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Short Screenplay Challenge: Genre question

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andromedae17 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 Oct 2019 at 7:39am
Hello everyone! Super looking forward to the Short Screenplay Challenge this year - it'll be my first! 

I have a question about the genre portion of the assignment we get: if the genre is not "Open", can we combine the assigned genre with something else? For instance, I was practicing loglines with the past examples they have on the site, and came up with this:

Horror/a rooftop/wheelchair - after a miracle recovery that restores the use of his legs, an amoral lawyer must escape the AI-equipped "smart facility" that wants to re-incapacitate him by any means necessary.

Ignoring the (lack of) quality of that logline... could I write that as a horror-comedy, or sci-fi horror (which it kind of already is)? Does the logline need to scream "horror", or does the script just need to be scary? If one or more judges decide it's not scary enough to be a horror script, or leans too far into another genre like comedy or SF, do I immediately fail/come last by default?

Thank you!! All comment much appreciated. 


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cheezopath View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cheezopath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2019 at 7:53am
i think that as long as you definitely tick the boxes of the assigned genre, you can mix in elements of others too. If your minor genre is one of the other genres you could get, take extra care with your balance.
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andromedae17 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote andromedae17 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2019 at 8:02am
Thank you! (Also: guess who woke up at 04:00 GMT expecting to see the first challenge before realising the prompts were coming out tomorrow morning...)

P.S. Congratulations, winner!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manifestlynot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2019 at 9:59am
Your assigned genre should be the predominant one, but I’ve had success mixing in others as well. I can’t keep political satire out of most of my writing and it hasn’t been a problem. Keep in mind that the judges are reading 20-30 pieces in the same genre and same prompts, and anything that makes your story stand out is a plus!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Janetinputney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2019 at 1:23pm
I think you can mix, so long as you deliver on the beats of your genre!  Good luck this weekend. I look forward to seeing your script on the forum!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote erikric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2019 at 2:48pm
I have kind of the same question.

My genre is Mystery. Is it okay to have some "supernatural" (science based) elements, as long as it is mainly about solving a crime?

Kind of like X-Files, but less horrory (and just a regular policeman).
2018 Short Screenplay Challenge 1 (Crime Caper) Ruby Salad

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NYCNewbie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2019 at 2:58pm
For me, I totally believe the best stories are a mash up of genres with the assigned one leading the pack.
I’ve just drawn SPY for my short screenplay and know that will need a heavy dose of thriller, suspense and mystery thrown in, in order to make it hit the mark. I am still not fixed on my story idea but am happily considering adding either supernatural elements, sci-fi or even romance as a sub-plot. One genre that you have been assigned should carry the story but if, for example you drew comedy, you have to ask (as I did when I drew it) comedy yes, but funny what? The meat of the story is key and that then attached with the genre will smash it.

Do your mash up and don’t worry.
Write the story you have in your heart and be proud you rose to the challenge. These time constraints are so hard, but when you get something done, it’s an amazing feeling.

Good luck to you!

Paula x
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cheezopath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2019 at 3:20pm
Asimov famously wrote a lot of short sci-fi mysteries. Perhaps worth checking out..?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2019 at 4:00pm
Yeah, don't worry about the mashup. Try to keep the story plausibly in the genre. You can do SciFi+Fantasy, PoliSci+Horror, Action/Adventure+Fairy Tale.

You'll be fine, as long as you understand how a mystery works vs. how suspense works.

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