COMM2632 Popular Cinema

Posted on October 15, 2017 by Cheapest Assignment

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COMM2632 Popular Cinema, 2017

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Analyse and critically discuss the notion of ‘High Concept’ cinema in relation to Grease (Randal Kleiser, 1978). 

What is high concept?

“What does the term “high concept” mean in the film business? It’s simply a term used to describe a script or a film that a person can easily understand after hearing just a few words. Robin U. Russin and William Missouri Downs define “high concept” in their book Screenplay: Writing the Picture as “a movie’s premise or storyline that is easily reduced to a simple and appealing one liner. (ScreenTalk Magazine)

COMM2632 Popular Cinema

Internet of Things

“Most of you probably know what “High Concept” means, but for those of you who don’t: High Concept is STORY as star. The central idea of the script is exciting, fascinating, intriguing, and different. High Concept films can usually be summed up in a single sentence or a single image. In this case, “High” does not mean “High Brow” or “High Intelligence”, nor does it mean something that only sounds good when you’re stoned. “High” means big, exciting, larger than life. A small, personal idea may not attract the mass audience that a film requires. We need stories with exciting ideas…” (script secrets)


  • “A striking, easily reducible narrative which also offers a high degree of marketability.”
  • “The high concept film is designed to maximize marketability and, consequently, the economic potential at the box office.”
  • “Frequently the term is used as ammunition in an indictment against the contemporary industry, suggesting a bankruptcy of creativity within Hollywood.”
    • Justin Wyatt

Greece as high concept

  • “The mixture of elements within the star “package” explains the rationale behind Grease’s marketing formula, which could be articulated as a focus both on the young, drawn to Travolta and the subject of teen romance/music, and on the older audience segments drawn to the nostalgia.”
  • Pop music and tie-ins also play a big roll. The soundtrack to Grease was one of the most successful ever.

EDU20004: Understanding and Supporting Behaviour

Selling grease

  • In addition to the stars, the music, and the merchandising, Grease also had the marketing advantage of being a pre-sold property, based on the long running musical, though the producers chose to discard the Broadway score to attract young audiences.

Finally, it was sold through a simple, identifiable logo: GREASE

  • “High concept can be considered as perhaps the central development within post-classical cinema, a style of filmmaking molded by economic and institutional forces. Through high concept, the diverse manner through which economics and aesthetics are joined together can be understood.”
  • The irony, of course, is that high concept has often been thought of as low concept by film critics, scholars and certain movie lovers.



Scholarly Articles/Readings



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