Et tu, Brutus?
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Re: Breaking Bad Season 4 Premiere Sun 10pm AMC (Spoilers!)
Originally Posted by 757690
Not keep this thread sidetracked, but I do have a bit of inside knowledge of the entertainment industry, as I have been out in LA working as a screenwriter for the past 15 years. (Shameless plug, my latest movie, "The Secret Lives of Dorks" is out in theaters Sept 27th. It's a crappy teen movie full of fart jokes, so I don't recommend it to anyone on this site, but maybe their teenage kids.)
Concerning the difference between Movies and TV:
The biggest difference is that movies are run by the director, and TV is run by the writer.
Some directors are strong creative forces, like Hitchcock, Scorcese, Kubrik, Soderbergh, etc. However, most are technicians from film school who mostly know how to make things look cool. This has been the way it's been in Hollywood for decades.
TV, since it was on a small screen and was produced weekly, had to focus on story and characters, not look. Movies on a big screen and with months to make, could focus on looks and wow factor. This resulted in directors in charge of movies, and writers in charge of TV shows. A perfect example is my last movie. I was responsible for writing about 40% of the final version that hits theaters. The rest was re-written by the director. (One reason why I'm not recommending it) If it was a TV show, the director would have no creative say, and just be in charge of cameras and telling the actors where to stand.
While that has stayed the same, technology has moved TV closer to movies. Just a decade ago, when almost everything was shot on film, it took days just to transfer and develop the film, so on a weekly show. you only had 2-3 days to shoot everything. Also, you didn't have time to set up complicated shots, since that required, cranes dolly's, tracks, crazy lighting set ups, etc. Now with HD and steadycams, you can shoot whatever you want on the spot, and it's ready for the editor minutes after you're done shooting. This has allowed TV shows to do more "movie" shots and more action.
But the biggest effect technology has had on the entertainment industry are the TV's themselves. People now have 40-60 inch screens in 1080 HD with surround sound in their living room, so it's basically just like being in a movie theater. So TV has to adapt, and it has.
I would also add that a big reason for the surge is that there is a lot more money to spend on production these days. It started with HBO and Showtime, who had money to burn on original programming and were able to do things that OTA networks couldn't or wouldn't do. But since then, even cable networks such as USA, TBS, AMC, etc. now have the money to take risks on bigger-budget dramas.
Funny thing is, even today, with plenty of money and the knowledge that it can work, the broadcast networks typically stay in their cozy box with regard to which programming they pick up. If it's not a three-camera comedy, a dramedy or a procedural drama, they typically aren't interested. ABC gambled on LOST and won big, but after FlashForward and The Event both failed, I get the sense the networks will quickly go back into their shell for a while.
"No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda