Make a film or do a tv movie ?

Faire un film ou faire un Téléfilm ?

Make a movie

for the tv or make a movie for the cinema ?


Here’s a broad question, right ? And well no ! Over the forums and discussions I’ve read, some people were still arriving to say : ” A film is on the big screen or it is not ! “ Forgiveness ?!

Let’s stop the nonsense two seconds. There are scenarios of tv movies that come out in the classroom, and there are scenarios of feature films that end up on a chain in general !! This is the truth.

This may be that in time that writer/screenwriter, filmmaker, you would prefer to see your film more at the cinema than to television and vice versa. Nothing is more normal.

Actually there are two important parameters in the decision

  1. the kind of your scenario, and his ambition is
  2. the economic model
  3. The genre is important. If you write a genre film type : slasher, science fiction, big comedy style ” buddy movie “, horror, etc… that is to say all the genres a little outside the norm, be aware that you will have a lot of trouble finding a producer and, a fortiori, a chain ready to produce, co-produce and distribute. In this case, prefer the cinema.
  4. (The “standard” French : Joséphine ange gardien, Julie Lescaut, louis la brocante, r. i. s, etc…)
  5. The ambition of the scenario : same topo. The tv may not raise as much funds as the cinema. Who says science fiction, says studio, special effects, big team, make-up.
  6. I believe that you have understood.
  7. The economic model is essential, and joined a few the ambition of the scenario. Indeed
  8. The budget of a tv movie is in average from 1 to 1.5 million euros. It prepares 4 to 6 weeks; turns in 21 days (and it tends to still be lower), which is a little over 4 weeks. The team of the film runs 5 minutes useful per day, as much as to say that it is very fast. The number of planes per day is around 12 to 15; sometimes 30 shots with two cameras (that you only have a few days only on all of the filming, because this is expensive). Furthermore, the format will always be of 90 minutes !!! no more, no less.

Note : The minutes are useful, are the sum of all the clips shot in the day once they are mounted. This is the script that pre-minute of each stage and plan. As well the director and producers know where they are.

ATTENTION : the” standard ” French exchange gently. Producers, in conjunction with some channels such as Canal+ are attempting a new kind of series : The Borgia, Mafiosa, Braquo, the Kabul kitchen, working girls, XIII. Series on highly qualitative, scenarios worthy of the name with a little budget. TF1 also starts the tune with a new series starring Jean Reno and tour in English.

All that to say that the Walls between the Television and the cinema have a tendency to crumble and tend more towards the american model. But we are still far short of the 15 million Dollars of investment for a pilot to series such as Lost. But in the near future, our series will not have nothing to envy to the american series such as boardwalk empire, the walking dead, dexter or breaking bad.

Let us return to our sheep. The cinema is another way to turn, slower. The budget of a first film is from 1 to 4 million euros ; sometimes a little less. A producer I work with sometimes just a long for 600 000 euros (as much as to say : with nothing). On average, the preparation is 8 to 12 weeks. The shooting of 50 to 60 days or 10 to 12 weeks. The number of planes per day is around 10 to 12. The team of the film runs 2 minutes useful per day. The format varies between 1 hour 15 and 2 hours 30 minutes.

Let’s talk about money

Let’s say you were writing a tv movie unitary or a series ; in addition to the price of the bible of the characters and the charter (for a series !), the rate for a scenario is on average of 40 000 euros. A developer can expect between 35 000 and 60 000 euros for the shoot.

The film, itself, has another approach. Actually there is no purchase price scenario. This can oscillate between eur 1 500 and eur 300 000. The salary of the director is at the top of the head operator is 2500 euros/ week or a percentage of the amount of the film. But a film is a lot longer to climb financially. It takes on average two years to ensure that your film sees the light of day. The system of distribution of a feature film is completely different from a telefilm. In fact, spectators pay for a cinema ticket. The more entries the more everyone earns money. Not counting dvd sales, foreign sales. This means that the time is longer, but the gains can be substantially more important. If the film works, because if nobody is going to see the movie : no trickle down of money !

To make it simple, if you think that making a movie is going to make you a millionaire, go on your way. I hope that you will be informed.

Therefore, in a first time, write your story, without worrying about these issues. Do not lock it not your imagination, you will have plenty of time to confront you to the producers and economic problems later.

For the moment, a single word order to make a film : The pleasure of writing.

So much for this article on make a movie or a tv movie. Don’t forget that to make a film that is primarily a superb adventure. Making a movie is to meet people, amateurs, professionals. You can’t make a film alone, so be listening.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to leave me a little message.

If you liked this article, the best way to tell me that it is to click on the ” Like “button at the bottom of the page. You can return to the plan of the site to read other articles.

Good Luck,

Tom Weil


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Category: Uncategorized

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