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The constructive use of film genre for the screenwriter: mental space of film genre first exploration

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This article aims to examine components of film genre that may be of practical use to the screenwriter in the creative ideation process as well as in the construction of a screenplay. The varying uses of the term genre has led to a misunderstanding of its efficacious place in the screenwriter's toolbox and it is my intent to forge beyond genre studies of historical, marketing, iconographic and thematic perspectives and focus on the implications of film genre in the development of a screenplay. To achieve this objective, film genre will be explored in relation to the philosophical constructs proposed by Gilles Fauconnier and George Lakoff, specifically the idea of mental space as it relates to the building of a film narrative into an idealized cognitive model that appeals to and attracts a specific audience.
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Keywords: Gilles Fauconnier; Torben Grodal; audience; film genre; genre film; idealized cognitive model; mental space; possible world

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: California State University, Fullerton.

Publication date: May 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • 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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