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In terms of story telling, Television, or Film?

Jubenhimer

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The two most dominant forms of mainstream visual story telling are Theatrical Movies, and Television shows. Both are very similar to each-other in a lot of ways, but they also are very different in how they tell stories. Films are long form. One and done experiences that only tell a single story at a time. TV shows are episodic, and tell multiple stories at once over the course of a Season. Drawbacks are present with both mediums though. Movies have massive budgets, complete with many special effects and set-pieces combined with big name actors and creative talent. But they're also more expensive, with a single movie ticket running you at least $15. TV shows are cheaper to access, usually available on Free Over-the-air broadcast networks, or low-cost Streaming services, with even some of those being free. The trade off is working with a much lower budget, and often interruptions from commercial sponsors to offset the costs.

From a style of writing and storytelling perspective, which do you usually prefer? A Long 1-3 hour movie, or a 4-5 Season TV show? Speaking from a writing perspective, I prefer the setup of TV shows. I like good stories, but I also like consistently building on those stories. Finding ways to add to them, improve them, and make them better, and TV is an ideal medium for that style. With a movie, your story is limited by the length of the film, and while you can make sequels, the time you have to develop characters or expand on world building is still limited to only a couple hours at a time. With a TV series, you have the freedom to consistently improve on a concept, as well as find new ways to use that concept with each episode. TV shows lend themselves better to simple premises, because the episodic format allows you to see how far you can stretch that premise with each episode. As well as tell a grand narrative that can be just as long and intriguing as a movie.
 
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TheCockatrice

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No preference. There are as many good tv shows as movies. As you say, they all have pluses and minuses and TV shows may have more story but movies can be more impactful.
 
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Kagey K

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They both have their pros and cons.
TV has a way to tell a larger story over more hours of shorter content, but it sometimes does feel like its stretched for time in order to fill the hours.

Movies on the other hand demand a larger investment of you time in one sitting but usually are able to tell the story the want to tell in that block. Though sometimes it feels like the 120 - 180 mins wasn’t enough time to tell the story and parts of it still feel rushed.

I often feel like some movies would have been better served as TV shows and some shows could have been condensed into movies. I think it’s the networks demanding 13-24 episodes per season that can make tv unbearable sometimes. Some of those stories would be better if told in 8-10.

In the end I think TV gets the edge over movies, but they can both improve.
 
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Joe T.

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TV. More time to develop characters and plot, though movie budgets tend to lend themselves to more spectacular and creative projects. The Sopranos just wouldn't work as well in movie format, just as The Matrix wouldn't work as well on TV. Sometimes they both work great, like in Fargo's case, though I definitely favor the TV series.
 

matt404au

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During HBO’s reign with the likes of the Wire and Boardwalk Empire, I would’ve said TV, but with the rise of Netflix and the associated prioritising of quantity over quality, I would say movies these days. As another user said above, there’s just too much filler in TV now. The woke agenda can make it a real chore finding good new shows too, so I feel like there’s less risk of wasted time if I watch a 2 hour movie vs. getting halfway through a season of TV and being bored to tears.
 
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-Arcadia-

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When TV was just low-budget fun, that would rarely sustain a story past a single episode (shoutout to Deep Space 9 for being an outlier), movies were totally the better, and only real choice.

These days, though (seems like the last 15 years or so), you can get something pretty close to the production value of a great movie, but without the caveat of having to jam all sorts of worldbuilding, character development, and story into a two hour frame. This is wonderful.

Frankly, it’s hard for me to go back. When I’ve watched great story after great story given the time to unfold over many hours of TV, all I ever notice anymore, is how rushed most movies are, and on top of that, how much they leave me wanting for more, with the next one two or three or four years away, instead of next week, or right down the Netflix queue.

That’s not to say TV is without its endemic problems. Look at Game of Thrones’ apparent spectacular faceplant. Then there’s cancellations, and a whole world of trouble that can happen to a story, when you have an ongoing production that lasts for years. Those kinks need to be worked out, or mitigated as best as possible. That said, TV just seems to provide much more potential for a story these days.
 
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-Arcadia-

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For what it’s worth, the back half of Agents of Shield Season 1 + Captain America 2 is a really interesting attempt at hybridizing both.

Both are fantastic on their own. Watching both, however, you get the character development and worldbuilding of the TV show, and the movie does it’s job as a great (rare that I give Marvel this praise) big budget event piece. That really sticks out in my mind as a memorable moment for that universe, due to how well the combination of both was done.
 
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Birdo

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Film 100% for me.

You don't need ten seasons to tell a compelling story. You can do that in 90 minutes, if you are a good storyteller.
 

MisterHero

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I want actors who are good enough for film but not too expensive for TV, so that they can appear on both. Star Trek TOS is pretty much my only example.
 
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trikster40

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There’s no right or wrong answer here. You can’t tell a story like Breaking Bad, Ozark, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, etc etc etc in film. Likewise, I don’t want to see Die Hard, The Goonies, or the Avengers stretches out to 12 episodes per season over 10 seasons.

TV has the danger of filler like people have said, but good writing and shorter seasons can prevent that.
 

Gashtronomy

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Film all the way. TV shows don't know when or how to stop a story or character, due to tv shows having the option of running indefinitely. so 99.9% of the time, even the best storylines become convoluted crapfests or meandering waffle.

Film, at least, has the benefit of been constructed of a finite length and need to wrap up before the close of the film, which is usually 2-3 hours long.
 
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DKehoe

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Just depends on what suits the story best really. One medium isn't inherently better than another.
 

-Arcadia-

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Film all the way. TV shows don't know when or how to stop a story or character, due to tv shows having the option of running indefinitely. so 99.9% of the time, even the best storylines become convoluted crapfests or meandering waffle.

Film, at least, has the benefit of been constructed of a finite length and need to wrap up before the close of the film, which is usually 2-3 hours long.
Yeah. There really needs to become a culture of ending a TV show for creative reasons, rather than just letting it run as long as it makes money.

There’s plenty of examples, but the defiling of The Simpsons’ corpse is probably the ultimate one.
 
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Gashtronomy

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Yeah. There really needs to become a culture of ending a TV show for creative reasons, rather than just letting it run as long as it makes money.

There’s plenty of examples, but the defiling of The Simpsons’ corpse is probably the ultimate one.
The simpsons is a classic example of not ending shows when they should.

GoT, more recently, had a terrible ending because the writers had no idea what they were doing.
 

Fbh

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I personally prefer TV. I think about some of my favorite characters like Walter White and I don't think his character arc would have had the same effect if it was limited to a 90 minute movie.

With that said both can be great and 95% of both of them is shit.
 
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Pagusas

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At the end of the day I’ll take TV as character are the most important thing to me, and I’ve yet to see any film develop character that I love as much as some tv series (MASH, Buffy, Babylon 5, The Office, The Shield). Movies just are to limited in time to build the characters interactions I love to see, they don’t have enough time to breath.
 

#Phonepunk#

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film. and hour and a half is the perfect amount of time for a story.

tv has a lot of possibilities but it also has a lot of bloat. so many times these days there are series that simply waste a whole lot of time padding out the length. additionally there is the problem of splitting up the narrative, like when a company drops half a season at a time. imagine a movie coming out where you saw half of it and had to come back in 6 months for the second half!

plus tv has advertisements in the middle of the show, which, that right there should be a disqualifier tbh.