Although genre often refers to different types of feature film (like comedy, drama, or action), the TAMI Video Library includes numerous moving images from genres that might be less familiar to students like newsreels, industrial movies, television shows, and more. When presenting these films to your classes, use the below definitions to provide context for the video you are presenting. Keep in mind that genres are loose categories and some films may fit into more than one.
Home movies are films or videos of personal events or family usually shot by amateur (or non-professional) filmmakers for families and friends to view. Home movies can be made on film or video and often feature vacations, weddings, and holidays or other personal events. This film depicting Jesse Bell’s 80th Birthday is an example of a home movie, shot on 8mm film, from the late 1950s. In addition to a birthday celebration, the film features a family trip to Austin to visit the University of Texas and the Texas State Capitol.
Produced for all kinds of companies and organizations, industrial movies are most often used to address training and safety needs. This particular film, Incendiary Bombing and Fire Defense School, documents members of the Houston Fire Department leading a training in standard fire rescue techniques, incendiary bombs, and gas exposure.
Educational movies are films and video used to teach an audience about a particular subject. Often designed with a classroom audience in mind, these films can cover a number of topics ranging from chemistry and civics to forest fire prevention and dating advice. “Paper and I” is an educational movie from the 1950s that was designed to teach elementary school children about the paper industry in the American South, including East Texas.
Similar to news stories seen on television news today, newsreels served as the primary moving image source of local, national, and international news in the early 20th century. Featuring factual stories and event footage, newsreels were usually screened before feature films in movie theaters. By the 1960s, television brought news stories into the home and led to the ultimate demise of the newsreel. This newsreel from 1967 described damages caused by Hurricane Beulah.
An outtake is media shot for a specific project that is not included in the final version of the television program, video, or film. For a feature film, this might include a bonus scene or blooper. In TAMI’s collection, outtakes come primarily from television, news, or documentary footage and often include interviews and footage of places and events. This particular example of outtakes comes from a commercial shoot for Austin-based company Lammes Candies.
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, several filmmakers traveled throughout the United States creating films featuring community landmarks, businesses and local residents. Made by itinerant or travelling filmmakers, these films were produced and shown in the same communities often within a matter of days. Many itinerant films, like “The Kidnapper’s Foil,” mimicked feature films. Melton Barker made hundreds of versions of this particular film shot in different towns across Texas and the United States and featuring local casts.
Government movies are films or videos produced by the federal, state or local government. These films are usually informative and can relate to public safety, agriculture, the environment, or any of the numerous governmental departments. Produced by Environmental Protect Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Project Safeguard is a government film made to educate the public on the replacement of DDT with organophosphates in the Rio Grande Valley.
Political telecasts are essentially advertisements for candidates to public office. Usually paid for by the candidates or their supporters, these films can take the form of advertisements, campaign footage, and filmed addresses. “The Man from Gober” is a campaign film introducing audiences to Jimmy Turman, a candidate for Texas Lieutenant Governor in 1962.
A television show is a program produced for and aired on television. This can include news programming, comedies, dramas, soap operas, game shows, talk shows, and more. The TAMI video library includes numerous television shows and segments from television shows produced for Texas television broadcast. One example is “Progress Report Austin,” a documentary television program produced for an Austin television station in the 1960s.
Advertisements or commercials are moving images designed to persuade the viewer to adopt a particular view towards a product, institution, business or issue. Advertisements, like this one for the Austin National Bank, provide insight into our Texas consumer culture and act as records of local business.
A documentary is a film or video attempting to document, record, or explore a subject. Newsreel and television news are examples of documentary productions, but the category can also include other types of non-fiction filmmaking. Spit Farther! is an example of a short documentary highlighting the activities of the Watermelon Thump, an annual festival held in Luling, Texas.