The Evolution Of Movie Genres Essay

2444 words - 10 pages

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 over a waterfall and rapids with a humanoid figure examining it from a distance as it ascends into the sky. Very early on the film gives the audience a very clear science fiction element, the “UFO”. We return to the humanoid figure, who has consumed an unknown substance, and his body begins to deteriorate very rapidly, the audience is then zoomed into the microscopic parts of his body during the process, a very science fiction reoccurring motif. The cells begin to change in the water, and the word PROMETHEUS slowly becomes visible, paving the way for the end of the introduction to the Scott’s rendition of the creation of mankind. This short prelude narrative is already screaming “science fiction” to the audience. The next scene introduces the setting as “Isle of Skye – Scotland, 2089.” Futurism is a theme of science fiction, often times taking the narrative many years into our future. The next scene jumps even further into the future of the narrative by four years, introducing the “Scientific Exploratory Vessel: Prometheus,” traveling through space to an undisclosed location. As the film progresses, we see many more elements of science fiction; holograms, cryogenic sleep, even the design of the craft is aesthetically...

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