TV/web films join theatrical releases

Frequent visitors to MeierMovies will notice a big change today. In a sign of the times, I have merged my small TV/web/streaming film list with my big theatrical-release one. This means you will no longer have to view a separate list to find films that never received a cinematic release. Instead, all movies will be listed together. Reviews have also been merged into one grouping, regardless of how the movie was shown.

But because these distinctions still matter, I have adopted a new labeling system. Feature films that never received a theatrical or major-festival release now carry the TV/Web/NT designation (“NT” meaning non-theatrical) while films that appeared on TV or the internet first and subsequently received a theatrical release (general, limited or appearing at at least two major festivals) will carry the Hybrid tag. If no tag is present, the film enjoyed a traditional cinematic release or premiered at two or more major festivals.

Short films have also been merged. This means internet shorts, music videos and other short films that never appeared in theaters can be found alongside theatrical shorts on my lists of short movies, which are now indexed at the bottom of my Movie Lists page. If you’re looking for my Short Film of the Day page, it is now indexed on the About page. (Of course, TV shows are still a different animal and get their separate page and list.)

These changes were implemented to make it easier to find the films you’re looking for. The site’s menu bar has also been tweaked to make it more user-friendly, with reviews, lists and non-review film articles all getting their own tabs. But the timing is admittedly influenced by the affect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the industry. Even before the pandemic, theatrical windows were shrinking, and the line between theatrical and streaming content was becoming blurred. Even the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences relaxed their Oscar standards for 2020 and 2021 to allow non-theatrical content to compete, provided those films had originally planned a theatrical release. Though the Academy says this move is temporary, the industry will likely never return to months-long theatrical windows and concrete distinctions between cinematic and television/web content. So MeierMovies has adapted.

2 Responses to “TV/web films join theatrical releases”
  1. Jim DeSantis says:

    I know this was not an easy task, but we are thrilled to see you adapt with this fluid theatrical environment.