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Is the film industry transferring to high profile TV productions?

Auberon Hall

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I am a student at Birmingham City University and am gathering some primary research. I am currently writing a short thesis on the idea that film production is moving towards large budget TV series productions such as House of Cards, Breaking Bad and Gotham.



This could mainly be due to the way consumers receive their media content online. With the substantial transfer from cinema and TV spectatorship to online streaming and distributors such Netflix and Sky.



I wondering whether people agreed there is a significant change from film production to high profile TV Productions in relation to the consumers move towards online distributors such as Netflix?


Many thanks,



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I sort of think you are right but the trouble you might run into is whether you can say that film production is shifting to large budget TV series. I mean the large budget TV series have been around a long time and have become very popular but they kind of more have their origins in American cable TV such as HBO, AMC and Starz etc. Then as you say Netflix came along and shook things up by doing the cable TV model online. I'm not sure Sky have a lot to do with it as they don't really produce much of this stuff so far. So in a way it's all about TV.


It's more complicated than that though because the technology behind cinema now basically is TV. There is no longer the big difference there once was as TV has embraced a more cinematic way of creating content and cinema is now mostly video based. So the two have kind of merged such that there is less of an obvious difference in production and output anymore. A movie at the cinema can even look somewhat similar to a cheap TV series or even worse than the cheap TV series these days.


As a result a few high profile people who have a history of working in cinema are now exploring work in Television. Especially now that cinema has changed to become mostly about large blockbusters and superhero movies whereas television has the possibility to explore more serious work.


Basically television is becoming more signficant in an area where cinema used to dominate and cinema has more of a limited role.


So there is kind of a difficulty in your transferring angle as it's not really so much of a transfer, as one sector shrinking and another growing.



Edited by Freya Black
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There's been a massive convergence. Both in the technology and the approach to production. Many narrative TV series sets now resemble single-cam film sets in most ways, they're just often running more cameras concurrently to help make their (pretty hectically paced) days.


I think it's really exciting that production avenues for narrative are opening up. Netflix, Amazon, Playstation(!), the demand for content is creating more work than ever before. And that can only be a good thing for us.

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Filmmakers are finding it more and more difficult to raise money for narrative feature films. The whole "mid budget" 10 - 20M projects, don't exist anymore. So even if you've got a great idea for a mid-budget film, it's nearly impossible to raise the money. Everyone is after the 60M + or 2M and under. This is why many top directors have been so focused on working in television. They have money and because most series these days are 10 - 13 episodes, it's not that difficult to shoot. Work for half the year and the other half hang out and prep for next season. Sounds like a pretty good, consistent job to me.

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