10 Best Film Styles for Runway Gen-2 Videos

Runway Gen-2 is a text-to-video AI tool that you can use to create cinematic videos. Essentially, the tool enables users to create short clips. The initial video that you create from a text prompt is ...

Runway Gen-2 is a text-to-video AI tool that you can use to create cinematic videos. Essentially, the tool enables users to create short clips. The initial video that you create from a text prompt is four seconds long, but you can extend it multiple times.

The quality of the videos you create has a lot to do with your prompts. It's important to include relevant information in your prompts, which the AI model will pick up as clear instructions and use it to create outstanding clips. That's why today I'm going to be talking about the best film styles you can use in Runway Gen-2.

After reading this article, you'll see how defining a certain film style in your prompt can affect the generated results. I hope it inspires you to carefully consider what type of instructions you'll mention when you are writing your prompts.

Although Runway Gen-2 also has a feature that enables you to turn images into videos, I'll focus solely on text prompts here. After spending months interacting with this AI model, my opinion is that text prompts produce better results. That's not to say that the image-to-video feature is not powerful. I just personally prefer using the text-to-video model.

best runway film styles

What Are the 10 Best Film Styles for Runway Gen-2 Videos

Before I list what I consider to be the 10 best film styles for Runway Gen-2 videos, it's important to take a minute to realize the differences between film styles and genres. The techniques a director uses refer to the film style. They can include lighting, cinematography, and themes, among other techniques.

On the other hand, a film genre revolves around narrative elements. Directors will use narrative elements like familiar patterns, conventions, and motifs to fit the framework of a particular genre.

When you're writing text prompts for Runway Gen-2, you should think like a director or cinematographer. This is easier said than done and it's something I've been learning to do for a while. That's why the way I structure my prompts in Runway Gen-2 is different from how I write them when I'm using text-to-image models like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney.

There are many different film styles that you can mention in your prompts when you're using Runway Gen-2. I decided to choose the 10 styles that are most interesting to me. These styles include:

  • Neo-noir - This style represents the revival of the film noir genre, which was insanely popular in the United States from 1940 to 1960. This style usually revolves around dark lighting and sinister stories.
  • Art Horror - This is a subgenre of the arthouse film style. It's all about experimenting with the artistic uses of the horror genre. It's fair to say that a lot of indie horror films incorporate this style.
  • Classical Hollywood Style - Most movies you watch either on TV or in the cinema feature the classical Hollywood film style. It was first developed in the 1910s and ultimately became the most pervasive style in filmmaking.
  • Surrealist - This film style uses shocking, absurd, and irrational imagery to challenge the traditional function of art. It represents a different way of presenting reality.
  • Film Noir - As I've previously mentioned, the film noir style was incredibly popular during the middle of the 20th century. Since then, some would say that it evolved into the neo-noir style.
  • Spaghetti Western - If you're a fan of old Clint Eastwood movies, then you're most likely aware of the spaghetti Western film style. These were mostly Western movies that were produced in Europe and became well-known internationally.
  • Experimental - It's hard to define what makes the experimental film style since it's supposed to explore alternatives to methods of working or traditional narratives.
  • Arthouse - The arthouse film style is a term that's mostly used to describe independent films that are directed at niche markets instead of a wider audience. Movies that feature this style are not created for mass appeal. Instead, they focus on artistic work and are often experimental.
  • Underground - The underground style is a term used to describe films that are completely out of the mainstream in their financing, genre, and style.
  • Documentary - The documentary film style was created to document reality for the purposes of education or maintaining a historical record. You already know that, but I still felt the need to include this description since I also wrote one for every other style.

I will be using each of these mentioned styles in this article. I'll use one style per prompt. Let's check out what I generated for you today.

Runway Gen-2 Prompt Examples for 10 Best Film Styles

When you're using a particular film style, you should do research on it to know what type of scene to create. Remember that the scene you're creating should match the style you are using.

prompt #1: neo-noir film style, rain-soaked, dimly lit alley, a detective in a trench coat investigates a crime scene, dim lighting, moody

Most of the neo-noir films I've watched included a certain crime that had to be solved. I love to watch these movies when it's either autumn or winter. When it's dark, cold, and raining outside in the real world, it puts me in the mood to watch these types of films.

The description of this scene perfectly matches the genre. There is a dimly lit alley in which a detective in a trench coat is walking through. It doesn't get more neo-noir than that. Although the scene looks incredible, you can't really see the detective's face. But that's okay because this type of technology is still quite new. You should keep your expectations relatively low when you're using a model like Runway Gen-2.

prompt #2: art horror film style, a young woman is sitting in a bright room with painted walls that feature strange symbols, colorful, horrorcore aesthetic, 1970s aesthetic

This video is very creepy. I've spent at least 10 minutes looking at all of the objects on the wall. They're so random, and feature everything from weird paintings to what appear to be masks. The color palette seen here definitely reminds me of indie horror films.

Speaking of independent horror movies, I really like the work Ari Aster has done so far. Midsommar quickly became one of my favorite movies. The lighting in this scene for some reason instantly reminded me of Midsommar. But that's just my uneducated opinion. I might be way off on that observation.

prompt #3: classical Hollywood film style, a middle-aged man is smoking a cigarette in the lobby of a hotel that features an art deco aesthetic, high key lighting

This is probably one of the most difficult tasks that you can give to a text-to-video AI model. Although this type of scene may seem simple to generate, it's really not. Let me break down why.

