Movie Genre Foundation Certificate - Raindance London


Mastering Movie Genre Foundation Certificate



Raindance Members get 20% off this course.
Next start date:
Monday 15th October, 6.30pm – 9pm
Duration: Five Monday evenings
AddressRaindance Film Centre, 10a Craven Street, London, WC2N 5PE or online

Want a discount? Become a Member, or log in if you are a member.


Genre is one of the most crucial tools for filmmakers. Learn about this powerful tool at the Movie Genre foundation Certificate.

To be a great writer or filmmaker, you need to be a genre subversive – and this course is going to show you how.

Genre isn’t just an important aspect of screenwriting. It’s something that writers and filmmakers absolutely have to understand, from the inside out. But it isn’t spoken about as much as it should be.

This course is going to change all that.

As well helping audiences to identify the films they’ll enjoy and financiers and distributors to estimate the potential popularity of projects, genre gives filmmakers starting points for new stories and ways to devise narratives which mix the familiar with the new and startling.

Many writers don’t realise that the ‘serious social drama’ they’re working on could be transformed into something much more memorable, original (and saleable) with a deeper understanding of genre.

Framing new takes on genre

Contemporary audiences are no longer satisfied with simple takes on the well-worn stories they’re used to seeing. To make films and scripts that stand out from the pack, you need to bend them in new and compelling directions.

That’s why you need to become a genre subversive.

It’s why you need to start thinking in terms of melding and mutating the shapes that audiences are used to, and finding compelling new ones for your stories. We’ll be going deep into all these issues, and answering questions like:

  • What genre should I be writing? Which ones suit my take on the world?
  • What are the ‘ground rules’ for the genres that interest me?
  • Is it possible to transcend my psychology and write “against type”?
  • How can I blend genres successfully to create compelling new stories?
  • Are my ideas suited to ‘populist’ genres like Science Fiction and Horror?
  • If so, how can I best use these genres to get my thoughts and ideas across to a wide audience?

These workshops will supercharge your grasp of genre, showing how a full understanding of the concept can make stories stand out from the crowd and become truly cinematic.

Raindance is proud to present the Movie Genre Foundation Certificate, in these five evening classes with experienced tutor Ian Long. Together, you’ll explore the ways that you can use and combine genres to bring freshness and power to your stories.

Come along and learn what you need to know about being a Genre Subversive.

The classes can be taken individually or can be taken together at a saving of 20%. They will also be available live online.

About the tutor of Movie Genre Foundation Certificate

Ian Long is a scriptwriter, editor and teacher. He has presented screenwriting workshops at the BFI, Central Film School, London Screenwriters’ Festival, and at film Festivals in Finland, Latvia, Belfast, Dublin, and for Euroscript. He began his career as a graphic artist, and still does a lot of drawing. He is Euroscript’s Head of Consultancy.

Week 1: Making Genre Work For You

This workshop will show how the ‘mask’ of genre can transform stories and themes, bringing out their latent qualities and making them attractive to producers and audiences.

We’ll see how identifying the appropriate genre for a story can be the crucial step towards getting it on the screen; identify the themes and ideas that can benefit from various genre treatments; and demonstrate how genre can open up stories to wider audiences.

We’ll also see how a firm knowledge of pre-existing stories in a given genre is of vital help with the creation of new ones.

Take Making Genre Work For You on its own >HERE<

Week 2: Rite-of-Passage Stories

Our lives are a constant process of flux and change. As we move from one stage of life to another, we must cross certain boundaries and become different people, with new expectations and responsibilities. And each transition has its own particular rewards and dangers.

Many of the greatest stories zero in on these emotionally fraught times, showing what’s gained if we make the passage – and the disasters that can occur if we fail.

Because it crops up in so many types of story, looking at rite-of-passage in detail is a great way to understand how genres work, as each tackles the theme in its own distinctive way.

Take Rite-of-Passage Stories on its own >HERE<

Week 3: Science Fiction

In the third week of the Movie Genre Foundation Certificate tutor, Ian Long visits Sci-fi.

Science fiction is a sprawling mega-genre which continues to galvanise cinema. Many of the most successful contemporary films are some variant of SF. But these stories don’t have to be cripplingly expensive! Contrary to general belief, there’s a great tradition of low-budget science fiction, which thrives on great ideas.

This workshop will show you how to make sense of a genre which includes so many and varied strands – post-apocalyptic stories, tales of robots and aliens, time-travel, smart drugs, etc – and suggest where you can find the novel ideas which are its stock-in-trade, and which will challenge and entertain audiences.

Take Science Fiction on its own >HERE<

Week 4: Horror

Cinema is a way of accessing dream-states and seeing things which we couldn’t encounter in normal life: that’s one of its appeals.

By embodying our deepest fears, horror and supernatural films evoke a visceral response, tapping into both our dreams and our nightmares. Horror cuts to the chase, dealing with the primal issues that other types of story merely skate around.

For all these reasons, producers are keen to find good horror scripts. And as well as feature films, some of the most popular recent TV series have strong horror aspects (think of Hannibal, Being Human, Dexter, etc).

We’ll find out how to devise new variations on the characters, scenarios and ideas which comprise the genre.

Take Horror on its own >HERE<

Week 5: Thrillers and Neo-Noir

This is the last week of the Movie Genre Foundation Certificate.

Do you find antiheroes and flawed, conflicted or damaged protagonists intriguing? Are you attracted to stories that resist the easy certainty of happy endings and neat resolutions? Do you suspect that human psychology is more twisted and disturbed than many people are willing to admit?

Then neo-noir is probably the genre you should be writing.

Many of the best ‘thrillers’ (a catch-all term which needs to be broken down to make any real sense) are actually neo-noirs – stories which take their themes from the classic noirs of the 40s and update them for a modern audience.

If you want to write a story that gets to the heart of the modern world’s darkness, you need to know about the principles of neo-noir.

Take Thrillers and Neo-Noir on its own >HERE<


Did you know?

  • Raindance members save 20% on this course? You can join online >HERE< and start saving immediately
  • This course is FREE for our HND and postgraduate/MA/ students
  • The Raindance Guarantee: If this course fails to meet your expectations, let us know at the break and we will make a full, 100% no-questions-asked refund

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