A television film is a long format film that is produced for television . The films are usually commissioned by one or more broadcasting companies and financed in whole or in part. In the case of externalization, external or specially founded, broadcasting companies' own production companies take over the entire production process. This gives broadcasters the opportunity to receive sales revenues from production as income in their own production companies and at the same time to outsource the economic risks of film production.
Normally, a producer , director or author offers a treatment to the respective editorial team of a television station , which then has to decide whether to implement and finance the idea. If the editors accept the material, internal conferences continue. If it is implemented, a script will be commissioned.
The editor oversees the development of the script. The finished script is then proposed again in an editorial meeting, in which the editorial team decides whether they want to place an implementation contract. The producer prepares a calculation for the implementation of the script, on the basis of which he receives the order for the film production . The editors do the rough cut , the music , the mix and the broadcast tape . All rights to the script are held by the production company until a broadcaster places an order for production with the production company and the rights to the script are paid. The rights to the finished film belong to the broadcaster during development and production. The contract producer bears the production risk alone, i.e. in the event of cost overruns, this is borne by the producer, unless he is covered by film insurance.
The production format ranges from motion picture to digital recording, depending on the purpose and budget . Until the early 2000s, the most common production format was 16 mm film with broadcast formats such as Betacam SP , followed by DigiBeta and IMX (NDR only). Analogous to the cinema, television films are now almost exclusively made digitally in Red or ARRI Raw formats and sent from data storage media.
Numerous authors and directors have specialized in television films. Well-known representatives in the fictional area include Dieter Wedel and Dominik Graf , for the docu-drama Heinrich Breloer and for documentary formats, among others, Hans-Dieter Grabe , Georg Stefan Troller and Gero von Boehm .