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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Hopefully, you’re appreciating the time of transformation we’re enjoying right now. Growing up, the worlds of TV and film were as different as could be, and even as recent as the late 2000s, I was taught some rather primitive rules regarding the format of TV, its overall structure, and the stories capable of being told in that form. And now? Well, just look at shows like The Mandalorian, and it’s clear the scope has increased immensely.

Thanks to Netflix and the world of streaming content, we are now able to tell long-form stories like never before. With that in mind, one can’t help but whether how long traditional film is going to be around in its current incarnation. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star Brad Pitt spoke with New York Times writer Kyle Buchanan, who had some things to say about the format of film and its potential longevity.

“I’m curious to see if movies last, if movies stick around,” Pitt told the outlet “What I notice about the younger generation is that they’re used to receiving a lot of information at a much faster pace, and they’re more inclined to watch a short series of episodes where you can stay in it as long as you want or jump out whenever you get bored. With a film, to sit down for two hours is a commitment that a lot of people aren’t willing to make. I love when you can have that transportive experience, but I may be a dinosaur.”

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But does that mean he’s given up on movies? Not quite.

“I’m still going to be pushing for the long-form film, because that’s where my heart lies. But they almost have to be some kind of event for them not to get lost in the vast ocean of content.

“On the other hand, I look at series where you can spend more time on characters and story and explore more angles you don’t always get to do in films. So much of these films end up on the cutting room floor because they just don’t fit in that box. That’s why I think it’s interesting that Tarantino took Hateful Eight and ostensibly repurposed it as a three-part series. It’s almost the best of both world: You have the cinema experience that exists, but you can actually put more content in the series format.”

It all comes down to the pros and cons of each format. With film, you’re able to tell big stories with an immense budget, and while they can be more epic in scope on TV, it’s often at the expense of a minute-by-minute budget. Furthermore, one is able to dig more into character in TV than in film, where each minute and line of dialogue is precious.

Long story short, we have no idea if film will be able to last in this current culture forever, but I’d bet my money on yes, because each format has its strengths, and in the case of The Hateful Eight, as Pitt said, you get the best of both worlds by adapting it for both. 

It’s been rumored that Tarantino has been considering doing the same thing for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, to which Pitt responded, “Yeah he’s talked about it. It’s a pretty arousing idea.”

Clearly, Tarantino has seen the benefit. And in a world where we can have a million cuts of one film, why not try and go both ways?

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SOURCE: Kyle Buchanan

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.