During the 1940’s the term ‘Film Noir’ was coined by a critic. Film Noir was rarely used as a genre or by directors until it’s rise of popularity in the 40’s-50’s. The films were of the same conventions; usually American crime drama’s with a conflicted antihero or macho man saving the innocent, helpless female from a psychotic killer. The female characters would fit into the ‘femme fatale’ nature of being weak and venerable
Film Noir was conventionally filmed in black and white, the use of shadows helping to promote the sinister or mysterious theme of its genre. The destination was normally a urban area (eg. a city) complete with criminal night life and always a dirty deal going down. Our some what antihero (who can be involved with these dodgy deals) is followed by his monologue with diegetic sound. Low lighting and camera work in film noir mainly made up of low, long and close up shots with the character usually shrouded in shadow or some ominous fog. Film noir uses the camera shots, accompanied by music to build tension. Using the camera shot from behind the character gives the audience to idea of them being followed or chased, depending on the choppiness of the cuts to camera shots the pass of the film can be increased to make a small chase look exciting.