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Genre - The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

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Chris Messineo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 1:52pm
Here are the genres from last year's (2005) competition:

The Good:
Suspense
Thriller
Drama
Mystery
Crime Caper
Horror

The Bad:
Ghost Story
Politcial Satire
Sci-Fi
Action Adventure
Monster Movie

The Ugly:
Comedy
Romantic Comedy
Fairy Tale
Mockumentary

Obviously the groupings are all my own.

What are the rest of you hoping for? Or not hoping for?

Chris
    

Edited by Chris Messineo - 21 Jul 2006 at 2:06pm
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Rainy Night View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rainy Night Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 3:22pm
I had Romantic Comedy last year-  it was ugly.  I'm hoping for a more "mainstream" genre this year, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, something like that that is more identifiable - if that makes sense.

Edited by Rainy Night - 21 Jul 2006 at 3:23pm
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joeld42 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote joeld42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 3:23pm

I tried to rank them, but I feel like I would by ok with any of them (maybe except Mockumentary, that's really a genre that would be better with a lot of adlib). Comedy or Sci-fi would be my favorite, though.

I think my preferences would probably be about the opposite of yours, Chris. Sci-fi, Comedy, Satire, Monster Movie would all be a great fit for a short, they're very concept based, whereas Suspense, Thriller, Drama, Mystery, Caper seems like you want a little more space to develop character, more execution based, and take a lot of build up. But that's just me. You obviously did very well with an unexpected topic/genre pairing, I loved your toaster script.
 
I much more worried about the topic than the genre. But really, if you get a clunker, i guess everyone else in your group has the same problem.
 
Here's hoping everyone gets their favorite genre.
 
Joel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote elblanc0 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 4:11pm
I agree with 'The Ugly' list, Chris. I was in the Fairy Tale - Internet Virus heat and it was nasty. Fun and challenging, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Messineo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 4:20pm
That "Fairy Tale/Internet Virus" was a tough one last year.

I probably should add "Fantasy" to my ugly list, since that was the final round genre.

Chris
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toby O'Hara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 4:26pm
Hello all
 
First off, I'm very new to screen writing, but I'm definitely up for the challenge. Good Luck to everyone and I want to thank everyone for the posts I've been reading. Your insight and advice has been incredibly helpful for me.
 
Anyway, I have a question on the whole "genre" thing.
 
Say, for instance, you get a genre that you don't like (I'll randomly throw out Fairy Tale). Can't you have certain elements in the script that make it a bit more palatable to your own tastes and, for example, throw in some darker aspects to it? I mean, horror stories have comedic elements just as romantic comedies can have a darker element to them. I guess what I'm asking is how rigid does your story need to be in order to still be considered within your assigned genre?
 
Thanks in advance,
Toby
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Messineo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 4:41pm
Toby,

Great question.

All genres have some wiggle room. "Airplane" and "Annie Hall" are both comedies, but they are very different movies.

I think the key is to just make sure you don't wiggle yourself so far out of one genre that you are really writing in another.

Chris
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toby O'Hara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 4:56pm
Thanks Chris. Good luck to you.
 
By the way, I enjoyed both of your stories from last year.
 
If you don't mind my asking, for the Toaster story, did you research the information on quantum mechanics/Einstein before writing about it?
 
Toby
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Messineo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 5:00pm
Thanks, I'm glad you liked the stories.

As for "Toaster" all that stuff is made up. I just tried to make it sound possible. All those years of making stuff up in school finally started paying off.   

Chris
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote elblanc0 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 5:19pm
Toby,
 
Here is what I learned from both rounds last year. Stay to the middle ground of your genre. Define its essential elements and build your story around them. Don't give the judges an excuse to eliminate your script from contention by steering outside your genre.
 
And most importantly, make the subject the central element of your story. Your story should revolve and evolve around your subject. Don't simply use it as a set piece or secondary prop; another easy weed-out for the judges.
 
Hope this helps.
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