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Top done-to-death stereotypes to avoid in films

The world holds on to the ugly stereotypes and continues to utilize them in every possible case. Storytellers and screenwriters while understanding the wind of change, still continue making the men strong and women weak, making Americans the heroes and Russian the villains, etc. But it is a well-known fact that the audiences, as well as the industry members, are fed up with the unfairness existing. So if you do not want your next project to be thrown away in the bud, read these worst stereotypes of the filmmaking world prepared for you by the expert eye of Red Rock Entertainment Ltd. film production masters.

Non-heterosexuals either do not exist or they die

A couple of decades ago it was impossible to see any member of the LGBTQIA community on screen. Such characters were used either in comedies (Some Like It Hot) or not used at all because the wide public did not acknowledge the existence of this community at all. Now, when the story is told to have changed, the changes are yet to be positive. In Buffy the Vampires Slayer the screenwriters were developing the gay line between Buffy and her best friend Willow; and what happened next? Willow becomes a witch and starts killing people. In The Silence of the Lambs, the gay characters are trying to enforce themselves upon the straight folks and, as a result, the former die.

Of course, no one is saying that there are no good films about this community. Owing to the latest trends in the filmmaking world, such films as Girl or TV shows like Pose reach the summit and become nominated for the most prestigious film awards. Don’t forget that the past couple of years the world of cinematography has been changing and employment of such harassing and insulting stereotypes in films is not acceptable and will be disapproved by the publicity, to say the least.

Africa is the worst place on Earth

Just recollect some of the famous Hollywood films, like Independence Day. There, the director explicitly depicts Africa as an uncivilized fifth continent with aborigine people with loincloth covering their genitals. Remember the end of the film, when the aliens are defeated at last? Well, the shots show US’s military base, Australia’s beautiful bridge, and Africa’s shots show half-naked people with spears. The Casino Royale begins its story from Africa where black men bet on a fight between a snake and a mongoose. And this is the reality. Africa is always depicted as a poor continent with nothing but uncivilized, uneducated savages running half-naked with guns.

But instead of promoting this awful cliché, consider telling a different story. Remember Half of a Yellow Sun written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and filmed by Biyi Bandele? The story about free people willing to fight for their freedom and beliefs? Or maybe you have heard of The Pearl of Africa directed by Jonny von Wallström, who is telling about the same problems people have all over the world – the perceptions of gender identity.

Africa is not the place to die! It is the beautiful continent with amazing nature, impeccable scenery, marvellous cities like Nairobi and genuine authenticity of the locals. Try not to follow the established stereotypes of this admirable continent and its people!

Women in film can talk only about men

Back in the 1980s, Alison Bechdel introduced her Bechdel Test to evaluate the representation of women in fiction. The test is simple: if a film has at least two female characters [1] who talk to each other [2] about anything else but men [3], the film passes. While the criteria seem trivial, it appeared that most of the films cannot pass it! Not even such strong cinematic works as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Lord of the Rings, or Pirates of the Caribbean (parts 1, 2, and 4). The prevailing majority of these projects fail to comply even with the first (!) criteria. The romantic comedies like Kate & Leo or (500) Days of Summer cannot pass the test either, which seems completely insane.

Of course, the Bechdel Test on its own does not bring in a verdict that a film is sexist or bad. Yet, it clearly states that women in films are clearly defined by their relationship with men while men have a wide range of other characteristics.

Again, the filmmaking industry is aiming to get rid of such impossible stereotypes. Red Rock Entertainment reviews a wide range of films every year, and in 2018-2019 the famous A Star Is Born, The Favourite, Ocean’s 8, Annihilation, and many more have actually passed the test. The number of new emerging projects that look at women from a different perspective continues to gladden. 

The things above seem weird for the filmmaking in the 21st century, yet they continue to exist even in the scripts selected by the Warner Bros. or Disney (especially for the animated films for kids). Especially at the beginning of your career, do not make the mistake of falling for an easy plot. Work with your characters and locations to avoid these done-to-death stereotypes and ensure that you remain politically correct towards the world.

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