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The constructive use of film genre for the screenwriter: The relevant knowledge component of the mental space of film genre

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This exploration is a continuation of my work on the ‘mental space of film genre’, a term I have coined to introduce a terminology to investigate the use of film genre for the screenwriter as he or she constructs a screenplay. Understanding this use of film genre may add to the screenwriter’s other technical skills such as knowledge of story structure and character construction. I have previously delineated the first two elements of the mental space of film genre in the second issue of the Journal of Screenwriting – schematic knowledge (the use of film genre as a framing device) and specific knowledge (the understanding of film genre the audience brings to the viewing of filmic narratives). This work will then focus on what I believe to be the important third element of the mental space of film genre – relevant knowledge.
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Keywords: Gilles Fauconnier; Howard M. Harper; Torben Grodal; adaptations; currency; film genre; idealized cognitive model; mental space; possible world; relevant knowledge component of film genre

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: California State University, Fullerton

Publication date: August 3, 2011

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  • The Journal of Screenwriting aims to explore the nature of writing for the moving image in the broadest sense, highlighting current academic thinking around scriptwriting whilst also reflecting on this with a truly international perspective and outlook. The journal will encourage the investigation of a broad range of possible methodologies and approaches to studying the scriptwriting form, in particular: the history of the form, contextual analysis, the process of writing for the moving image, the relationship of scriptwriting to the production process and how the form can be considered in terms of culture and society. The journal also aims to encourage research in the field of screenwriting, the linking of scriptwriting practice to academic theory, and to support and promote conferences and networking events on this subject.
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