different kinds of genres. Those who produce animated art and those who enjoy animated art don’t have to like it. I don’t like it much either, and we can encourage a change, but it’s the truth as of today. Until we have a wide variety of American animated films being produced for mass consumption, in different genres and aimed at different
audiences, American animation is unfortunately a category unto itself. It arguably shouldn’t be the case and certainly does not have to be the case, but for now, it most certainly is the case.” (Reference 7)

We have another person acting like the only animations ever made were created in America by BIG film industries (maybe those are the only ones he have seen?). I don’t get it. What about the rest of the world? They don’t make animations right? How idiotic it is to decide for the whole planet about something when basing your judgement on one country and one type of animation (commercial stuff start’s getting on my nerves, I’m not saying I don’t like any but, look what it made people think). This is just ridiculous! And yeah I get it, Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks – they mainly make kids films but those are not the only films ever made (and btw I bet the will never stop on that because this is something that makes them a lot of money so why put yourself at risk?)?! Here is example showing the logical mistake at putting all animations in to the same bag, with the use of different genre for better impackt – let’s say your’e watching and ACTION genre film and there is a car chase in it followed by a car crash, does it mean that every film with a car crash is an action film and every film without a car chase is not? I DON’T THINK SO. There is so many animations which should never be watched by children. That’s why animation can’t be a genre because if you’ll put animation as a genre next to let’s say “Akira” some unaware parent might actually stick it on a telly for his 4 year old and just how do you think this will end? Generalising things is a really common problem, but unfortunately it can easily lead to big misunderstandings.

Overal

After putting this all together now I definitely know why animation is NOT a genre and I will try hard to prove it in my work. Also I became more aware of how limited people can be in the cognitive behaviour and I hope this will help me with creation of the characters and the script.

Also please check this out #animationisnotagenre much more opinions and explenations on the subject. ENJOY

Referencess:

1. En.wikipedia.org. (2016). CatDog. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CatDog [Accessed 20 Dec. 2016].

2. En.wikipedia.org. (2016). Noah and Nelly in… SkylArk. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_and_Nelly_in…_SkylArk [Accessed 20 Dec. 2016].

3. Allthetropes.org. (2016). Multiple Head Case – All The Tropes. [online] Available at: https://allthetropes.org/w/index.php?title=Multiple_Head_Case&mobileaction=toggle_view_mobile [Accessed 20 Dec. 2016].

4. En.wikipedia.org. (2016). Genre. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genre [Accessed 20 Dec. 2016].

5. Chandler, D. (2016). An Introduction to Genre Theory. 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/intgenre/chandler_genre_theory.pdf [Accessed 20 Dec. 2016].

6. Amidi, A. (2016). Animation Is Not A Genre: Oscar Edition. [online] Cartoon Brew. Available at: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-commentary/animation-is-not-a-genre-oscar-edition-109504.html [Accessed 20 Dec. 2016].

7. Forbes.com. (2016). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2013/09/24/animated-film-in-america-is-still-a-genre-not-yet-a-medium/#1351f9b34b3d [Accessed 20 Dec. 2016].

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