There are a few emerging film genres that allow filmmakers to make low budget movies. I really love some specialty genre of film because I get to see cutting edge cinema.
The first film genre I want to look at is mumblecore. No, these aren’t films about people who don’t speak clearly.
This is an ultra-low guerilla budget, talky, verite, social realism style of American indie cinema. It is targeted towards the twenty-something year old age group (give or take a few years), characterized by amateur or non-actors, improvised, ultra low-budget scripts about everyday people, and centers around relationship type dramas. They are matter-of-fact, non-sensationalized, honest, urban stories. The characters are on the cusp of adulthood and spent a good deal of time discussing their life issues with their friends. They aren’t idealists or proponents of any particular socio-political movement. They simply exist in limbo with fractured employment histories and make the most of the situation they’re in. Examples include the offbeat “Greenberg” starring Ben Stiller.
These are urban action movies defined by movement. The main character is running, sliding, gliding, jumping or otherwise kinetically involved in getting from one place to another with efficiency, speed and communal awareness. They are sometimes called “PK” or l’art du déplacement movies. The obstacles in the main character’s path are physical, including buildings, roads, traffic, gates or other barriers. The main characters typically have evolving strength as they pursue a path of self-improvement, knowledge and longevity. Its motto is “to be and to last”.
Freerunning is mistakenly interchanged with Parkour cinema because both heavily utilize motion. While Parkour has French roots, Freerunning films are the cruder British adaptation. Freerunning shares the same kinetic core with Parkour in terms of the main character getting from one physical space to another. However, the metaphorical, internal growth that is is featured in Parkour films, is less prevalent. Freerunning is often referred to as urban acrobatics, or street stunts, as the main characters navigate through a structure. Movements include pole vaults, dives, flips and martial arts type leaps. Although they are more visually exciting than Parkour moves, they are less streamlined, harmonious and efficient.
Hardly the neo-genre, rashomon traces its roots to the eponymous 1950 Japanese crime film. Today, rashomon films refer to films whereby the action is replayed from another character’s point of view. A memorable modern example is Tom Tykwer’s “Run Lola Run” in which three stories unfold as a young woman makes different choices to obtain large sums of money before her boyfriend robs a supermarket.
These are essentially buddy movies about male bonding. They typically explore relationships between heterosexual males discussing their feelings as they take steps into the uncertain world. The genre explores heightened friendship, as men consciously become closer, almost borderline couples, via a series of man-dates. A common feature of such films such as “I Love You Man” include the female partner feeling a diminished importance. Overall, these films are in response to the metrosexual and sensitive new age guy movements.
These are broad buddy comedies featuring close friends. Their relationships are not as intimate as bromance, but they explore “boys will be boys” antics. Such films include “The 40 Year Old Virgin”.
The fact that females are sociologically predisposed to communicative bonding has always been taken for granted. The sismance genre spawned in response to the bromance. In these times of equal opportunities, why not?
In an age of hybrid genres designed to attract as wide an audience as possible, specific genres evolved to account for the fact that not all hybrid films evenly distribute their component genres. Dramedies are mainly dramas with comedic elements. “Little Miss Sunshine” is a typical example. This also separates them from straight dramas.
The zombies are coming and leaving their impression everywhere; even cinema. I’ve seen this genre refer to zombie comedies such as Shaun Of The Dead.”
CONTAINED THRILLER/ HORROR
The “contained” genre is an upmarket way of demanding the entire action of a story be set in one or an extremely limited number of locations, such as a bank, a haunted house or a school. It is always a function of budget and producers requesting contained scripts are really saying they have minimal funds. The theatricality of contained films indicate that they should lend themselves to more character-based stories.
Torture porn is a sub-genre of horror. It is typified by a low budget, and gratuitous, sickening violence. The lucrative “Saw” films typify this genre. Much like other horror, torture porn is scorned for appealing to the lowest common denominator. However, the seminal social messages are increasingly elevated in torture porn. They deal with primal human urges like survival, morality, life and death and appeal to our primal animal instincts.
This is an audience (sorry demographic) conjured up by marketing gurus to appeal to boys and girls aged 9-14. They are too old for toys, but too young to date. They refer to the pre-adolescents with impressive purchasing power. These films include “High School Musical”.
This is the next step up from tween movies. Young adult movies target the 14-18 year old demographic. “Silver Linings Playbook” franchise is a noteworthy example.
This is a fancy way of taking your genre to a new level. Add an element of surprise, subversion, sub-genre or other stylistic device that pushes a generic genre to its limits and beyond.
This refers to adding an element of reality to a fanstastical genre. It could be sci-fi, magical realism, fantasy. Grounding anchors a big concept and makes it more believable.
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