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Storytelling on film

Screen stories

There are thousands of films made every year, so where do filmmakers find their inspiration? Are there certain story types that are more suited to the screen?

The most popular film genres are comedy, action and adventure. Other film genres include:

  • drama
  • thriller
  • crime
  • horror
  • romantic comedy
  • documentary
  • science fiction
  • western
  • musical

and more besides. Some films might combine two or more genres within their main storyline.

Key questions:

  • Carry out an Internet search for the films released this month, then try to categorise them by genre, going on the films’ synopses.
  • What is your favourite film genre and why?
  • Why do you think there are so many comedies, action movies and adventure stories made?
  • Think of the most recent film you have seen at the cinema. What type of story was it? Look at and the film’s website to find out where the filmmaker got his or her inspiration to make the film.
  • Many books are adapted into films. Which book would you like to see made into a film and why? Using the film language tools outlined earlier, think about how you would make your story choice into a film.