WANT TO DIRECT? Try Cable or Netflix.
by Dov S-S Simens on January 26, 2016
WANT TO DIRECT? “Movies NO… TV/Cable/NetFlix YES”
There are Fewer-and-Fewer Movie Directing jobs. As Hollywood turns more and more to big-budget visual stories that are only seeking Franchise Concepts, the result being fewer and fewer opportunities to Direct a Studio Feature Film.
Fifteen years ago the “Big 6” (Warners, Paramount, Sony, Disney, etc.) was knocking out 25-35 movies each/year.
Last year, 2015, each of the major distributors (aka: Studios) were only making and releasing 12-15 movie/each. They are knick-naming them “TentPole” Films and are in hopes of each one becoming a “Franchise” (aka: Part I, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4…Part 27) that is mega-budget visual oriented and absolutely not depending on story or dialogue for they desire to distribute these features globally, within a 2 week period to beat the pirates, and get them in every nation around the world in a super short period.
Thus, there are less and less opportunities for Directors to direct studio features.
However, if you are a successful Director. And, you don’t want to do those Big-Budget Visual beasts (actually can’t get the gig) but state that you desire to tell-a-story then the only opportunity is TV/Cable… and now the new on-demand networks (Netflix, Hulu & AmazonPrime) that have vertically integrated into production, as HBO & Showtime did in the ’80s, to satisfy its subscribers.
Have you noticed how TV/Cable series have gotten better-and-better, with more-and-more Movie Actors starring, starting with “Law & Order” (tv) and pay-cable series like “Sopranos”; then going to “Weed”, “Dexter” & “Californication”, “Shameless” and followed with basic cable network series of “Madmen”. “Sons of Anarchy”, “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “The Killing”, “American Horror Story”, “The Killing”, etc. and now Netflix (see below).
WHY? SIMPLE…TV/CABLE SERIES ARE SUPER PROFITABLE
Why are more and more movie directors are now directing tv/cable series, besides fewer movie studio opportunities, is that tv/cable series can be massively profitable… if you can get a series on the air long enough to acquire 60-200 episodes which now qualifies it for the new world of “Global Syndication”.
Having a tv series or a cable series that runs for 4-5 years, with 60-100 episodes accrued results in massive profits.
And, having a tv/cable series that runs for 9-10 years results in decadence.
A 4-5 Year (60-100 episodes) TV/Cable series is worth a BONUS $150,000,000 – $300,000,000…as it is now marketable for re-runs and global syndication.
Yes, that is a Bonus of $150-$300 Million.
A 9-10 Year (180-200 episodes) TV/Cable series is worth a BONUS-BONUS of an additional $1,500,000,000 – $2,500,000,000. Yes, that’s with a “B” as in Billion.
Yes, that is a Bonus of $1.5-2.5 Billion.
Got it…. Now, once again, I think you get the point that with Movie Studios making less-and-less Movies, you now see the logic to Movie Directors now turning to TV Series…
- Telling Character Driven stories
- Big-Big-Big money, if however the series goes for at least 4-5 years.
Recent Movie directors who have turned to TV are:
- SAM RAIMI: Fox network, “RAKE”
- ANG LEE: FX network, “TYRANT”
- SAM MENDES: Showtime, “PENNY DREADFUL”
- MARTIN SCORSESE: Miramax, “GANGS OF NEW YORK”
- DAVID FINCHER: Netflix, “HOUSE OF CARDS”
- PETER BERG: HBO, “LEFTOVER”
- BARRY SONNENFELD: CBS, “BEVERLY HILLS COP”
- COEN BROTHERS: FX, “FARGO”
NETFLIX… The new Network & Directing Opportunities
Now, for directing gigs and production opportunities think the new On-Demand networks of companies like NetFlix, Hulu & Amazon Prime.
Below is a link that lists the new series by Netflix for 2016 and you will likely be overwhelmed.
Upon viewing this Wikipedia article on Netflix and listing it’s productions scheduled for 2016 you should go “wow”…. and don’t just think Netflix… think Hulu, think AmazonPrime, even think Crackle for new directing opportunities.
Also, if you want to work at Netflix (“Hemlock Grove”, “Bloodline”, “Orange is New Black”, “Narcos”. etc…. they’re hiring:
WHY THIS POST?
Simple. I want you to realize that there are less and less studio opportunities to direct feature films but infinitely more TV/Cable & On-Demand (Streaming) Network opportunities and massive growth/opportunities with the new Streaming Networks.
However, I still believe it starts with your 1st No-Budget Feature Film.
You have to start somewhere… and not just with an idea no matter how great it might be.
If you want to be hired as a director, by these networks then you must have directed something with true merit and have a proper agent to bring you into the system.
Thus, direct just one No-Budget ($5,000-$20,000, minimal crew, 1-location) or Micro-Budget ($20,000-$50,000, 1-week shoot) Feature Film that gets into a major Film Festival (Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, Tribecca, etc.) and you, 99 out of 100 times, will secure representation (you are now “New Talent”) by a properly placed Agent, who utilizes your feature, to get you opportunities to pitch series ideas to Netflix, HBO, AMC, SyFy, Comedy Central, Hulu, etc.
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