High Concept – refers to an artistic work that can be pitched very easily. For example movies that could be promoted easily with a one line premise generating enough interest in people wanting to watch it. One of the most popular movies with a High Concept narrative is Jurassic Park. The movie had a high concept narrative based on what if dinosaurs could be re-created. Mostly high concept narratives fall into the pattern of “what-ifs”. Movies like King Kong, The Matrix, Inception, E.T are all movies with high concept narration. High Concept movies are not just limited to western movies it has been very popular in the Indian Cinema as well. Some of the popular High Concept movies are 12B which dealt with what if you were to see alternate lives of a person by getting onto a bus or missing a bus. Ghajini is another popular high concept movie where in the audience where intrigued by the fact that a person with short term memory loss is trying to seek revenge. Most of Shankar’s movies are high concept movies Nayak (Mudhalvan) is a good example of this which dealt with what if a common man is made the Chief Minister for a day. His recent block buster Endhiran is another high concept movie which dealt with the concept of what if Robots have emotions.
Mostly you would see that the promotion of High Concept movies is very simple as the concept itself is sufficient enough to draw people. Jurassic Park just had a dinosaur logo in its poster. Ghajini had the protagonist picture sitting with tattooed bare body. The marketing of the high concept movies follow the guidelines of “the look, the hook, the book”.
The look: how it is visually appealing to the public. Aamir Khan / Suriya’s look for Ghajini eight pack / six pack abs, tonsured head, and tattooed body.
The hook: the attracting force for the public. How a person with short term memory loss can seek revenge?
The book: how the movie is promoted. Before the release of Ghajini many of the multiplexes had their ticket counter personnel sporting Ghajini hair style.