The film industry markets movies by genre. do you want to see a horror? A comedy? A thriller? Or do you want a mixed genre like action adventure or romantic comedy?
To make it as a screenwriter, one needs to become genre specific: to specialise in horror or thriller is better than being a master of drama.
Drama is considered too general a description. Better yet, successful screenwriters specialise in a mix of genres. For example, Edgar Wright (Shawn of the Dead) is a master of comedy and horror. Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Love Actually, Bean) as a master of comedy combined with the love genre.
What these writers have done is created awareness of their specific skills, which enables producers to say "Who can we get to write this rom-com-zom?" Of course Edgar Wright's name will pop up because he is now known to be a master of that particular genre-blend.
As writers use genre, so too all filmmakers need to use the tool of genre to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Where writers have the 10 key dramatic genres to help them get noticed, filmmakers have no such help - were the use of personal genre becomes paramount.
Our life is the era of personal genre.
Everyone is competing to get work, and before you are hired, employers want to know what 'story' you are. What you are and how you use it will determine what jobs you get, who you develop relationships with, both personal and professional.
As screenwriters use genres to distinguish themselves, your personal genre is what will set you apart from everyone else.
Many of the filmmakers I work with get jammed on this point and worry that they need to develop a personal genre. It is very easy to overthink this key point.
The fact is, you are your own unique personal genre, And because your genre is you, it is as unique as possible. You don't need to worry about genre blends or style - because you already are one.
The trick is to look at your core DNA and decide as a filmmaker - be it writer, director, producer, actor, cinematographer, editor, designer - and decide what is truly you. You then need to strip this message back to basics and learn to communicate your genre clearly.
Co-incidentally, the steps you take to communicate your personal genre to the outside world are very similar to the steps taken by marketeers and advertising companies seeking to communicate so-called brand values.
The 10 Steps To Creating Personal Genre
Resonance is that deep inner satisfaction you get when you know you have made the right decision. Get it crystal clear that what you are doing resonates with who you are. Once you are clear, and have 'resonance' you will work with a passion that with send a huge 'filmmaker genre' signal out ahead of everywhere you go.
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