What are the pros and cons between acting in a television series vs. a movie?

– Xochielt Sanchez

Answer by Sarah Baker:

They're both great! Make no mistake! I would say the biggest difference is that a movie is a shorter, more encapsulated experience, and a TV job is like having a regular day job where you get to do what you love. TV can be more nerve-racking because you never know when it's going to end and sometimes you work your last day without knowing it until much later. So, that's tough.

With movies, you get to be in a bubble while you're creating it, and it's not until it comes out that you see whether people like it or not. The other big difference is that TV moves much more quickly, so you have fewer takes, less time between scenes, and a fairly unrelenting schedule. Unless you're doing a very low budget movie, you're generally covering less material in a day, so there's more room for discussion, more takes, and the pace is just generally slower.

And the last big difference is that if you're doing a movie, you're probably staying in a hotel somewhere in another state away from your friends and family, which is both awful and really cool. I spent four months in New Orleans shooting The Campaign, and now it is one of my favorite places on earth! When else, as a grown up, do you get to live in another city for an extended period of time? But if you're shooting a TV series, you're probably in LA, which in my case means that I get to rest my head on my own pillow at night.

What are the pros and cons between acting in a television series vs. a movie?


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