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convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen 
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Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
Threeperf35 wrote:
A big screen movie still is supposed to be a self contained story with high production values and with the photography intended to work on the big screen.
You might think so. However, movies since the 1960s--and especially since the 1980s--are predominantly shot with TV in mind.

Dialogue done in two-shots, densely arranged compositions, and complex horizontal action are a thing of the distant past. The modern film is shot mainly in singles and close-ups, favoring large views of individual actors' faces so that the details are still visible on the small screen. Shots are composed "safely," meaning that they include plenty of empty space that can be sacrificed in the 1.33:1 cropping process. The modern film is also cut faster, in part because it needs to compete with the distractions of the TV viewing environment, and because faster cutting tends to read better on a small screen than slower cutting.

Let's be honest: the advent of TV (and the advent of TV networks purchasing the rights to show movies) meant that people would start seeing more and more movies at home, and less and less at the theater. The advent of home video cemented the new norms.

Anyway, sorry for the thread derail, but this is something I've become interested in recently.


Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:59 pm
Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
Ken wrote:
Threeperf35 wrote:
A big screen movie still is supposed to be a self contained story with high production values and with the photography intended to work on the big screen.
You might think so. However, movies since the 1960s--and especially since the 1980s--are predominantly shot with TV in mind.

Dialogue done in two-shots, densely arranged compositions, and complex horizontal action are a thing of the distant past. The modern film is shot mainly in singles and close-ups, favoring large views of individual actors' faces so that the details are still visible on the small screen. Shots are composed "safely," meaning that they include plenty of empty space that can be sacrificed in the 1.33:1 cropping process. The modern film is also cut faster, in part because it needs to compete with the distractions of the TV viewing environment, and because faster cutting tends to read better on a small screen than slower cutting.

Let's be honest: the advent of TV (and the advent of TV networks purchasing the rights to show movies) meant that people would start seeing more and more movies at home, and less and less at the theater. The advent of home video cemented the new norms.

Anyway, sorry for the thread derail, but this is something I've become interested in recently.


No derail at all. We are talking about how near the production values of some tv shows are compared to movies. The framing and focal lengths is a rather complex topic. But yes: all modern view finders include an inner 3:4 frame named "tv safe area". Since many movies shot in non-anamorphic widescreen are shown on tv (or transferred to vhs and later DVD) statically (as opposed to the horrible pan and scan - preferred for NTSC over the "letterbox" format used more often for PAL) you end up seeing everything happening in the center and everything left and right is just "air". Not all widescreen movies were made that way though. Some have been filmed in open matte, so you actually see more on the top and bottom on tv than in the movie theater.
Super 35 (a camera-only format) was made to be able to frame a movie in anamorphic widescreen (1:2.33) and both 16:9 and 3:4 (=1:1.33). Check older and newer DVD issues of Se7en and Titanic (both shot on Super 35).
Anyway: yes I agree: especially from the 80s on framing and lens choices suffered in quality in movies due to tv compatibility - and during the 2000s production values of many a tv show has been raised (risen? Sorry, I bumped into a grammatical road block....) to (almost) theatrical release standards.


Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:08 am
Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
Threeperf35 wrote:
Ken wrote:
Threeperf35 wrote:
A big screen movie still is supposed to be a self contained story with high production values and with the photography intended to work on the big screen.
You might think so. However, movies since the 1960s--and especially since the 1980s--are predominantly shot with TV in mind.

Dialogue done in two-shots, densely arranged compositions, and complex horizontal action are a thing of the distant past. The modern film is shot mainly in singles and close-ups, favoring large views of individual actors' faces so that the details are still visible on the small screen. Shots are composed "safely," meaning that they include plenty of empty space that can be sacrificed in the 1.33:1 cropping process. The modern film is also cut faster, in part because it needs to compete with the distractions of the TV viewing environment, and because faster cutting tends to read better on a small screen than slower cutting.

Let's be honest: the advent of TV (and the advent of TV networks purchasing the rights to show movies) meant that people would start seeing more and more movies at home, and less and less at the theater. The advent of home video cemented the new norms.

Anyway, sorry for the thread derail, but this is something I've become interested in recently.


No derail at all. We are talking about how near the production values of some tv shows are compared to movies. The framing and focal lengths is a rather complex topic. But yes: all modern view finders include an inner 3:4 frame named "tv safe area". Since many movies shot in non-anamorphic widescreen are shown on tv (or transferred to vhs and later DVD) statically (as opposed to the horrible pan and scan - preferred for NTSC over the "letterbox" format used more often for PAL) you end up seeing everything happening in the center and everything left and right is just "air". Not all widescreen movies were made that way though. Some have been filmed in open matte, so you actually see more on the top and bottom on tv than in the movie theater.
Super 35 (a camera-only format) was made to be able to frame a movie in anamorphic widescreen (1:2.33) and both 16:9 and 3:4 (=1:1.33). Check older and newer DVD issues of Se7en and Titanic (both shot on Super 35).
Anyway: yes I agree: especially from the 80s on framing and lens choices suffered in quality in movies due to tv compatibility - and during the 2000s production values of many a tv show has been raised (risen? Sorry, I bumped into a grammatical road block....) to (almost) theatrical release standards.


Nothing really to add except to say that this was a most interesting post. Thanks, man.

Ontopic: That guy who plays Dr. House has acting chops. Not really a fan of that series, but I'd like to see him more on the big screen.


Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:11 pm
Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
ed_metal_head wrote:

Ontopic: That guy who plays Dr. House has acting chops. Not really a fan of that series, but I'd like to see him more on the big screen.



Yep: Hugh Laurie. Brilliant - and likeable: because I have the impression he isn't full of himself. BTW: I kind of liked the show House M.D., but it should have ended long ago, probably after season 4 when all was said and done and it ended on a high note. I sincerely hope they will ax it ASAP. Hugh Laurie would be great on the big screen, he can switch from being genuinely funny, to over the top, to being afraid, to a SOB which nonetheless is likeable. Not many big screen actors around who can pull this off. He is kind of a less "suave" George Clooney with all the talent -and then some - Clooney couldn't even dream of.


Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:28 am
Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
Threeperf35 wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:

Ontopic: That guy who plays Dr. House has acting chops. Not really a fan of that series, but I'd like to see him more on the big screen.



Yep: Hugh Laurie. Brilliant - and likeable: because I have the impression he isn't full of himself. BTW: I kind of liked the show House M.D., but it should have ended long ago, probably after season 4 when all was said and done and it ended on a high note. I sincerely hope they will ax it ASAP. Hugh Laurie would be great on the big screen, he can switch from being genuinely funny, to over the top, to being afraid, to a SOB which nonetheless is likeable. Not many big screen actors around who can pull this off. He is kind of a less "suave" George Clooney with all the talent -and then some - Clooney couldn't even dream of.

Yeah everytime I see an ad for House i'm like, "that's still on?!" And he's proven that he can act on the big screen with his peformances in Flight Of The Phoenix and Street Kings, so he really should be givne more roles.


Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:48 am
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Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
Bryan Cranston and CCH Pounder would be my two.

Yes, Pounder was in Avatar but you never saw her face really, since she was the Queen character. Her performance in the show The Shield was consistently dominant and awesome - she deserves more projects on the big screen. Cranston is just a genius, Breaking Bad is the best show on TV right now and he deserves some more attention for big screen projects.

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Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:17 pm
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Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
Hugh Laurie rocks. Just check out his work with Stephen Fry in "A bit of Fry and Laurie" or in "Jeeves & Wooster" or in the Blackadder series. He is an incredible talent.

He was a member of the Cambridge Footlights together with Emma Thompson, among others. Other famous alumni of the Footlights include-- Douglas Adams, Clive Anderson, Sasha Baron Cohen, John Bird, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Peter Cook, David Frost, Stephen Fry, Germaine Greer, Matt Holness, Eric Idle, Clive James, Tim Key, Hugh Laurie, John Lloyd, Miriam Margoyles, Simon McBurney, Rory McGrath, Ben Miller, Jonathan Miller, David Mitchell, Neil Mullarkey, Trevor Nunn, Bill Oddie, Sue Perkins, Jan Ravens, Griff Rhys Jones, Peter Shaffer, Tony Slattery, Emma Thompson, Mark Watson, Robert Webb....


Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:52 pm
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Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
I don't like the word stuck. It has a negative conantation. But television has gotten great IMO. Infact, it can be argued that it may even have surpassed movies for greatness lately. Movies are still my first love, but television has definitely grown to be awesome. Infact, 24 and Lost are better than just about any movie that has come out the last few years IMO. So sad though that both are now over. :(


Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:56 pm
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Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
ilovemovies wrote:
Infact, 24 and Lost are better than just about any movie that has come out the last few years IMO. So sad though that both are now over. :(


24? Really? The show had such a loss of quality.


Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:42 pm
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Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
Well you asked so here is my response:

24 is often just regarded as merely an action show, but no other movie and tv show has enraptured me viscerally and emotionally. I'm not saying the show hasn't had it's off points, admittedly, it was kind of silly and soap opera-ish to make Jack's family evil. The Chinese storyline got ludicrous in season 6, in the last season every scene with Dana Walsh up till episode 15, was annoying, some of the CTU drama would occasionally get annoying (Michelle's brother, Driscoll's daughter, Chase's baby, the drama surrounding Milo and Morris and Chloe) and Kim's storyline during season 2 with the abusivie father seemed silly when compared to the main storyline and the storylines involving David Palmer and Sherry Palmer and the Milikins and Palmer's doctor girlfriend were the downside to the otherwise amazing third season. The show does admittedly have a habbit of repeating itself but even so, the show has some of the most amazing moments I have ever seen. Both emotionally and viscerally. So many memorable characters, great actors and performances from the show (besides Kiefer Sutherland there is Carlos Bernard, Xander Berkeley, Penny Johnson Jerald, Dennis Haysbert, Jude Ciccolella, Sarah Clarke, Reiko Aylesworth, Michael Masse, Gregory Itzin, Jean Smart, Kim Raver, William Devane, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Paul Schulze, James Morrison, Roger Cross, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Alexander Siddig, Annie Wersching, Jeffrey Nordling, Joaquin De Almeida, Cherry Jones, Anil Kapoor). Some truly powerful moments. No show has gripped me more than 24.


It's the reason why 24 is the greatest show on television ever. I'm really gonna miss it. There was nothing else like it on television.

I could go on even more about my love for the show if you want. ;)


Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:04 pm
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Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
ilovemovies wrote:
I don't like the word stuck. It has a negative conantation. But television has gotten great IMO. Infact, it can be argued that it may even have surpassed movies for greatness lately. Movies are still my first love, but television has definitely grown to be awesome. Infact, 24 and Lost are better than just about any movie that has come out the last few years IMO. So sad though that both are now over. :(


O.K. it depends on what corner of the planet you live. I, for example live in the very western part of Europe (that should pinpoint the country - and NO, it ain't Spain!). I don't own a tv set for about four years. I gave my old Sony away for nothing. I'd had it. I don't want to spent a fortune on technology (3D, fiber optics whithin a package containing landline flatrate phone and high speed internet - just to receive a phone call that the competition has an even better package deal, and then another phone call.... and then a crew comes into your building installing faster and even better fiber optics, telling you: what you have will be obsolete within a year or two). Where I live, tv sucks so hard you will need a lobotomy to watch it. Oh, and in the country where I was born - Germany - tv sucks even harder. Docu-soap, reality-tv, telenovela, daily soap, the incarnations of "Idol", and for everything that isn't interrupted by ads every 5 minutes within a movie chopped to fit the old 3:4 format, starting at 3:00am you need to pay hard earned cash - how much worse can it get? You can count me out.


Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:29 pm
Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
Threeperf35 wrote:
ilovemovies wrote:
I don't like the word stuck. It has a negative conantation. But television has gotten great IMO. Infact, it can be argued that it may even have surpassed movies for greatness lately. Movies are still my first love, but television has definitely grown to be awesome. Infact, 24 and Lost are better than just about any movie that has come out the last few years IMO. So sad though that both are now over. :(


O.K. it depends on what corner of the planet you live. I, for example live in the very western part of Europe (that should pinpoint the country - and NO, it ain't Spain!). I don't own a tv set for about four years. I gave my old Sony away for nothing. I'd had it. I don't want to spent a fortune on technology (3D, fiber optics whithin a package containing landline flatrate phone and high speed internet - just to receive a phone call that the competition has an even better package deal, and then another phone call.... and then a crew comes into your building installing faster and even better fiber optics, telling you: what you have will be obsolete within a year or two). Where I live, tv sucks so hard you will need a lobotomy to watch it. Oh, and in the country where I was born - Germany - tv sucks even harder. Docu-soap, reality-tv, telenovela, daily soap, the incarnations of "Idol", and for everything that isn't interrupted by ads every 5 minutes within a movie chopped to fit the old 3:4 format, starting at 3:00am you need to pay hard earned cash - how much worse can it get? You can count me out.


