Rate of TV Shows VS Rate of Movies

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Gwazi Magnum, Jan 21, 2016.

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  1. I just had something dawn on me.

    Usually if Movies are pumped out within a year of each other (by the same team) people get worried, do to it being rushed.

    But TV Shows? Those if we go hour wise have about 6-12 times the content of a Movie per season, tend to get released yearly with little issue.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this development?
    Is there some sort of element here that I'm not considering?
    #1 Gwazi Magnum, Jan 21, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  2. Movies are expected to have a bigger budget...? Go through a longer development process...?

    TV shows are relatively cheap and easy to produce, I'm fairly certain. People get worried if a movie takes as short amount of time to produce as a TV show because we expect that a lot more should go into a movie, and that it should therefore be a longer process to make.
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  3. Tv show episodes are shorter and have simpler individual storylines which tie into a larger overall storyline (sometimes)
  4. As I've heard it explained, it just takes longer to do things for big budget movies than it does for TV shows. There are a lot more moving parts and they're trying to make things in a higher quality, and all that means more time to shoot and more time in post-production. The estimates I've found are that, discounting script writing time entirely, and hour long TV show takes 4-6 weeks to prep for, film, edit, and so forth. For big budget movies the same processes usually go 6 months at a minimum for relatively simple films, but easily a year or more depending on a lot of factors.

    There's good reason to worry about rushed production schedules for movies, it seems. The cuts are usually going to come in the post-production process, and rushing the sound and special effects and such is a good way to end up with low quality work that will drag the whole product down.
  5. So basically it's a bunch of editing and effect costs and time that contribute to making a Movie take longer?
  6. That seems to be the case. I'm no reliable source though, I'd just heard that said before and did like 5 minutes of Google searching before making that post. :P
  7. TV Shows also have boat fuckloads of filler. Filler you probably don't even think about, like how long certain transition shots might take. TV Shows also typically have a few set "scene areas" that exist for most of the series. To give examples from Sci-Fi.
    • Stargate SG-1 always had Cheyenne Mountain, which included: The medbay, crew quarters, meeting area, control room, and stargate room. Sometimes entire episodes were filmed never leaving these areas, thus all you have to pay for and worry about is the script, actors, cameras, and editing. Nothing else.
    • Every Star Trek series has always had a medbay, bridge, captain's quarters, turbolift, relaxation area, engineering bay, et cetera. Sometimes multiple episodes in a row feature these areas exclusively with nobody ever actually needing to build a new set. They also often redressed pre-existing sets with different lighting, spray paint, lightweight props, and smoke machines. (Klingon bridges were often recycled Federation engine rooms.)
    • Battlestar Galactica (new and old) had the bridge, launch bays, crew quarters, et cetera.
    It should also be noted that when people did leave these areas, they usually went to sets that nature at least partially provided for them. Like a "mysterious forest planet" was literally just the middle of a forest fifty miles away, where the actors do their dialogue and what few practical effects are cheap and usually reusable. (Ex: "Guns.") When extensive CGI is used, it's usually entirely generated within a computer, to try and remove the pain of editing around reality and thus cut down on CGI time. Extensive use of shot-reverse shot is used for character dialogue, because it's the easiest thing to use both in terms of editing and setup, which is why a lot of conversations in TV shows tend to be one on one, even in groups. During group scenes, you usually have two cameras: One as the panning shot (to catch all within the group) and one to circle around and capture people's faces alone. This is also easy as hell to edit, because you're basically just taking one audio track and syncing video to it.

    So, let's take the made for TV formula into a summary here.
    1. Reusable sets. Constant use of said reusable sets, at least on a season-to-season basis.
    2. Recycle old sets into new sets through clever use of cheap lighting and lightweight props.
    3. Mother Nature provides exotic locations.
    4. When CGI is used in minor ways, it's always as after-effects in which the object is motionless (ex: laser pistol, pew pew!) or the action is moving fast enough to excuse camera blur so as to disguise a cheap effect.
    5. When CGI is used excessively, reality is removed entirely so the entire thing can simply be recorded in a computer. Extensive use of recycled scenes (ex: "Go to warp Mr Sulu") will be done to save animation time.
    6. Extremely simplistic camera shots so as to require little editing, and making editing as simple as "sync multiple video to single audio". (Shot-reverse shot, single stable panning camera and hand held crew recording one take, et cetera.)
    7. Have tons of reusable props. ("Guns.")
    8. In terms of scripting: Make room for lots of simple to record scenes. Dialogue-laden scenes where characters banter about stuff in the background of their lives while driving a car? Congrats: Five minutes of filler to a 40 minute long episode with 20 minutes of commercials, and all you gotta do is write "sammy said X, sally sally said Y, shot reverse shot."
    Want to know what a big budget movie looks like when it's done with the same standards as made-for-TV?

    The Star Wars Prequels.

    And they were fucking panhandled for it. Shot-reverse shot created some of the laziest fucking "character development" scenes shown on the big screen. There are political scenes that went on for several minutes which often amounted to "we need to do X" and nothing more, which is TV-level filler right there. There were several boring, stale, reused sets with minimalist prop and art design. Many of those sets also included large vistas and windows, so that George Lucas could tell animators to fill it in while he recorded additional parts of the movies. The big budget went almost exclusively to filler, filling every scene with CGI, so as to give your eyes something to look at to hopefully excuse the TV-level laziness of George Lucas.

    The difference is, TV shows take shortcuts because they have weeks. George Lucas got panhandled because he took TV show shortcuts on a project which had ten times the budget and twenty times the amount of time to produce content.

    This is why TV Shows and Movies come out at different paces. It's the same difference as a live performance by a several hundred man crew of well trained and dedicated musicians, and a couple of fucktards in spinny chairs making electronic noises in their garage. You don't expect a rock band with four people to sync up several hundred instruments in perfect harmony, like you do a several hundred man performance, so the standards and expectations differ. :ferret:
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