Size matters – or does it?

I’m a film science student and last semester, I had a seminar called “moviegoing experience”.

We talked about cinema vs. TV screen vs. laptop screen at one point, with several people saying you can only fully experience something in the cinema because of the screen size and the atmosphere.

For my essay (which focuses on YouTube and the Cinema of Attractions, just fyi) I’ve delved a bit into New Digital Cinema and so on. One author, Carol Vernallis, contends that certain videos that are solely created for YouTube take their eventual format into account and thus, they work on this platform but wouldn’t work in cinema.

Be that as it may, I still think the assumption that the cinema screen is the height of consumerist pleasure is flawed.

Sure, I would never watch Fast & Furious 7 on my laptop because I want to see the entire scope of brilliant cars and Vin Diesel and Jason Statham on as big a screen with the best sound system possible.

But everything other than action movies?

In short, the format isn’t important. Or as important as it is made out to be. What’s important is the story. 

When I consider that I live-streamed Sherlock season 3 on my laptop with crappy wifi, having to endure the stream breaking down every now and again, one would think that my moviegoing experience suffered tremendously. It didn’t, because I was so invested in the story and the characters, what’s happening on screen, that I could have cared less if I was watching the episode on a small screen or on a big flatscreen TV.

If a movie or a TV show manages to entice me, it will do so no matter the format, no matter the screen size.