Hollywood TV and movie director T.J. Scott -- best known for his popular on-screen works “Spartacus,” “Gotham” and “Orphan Black” -- has made his way to Seoul to lend his expertise on the current and future state of the film and TV industries in the U.S.
Invited as part of the Korea Creative Content Agency’s “Content Insight” lecture series for the month of July, Scott, who is credited with taking part in more than 50 TV shows and movies over the past two decades, discussed his take on television shows outshining films in the future, referring to this current generation as the “golden age of television.”
“There are now more TV (shows) being shot and less movies in the United States,” said the director during an interview at the Hongik Daehangno Art Center in Seoul on Monday.
“Our budgets in the United States have doubled or tripled in the last three years for TV because it’s very competitive; so now we actually have enough money to shoot it almost like a movie.”
With the advent of mega online streaming sites, such as Netflix and Hulu, in the States, television shows are experiencing a never-before-seen revelation, completely changing the game in the international entertainment industry. Not only is streaming changing the game in audiences’ access to TV shows, according to Scott, the popular sites are drastically affecting the amount of television programming society consumes.
Similar to how Koreans are able to watch full episodes of their favorite shows online if they missed them on TV or who wish to rewatch older shows, the option of watching an entire series overnight -- or “binge-watching” -- has become a crucial aspect of everyday social life.
“Streaming television, streaming in the U.S. has changed in that people binge view,” Scott explained. “Part of what people talk about every day in the states are new TV series, so if you haven’t watched the new TV series, you can’t be part of the conversation. So everyone binge watches so that they are up-to-date on all the new shows ... it’s just part of what we talk about now.”
“What binge-watching has created is almost a competition among young people to have seen the most up-to-date thing,” he added.
Unlike in the past, nowadays TV producers and directors no longer find themselves restrained by airtime restrictions or censorship in terms of language and content in their programming, leaving the film industry struggling to compete. This freedom has paved the way for TV shows to meet the quality and entertainment expectations of films, already beginning to trump the appeal of movies with the more elaborate and elongated storylines of TV.
“Netflix in the United States has changed the whole game, because there are no longer commercials, the shows can be any length they want to be ... Netflix will also allow any sort of content. So shows that used to be movies that were too dark, too sexy, too moody, too lustful to be on television, Netflix allows on television. So now, it’s like we are making movies on TV.”
“Twenty years ago in the United States, the movie studios -- Paramount, Fox, MGM, Disney -- used to make about 35 movies, each, a year. Now, they make seven or nine … Americans don’t go to movies anymore, they stay home and watch TV because they have big screen TVs and the only people that are going to movies are young people, because they’re going on dates.”
By Julie Jackson (email@example.com