Sports Films • Sports are naturally exciting and filled with drama, we root for or against teams and players • A movie about sports can build upon this natural entertainment - we feel the same about fictional sports characters as we do about real ones • Sports characters are seen as heroes
Sports Films - Devices & Cliches • Sports films lend themselves to a general formula with many storytelling cliches and filmmaking devices common within the genre • The underdog - a team or player that seems to have no chance is pitted against a superior opponent. We get behind the underdog and hope for their success • Rocky, Major League, Hoosiers, Rudy, Miracle
Sports Films - Devices & Cliches • Redemption - A player, coach or team is looking to right a previous wrong, to be given a second chance. • The audience sees a transformation and roots for their success • Hoosiers, A League of Their Own, The Wrestler
Sports Films - Devices & Cliches • The Big Speech - A coach or a player delivers or receives a motivational speech at a moment of crisis (self-doubt, before the big game, etc.) • Sums up the ‘lesson’ to be learned from the story - usually a play on ‘don’t give up’ • Friday Night Lights, Hoosiers, Rocky Balboa, Remember the Titans
Sports Films - Devices & Cliches • The big game - a natural climax for sports movies is the final showdown, the championship game, the tital bout. Usually the dramatic tension is higher when the protagonist is losing and has to come from behind, or if they triumph in the final possible moments. • Sometimes, the protagonist doesn’t win the game, but is victorious in how they played. • Friday Night Lights, Glory Road, Seabiscuit
Sports Films - The Formula • 1. We meet the athlete(s) or coach. They are down on their luck, trying to put their past behind them or have been brought in from the outside to turn the season around. • Nobody has faith that the team will be successful against great odds and a superior opponent.
Sports Films - The Formula • 2. We see the athletes train, maybe lose a few games. Morale is low. • 3. The team starts to come together. • 4. We see them get better, start to win. Despite the odds, they reach ‘the big game’. • 5. A moment of self doubt, ‘the big speech’ • 6. The big game happens - win or lose we feel satisfied that they played their best.