daaah...please list the official genres and their rules



No announcement yet.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • daaah...please list the official genres and their rules

    Does anyone know of a book or website to find this basic information? Does anyone have the time or patience to provide it for us here? I know how the video store is classified, but it seems that there are still various descriptions within those categories. Is TV different from Big Screen? I just can't push myself into an R rating with my work. It touches many genres by being dramatic, romantic, funny, ethnic, supernatural and ultimately feel good. But not Chick Flick! TonyRob, CRASH, where are you?????? Shanti

  • #2
    *gets a headache just thinking about theseagypsy's question*


    • #3
      Many things being confused here

      First, I just explained something about genre in the thread about a question of genre.

      Second, television and movies are different in many ways. I won't get into that now.

      Third, ratings are about how much sex, cursing and violence you put into a movie regardless of genre. The only genre that requires you to have a lot of sex is the Porno. Otherwise, you can chose to be relatively chaste.

      The most important thing I can tell you is that you will do better if you make your movies conform to the conventions of one particular genre rather than making them a mish-mosh. You know that all the movies in the comedy section are supposed to be funny from page one on, and all the movies in the horror section are designed to give you the creeps. Movies are arranged that way in the video store because some people want to laugh and don't want to get the creeps, while others are looking for a good scare. People who buy scripts realize this, too, and they want movies that do one thing or the other.

      You can learn the rules of a particular genre (comedy, action/adventure, romantic comedy, thriller, horror...) by reading a book on how to write that genre, or by watching a bunch of horror movies, if that's a genre you like, and seeing what they all have in common. How do they all start? Then what kind of thing happens? Then what? What kinds of characters do they use? How do the characters act? What kind of endings do they use?
      If you pay attention and take notes while you watch about everything that happens in the movie, you will see that there are predictable kinds of beats in all horror movies, and different predictable kinds of beats in all action-adventures, and different ones still in all romantic comedies. You need to know this stuff if you are going to write professionally.


      • #4
        Re: Many things being confused here

        I'm with you Naudikom. Joan Easley, you write so well. Good advise too. Trying to keep things light on a serious subject. Don't know if you took the time to read my background info. ? I always check there first to see who I might be chatting with. Don't know if I will become a career writer. It is a pleasure to play with that idea now that I have written a screenplay that probably wouldn't make it to the big screen unless it had more of the R elements. Confidence rides high that it will do well on TV. So far I would have say to that mine is a supernatural drama. Since the story speaks for itself perhaps I should enter the contest just under drama. Other threads have brought up the film, GHOST or I think of GHOSTBUSTERS, maybe SIXTH SENSE. My story is not like these but it helped me consider genre. Shanti


        • #5

          Here's a bunch off the top of my head with an example of a film or two in each (opinions may and will vary on this, btw):

          Adventure - Raiders of the Lost Ark
          Action - Die Hard, Lethal Weapon
          Sci-Fi - 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, THX-1138, LOGAN'S RUN, SOYLENT GREEN
          Sci-Fi/Horror and Sci-Fi/Thriller - The Thing, The Fly (remakes and originals), Alien, Invasion of The Body Snatchers
          Fantasy - Lord of The Rings, Excalibur, Dragonheart
          Film Noir - Chinatown, Double Indemnity
          Martial Arts - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Bruce Lee's films (plus there's various martial arts hybrids with other genres)
          Mystery - Murder on the Orient Express, Half Moon Street
          Thriller - The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, The Conversation, Marathon Man
          Psychic Thriller - The Gift, The Eyes Of Laura Mars
          Supernatural Thriller - Fallen, Jacob's Ladder (to a point), Devil's Advocate
          Psychological Thriller - Dead Ringers, Heavenly Creatures
          Slasher - Scream films, Friday the 13th, etc.
          Horror - The Exorcist, The Shining, Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror, House on Haunted Hill, The Changeling
          Drama - The Deer Hunter, The English Patient, Terms of Endearment, Kramer vs Kramer, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ordinary People (wide range)
          Supernatural Drama - Ghost, The 6th Sense
          Comedy - Office Space, The Monty Python stuff, Mel Brook's stuff, Woody Allen (this genre has a WIDE range)
          Dark Comedy/Satire - Eating Raoul, Happiness
          Romantic Comedy - Sleepless in Seattle, The Wedding Planner, Runaway Bride, etc.
          Experimental/Abstract/Avant-Garde/Surreal - Eraserhead, Persona, 8 1/2, Luis Bunel's films, Andy Warhol's stuff
          Documentary - The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, Hoop Dreams
          Coming of Age - Stand By Me, October Sky, etc.
          Crime Drama - Heat, The Heist, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction
          Police/Crime Drama or Action - The French Connection, Dirty Harry films
          Mob/Mafia - The Godfather movies, Goodfellas
          Western - Unforgiven, The Searchers, Once Upon A Time in the West
          War - All Quiet on the Western Front, Platoon, Saving Private Ryan

          There's more, but I hope this gives you an idea of how extensive and complicated this can get. (What's Taxi Driver? Psycholigical Thriller, Drama?)

          Anybody else? Please feel free to add to or amend my list. These are just what sprung to mind.



          • #6
            Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a genre-crossing:
            Martial Arts/Romance/Mystery

            Gypsy, when it all comes down to it, you don't really need to have just one genre to get someone to read it, such as an agent...for example -

            CRIMSON TIDE
            Logline: Executive Officer Hunter commits mutiny aboard a submarine after a disagreement with the captain, and is forced to engage in wit-wit combat to keep from sending the world into nuclear war.
            Genre: War/Drama/Thriller


            • #7
              That's why it's so difficult sometimes to boil it down to one genre or at the most a hybrid, but I think it's necessary to keep it as simple as possible when trying to get someone to read your script. What is the DOMINANT tone or feel of your script? That's what you have to ask yourself. (it CAN be a hybrid, but I'd be leery of naming three or more genres, or else you might get the infamous "Do you even know what your story's about?" line thrown back at you, unfair as it may be)

              I forgot about Sci-Fi Western in my list (among others) - Outland (High Noon in space), Star Wars (actually, it's more Space Opera)



              • #8
                "Crouching Tiger" is simply of the martial arts genre (sub-genre: wire-fu). It has elements of mystery and romance, but is not a cross-breed of those genres.

                Almost all good stories have some sort of mystery and romance to it.


                • #9
                  Praise the lord and pass the snakes!

                  (that's from an old song)
                  So, Supernatural Drama exists. Geez Tony, you like to type! CRASH into me. (that's from a newer song)
                  A bow down to your greatness and hope to see our names in some credits one day! Kisses
                  PS e-mail me and Ill tell you what it's all about


                  • #10
                    Re: Praise the lord and pass the snakes!

                    Cool beans and thanks for the kind words. Sounds like you should go with Supernatural Drama. I'll shoot you that e-mail... you've got me curious about this story.


                    Is "wire-fu" REALLY considered a sub-genre now?



                    • #11
                      Re: Praise the lord and pass the snakes!

                      Wire-fu has always been a traditional genre in Hong Kong. It's just fairly new to mainstream America.

                      And I called it a "sub-genre."


                      • #12
                        Re: Praise the lord and pass the snakes!

                        As did I.



                        • #13
                          Re: Praise the lord and pass the snakes!

                          and i, also


                          • #14
                            New sub-genre:



                            • #15
                              Re: New sub-genre:

                              :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol