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A research essay on Television and Film technologies

Published under category: Writing Ideas | 2015-05-05 06:41:06 UTC

Context: Television and film

Television and film are two distinct technologies through which visual media is shown. However, despite the fact that these two are similar on so many levels, they also vary a great deal. As an acclaimed author Arthur A. Berger notes, a television image can be defined as a collection of constantly changing pixels. On the other hand, film can be defined as a strip coated with light sensitive material on which motion picture is produced once exposed through a camera. Berger further notes that television is much more involving than film is. This paper seeks to highlight the differences between television and film. First and foremost, television images are much smaller than images projected on films. As compared to standard analogue films, the digital camera, as directors and camera operators argue, does not effectively capture the vast amount of image data that they intend to capture. For this reason, it was established that the standard size for the film for big screen shows be 35mm. Attempts to play cinema films on television screens led to loss of picture quality. This is according to Peter Kottlorz, a theater enthusiast, in a study he carried out in 1993. He further noted that the small size of the television screen hinders the efforts put in by the filmmakers in ensuring that the film has effective cinematic styling among other attributes. This drop in technical quality is what makes viewing a film on television less appealing as compared to seeing it at the cinemas. The difference in aspect ratio is also a significant one when comparing the two. Films have a much square aspect ratio as compared to television. In order for a film to be adapted for television viewing, there has to be a reduction in the aspect ratio, which leads to further loss of image quality. This difference in size and resolution creates a varying textual construction for the television viewing as opposed to cinema viewing. It is said that television offers the viewer the chance of identifying with their favorite characters. This is based on the fact that these television shows expose their characters on a weekly or daily basis and thus the viewer is able to develop a connection with his or her favorite character. This is as opposed to cinema, which is termed as occasional. In addition, cinema is said to provide the user with a chance to sustain attention throughout the viewing as opposed to television. This means that film viewing is more engrossing than broadcast television viewing and the latter is marred by numerous distractions within the environment one is viewing from. Another significant difference is the additional or cutting of material when the film is released on DVD or video for television broadcast. Television broadcasters usually tend to cut out content from films that they deem unsuitable. This has been known to spoil the movies reputation. As an example, the film The Exorcist was released as an original cut in cinemas and DVD. However, most of the script and scenes that were deemed unsuitable for airing were cut from the movie when it was later aired on television. This is seen as a frequent occurrence especially in the case of horror movies due to the graphic nature of the scenes. However, sometimes as critics argue, the releases on DVD or video for television broadcasts are sometimes better versions of the original movies. Such movies as The American Pie, trilogy as well as others, come with extra footage. This is done in a bid to entice the viewers by showing them what they missed in the cinemas. The television version of The Exorcist, which was dubbed ‘the version that you did not see’, also portrayed this aspect. Unlike watching films in the cinema, television viewing is often interrupted by commercial and advert breaks. Thus, the viewer feels frustrated when he or she is watching a favorite movie or channel, which is suddenly interrupted by a commercial. According to John Ellis, “TV’s process of sentimentalization of its flow contrasts again with cinemas emphasis on the single unitary film”. He refers to segmentation here to mean that one storyline has been broken down into many parts through the use of commercial breaks. Another difference between the two is that, television tends to have a diverse genre as compared to films. In television, there is news, commercials, music videos among others. These are further split into more genres, which include sports, news shows, commercials, soap operas, science fiction programs, talk shows among others. According to Berger, advertisements comprise of the most common viewed genre on television broadcast with advertisers investing nearly $245 billion in the year 2004 on adverts (Berger 176). These commercials are analyzed in terms of various aspects. These include but not limited to, narrative structure, dialogue, visuals, characters, setting among others (Berger 178-181). The news that is broadcast on television also tends to have a more significant impact than what is read on newspapers. These news programs, as well as being informative, also tend to be entertaining. Films on the other hand are intended for entertainment purposes only. Music videos, another commercial through which musical groups advertise their recordings, is another genre that is widespread in the television broadcasts. These music videos can be adapted in form of short films with a story line or just a mere band performance of the music. Therefore as compared to films where only one type of genre is aired, television broadcasts offers the opportunity of airing several genres at the same time. Lastly yet importantly, there is a notable difference between a television and movie script. A television script is intended to be used for advertisements, news and sitcoms. On the other hand, the movie script is intended to be used in screenplays for short films or feature length movies. The title page and cover details for the two also vary a great deal. As regards the movie script, the cover and title page contains the name of the movie as well as the writer while on the other hand the television script carries the title of the television show, the writer and episode names. The television script layout is subdivided into two columns where all the visual aspects are contained in the left side while the corresponding audio sounds are integrated to the left side. On the contrary, the movie script does not contain any columns. It employs the use of margins and tabs. The other significant variation between the two is the use of capital letters to distinguish between the audio and video parts of the story in the case of the television script. The script also indicates the durations that dialogues are estimated to last. On the other hand, movie scripts take a different formatting style with capital letters only required for the character name, short transition and scene heading. The tabs and margins are further broken into four sub categories, which include action, character, and dialogue and scene location. Each of these elements calls for a distinguishing tab indentation to permit the reader to skim through the script swiftly. In conclusion, there are many significant differences that can be noted in regards to film and television broadcasts. These range from the technical variations for example, aspect ratios and image size to the variety of genres that can be broadcasts on television as opposed to only a specific one in films. Furthermore, television broadcasts are often interrupted by advertisement breaks which hinders a smooth viewer experience. Additionally, some networks cut or add the content of original scripts to suit their target audience. In the case where they deem part of the content to be unsuitable for airing, it is edited, whereas additional footage maybe added in the case where certain interesting scenes were omitted in the original cut. Nevertheless, both provide a convenient means of entertainment and the choice of watching a film or television is left to the preference of the viewer. ORDER PLAGIARISM FREE PAPER


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