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Film is dead, long live TV

By Simon Farnsworth

It’s an industry that prides itself on creativity.

It’s supposed to inspire, thrill and stir the deepest emotions within the audience yet all the evidence in today’s industry points to the creative death of the film industry.

When we look back upon this age of cinema, how will it be viewed?

Will it be seen as the age of the pointless sequel? Or the age of senseless remake? Or even the time when pathetic reboots were shamelessly allowed?

Most probably we will see it as the age when creativity dried up- when film execs took fewer risks by sacrificing risqué ideas.

Transformers 3, Mirror Mirror, Alice in Wonderland, Wall Street 2 and MIB 3 are all recent films that have left you questioning the point of their creation.

They offer nothing new. They are just a shameless way for Hollywood’s elite to make a quick buck.

In an environment where film execs stick with tried and tested formulas, it is becoming increasingly harder for true creatives to get funding for their ideas.

If it’s not in 3D, if it doesn’t involve someone in a cape or have the cleavage of some young Hollywood beauty on display then the film will most probably stay as a script.

Compare the film industry to its little sibling, TV, and you will see a totally different picture.

The TV industry is in a golden age.

Big budget quality TV productions are sweeping across our screens.

TV execs seem far more willing to take risks with AMC and HBO taking the lead.

From crystal meth dealing cancer patients to advertising agencies in the 60’s to post-apocalyptic zombie terrors- TV has it all.

In fact, in today’s golden age, it is TV that inspires, thrills and stirs the deepest emotions within the audience- far more than modern day cinema is.

Whereas hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on blockbusters to dumb down the story, with quality TV each dollar is spent on maximising the quality of the production.

Around $6m is spent per Game of Thrones episode and $5m is spent on each Boardwalk Empire episode- huge amounts for TV productions but this money is used to intellectually compel the viewers.

Modern day TV dramas allow you to lose yourself in the most complex and varied storylines.  It has taken over from the film industry in feeding our need for creative artistry.

Of course this isn’t to say there aren’t some truly excellent films being made, because there are, but they are few are far between.

We live in an entertainment world were profit margins rule creativity. Look no further than The Great Gatsby being made in 3D for your proof.

Money talks.


  1. Gary says:

    Well said Mr Ed. The cinema these days seems tailor made for people who love TOWIE and Big Brother. Excellent films are few and far between especially when you look at the Oscars. Can’t remember a truly fantastic film to win an Oscar for a long, long time.

  2. Habib says:

    Creativity will never die. You should give the film industry more credit. There are still plenty of excellent films being made just harder to find.

  3. Joice says:

    I like the term Golden Age! I have to agree. The perfection of programmes such as Mad Man and Breaking Bad show this Golden Age. Long may it last.

  4. Greg says:

    Cinemas are so expensive these days. Why pay £10 to go see a dull film when you can spend a little extra and get a damn good box set?

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