One Story, Two Media. Strategies and Intended Audiences in Italian Productions for Cinema and Television
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In the long history of the enduring connection between Italian cinema and national television, recent years have brought several new developments. Due to the economic crisis, and hence a quest for creative and production methods to achieve greater return at lower cost, the ‘border’ between film and TV has become the arena for several textual and productive experiments, with varying degrees of success, contributing to the foundations of a new model. On the one hand, television is ‘serializing’ stories that were successes at the cinema presenting them as sequels or reinterpreting the original story in a different way. This trend is exemplified by several premium fictions associated with pay operator Sky Italia, as Romanzo criminale and Gomorra/Gomorrah, or the Netflix project Suburra. On the other hand, forms of actual ‘joint production’ for both film and TV are starting to emerge, representing not merely a desire to spread content over several TV slots, but also the wish (and need) to envisage a dual outlet for a text right from the time of writing and production. Two separate objects are planned and prepared from the outset, as in the case of Tutta colpa di Freud or Chiamatemi Francesco/Call Me Francesco, forcing the writing and production routines to adapt and take due account of the specific traits of the two media, and of their target audiences. Through interviews with professionals, viewing figures and promotional materials, it is possible to identify the motives behind these projects, the modifications in their production routines, and how concepts like taste, success and quality are being reformulated in such a scenario.
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