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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Erin Nelson

Abstract

This review of literature focuses on the use of various nonverbal channels in film and explain how nonverbal communication influences the success (critical or commercial) of films. The different nonverbal channels, or cues, explored are environment, physical characteristics, gestures, and touch. Within each of these channels, subtopics are examined including color, sound, physical attractiveness, costume design, and more. Rather than a conducting a study testing respondents on any physiological reactions to films, this is an extensive literature review supporting the claim that nonverbal cues do in fact influence the success of films, specifically, critical success. While each channel could also be described as “visual cues,” they each fall under the general discipline of nonverbal communication and thus, are referred to as exclusively nonverbal “cues” or “channels.” Influence is directly related to persuasion, and for a film to be successful, audiences must be engaged. This engagement leads moviegoers to rate the film favorably, resulting in more people spending money to view the film (commercial success) and/or writing reviews praising the film’s efforts (critical success).

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