Is Streaming Killing Story Telling?

Bren G

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I'm about half way through Oppenheimer and I can't but keep thinking...not bad but....really?... I have another 90 minutes to go? Can't they tell this story in 90 minutes?

I wonder if the streamers compensate the filmmakers based on the amount of time viewers are glued to their platform? This would explain the lazy writing that seems to persist these days. What gets measured gets done I suppose.
 
I think it’s just that some people take longer to tell a story than others (Villeneuve being a prime example).

I notice it more with documentaries. Three episodes to tell a story that could really be covered in one.
I agree. I recently watched one documentary on a Great White Shark. It had been caught previously and fitted with a locator. Later, it had disappeared suddenly and the great mystery was what had killed it? Probably another, larger, Great White, I thought.
Lo and behold, an hour later, that was the conclusion drawn by the narrator. Probably the most pointless shark documentary ever.
 
I thought streaming is when you sit down to watch a half hour show, but get up 8 hours later after watching the entire season. One Oppenheimer hardly competes with all of Men Behaving Badly season 2.
 
Don't forget the obligatory 10 minute digression for "Was it the occult?", in which a fortune teller and/or a heavy metal singer will be interviewed, before the documentary concludes that no, it wasn't the occult.
 
I thought streaming is when you sit down to watch a half hour show, but get up 8 hours later after watching the entire season. One Oppenheimer hardly competes with all of Men Behaving Badly season 2.
I think the general thrust of the OP is if streaming and having to pad things out is impacting on screen writing in general.
 
I think the general thrust of the OP is if streaming and having to pad things out is impacting on screen writing in general.
I can see that being possible but it was often the case that TV series pre-streaming were also padded out. I loved B5 but I can think of at least a couple of episodes that were blatant padding so I don’t think it’s a new phenomenon.
 
I notice it more with documentaries. Three episodes to tell a story that could really be covered in one.

The first 5-10 minutes is spent summarising what you are about to see, and the last 5 minutes telling you what's going to happen in the next episode.

Then you have the (now seemingly obligatory) 'dramatic recreations' shot on location to reinforce the narrator's opinion.

We also have to have 'celebrity' historians (sometimes just celebrities) giving their viewpoints.

All of this means that it takes three times as long to tell, and often covering the same ground. It's almost as if the presenter is assuming the viewer either has only a tenuous grasp of what they are being told, and/or has a very short span of attention, so needs to be toldceverything at least three times. There also seems to be an assumptiin in most cases that viewers have no knowledge about the subject being discussed.
 
Anyone else find themselves grinning that we're complaining about narrative bloat as fans of genres which in the last 60+ years has gone from ~200 page novels to ~400 page novels to trilogies of ~400 page novels to series of 400+ page novels? :ROFLMAO:
 
I can see that being possible but it was often the case that TV series pre-streaming were also padded out. I loved B5 but I can think of at least a couple of episodes that were blatant padding so I don’t think it’s a new phenomenon.
Anyone else find themselves grinning that we're complaining about narrative bloat as fans of genres which in the last 60+ years has gone from ~200 page novels to ~400 page novels to trilogies of ~400 page novels to series of 400+ page novels? :ROFLMAO:
Agree with both of these statements. But streaming has nothing to do with it.
 
I yhink that streaming, or more accurately binge-series watching, can have benefits. Less/no need to recap on what has gone before, and easier ti spot foreshadowung of later events.

It was only after watching the first several series of GoT that I got some of the later references, and saw the relevance of earlier statements. This was one series (despite how badly ut went later) that benefitted from the ability to stream one episode after another.

And although I disliked Westworld for trying to be too clever for its own good, I would suggest that that series would be almost impossible to get thd modt from if you had to wait one week between each episode.

Of course back in the day, that wait for next week's reveal, was what ramped up the tension and anticipation and helped make the show what it was. I'm thinking here in particular the Doctor Who and Sapphire & Steel stories, which tended to have mid-adventure climaxes. That is entirely lost with modern streaming, and the availability of disc boxsets.

But that is 'progress' for you, and we will never go back to such a situation. So what we must do is work with what he have, and make the most of the technology at our disposal.
 
I'm about half way through Oppenheimer and I can't but keep thinking...not bad but....really?... I have another 90 minutes to go? Can't they tell this story in 90 minutes?

I wonder if the streamers compensate the filmmakers based on the amount of time viewers are glued to their platform? This would explain the lazy writing that seems to persist these days. What gets measured gets done I suppose.
It's not made for streaming, it's made for cinema. And it's a Nolan, that's why it's long and open to digression.
 

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