IT NORMALLY STARTS WITH A FAMILIAR QUESTION…
“SO, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO RECENTLY; ANYTHING GOOD?” PRETTY MUCH A TRADITIONAL OPENING GAMBIT FOR FOLKS IN THE WORKPLACE LOOKING TO STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION FOR A FEW MINUTES.
And the responses are normally pretty stock, too (although not me, mind. I’m a proper hipster. Ask me what I’ve been up to and it’ll be Penny Farthing racing, watching bands you’ve probably never heard of or growing my own craft beer hops*).
One of the most common responses you’ll probably get is something about the latest movie they saw, either on TV or at the cinema. And we can pretty much guarantee they’ll have a strong opinion on it, too.
MOVIES THAT HIT THE SPOT
Whether they adored the cinematography, hated the acting, loved the special effects, or maybe even felt complete apathy towards it. Regardless, they’ll certainly have an opinion.
This is because when it comes down to it, everyone loves watching films and movie lovers are everywhere. It’s a great way to spend time with your friends or family and is good for your health (yes, really!).
Whether you watch a good film, a great film or even a bad one, it’ll initiate an emotional response. Excitement, horror, wonder, sadness, happiness… They’re all in play when you head out to the cinema.
Perhaps one of the best things about film is that it’s one of the most diverse forms of entertainment out there. There really is a film or genre to suit anyone’s tastes; be it a gritty coming-of-age drama to a toe-tapping musical.
Look hard enough and you’ll be sure to find something that’ll strike an emotional chord. The sheer wealth of choice has also lead to many film genres gaining ardent followers.
Take Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, for example. Marvel Studios have a knack of producing enormously successful films and TV shows based on popular comic books. Their success isn’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon, either.
Their followers will watch all their TV shows and films as soon as they’re released. They’ll often be analysing all the characters and details to prepare themselves for the inevitable follow ups and sequels. And it was Marvel who were responsible for kick-starting the now-common trend of the post-credits ‘sting’ – only adding to the intrigue in their movies.
Marvel’s popularity has now transcended the comic book community and have a worldwide fan-base in the hundreds of millions. They’re the top dogs when it comes to producing vastly successful movie franchises and generating genuine audience excitement.
The example of how Marvel’s comic book genre has gained a huge following is, of course, just one of many out there. They’re not just confined to the realms of sci-fi and action, either…
The ongoing popularity of cinema and the galaxy of films on offer means there are movie buffs out there who’ll love certain genres of film – and you probably work with a few of them yourself!
THE SCI-FI BUFF
Now, it should be made abundantly clear at this point that I put myself firmly in this category. For that reason, it gets top billing on this list. Sorry, not sorry.
Sci-fi fans will often be the first to book tickets to the big Hollywood franchise offerings such as Star Trek, Star Wars… you get the picture. They’ll also most likely love more low-key stories involving aliens, exploration or anything where science and wondrous tech take centre stage.
It’s important at this stage not to confuse a sci-fi buff with a lover of Hollywood action flicks (we’ll come onto that in a bit).
Whilst many good sci-fi films will have a pretty big action element attached (take Looper, Cloverfield or Children of Men for example), the main themes that lovers of sci-fi will really appreciate are how the central characters react or develop when put into contact with the more fantastical elements (2001: A Space Odyssey, Moonor Blade Runner being prime examples).
Sci-fi aficionados will appreciate films that build futuristic, fantastical worlds, otherworldly tech or gorgeous galactic vistas. They’ll also most likely have a love of science and tech, too; with half an eye on science-based documentaries, websites and books… and yes, perhaps the odd epic space battle, too.
THE INDEPENDENT FILM BUFF
Cinema doesn’t always have to be big budget or big spectacle to be enjoyed.
There are many cinema lovers out there who love to watch small-scale, character-driven stories unfold on the big screen, and these are your typical indie film buffs.
These types of movie lovers won’t often care for the big studio tentpoles. Try and convince them to watch The Avengers or James Bond, and they’ll most likely just shrug with indifference.
They’ll often be seeing the films that you’ll hear about 6-months after they’ve been released. They’ll also have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the new upcoming directors or actors breaking into the big time.
Indie film buffs will often love a good spread of movies, too. From genre-bending stories such as Memento or Primer, to quirky character-based comedies like Little Miss Sunshine or Clerks.
You never really know what you’re going to get with an independent film; and that’s a huge part of the appeal to their followers.
THE HOLLYWOOD ACTION MOVIE BUFF
Ah yes, the good ol’ fashioned Hollywood Blockbuster.
A staple of cinemas up and down the land, the traditional action spectacle continues to generate excitement with cinema audiences. With photo-realistic special effects and cutting-edge computer-generated graphics at movie maker’s disposal, the genre has never looked so good.
Lovers of a blockbuster will often revel in the sheer brashness and bombastic special effects up on the HD big screen. Funnelled through to the loudest 7.1 surround sound systems known to humankind, followers of Hollywood actioners simply want to unplug the brain and be entertained for a couple of hours. And who are we to argue?!
Highly-choreographed fight scenes, car chases, apocalyptic disasters and ‘SPLOSIONS will often take centre stage. Basically, all the stuff that’ll make you go ‘Whoa….’.
It doesn’t matter if the film completely ignores the laws of physics or has plot holes the size of a small moon. A typical Hollywood action buff cares not for such things!
Your action movie buff will look for the escapism, fun and spectacle that a Hollywood blockbuster will bring. And let’s be honest: everyone loves a bit of Bayhem now and then…
THE LITERATURE ADAPTATION BUFFS
Seeing as books have been around just a bit longer than movies (give or take 500 years or so…), the sheer number of stories available for adaptation into movies is staggering. As a result, books are one of the most common resources of source material for movie studios and auteurs alike.
