How Cinematography Helped to Revolutionize Modern Television

If you're about 30 years old or older, you probably remember how different television looked a while back. This great video examines how cinematography helped to create the modern version of television that we know today.

Coming to you from Aputure, this interesting video looks at how cinematography helped to revolutionize television. If you grew up like I did, watching 90s sitcoms (or pretty much anything before that era), you were probably accustomed to a very common look across shows, a sort of standardized cinematography that most shows shared and that put the weight of the storytelling on the scripts' and actors' shoulders. Nowadays, that style looks notably outdated, as we've largely become accustomed to a slicker, more movie-like style that really ups the production value of television and helps to take some of that storytelling weight off the actors and scripts and put it in the hands of cinematographers, who use techniques and methods borrowed from the film industry to enhance television shows. It's interesting to think about just how much this has shaped the modern television experience we've become accustomed to. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

Lead image by Tookapic, used under Creative Commons.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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One of the biggest ways the change has influenced television is that the cinema style (and steeper paychecks) has lured big-time film actors to the small screen, thus elevating television even further. Many actors today don't think twice about doing a TV project if they like it, but in the '70s or '80s, most film actors would consider a move to television only as a last resort of a dying career.

Audiences today are being rewarded by the shift, as actors, directors and crew are now freer to focus more on the content and less on the medium.

Not just actors, but top level production designers, directors, etc as well. Oh, and budgets have gone up, which certainly doesn’t hurt!

Not sure if it's just my phone, but I don't see a link to the video.

Fixed! Thanks, guys!

No link