Screenwriting : What do you prefer to see action or drama/comedy? by Sarah Campos

Sarah Campos

What do you prefer to see action or drama/comedy?

I sat down to watch Heat (starring Al Pacino, DeNiro, etc) recently and found myself constantly pausing it to do other things. I don't know if I just wasn't in the mood to watch that film but it made me realize that I don't like action films as much as I thought. My favorite genres are drama, comedy, horror, thriller, and all the like. I was shocked at my revelation of not taking to action because that is what America (I don't know about other countries) love. Action films are the most successful and it is what America loves and craves and not to mention they are the highest grossing genre of film. Am I the only one who prefers drama/indie over action films? I prefer to feel something deep within me and connect when I watch a film, and I find myself doing that with drama more so. I'm not hating on action films, I do love a lot of action films, I just prefer the genre of drama. And being a screenwriter, I haven't written an action film and don't plan on it. So, what are your guys' opinions? High grossing Action or Indie Drama? Also, don't get me wrong, I like The Hunger Games, Batman, and Spiderman movies just as the next person...I'm just thinking out loud here.

Cherie Grant


CJ Walley

It's not about genre for me, it's all about the tone.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

I like Sci-fi action, but horror is where my heart is. They're just all so terrible so it's hard to stick by them.

Owen Mowatt

I'm having a stab at all of them to see what fits. I love psychological films, Silence of the Lambs, Angel Heart, Se7en, but finding that they are a tough write. I cant go near comedy, much prefer black comedy, where the humor is unintentional. Currently doing a thriller, which I think I'm enjoying. :)

CJ Walley

Yeah it's certainly worth taking a shot at different genres. For myself it's really helped me focus in on the elements I really like to write. If you start writing a drama and find it turns into action or you start writing horror and it turns into comedy then you're really discovering your voice.

Cherie Grant

I find myself liking any genre plus, but when ti comes to writing I write any genre/comedy. I always end up writing comedy. for some reason it resonates most with me and i find it more appealing to write.

Brian Walsh

I like a good story. Doesn't really matter so much what the genre is. I've seen good and bad films of every genre and ultimately if the story is interesting and I care about the characters, I like the film.

Nerys John

Action's a little way down the list for me, but then I'm not American. I love drama, but really I'm all about comedy - to watch and write.

Kerry Douglas Dye

At the risk of being off-topic, I question the premise that Heat is an action film. I'd classify it as "crime drama" or something like that. There isn't all that much "action" in the genre sense.

Sarah Campos

Thanks for your input, guys. I see that it's more about finding a great story, I agree!

William Martell

I prefer the Traditional Nudist Western: 10 gallon hats, sixguns, spurs... and nothing else. In a G rated story of black hats and white hats and conservative values.

Eric Kinloch

action and comedy, so Hot Fuzz is one of my favorites lol

Matt de Rojas

I've often found that in my film ideas and screenplays that I have mixed genres in virtually all of them. Although there is usually a predominant genre in each, there are often elements of other genres incorporated within.

Essence Laurel Jones

I prefer it because of the emotional roller coaster ride it takes me on, and yes I do cry and blame it on allergies :)

Dov S-S Simens

I love any movie, made by an independent, that makes a profit

Doug Nelson

As a screenwriter, I’ve tried writing everything from murder mysteries, horror, drama, fantasy and all sorts of other genres. I’ve realized that I take nothing in life seriously – and certainly not myself. Everything I write becomes comedic (sometimes dark) so I’ve learned to follow that path. My all time favorite niche is paranormal comedy – so that’s where I concentrate my efforts. Go watch Ghost Busters or Beetlejuice – that’s my kinda stuff. Write whatever suits your compression ratio.

Jeff Scott

I like Action. Love the explosions and Chase scenes. Horror my favorite genre, but I also like a few comedies as well. As an aspiring writer I am looking to do horror.

CaSandra Mathis

I LOVE movies filled with mad, stupid, crazy shit which is why it irks my last nerve when I get coverage that tells me I can't have mad, stupid, crazy shit in my screenplays because the scenes just don't make sense. Who surgically removed coverage reader's funny bones? LOL I'm going to start a post on this because I truly need some feedback. This coverage process is killing me. It's one thing to critique format, structure, plot, etc..., but who the heck gets to decide what's funny? I know a ton of movies that would never have been made, in fact pretty much all of my favorites, if they depended on the coverage readers I've gotten to get through. Can you imagine how many of these coverage folk would've told Tyler Perry that Madea can't be a 6'5" tall woman played by a man? She can't cut a man's furniture in half with a chain saw (where the hell that come from anyway? LOL) simply because he did her niece down right dirty, or drive a car through a fast food restaurant 'cuz they don't have what she wants on the menu, or much of anything else?

John Charnay

I love films in all genres that are great within their genres!

Erik A. Jacobson

When writing a script, I always try to reverse-engineer things first. In other words, what is selling best, both here and overseas? Since drama/comedy is VERY hard for sales agents to sell overseas (which is now the largest market), I'm reluctant to tackle it. And thrillers and horror have now over-saturated the market. So what IS selling big worldwide besides action? Family-targeted scripts. Go to any market such as AFM, EFM, Toronto, or Cannes and you'l find dozens of buyers begging for family product.

Erik A. Jacobson

Yes, Steven. That would have great potential, both here and overseas.

Dov S-S Simens

Any of the 3 if excellently done... Key phrase "excellently done"... If I had my druthers I'd go for high-budget period pieces... Dov S-S

William Martell

You can write in any genre, but then you have to follow that genre's path to the screen (when we come to the business aspects). So Indie Films are made independently, outside the system, and usually written/directed/produced by the same person (or team). Many dramas start as novels or plays rather than spec screenplays (so that is the path you take to get there). There are many genres where spec screenplays are the most common path to take. You can write anything you want, but when it comes to selling it or using it to find an assignment it's ultimately the ticket buyers who decide the business side (and that trickles through producers and studios who look at what has sold tickets in the near past and use that to gauge what will probably sell tickets in the near future). Screenwriting is different than any other type of writing because a screenplay is only a part of a much larger work: a movie. We are part of a team (or an eventual team).

Dov S-S Simens

Please pay attention to Mr Martell. He has the knowledge. He has the wisdom and has spent years learning the proper writing-storytelling sound-bites to use for first-timers to understand...

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