This chapter considers formal issues that are pivotal for research on media forms. It argues in support of the view that a continuing address to concepts and methods for analysing the forms of media is of the utmost importance for progress in understanding how the media work. The chapter looks at how form figures in the broader context of media theory and research, particularly in regard to ideas of medium and of content. It considers the higher-level descriptive/analytic categories of narrative and genre, in which different formal elements are active, including varieties of those modes of representation designated as realist. The chapter also discusses the varieties of realism and the comparative formal relations among sound, image and writing.