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On Genre; or ‘The Blank Page is Pure Vertigo, Thank God I Have Genre to Guide Me’
Gill, Samuel Edward James
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The purpose of this exegesis is to explore and study “genre”, specifically how it informs and empowers the construction of a successful dramatic screenplay, with the intention of applying those same lessons to my own simultaneously developed script, “The Myth of Me and You.” Firstly, I define what exactly ‘genre’ is in both a contemporary film context and briefly in a historical literature context. I then use genre to help identify what my own screenplay is, using examples of similar films to both establish the key signifiers that link these particular films, along with my script, into that genre, and to uncover what fans of that particular genre want and need to see. As the wider, personal goal of writing this exegesis and accompanying screenplay is to deepen my skillset as a writer, it’s not simply enough to argue that my screenplay belongs to a particular genre–I must also strive to bring something fresh to that genre. As such, I will briefly touch on what “The Myth of Me and You” aims to bring to its genre. In the context of a Master of Creative Writing Degree, it’s important to not just tackle the technical aspects of story construction, but also the emotional aspects. Therefore, I provide insight into why this specific story matters to me, and into the specific thematics at work beneath the page. Finally, as this exegesis has been written in tandem with the screenplay, the exegesis conclude with extended first-hand accounts of the triumphs and, frankly, voluminous failures experienced during development. More importantly however, it documents how each of these victories and disappointments lead to a stronger, better crafted work. Indeed–it’s the disappointments which provide me lessons to improve and key objectives to tackle with each with subsequent draft.