I gather you're not a fan of Wetten Dass?


Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:22 pm
Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
The Wire puts 24 and Lost to shame. Actually, The Wire puts pretty much everything to shame.


Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:36 am
Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
ed_metal_head wrote:

I gather you're not a fan of Wetten Dass?


You bet I am not!
That show started decades ago and had its interesting moments back then. I don't watch it anymore. It has become a talk show (you know: the kind where the audience bursts into wild applause each time a guest "star" moves as much as an eyebrow, and then they talk about their private life and promote themselves (new movie, new CD, now on tour, yadda, yadda,...), something even less exciting than watching paint dry. And the host seems to talk to the dumbest audience members only - all the time. If it's done with style (= old school) I have no problem with that, but if the host throws in that little "damn I'm cool!" smile, I want to barf all over the tv screen. I prefer total nutcases like good ol' Conan O'Brien. At least they don't take themelves so seriously and it's fun, makling up for the lameness of the ongoing conversation with the guest stars.
I also hate it when a talk show has a great resident band, and exactly when they start with a killer groove, there comes the fade to black and "blam!" we are hit with some lame commercial or a "coming up next" preview. TV nowadays is made for people with the attention span of a Nanosecond, especially during prime time until late night. I love to hate television!!! :lol:

Now that I am in a sarcastic mood, I'd like to suggest David Caruso for the big screen (again, after all he was in "First Blood"). Someone has to top Keanu Reeves for non-acting on the movie screen!

Seriously: What I DO like is some of the high budget episodic shows with cinematic quality and a dramatic arc. If I had the bucks I'd buy the DVD sets of all of the ones I like. Some are basically a great 20+ hour movie.


Last edited by Threeperf35 on Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:35 am
Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
Aw, c'mon, where else can you see someone pounding nails into a board with his forehead, or extinguishing 50 candles by squirting water from his eyeballs?

Also, no commercials on Wetten Dass! Thank god, since it runs at least 45 minutes over time anyway. Anyway, my wife is a religious watcher, so I have her save any of the interesting bets and the occasional interesting guest. At least it's only on once a month.


Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:52 am
Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
MunichMan wrote:
Aw, c'mon, where else can you see someone pounding nails into a board with his forehead, or extinguishing 50 candles by squirting water from his eyeballs?

Also, no commercials on Wetten Dass! Thank god, since it runs at least 45 minutes over time anyway. Anyway, my wife is a religious watcher, so I have her save any of the interesting bets and the occasional interesting guest. At least it's only on once a month.


Well I told you, I don't watch it anymore.... Re: commercial breaks cutting off great resident bands: I was referring to many other shows including Portugal and the US.


Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:56 am
Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
Benjamin Bratt, whom I just saw deliver a great performance in Trucker, works mostly network television. Whether he's very good or was very good in that once performance is unknown by me but, based on that one performance, I was impressed. He worked harder in that one brief role than Al Pacino has in his past 5 movies.


Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:26 pm
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Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
I wouldn't call some of these folks (e.g. Lithgow, Sutherland, D'Onofrio, etc.) STUCK on the small screen; most of them merely went there when their big screen careers seemingly dried up. :|

WIth that said, I'd like to add Patricia Arquette to that list.


Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:06 pm
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Post Re: convincing big screen actors stuck on the small screen
corpen11 wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
corpen11 wrote:
Vincent D'Onofrio best known as Detective Robert Goren from Law and Order: Criminal Intent.


Seriously. Anyone who's seen The Salton Sea knows this man deserves a bigger stage than fucking Law and Order


D'Onofrio left L&O:CI this past season. He wants to get back into films.


So I'm watching Adventures in Babysitting at this very instant, and what do you know, Vincent D'Onofrio plays fucking Thor in that movie. WHAT. THE. FUCK!!! I saw this movie at least 10 times as a kid, but I had no idea he was Thor. My mind is sufficiently blown.


Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:25 pm
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