Take it from TVWriter™ (and the L.A. Times), movies are absoutely, undeniably – dead.
Long live TV!
by Daniel Miller
Veteran TV director Michael Pressman got a surprising response when he asked students in his film directing class to describe their dream jobs.
“Your job,” he said they told him recently. “We want to be the director in charge of a TV series.”
Pressman, who has directed episodes of “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order” and many other series, was stunned. This class, at New York’s New School, focused on film.
For decades, it was mostly a one-way journey. Television was a steppingstone for directors, writers, producers and executives who wanted to break into the film business. In the 1950s and 1960s, Hollywood mainstays including Mel Brooks, Garry Marshall and Carl Reiner all got their starts in television but segued to the film world — and are now best known for their big screen work.
The film business proved a seductive force for many years, and for good reason. Movies had the glamour, perks, press coverage and accolades. Nothing could match the glitter of the Academy Awards.
Now, entertainment professionals are migrating eagerly in the opposite direction.
Many cite HBO’s “The Sopranos” as opening the door after it burst onto the scene in 1999, or A-list filmmakers like producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who got into the TV business in the late 1990s.
Others look to film producer Mark Gordon (“Speed,” “The Patriot”), who transitioned into television with hits “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Criminal Minds” in the 2000s — or, more recently, “Fight Club” director David Fincher, who made this year’s “House of Cards” for Netflix, and “Traffic” director Steven Soderbergh, who was at the helm for HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra” TV movie and is directing Clive Owen in the forthcoming Cinemax series “The Knick.”