Genre-Bending For Fun and Profit (and Revelation!)

by Steven Washer on September 1, 2015

Go ahead. Try and tell me this 2:49 piece isn’t a Brainy Video: 🙂
(Sorry about the commercial they put in at the beginning. Just wait. It’s worth it!)

Movies are meant to put you into a kind of dream state. You sit in a darkened theatre by yourself (even if you are with someone) and surrender your thoughts and feelings to whatever is happening on the screen in front of you. And for the next two hours you absorb the message of that filmmaker. Sometimes you even change your beliefs as a result of being in that passive state of receptivity.

The potential danger is that this is all happening without your conscious involvement. It’s literally going on while your psyche is asleep.

Genre-bending works (when it’s done with care) because it throws the dream into relief. It rouses you from sleep. It shows you exactly where your mind has been taken captive and made to serve an agenda that isn’t necessarily in your best interest. And because it does so with good humor, the lesson goes down easy.

Call it Revelation Lite.

There are all kinds of genres to play with. There’s the spy movie, the western, the thriller, the crime caper, sci-fi, horror, documentary, romantic comedy, war, cops, musicals, adventure, historical epic and action film.

And they need not be complicated to create. A costume and a good script can go a long way toward getting your message across.

What genre could you bend to turn a simple story into a sales video that keeps your audience awake and interested? 🙂

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

David Midgett September 1, 2015 at 10:20 am

Great to get an email and video from you Steve. Been a bit concerned about you health, so it was great to hear your still doing what you do best. I very seldom leave comments on blogs, but you have become one, it not the, “marketer, teacher, and video guy I look forward to getting an email from. You always provide great, usable content, and are great at allowing us to glimpse into Stevie Land. Keep up the good work and good health to you and yours!


Steve September 3, 2015 at 6:55 am

Thank you for those kind words, David! And thanks for your concern, though I think everything is going to be fine. How could it not be, with fuel for the creative fires like this? 🙂


HL Fitzpatrick September 1, 2015 at 11:03 am

Another great blog post you can certainly learn a lot from just watching movies not only the content, but also how it was made the sounds, framing how it all comes together. One thing I noticed all the time from new filmmakers is they’re reluctant to shoot close to the face maybe only the eyes in the shot. We always have to remember the medium that we use can tell a story just with the actors’ movements and how their face looks. If you’re new to the business BRAINVIDEO is a great place to start.


Steve September 3, 2015 at 7:01 am

Thanks, HL! Yes, leaving the ECU out of the ES, ELS, LS, MS, CU and ECU sequence does take away some basic grammar from the filmmaker’s toolbox. Then again, fads in movie-making come and go and you have to know the rules before you break them, etc. etc.

In my imagination, the new directors get the shots because the cinematographer demands it, then they get left on the cutting room floor. 🙂


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