The Notion of High Cinema and "grease"

Published: 2021-06-29 07:07:09
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Category: Music and Movies

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High concept cinema. They are films that originate from a short, precise pitch, which can also be referred to as a quick summary driven idea. It allows the film to be explained interestingly to a movie studio in just one sentence. In a high concept film pitch, the story’s premise is simply discussed without going into any in-depth length at its story and themes. Premise and ideas take center stage to characters and their personal struggles. The hook and visuals carry more emphasis than whatever deep narratives and emotions the film intends to convey in its final product. With that said, the hook is incredibly crucial, and what makes the concept innovative and different must be clear.According to Kaire, S. (n.d.), for a high concept film to be successful, it must have an extraordinary premise, mass audience appeal, the pitch has to be short and story-specific, and have an obvious genre. In his book High Concept: Movies and Marketing in Hollywood, film marketing analyst Justin Wyatt discusses that a high concept film’s marketing is based on “the hook, the look, and the book.” In the film’s pitch,  there has to be a representation of a certain look, have a hook in its approach, and reach potential success to be sold further as a book, which speaks in reference to tie-ins and merchandising. With that being said, the film in  discussion, which is considered to be an example of a high concept film, is Paramount Pictures’s 1978 musical film Grease. This film was successful as a high concept because it managed to appeal to a wildly broad target demographic, and adhere to the key notion of a high concept film, which is its ability to be marketable in two ways. Grease was marketable as a pitch to be worthy of production, and as a pitch to attract the general public.Grease was released during the summer of 1978, at the time when Hollywood was relatively young in introducing the “blockbuster”business model, which revolves around profitable box office earnings from “simple-premise” films which are widely released to thousands of theaters nationwide, accompanied by heavy and expensive advertising. Directed by Randal Kleiser and based on the popular Broadway musical, Grease was an immediate box office success, earning the legacy of being the highest grossing musical ever until the late 2000’s, and has spawned a sequel in 1982.Wyatt also argues that high concept films can be defined as based on a singular theme, with simple characters, a straightforward storyline, and a broad audience. This in turn lends cohesiveness in their marketing campaigns which helped Grease sell as a musical. With the one line pitch of: “John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John star as the ‘50s greaser and ‘good girl’ in the screen adaptation of the hit stage musical Grease. The film was easy to sell on its concept of being adapted from one of the most popular and long-running shows presented on the Broadway stage. And in terms of  marketability, Grease had the advantage of being a pre-sold and beloved property, and naturally everyone who heard about it was excited.

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