Once upon a time, famous TV shows like The Sopranos When breaking bad It provided an outlet for mid-budget storytellers who felt locked out of Hollywood’s high-budget studio system.talented writers such as David Chase, Vince GilliganWhen Matthew Weiner They found a place where they could tell the ambitious stories they were dying to tell, the stories they thought could take television to a higher artistic plane.
But as movies increasingly premiere on the small screen alongside TV shows, the line between feature films and series has become increasingly blurred, with studios and streamers pouring huge amounts of cash into episodic projects. increase. In other words, studios started treating TV shows the way they’ve treated movies for decades.
TV budgets are skyrocketing
Each episode of Showtime reportedly Hello It cost $10 million. Netflix crown It cost about $13 million. mandalorian When game of thrones there was a price tag for $15 million per episode.new yellowstone First part series 1923 It has a budget of $22 million per episode. In a Deadline interview, 1923 show runner Taylor Sheridan He revealed that Paramount would happily agree to many of his big budget requests. We just asked for $50 million,” says Sheridan.
Even more surprising is Amazon’s reported budget. Lord of the rings: Ring of powerwhich totaled nearly $500 million for the first season alone. Because it helps them sell Tolkien-related products on their site. Star Wars Sell endless products and get more people to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at their theme park.shows like breaking bad When The Sopranos It doesn’t convince the many tourists visiting Albuquerque and Northern Jersey, and even if it did, HBO and AMC aren’t making a ton of money off of them. So from a studio’s perspective, investing in a popular TV franchise pays off, especially if the parent company owns retail websites, theme parks, etc.
Film and TV show production scopes are increasingly similar
When you add up the total cost of producing one season of a TV show, the budget will match or not exceed the budget of a recent blockbuster movie. Top Gun: MaverickFor example, the production cost was reported at $170 million. Jurassic world: Dominion It will cost somewhere in the $165 million to $185 million region.Marvel movies such as Spider-Man: No Way Homecosting about $200 million, far falling short of Amazon ring of power budget.
Because of these huge budgets, TV series production is becoming more and more like film production.As crews grow and television shows attract top-notch talent, little, other than perhaps the number of filming days, separates film and television production. 1923, Harrison Ford “For me, for an actor, there is not much difference between shooting television and shooting a feature film.” Indeed, Ford’s participation 1923 It also talks about the demand for big names to headline new episodic projects, previously only needed for feature films. As Taylor Sheridan explained to Deadline, “[The networks] You need as many believable names, recognizable faces as possible that the audience will say, “Oh, I love that guy.” i love her. i see them
But does the growing similarity between TV and movies actually make TV shows look and sound better than their predecessors? In some cases, the answer is definitely yes. With these huge budgets comes a filmmaker’s toolbox that increasingly resembles that used by Helmer, such as: James Cameron When Steven SpielbergTelevision shows now have larger visual effects departments that help advance the art of filmmaking. His StageCraft video wall for Industrial Light & Magic has been allowed mandalorian Shoot the scene using a virtual background instead of a green screen. The results were amazing, improving both the actors’ immersion in the scene and the overall look of the show. StageCraft has since been used in feature films such as: Batman When Thor: Love and Thunder.
Downsides of these changes
shows like mandalorian It features great writing and performances along with technical innovation, but a ballooning TV budget comes with a significant downside. In other words, it threatens the viability of the mid-budget show that prioritized spectacle over quality and made television a trendy outlet for storytellers in the first place. place.Studios are now racing to see who can make the next game of thronesThey all want to get IPs that are: Star Wars, which can span multiple series and feature films. Studios then stream their prized IP content on their own streaming services, waiting for a large influx of cash. It’s a successful business model, but it threatens to freeze the next potential wave of ambitious, original and brilliant storytellers. An idea stuck in a desk drawer.
This all sounds like Hollywood’s seemingly eternal conflict over personal, independent movies and blockbusters. Martin Scorsese has sparked much of the online debate by noting that superhero titles tend to dominate movie screens, making it increasingly difficult for indie films to hit theaters. For a while, television was a haven for filmmakers who gave up functionality. Now that TV has become more and more like movies, perhaps the pendulum will swing in the opposite direction and ambitious storytellers will leave TV for movies.
Hollywood has changed
Regardless of how all these changes change, it’s been fascinating to watch the enormous changes in television since the dawn of the new millennium. Seen as the place that pumped out movies endlessly, television has become. of art form.
To quote Harrison Ford again: That no longer applies at all. Studios saw winds of change and began investing more cash in television. Television is now like cinema, but the industry has yet to figure out what that means.