The Evolution of Movie Genres

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It’s no question that genre is a very important factor in a screenwriter’s pursuit of creating a highly marketable film. Considering genre types in writing a script for an upcoming film is important to not only the target audience, but the technical characteristics of certain genres. Every film created is categorized into a specific genre based on elements of that genre type, as well as accompanied by technical aspects that classify a film as a specific genre type. Some films are finalized as purely one type of genre, while in other instances the film gains the classification of type different genre types. Sound, cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing, and narrative are the formal elements of film that help determine a final product into a genre class, or multiple genre classes. Yet even dwelling in the subcategories of major genre types, like science fiction or action, films also have the ability to shift genre within their screen time and not only be placed in a genre category but jump genre types as well. This is caused greatly by the blending of genre types that have elements that complement each other’s qualities well and can easily be transitioned from one type to the next. Where Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) series prequel Prometheus (2012) began under the science fiction type genre and develops a gradual transition into horror, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods (2012) flips the two genres, beginning as a horror genre than transitions into a science fiction category. Prometheus begins with the depiction of some unknown planet, panning across uninhabited landscapes and remote locations as slow tempo orchestra music plays over the shots. It eventually pans up to show some sort of circular disk hovering ov... ... middle of paper ... ...enre type, and each film made has many different qualities of film genre that make them unique in their genre settings. Both Prometheus and Cabin in the Woods are clear examples of this creative genre flow and change throughout a film and its narrative. Works Cited Abbott, Stacey, “Final Frontiers: Computer-Generated Imagery and the Science Fiction Film” Science Fiction Studies , Vol. 33, No. 1, Technoculture and Science Fiction (Mar., 2006), pp. 89-108 Bereit, Virginia F. “The Genre of Science Fiction”, Elementary English , Vol. 46, No. 7 (NOVEMBER, 1969), pp. 895-900, Published by: National Council of Teachers of English Hodsdon, Barret “The Mystique of Mise-en-scene Revisited” Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture, vol. 5 no 2 (1990) Merriam-Webster "Science Fiction." Merriam-Webster.com, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.

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