Film and Television are Merging, Here's What You Need to Know

TV and Movies
Film and television are beginning to blend at a more rapid rate. What will the future hold? 

The deeper we get into the pandemic, the sadder I get imagining a world where we never go to the movie theater or only go on special occasions. The one thing this time indoors has taught me is that having a large TV with an excellent soundbar is a must. 

Especially if this is what the future holds. 

The business is changing. 

Streaming wars has taken that to a whole new level, with Netflix trying to force the Academy's hand on changing theatrical showcase rules and doing their best to change the industry. 

Seeing movies like The Invisible Man and Trolls World Tour do gangbusters online changed a lot of perspectives. Maybe you don't need to play in theaters if you can make money and entertain people dropping online. 

And maybe that's the future. 

Check out the video from The Royal Ocean Film Society and let's talk after. 

Film and Television are Merging, Here's What You Need to Know 

What's really the difference between movies and TV shows now? It used to just be theatrical release versus waiting a week to see a connected serial. But now, with the reliance on sequels and franchises, are movies really that different than television anymore? 

The Marvel phases feel like an idea being showrun by Kevin Feige, and not individually created films. 

And when The Hateful Eight hit Netflix, Tarantino cut the movie into pieces to play like TV. 

Gone are the days of the 4:3 broadcast and the crappy resolution. The level of visuals and effects in TV are almost at the same level as movies, depending on the show's budget. 

TV is using the same aspect ratios, cameras, and cinematography as movies. 

The delineation between the two mediums continues to shrink. 

Guess what? Budgets are getting bigger and bigger on TV. 

What about shows like End of the Fucking World or Fleabag? 

The serialized episodes in each season, when added together, become basically a long movie. 

So where does this leave us? 

While the separation between movies and TV continues to shrink, it's going to be interesting to see how Hollywood shifts. When you're sitting at home and bored, do you throw on a movie or TV? 

It really depends on what I scroll past and what I'm in the mood for that day. 

Watching a movie no longer necessitates going to the theater. I'm mostly interested in seeing how streamers prioritize spending on both mediums. And how writers react to these changes. Will studios prioritize one over the other? 

Unfortunately, I think metrics will dictate that. 

Places could prioritize one over the other depending on what people are clicking on. 

And speaking of clicking, casting is going to really change things. The line between TV and movie stars gets ever thinner, and having a recognizable face on a thumbnail is going to be important for marketing in general. 

That means no matter what you're making, try to make it with a recognizable face. I do think that will prioritize your project, whether movie or TV, for a long time.  

What are your feelings on this issue? 

Let's get the conversations started in the comments section. 

Up Next: How to Break Into Hollywood

The film industry is notoriously hard to break into. It's been compared to being a professional athlete; you have to continue to train and stay on top of your game if you want to start for a great team. 

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Your Comment


Please consider something that is not trivial; TV's are getting better in quality, larger and cheaper. I've seen recently a 75" OLED 4k TV and it blew my mind.If you turn off those annoying auto image settings and use the Cinema look, as Tom Cruise suggest, the quality is outstanding and better to 2k projectors in most of cinemas.
Play the sound trough a Hi-fi set and you have a real Home Cinema. Now you have top quality series with cinematography as films. 25 years ago, there was a difference TV vs movies. Now, sorry it's over! Besides you have a good series that last many episodes not just 2 hours. And the last detail, this damn virus.

May 20, 2020 at 12:42AM

Javier Diez

I don't agree, there's a huge difference between cinema and tv, the experience of going to the theatre is much more unique, more rewarding and more magical and transcendental than seeing a movie or a series in a television, one of the big difference is that cinema is more free in term of creation than tv, i don't speak about hollywood, there's no great difference between cinema and tv in hollywood, they have the same story structures and the same visual aesthetics and approaches, i'm talking about art-house movies, where we see pure cinematic movies, that use the real language of cinema, an audiovisual storytelling, where the frame and sound tell the story, the opposite of what they do in hollywood, which is a filming a screenplay, a literary story or a theatrical story, that they put in the medium of cinema, the difference is huge between the 2 approaches, and yes i prefer by far to go to the theatre to watch a movie

May 20, 2020 at 9:04AM

Aymen El Hankouri

Bored, not bored, whatever. I always put on a movie first.

May 23, 2020 at 1:22PM

David Patrick Raines

Yep, TV shows and movies are indeed merging.

TV is moving towards movies in terms of budget, production value, screenplay and capacity. Instead of weekly installments, entire seasons "drop" at once, so that people can watch as much as little as they want, when they want.

Movies are moving towards TV in finance. "Box office" is disappearing as theatrical releases are giving way to "dropping on" [enter your stream of choice]. So, how does a producer know if a movie that releases only online made them money? They have to use the financial models that TV production has been using - adding up the year's cost, subtracting that from the year's revenues, and then declaring whether the entire business made or lost money, which is hard to pinpoint to any one single production.

And, to top it all off, a movie theatre was some place we used to go to "see" a "big screen" movie with all the special effects and surround sound, because yesteryear's TVs were crappy. Today, TVs are bigger, of higher resolution, and soundbars/surround sound make for a viewing experience that is competitively worth staying home vs. going out to a theatre.

Thus, we watch something on the TV - whether it is a movie or two, or binge-watching several episodes of shows like House of Cards, or Orange Is the New Black, or Ozark, it's a viewing experience at home that's visually stunning, sounds great, and is several hours long.

So, really, what is the difference?

May 17, 2021 at 3:15PM