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Class 3: Styles and cut-up

22 April 2024

  1. Introduction
  2. Schedule
  3. Exercises
    1. Genres and tropes
    2. Mundane story, retold
    3. Me vs the Spar
    4. Film editing
  4. Supplementary materials
    1. Other classes


This week’s class looks at copying and switching between styles/genres, and the idea of creating work via ‘cut-up’ methods.


10.30 - 12.45
Review and peer feedback of current work

13.50 - 17.10


Genres and tropes

Make a list of genres you would see in TV and film.

Students’ lists included:

  • Documentary
  • Docu-fiction
  • Mockumentary
  • Biopic
  • Horror
    • Slasher
    • Psychological horror
    • Cult movie
  • Sci-fi
    • Hard sci-fi
    • Kitchen sink sci-fi
  • Thriller
  • Animated
    • Computer animation
    • Disney
    • Anime
  • Spy
  • Comedy
    • Romantic comedy
    • Slapstick
  • TV shows
    • News bulletin
      • Anchor
      • Segment
    • Magazine show
    • Cooking show
    • Debate show
    • Gardening show

…and more

(3 mins)

We then discussed tropes from these genres - what distinguishes a romcom from a slapstick film? Which elements of one genre can be taken into another? Which films successfully merge or play with genre?

Mundane story, retold

Students took 3 minutes to write a dialogue from a recent mundane interaction they had with someone else. Examples included a conversation in the lift, the start of a phone call with a parent, and bumping into a colleague in the corridor seconds before class.

We then discussed Raynond Quineau’s Exercises in Style. Students rewrote their dialogue in several styles using this genre generator:

Your film genre is...

New genre

Me vs the Spar

We briefly discussed the following podcast episode by the brilliant Ross Sutherland, which takes a story about his life, and re-tells it in seven different ways:

Link to Imaginary Advice #47: Me Versus the Spar

Film editing

Finally, we used the following instructions to cut two films found in the Prelinger Archives to the pace of a famous scene from a film. The instructions to do this are here.

Supplementary materials

In class, we discussed:

If you liked these exercises, consider listening to weeks 5-8 of the course podcast. There are a few supplementary exercises you might enjoy!

Other classes

Class 1 Class 2