The first issue that you're likely to encounter is errors with the way the hands are designed. Even text-to-image models can't generate hands properly. This is a problem that happens because fingers can be in very different positions. So, when an AI model is trained on a large data set, it may see fingers in a variety of positions and will get confused as to exactly how to generate them.

The second issue is the process of inhaling and exhaling smoke. It can take a lot of training for the AI model to "understand" that. However, it can create the right pose from my prompt.

With all of this said, this scene is spectacular. It's rare to see a face in high detail generated properly by the Runway Gen-2 model. The background is also extraordinary. Even the reflections all make sense. Apart from the errors that were bound to occur, this is a magnificent clip.

prompt #4: surrealist film style, a dreamlike underwater palace that contains ethereal objects and beings, defying the laws of gravity, dream aesthetic, fantasy

It's still difficult for a generative AI model to reach a level of perfection that you'd get from doing real-life photography or filmmaking. If you look closely enough, you'll usually find some error even if it's really tiny.

But since surrealist scenes are not meant to represent the world exactly as it is, I can comfortably say that this video is absolutely perfect. I tried to get the Runway Gen-2 model to create ethereal beings in a few of my prompts, but it never worked. I'll keep trying until it does. However, there are definitely flying ethereal objects here that defy the laws of gravity.

Even though this article is all about film styles, I can't stop thinking about the fact that this scene would be great if featured in a music video. It kind of reminds me of a few Pink Floyd music videos I've seen.

prompt #5: film noir style, 1950s setting, a grandiose villa where a horrific crime occurred, mystery, thriller

Even though I love watching old movies from time to time, I usually like to watch new films that are released. That's why I included neo-noir in this list before I mentioned this classic film style.

The themes you see in film noir movies also often involve detectives and horrific crimes. However, I didn't want this scene to also include a character. Instead, I simply wanted to generate a video of a grandiose villa with a 1950s setting.

This is the type of scene you'd usually expect to see at the beginning of a movie. Everything looks normal until you see that something terrible happened and then the story slowly develops.

prompt #6: spaghetti Western film style, a cowboy standing in front of an old saloon waiting for his nemesis to arrive during the middle of the day, high key lighting, sun is shining

I love to watch spaghetti Western films. After all, I'm from Europe and they remain very popular here to this day. I kind of had a love-hate relationship with them for most of my life. I watched so many of these movies as a kid that I became bored of them as a teenager and thought they were cringe.

Nowadays, I've learned to appreciate them once again because they are really entertaining. The scene I described in this prompt is something you'd see in almost any spaghetti Western movie.

prompt #7: experimental film style, fragmented narrative unfolds with surreal and abstract visuals, the scene shifts rapidly between disorienting images and disconnected moments

Since I used the experimental film style here, I wanted this prompt to be very different. The idea suddenly came to me and I honestly had no idea what the AI model would create from it. I felt like I was creating an abstract work of art.

Now, it's important to keep realistic expectations. What I described here is way too much for a text-to-video model to create. The scene shifting rapidly is like asking for many videos to be featured in a single clip, and that's just not going to happen with a single prompt. I tried generating a bunch of different clips and they were all unique but didn't contain shifting scenes with disorienting images and disconnected moments.

As a result, I got this interesting scene that looks exactly like something out of an experimental film. It's difficult to explain exactly what's happening here, but that's what happens when you write an abstract prompt.

prompt #8: arthouse film style, lone figure navigates through crowded streets filled with holographic billboards and futuristic technology, neon-lit dystopian cityscape

This is one of my favorite videos that I created in Runway Gen-2. The main character is so in focus, and the setting is absolutely incredible. There are so many different signs and billboards featured here. On top of that, you can see skyscrapers, cars, and many people walking.

It's not common to see a complex scene like this be created with this AI model and for it to look good. Of course, there are some errors. For instance, the vehicles are moving too quickly. But overall, it's amazing that this video was created from a text prompt.

prompt #9: underground film style, a heartbroken man is sitting in an old apartment, a bottle of whiskey is on the table, grim, darkcore aesthetic

The setting is absolutely perfect. If you're directing a film, you want an apartment to look like this when the main character in your story is heartbroken. It makes the viewers feel for the character because the apartment looks exactly like what he's feeling.

Once again, the hands are a bit of a problem here. I'm not sure if he's pouring a glass of whiskey or not. But that's okay with me.

prompt #10: documentary film style, aerial shot of a huge rainforest burning, scary, frightening

This actually looks like it's a scene taken directly from a documentary movie. This is an absolutely incredible result. The best part about it is that I didn't even have to write a complex prompt to get this video. Instead, I kept it really simple.

I guess that including the 'documentary film style' keyword has a lot of influence on what the video will look like. Couple that with the fact that I instructed the model to create an aerial shot, and you get something like this. To be fair, I've created several videos from this prompt and all of the others weren't nearly as great as this one.

Final Thoughts

These are all incredible videos. There are small errors in some of them, but that's to be expected. At the time of writing this article, text-to-video AI models are still very new. They need to go through many more iterations until they produce noticeably better results. But that might happen sooner than you expect. After all, it didn't take a while for text-to-image models to go from odd illustrations to photorealistic images.

Keep in mind that there are many more film styles you can use in your prompts. I simply selected 10 styles that I find interesting. You can even mention a specific genre instead of a style when you're writing text prompts for videos. You have the full creative freedom to structure your prompts in how you want to achieve a desired result.

Apart from mentioning a style, you can also include information about the lighting, camera movement, and aesthetic you want to see featured in scenes.

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