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Action
Adventure Films

Name:_______________________


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- Usually involve straightforward story of good guy versus bad guy, where usually the disputes are
resolved by physical force.

- Usually heroes in Hollywood films are patriotic Americans.

- Bad guys in Hollywood films tend to be drug lords, terrorists or


some other sort of criminal rather than a Nazi or a Communist
like in the past. Ô   
 
- Usually requires big budget special effects and stunt work.       
     

- Damsel in distress tends to be used but in recent movies female
characters have become stronger in action/adventure movies  
and even work alongside the strong male characters.

- It is more than likely that a chase scene will feature somewhere


in the movie, whether it is by foot, car, boat etc.

- The good guys always win.

d  

Narrative led films with tightly woven story arcs, where the dialogue drives the plot rather than
builds character.

An action adventure film is essentially one long quest with a succession of different chase
sequences, each one more death defying and seemingly impossible than the one before. The trick
for the producers is to ramp up the tension as the film progresses to a storming end sequence. Will
our intrepid explorers make it, or will the evil antagonist get there first.

A strong story ark of a quest for treasure, or an incredibly valuable object, or an item which has
occult power.

Love interest that both hinders and supports the main quest.

A fast moving narrative with constant set backs that are overcome one by one, leading to fairly
complex plots.

In many respects this genre of films derive their energy from being more exciting, more adult and
much more dangerous versions of children͛s stories of adventure such as   

 or  
      .
Thrilling action where the protagonist saves his fellow travellers through a variety of non realistic but
apparently logical escapades.

×  × × d

 These are not realistic films, although the characters must be believable. They are set in a
stereotypical world of the not too distant past
 A main protagonist who is a recognisably normal guy, and who just happens to have amazing
powers of endurance in the face of extreme danger, and is also very clever. Indiana Jones is
an archaeology lecturer in an US university. Captain Jack Sparrow is at first an ordinary good
for nothing pirate with incredible agility and luck, although he later takes on supernatural
powers.
 There are always helpers who are a team of innocent characters who happen to get caught
up in the action.
 Humorous dialogue often diffuses taught and sometimes frightening situations.
 The characters take the twist and turns of the plot very seriously as they are often in mortal
danger from an assortment of unusual animals, machines and monsters orchestrated by an
evil antagonist.
 àxotic locations where the characters have to contend with extremes of climate, as well as
evil forces.
 The aim is to please the audience by keeping them on the edge of their seats through a
series of mind boggling chases, exotic locations and hair raising adventures in historically
inaccurate but somehow elementally possible settings.
 Action Adventure films are designed to create an action-filled, energetic experience for the
audience who can live vicariously through the exotic locations, conquests, explorations,
struggles and situations that confront the main characters.
 Technical codes: Action films


 Sound:#


 In Action/Adventure movies, a mix of diegetic and non-diegetic sound is used to accompany
or emphasise the action.

During an action scene, music (normally orchestral) is usually played throughout, which
tends to be fast paced if in a chase scene. If anything significant happens, the music would
change according to what has happened. If something jumps out, the orchestra would sound
more hysterical. Music can also change to emphasise any big stunts that have just happened
to make them look greater than they already are.
Sound that sound diegetic (sounds that are meant to be in the scen) may actually have been
added later or amplified to sound greater. For example, gun shots that you hear in the scene
may be added later as it is very rare that real loaded guns are used whilst filming.

Diegetic sound is usually included in the movie to make the scene sound more realistic to
the audience. For example, the sound of cars passing by or smashing or the sound of a door
opening are all good examples of diegetic sound. The audience wouldn't notice some of the
diegetic sounds as they wouldn't stand out as there are sounds that you would hear
normally, but if they weren't there, then the audience would notice that the diegetic sounds
are missing.


 àditing:

 àditing in Action/Adventure movies doesn't tend to use any fancy effects. Instead they tend
to use straight cut editing, so the viewer doesn't get distracted by any special editing effects,
and instead should focus on the actual action that is taking place.

The editing also tends to be quite fast if a big scene is taking place, most likely a chase scene.
This makes the audience feel more involved with the chase as the editing makes use of the
different camera angles that are made available. For example, if anything significant
happens in the chase scene, you are quite likely to have several different viewpoints of it
(e.g. Point-of-view shot, tracking shot, crane shot)

The only time straight cut editing won't be used is when the action is over. For example, if
the movie moves on to another location, sometimes a wipe or fade effect will be used to
symbolise the end of the action in the previous location and will also tell the audience that
this next location is significant.

 Camera Techniques:

 The way the camera is used in an action/adventure usually compliments what you are seeing
and also helps to create the atmosphere that the director wants at the same time.

For example, in a chase scene, a wide range of different camera angles and positions along
with movements are used to put you into the action

Below are the different types of camera angles and movements and when they will be tend
to be used.

   - used at a start of a scene to show the audience where the characters in
this scene are and gives the audience a perspective of the action that is to come.

×   - This frames part of the body such as the head or the hands. This is mainly to show
any emotion on their face or show something that is important to the plot.

 !   - used to show the action from one of the character's prospectives. This
would be commonly used as one of the many camera angles for a chase scene.

  - basically two people seen in one frame.

 - when the setting takes up most of the frame but performers are close to
camera. This is quite often used to highlight any significant buildings or famous landmarks
they are near.

    


High Angle shots are used to look down on a subject whilst Low Angle shots are used to look
up on a subject. High Angle shots gives the viewer a sense of power over the subject, making
the subject look helpless or in danger whilst Low Angle shots make the subject himself look
powerful.

 " - a damped suspension camera which removes jerkiness when moving. This tends
to be worn by an operator and tends to follow the characters when they move or when they
are in action.

 #this camera is held by an operator, like with steadicam, but the jerkiness isn't
removed by any equipment. This is mainly used because of the jerky image, which can
create a sense of immediacy, like when the camera runs with the character or when the
direct is trying to create a sense of chaos.

"$ - The camera follows the action that is occuring by moving along a track that
has been set up. These cameras are usually put on a dolly to help move it along faster.



 Special àffects:

 Special effects and graphics are used in nearly all movies, even if it isn't an important part of
the movie. All movies at least display the cast using graphics at the start and end of the
movie. Over the years, action/adventure movies have relied more on great stunts to please
cinema-goers who expect more from their movies these days. Film companies try to outdo
their rivals by creating even bigger stunts or special effects to make their movies better.

An example of a movie which relied on special effects a lot is the recent remake of War of
the Worlds. All of the aliens are made from CGI (Computer Generated Images) and when the
aliens use their lasers to wipe out humans who are fleeing from them, CGI is also used then
to show the humans being vapourised by the lasers. CGI is used because there is no other or
better way to make this part of the story possible on the big screen.

A lot of special effects are still stunts that are put together on a set, which usually are made
to follow a certain path to make it work. The biggest and most expensive stunts in the movie
usually tend to be slowed down and sometimes repeated over and over again from different
angles.
Summarise this into 10 easy bullet points you can remember in an exam:

10 conventions of Action / adventure films àxamples ?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.


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