What’s the alternative?
Keen not to see their directorial efforts go to waste, filmmakers are turning to streaming sites instead. Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown took centre stage in Enola Holmes, only for the title to go straight to Netflix.
Likewise, Disney+ has welcome many new children’s releases including 2020’s Onward, produced by Pixar. Meanwhile, many movies scheduled for 2021 releases may suffer the same fate as James Bond: Mission Impossible 8 has had its July release pushed back to November.
With ongoing uncertainty over lockdown restrictions, will filmmakers have to accept that their movies are going straight to video? And what does this mean for viewers?
A diminished viewing experience
Despite growing advancements in smart televisions, the cinema experience cannot be emulated on the small screen. This comes down to a number of factors:
- Speaker sound quality
- Aspect ratio
- Distribution of sound.
When it comes to sound quality, smart TVs are missing the mark. For that cinematic sound quality, televisions need to be a certain size – the large variety of sounds requires a ‘driver’. Smaller televisions can support higher sounds, but they cannot reproduce deeper, bass-like sounds – particularly if they’re flat screen.
Similarly, the viewing experience is affected by aspect ratios. This means the ratio of the width and height of an image or screen. With many movies being shot in widescreen, specifically for cinema screens, the result is a stretched image on smaller screens. Worse still, there are distracting black bars above and below the shot – hardly immersive viewing!
Finally, we have to think about not only sound quality, but how we hear it. Think about the last time you were in a cinema. Sound effects would reverberate around the room, whether they’re an impending stampede in the distance or hushed dialogue. A single speaker cannot recreate that – so we turn to alternatives.