Should the prologue establish the genre even if it makes things confusing to understand?


The author of the video argues that the prologue should establish the genre, and recommends that the film's prologue should make it about a group doing a heist for a zombie from some organization, but wouldn't it make the story hard to follow? Because in the film, the prologue establishes there was a zombie outbreak, and making a prologue about a group doing a heist for a zombie, and then not mentioning the zombie outbreak in the prologue would make it very hard to follow. Does the guy still have a point? What's your take on this?

  • Showing the existence of a single zombie establishes that some level of outbreak has already occurred.
    – Allan
    Jul 3, 2022 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


Is a movie about a heist in the middle of a zombie outbreak a heist movie or a zombie movie? Sometimes things don't fit in a single genre.

If you watch the trailer for the movie in question, you can see it shows both the zombie and the heist aspect of the story. So most viewers will already have their expectations set by the trailer (and reviews, and recommendations etc), before ever watching the prologue.

But yes, it is important to set the right expectations for your audience early on. However, you have more time than just the prologue to do it. If you have a common story structure, I'd say you have up to the "inciting event" (up to 1/8th of the way in) to set up your story and set expectations.

Trying to switch genre late risks alienating your audience. The ones that started reading/watching and liked where it was going will lose interest, and may abandon the story. And the ones that would only become interested after this pivot, already abandoned the story long ago. So you'll be left with the smaller intersection of the two groups that like it either way.


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