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 Nowadays, that style looks notably outdated, as we've largely become accustomed to a slicker, more movie-like style that really ups the production value of television and helps to take some of that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.

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7 Comments

Brian Pernicone's picture

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!

William Howell's picture

Couldn’t agree or have said it better! I have a 60 inch tv, and that’s pretty good size, but my kid just bought, about a year so ago, an eighty inch tv. But here is the crazy part, that 80 inch tv only cost about like $2300.00, that is insane and looks very cinematic.
I remember in 1997 Phillips had a forty inch tv for seven thousand dollars, now that same 40 inch tv is $300.00. And more importantly is sound, I bought a hundred dollar sound system for my tv and the sound is awesome, now granted it is in my bedroom, but still though!

Simon Patterson's picture

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