View our Virtual Open Day

Secrets of popular film genres explored in lecturer’s new book

THE secrets to successful Hollywood blockbusters have been explored in a new book by an Associate Lecturer from the University of Chichester.

Bio-Pics: a life in pictures, which is out now from Wallflower Press, discusses popular film genres since the 1990s and the key issues within their narrative structure, production, and responses.

The book has been written by Ellen Cheshire, a lecturer of the University’s BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies, as well as the new Film and Television Studies degree.

The films under discussion are grouped around a profession - writers, singers, actors, directors, politicians, sportsmen, academics, artists, and royalty - allowing for comparisons to be drawn in approaches to similar subject matter.

Those highlighted within the academic text include The Queen, Ed Wood, A Beautiful Mind, Capote, Ray, Marie Antoinette, and I’m Not There.

Ellen has previously written and co-authored books on Hollywood stars including Audrey Hepburn, the Coen Brothers, Ang Lee, Jane Campion, and has contributed to texts on fantasy films, war movies, James Bond, and Charlie Chaplin.

She has also worked as a production manager for the BBC and in marketing at West Dean, Chichester Cinema at New Park, and Granada Television, The Comedy Store, and QDOS Entertainment.

Ellen said: “Every week seems to see the release of another film about some famous figure from the past. In recent months we have seen Timothy Spall as JMW Turner, Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turin, and Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking – all have had praise and awards heaped upon them for their astonishing performances.

“Through a carefully selected range of thematically linked bio-pics released since 1990 this book explores key issues surrounding their narrative structure, production, subject representation or misrepresentation, and critical response.”

To find out more about Ellen Cheshire, including her new book Bio-Pics: a life in pictures, visit