SCREENPLAY.today How to Write a Screenplay
Home Start Here Screenwriting Cheat Sheet Film Analysis

Before you start writing your screenplay, you’ll need to think about your genre.

In film, a genre is basically just a category. It’s what type of film you are: comedy, drama, romance, science-fiction, musical, black-comedy, slasher/torture-porn, thriller, mystery, horror, western, etc…

Each genre has its own conventions.

For instance, think about your favorite romantic-comedy for a second…

Without knowing which film you just chose, allow me to describe it:

When you buy a ticket for a romantic-comedy - you expect something like the above. You don’t want a science-fiction western instead. Just like you want a Big Mac when you order a Big Mac. Whether you’re in Tokyo or Paris or Rio De Janeiro. Well, it’s the same with movies. Audiences expect what they’ve grown accustomed to. They expect the-usual. And, they’ll be pissed if they don’t get it!

That’s not to say you shouldn’t work to subvert your genre. Giving audiences something new and different is always a good sell. New and different sticks in people’s minds. They tell their friends about new and different.

NEXT UP…  ON-SET ISSUES!

Your work doesn’t end at the page. You’ve got lots of other things to consider. Namely, what happens on-set!

BACK FORWARD The Genre

THE GENRE

What type of movie are you writing? What category or genre is your film going to be placed into by Netflix or the other streaming companies? Is it a drama? Comedy? Anime? Slasher flick? Indie? Western?

09 “No one worries about genre when they’re dancing. They’re not asking themselves ‘Is this a dubstep song?’” - Skrillex

But, don’t get that confused with something actually new and different. Think of it more like a slightly new flavor of the same old thing. That’s exactly what Hollywood wants. Something completely familiar - that’s new at the same time.

Exactly the same thing, only different. If you can figure out what that is, you’ll make billions.

When you’ve decided what your genre is going to be - go and study that genre. Look up all the conventions. Learn what your audience is expecting. Study what all the previous writers did in that genre.

Then, give the audience all of that - and more. Make it more exciting than they were expecting. Fuse two different genres into one. Make it feel new. Like something they’ve never seen before. Wow them. Blow their socks off.

But, always give them what they are expecting. Respect the ‘rules’ of your genre. Or, at least, don’t break the rules until you understand why they are there in the first place. When people pay to see an action film, they want to see action. Give them what they want.

Desktop Site