Television episodes and short films are both powerful mediums for storytelling, each with its own unique significance and characteristics. Utilizing television to tell a story offers several distinct advantages.

Episodic television provides a long-form narrative format that allows for in-depth character development and complex story arcs. According to a report by the Nielsen Company (2018), the average American adult spends over four hours a day watching television, making it a medium with a broad reach and the potential to engage viewers over an extended period. This extended engagement allows for more profound emotional connections between viewers and the characters they watch, building empathy and fandom.

Short films have their own set of advantages and serve a different purpose. They are concise and typically range from a few minutes to half an hour, making them an excellent medium for conveying a single, powerful message or exploring a specific theme in depth.

According to a study by Short of the Week (2019), short films often focus on artistic experimentation and storytelling innovation, which can lead to unique and memorable viewing experiences. The brevity of short films also appeals to audiences with limited time, providing a quick yet impactful narrative.

The distribution channels for television and short films differ significantly. Television enjoys access to a wide range of networks and streaming platforms, ensuring a broader audience reach. In contrast, short films often rely on film festivals, online platforms, or specialized screenings to find their audience. A report by Film Freeway (2020) highlights the growing popularity of online platforms for short film distribution, which has democratized access to short films but may still limit their exposure when compared to television reach.

The choice between using television episodes or a short film to tell a story depends on the storyteller’s objectives and the desired impact on the audience. Television offers the advantage of extended engagement and the opportunity for comprehensive storytelling, while short films excel in delivering concise, focused messages and artistic innovation. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for creators to select the medium that best aligns with their storytelling goals and target audience.

Luckily, Access Sacramento offers BOTH mediums to tell your story!  You can develop your skills through the year-round incubator, “A Place Called Sacramento” that results in a Red-Carpet Film Premiere of your short film, or you can develop a series with us for Broadcast on Cable TV and Streaming.  Either way, you are telling your story in an authentic voice.