Literature buffs will love a good book as much as a good movie. They’ll like nothing more than getting lost in a book and will most likely have bookshelves groaning under the weight of paperback fiction.
Should an adaptation of one of their favourite authors or stories appear on the big screen, they’ll most likely be the first to book tickets to see the results on the big screen for themselves.
Conversely, they’ll often be the most super-critical of these types of movies, too. This can make going to see a film with one an intriguing experience!
Books allow the type of storytelling which is sprawling and not easy to confine to just a couple of hours. Cloud Atlas, The Great Gatsby and The Hobbit being a few examples of hugely entertaining books which perhaps haven’t hit the spot with cinema audiences as well as they could have.
On the flipside, you can also have some fantastic adaptations; take The Shawshank Redemption, 3:10 to Yuma or No Country for Old Men.
Literature buffs love to see true and faithful adaptations of their favourite stories up on the big screen. Anything less, and you might find them disappointed.
THE COMIC BOOK MOVIE BUFF
We touched on them earlier, but the comic book movie fans are a fairly recent addition to the pantheon of movie buffs thanks to the astronomical rise of films based on popular comic books and graphic novels.
Mixing sci-fi, action, drama and expansive character arcs, comic book films have a huge legion of loyal followers. And they’re a very particular bunch, too.
At the time of writing, there are two big players in the comic book movie world: Marvel and DC. Both studios have been busy creating sprawling, shared movie universes where all their movies are connected to one another.
You’ll often find that followers will also have their preference and have big opinions on one or the other’s offerings, too.
Because of the shared universe building seen in the films, comic book movie lovers will often study every little detail, looking for hidden Easter eggs, references to characters, stories and all manner of details your casual viewer wouldn’t really be aware of. Oh, and spotting the obligatory Stan Lee cameo, too.
You can pretty much be certain that as soon as a Marvel or DC film is released, comic book buffs will be first in line at the box office and dissecting every little detail long after the credits have rolled.
THE MUSICAL FILM BUFF
Musicals are possibly one of the most divisive movie genres out there. On the one hand, you’ll have the haters who’ll loathe everything about them. But then you’ll also have fans who’ll love the prospect of being entertained on the big screen through the medium of song and dance.
There’s no real in-between when it comes to this genre…
Fans of musicals will often love the big-screen adaptation of popular stage shows; Les Misérables, Chicago and Cabaret for example. But, they’ll often make a beeline for more contemporary offerings, too – such as the recent The Greatest Showman or the excellent Bohemian Rhapsody.
The chance to see actors and musicians belting out classic show-tunes or more contemporary hits stand apart from your more traditional forms of storytelling. This is perhaps this is what fans of musicals find so appealing.
With musicals, it’s all about the performances. You’ll often find musical lovers will go to experience the heightened emotional routines that you don’t really get to see outside of a traditional theatre stage. Plus, who doesn’t love a good sing-a-long?
THE HORROR MOVIE BUFF
The horror movie genre is going through something of a renaissance right now. Box-office hits like A Quiet Place, Get Out and Hereditary are attracting legions of new fans and opening up the genre, too.
Horror movie buffs will love the shocks, scares and mysteries that a horror film can bring. Rather than being put off by the prospect of being scared out of their seats, they’ll love the chance to be frightened half to death. All in the comfort of an air-conditioned cinema with popcorn in hand!
They’ll also most likely have a frightening collection of films, too. From the shock horror slasher movies and so-called ‘video nasties’ of the 80s, all the way through to the more cerebral, psychological horrors.
Regardless, they’ll most likely be the ones grinning from ear-to-ear once the claret starts running on the big screen… nothing sinister there, then…!
One thing’s for sure, though; if you have a horror movie fan in your office, they’ll most likely look forward to Halloween with glee and the chance to watch a scary movie or two.
THE DISNEY MOVIE BUFF
It’s fair to say that for most people, their first experiences of film probably came whilst watching a Disney movie.
The House of Mouse regularly produces heart-warming and entertaining movies that appeal to all ages. Their vast back-catalogue of animated movies have (mostly) stood the test of time, too.
It’s not difficult to see why Disney has so many fans, either. With many of their movies containing themes on lessons in life, the importance of imagination and of course, the odd catchy tune, too, they really resonate with audiences of all ages.
Disney movie buffs will love the way the films make them feel and the emotions they stir. From the memories and fun of childhood featured in the Toy Story films, to even more challenging aspects of love, culture and loss that we saw more recently in films such as Coco and Up.
If there’s the opportunity to see a heart-warming family movie, you can bet a pretty penny that a Disney buff won’t pass up the chance.
THE PLAIN & SIMPLE MOVIE LOVER
Last on our list is the plain and simple movie buff; people who just love the magic, excitement and variety of movies, regardless of genre.
They’ll be open to giving any movie a try and will most likely have a collection that’s packed genres. From British gangster films to gross-out comedies and the latest foreign language dramas, historical epics to fantasy adventures.
Ask them if they fancy a night out at the cinema and it won’t be a question of asking what they’ll want to see, but more likely if there’s anything they haven’t seen!
Of course, there’ll be a multitude of film genre lovers we haven’t covered in more detail (Manga, anyone?). Just scratching the surface like we have here can open up a world of possibilities. Your colleagues may love amazing movies you’ve never even heard of!
So, what kind of movie lovers do you have in your office? Why not book a night out at a cinema and find out – you might just be surprised!
* That’s not entirely true. I’m actually fairly normal.