High Concept and the Itinerary of American Films

High Concept and the Itinerary of American Films

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Justin Wyatt, ‘Conclusion: High Concept and the Course of American Film History’, High Concept: Movies and Marketing in Hollywood, Austin: University of Texas, 1994, pp. 197-203.

The reading discusses the notion of high concept and the major influence it has imposed within the American film industry over the years since its inception. For Wyatt, the main objective of this concept is centered on marketing and the aesthetic value it provides to filmmaking in Hollywood. Accordingly, by introducing such an aspect to motion pictures, it is impossible to ignore the commercial relationship between the facets evident in the feature and the “marketing and merchandising opportunities structured into the projects” (Wyatt 1994, p. 197). As such, it is hard to negate the influence of high concept in commercializing Hollywood motion pictures. Aside from marketing exploits, the notion of high concept has led to other breakthroughs within the entertainment industry. Motion pictures such as Jaws and Grease became cult movies that would eventually shape American pop culture from the 1970s (Wyatt 1994, p. 197). Features such as capitalism, sexuality, idealism, and nationality became widely reconstructed in response to the effect imposed by the utilization of high concept ideals within motion pictures. Moreover, this illustrates the reason behind the society’s cult following for certain motion pictures due to the different values they introduced in 1970s society. Therefore, in characterization, the utilization of high concept provides a significant marker for analysis especially in the assessment of films and motion pictures released during the 1960s and the 1970s. The commercial aspect of this feature has imposed a substantial effect on the development of auteurs, not only within the filmmaking sector, but also in television. According to Wyatt (1994, p. 199), high concept has influenced transformation of network television programs into material that directly represent the individual vision of the director. However, even with the success of high concept entertainment, the progression of age introduced other alternatives to the industry that subjected reality as once portrayed through the respective quality.


Wyatt, J 1994, High concept: Movies and marketing in Hollywood, University of Texas, Austin.

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