You don’t even have to know what “Film Twitter” is to have heard about the one topic it agrees on—motion smoothing. And what everyone agrees on is they hate it. Motion smoothing is the television screen setting that basically makes everything look super glossy and unnatural. It creates a hyperreal look, like a soap opera. And no one detests it more than directors, including some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Many have made it their mission to get everyone to reset their televisions. They want their movies to look the way they wanted them to look. But soon they won’t have to fight so hard. Most major electronic companies have now agreed to to equip their sets with a new setting called “Filmmaker Mode.”
The UHD Alliance announced at this year’s CES event in Las Vegas (in news we first heard at IndieWire) that even more companies will include “Filmmaker Mode” as a setting option on their 2020 sets. The initiative was first announced in August of 2019, when Panasonic, LG, and Vizio signed on. Now Philips/TP Vision, Samsung, and Kaleidescape will also feature models that include the new viewing mode. In a previous statement the Alliance explained exactly how this new setting will try and solve an issue directors and stars have frequently spoken out against:
“Current TVs use advanced video processing capabilities to offer consumers a broad range of options in viewing various types of content, ranging from sports to video games. Filmmaker Mode will allow viewers to enjoy a more cinematic experience on their UHD TVs when watching movies by disabling all post-processing (e.g. motion smoothing, etc.) so the movie or television show is displayed as it was intended by the filmmaker, preserving the correct aspect ratios, colors and frame rates.”
In other words “Filmmaker Mode” will do two things. First it will make it easy to avoid motion smoothing (which isn’t always easy to turn off). Second it will create a simple way to ensure you watch something the way it was actually shot and edited.
The entire program started because some of the biggest directors in the industry. They reached out to television makers to help them. From UHD Alliance Chairman, Michael Zink of Warner Bros. in the initial press release:
“When Paul Thomas Anderson, Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, Martin Scorsese, and Christopher Nolan reached out to the UHDA about extending the cinematic experience into the living room, we were eager and ideally situated to engage in the conversation. The Ultra HD TVs from supporting CE members are capable of delivering a range of viewing options and the addition of Filmmaker Mode for cinematic content, which is based on input from a broad range of preeminent filmmakers, provides a way for consumers to better experience the filmmaker’s vision.”
Tom Cruise and Mission: Impossible director Christopher McQuarrie have also publicly spoken out against motion smoothing. As have many others. No surprise then the UHDA also announced the Directors Guild of America, the International Cinematographers Guild, the American Society of Cinematographers, and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation are all supporting the initiative.
As do we. Motion smoothing is the worst. THE WORST. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of its reign of terror. The only downside? “Film Twitter” fans won’t have anything else to unite them anymore.
Featured Image: UHD Alliance