If you’re a filmmaker, you’ve probably heard that making genre pictures is generally the best way to get your start. They can be a good way for you to start developing a community, and building a brand around yourself, your company, and your work. But the popular genres change on something of a regular basis. So to start the new year off right, I’m writing this blog to share the hot genres of 2019.
Oh, if you’re not convinced as to why Genre is so important, I encourage you to read the blog below.
1. - Hot - Family
I know, you were probably expecting me to say horror or action. Well, while some of those might be on the list, Family is at the top of it. There’s a huge demand for family films right now, and it’s not being adequately filled. That said, it’s kind of hard to make a family film well on the cheap due to child labor laws and safety concerns. If you can, great, it will be easy to find distribution. If not, then you might want to move on down to #3 on the hot list.
Generally, family adventure content is also something you can pre-sell if you get the right package. Animated sells the best, but live action works as well. Mixing it with animals or international holidays is also good for trying to attach a presale. All of that being said, you’re going to need a really strong script and a strong package to get that presale.
2. - Hot - Action
Surprise surprise. If you want to make a film that’s easy to sell, make an action movie. As we all know the problem with that is that action movies tend to be expensive. Even with that, you’ll probably need a name in it to really get the sales price up where you need it to be.
If you’ve already made a few projects, Action films can get some level of resale financing. However, you’ll be much better off if you focus on a popular sub genre as well. As of right now adventure or sci-fi looks like the best bet.
3. - Hot - Thriller
Psychological thrillers tend to be one of the best options for first time filmmakers as the film is easy to sell, there’s a built in audience, and they can be shot on the cheap. Just keep in mind to make sure that the film is suspenseful, otherwise you’re just rebranding a genre.
Now for the Not so Hot Genres.
1. - Not - Drama
But Ben! I read that dramas have the most breakout potential! All the Oscars winners are dramas! Yeah, but from those articles written by Bruce Nash and Stephen Follows also go into great detail to say that most of this films were budgeted between 1 and 3.5 million dollars, generally went through something like Sundance Labs on the Nichols Fellowships, and had some REALLY strong cast involved. If that sounds like your project, great. Make a drama. If it doesn’t, make a thriller.
The sad fact of the matter is that in order to make any real money, a drama has to be EXCEEDINGLY good. As in, 9 or above on IMDb. Also, dramas tend not to export well unless they have A-list talent in all the major roles. I believe for most of my readers that’s not really in the cards. However, if this does sound like you, an extra big thanks for reading, I’d like to remind you I have a submissions portal.
2. - Not - Comedy
Unfortunately, comedy is very difficult to sell internationally due to the cultural intricacies involved making any situation funny. As with drama, you’ll need to make something with strong, recognizable name talent at the helm to be able to make any significant amount of money from it.
The Mixed: Horror
The future of horror is somewhat uncertain. It made a strong showing at AFM 2018, but in 2017 it was dead. If you can make a horror film better than you could make anything else, then you should consider it. If you can’t, I’d say focus on making a well made horror film.
Thank you so much for reading! This blog post concludes an informal 3 part series on where the industry seems to be headed in 2019. You can read the first part on the general landscape of the film industry in 2019 here, and the second part on best ways to finance your film in 2019 here.
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My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of PRoducer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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