Genre is stated to be a motion picture category based on similarities in either the narrative elements or the emotional response to the film 

Image result for genre

It’s important for me to identify the typical genres for short film, with the research I’ve done it will help me finalize my thoughts.

  • Romance- This genre focuses on the love, passion and emotions to allow the audience to follow the protagonist through their journey of ‘love’. Conventions: The narrative of romance films/trailers usually follow a conventional “boy meets girl” set up, which consists of the main male character meeting the main female character and them eventually falling in love. The setting can be set anywhere; in a house, in a high school etc.                   

Below is an example:

  • Comedy- Often made to make the audiences laugh and usually have happy endings. Dark comedies also exist which contain more dark humour like drugs, sex etc.  Conventions:  Common conventions in every type of  comedy is the film language they choose to use, bright high key -lighting, set in an idyllic, happy setting
  • Sci-Fi/Fantasy– Normally set in futuristic environments, this includes special effects and are mainly influenced by scientific truths. Conventions: The music in this genre normally contains machinery sound effects, futuristic music or rocket engines. Settings could be set in space, a lab.
  • Documentary- Documentaries are factual and typically narrative based. This genre is the type that I want to include in my short film. Conventions: Voiceovers of factual speakers, interviews taking place, real footage of events
  • Action/Adventure- These films contain fight scenes and continuous action. Conventions: Set in the city, hero’s vs villains

Genre can be defined in different ways:

Personally I believe its hard to actually strictly classify any film into a genre as the film will partially include a variety, from funny scenes (Comedy) to full on gun scene (Action) to even further 2 people falling in love (Romance) so its kind of hard to generalize the entire film as just one theme of genre therefore known as hybrid genre.

Theorist and Critic Rick Altman (1999) came up with problems of classifying genres:

  1. Genre films share certain fundamental characteristics
  2. Critics have distanced from the practice of genre
  3. Genres are transhistorical
Another problem with classifying genre is because of ‘auterism’. This means ‘the belief that a movie should primarily reveal the director’s feelings and beliefs as if he has written it himself. The theory that the director’s vision should be clearly seen in a film’.
I feel like the definition above has become more evident in the film industry, contrasting from the sections of ‘genre’.

Robert Altman

Robert Bernard Altman was an American film director/producer and screenwriter. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in American cinema. His style of filmmaking was unique among other directors were he covered most genres with a ‘subversive’ twist.

Actors especially enjoyed working under his direction because he encouraged them to improvise, which inspired the actors own creativity. He stated that he was more interested in character motivation than in ‘intricate plots’. To show a naturalistic effect, he recorded the characters talking over each other. This allowed the audience to hear only scraps of dialogue. He noted on the DVD commentary of McCabe & Mrs. Miller that he used this technique.

I became really interested in his directing styles and his unique skills in his films, below are my top 3 favourite films Altman had directed:

  1. Gosford Park (2001)

Image result for Gosford Park

2. A Prairie home companion (2006) – I liked this one a lot because Lindsay Lohan and Meryl Streep starred in this.

3. Ready to Wear (1994)


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