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On Genre

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Some useful ideas on genre in screenwriting.

We screenwrite to produce spec scripts that communicate our talent to a decision-maker who will then pay us to write. To this end, your spec script should be familiar. Familiar means in a recognizable genre. We know genres – if a comedy makes us laugh it works. If a horror movie scares us, it works.

Genres work because they’re familiar, we have the tools to analyze them. But if you say “My script is an experimental piece, very stream of consciousness, a mix of Truffaut and Malick,” I have no way of knowing if you succeeded. The pile of papers you hand me might be brilliant, or it might be a pretentious pile of crap. Lacking a genre, I lack the tools to confidently make that decision, so I’ll cover my ass and I’ll recommend the competent comedy over the potentially brilliant new thing. And that’s the opinion of me, a relatively…

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Keanu Reeves’ documentary ‘Side by Side’: It’s time to accept that digital is the future

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154690910 300x203 Keanu Reeves documentary Side by Side: Its time to accept that digital is the future

❝This week sees the release of the Keanu Reeves-fronted documentary Side By Side. The film features interviews with several respected filmmakers, each of whom discuss their personal attitude towards the decline in traditional 35mm photochemical cinematography, and the revolution in digital acquisition, distribution and exhibition. The documentary is impeccable both in its detail and balance, yet seems to ultimately focus on a debate that is already resolved.

Photochemical film stock was the primary format used to make movies for the 120 years after its invention, and has a special place in the hearts of many as a nostalgic medium that underlines the numinous quality of cinema.❞

From: The Independent Blogs; included in my Flipboard e-zine: The Cinematographer, http://flip.it/JAU8x