When the average consumer buys a new TV, they typically don’t fiddle with the visual settings all that much, but unfortunately, those factory-settings aren’t always the best when it comes to staying true to the filmmaker’s intentions. There’s also the dreaded “motion-smoothing” effect, which is the process of artificially increasing the frame rate through interpolation of generated frames in an attempt to remove motion blur. As this is hardly in keeping with preserving the creative intent of filmmakers, a group of top directors have banded together with the UHD Alliance in a campaign to do away with motion-smoothing on consumer displays.
These directors include Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Rian Johnson, Patty Jenkins, and Ryan Coogler, and they’re hoping to introduce a new UHD setting for televisions in order to preserve the original artistic visions of creative projects. The “Filmmaker Mode,” as it’s being called, will be rolled out in supported TV models and is “aimed at giving viewers a consistent, cinematic representation of images as the filmmakers intended, in terms of color, contrast, aspect ratio and frame rates.” The UHD Alliance reached out to more than 400 filmmakers, including 140 directors and cinematographers, as well as the Directors Guild of America, American Society of Cinematographers, American Cinema Editors, and Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI director Rian Johnson was present with the Filmmakers Mode announcement was made, saying “Your Skynet is motion smoothing. … Luckily our John Connor has arrived.” The director added that Filmmaker Mode will offer “a single button that lines up the settings so it works for the benefit of the movie and not against it.” LG, Panasonic, and Vizio announced that they will implement Filmmaker Mode in future TVs, but there’s no clear date on when the first will role out. In a statement, Martin Scorsese said:
I started The Film Foundation in 1990 with the goal to preserve film and protect the filmmaker’s original vision so that the audience can experience these films as they were intended to be seen. Most people today are watching these classic films at home rather than in movie theaters, making Filmmaker Mode of particular importance when presenting these films which have specifications unique to being shot on film.
BLACK PANTHER director Ryan Coogler added, “I care deeply about how cinema is experienced at home because that’s where it lives the longest. That’s where cinema is watched and re-watched and experienced by families. By allowing the artists in the tent to help consult and give feedback to the electronics companies on Filmmaker Mode, we can collectively help make the consumer’s experience even more like it is in the cinema.” A video was also released with testimonials from Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, James Cameron, J.J. Abrams, Ava DuVernay, Ang Lee, Paul Thomas Anderson, Judd Apatow, Rian Johnson, and more.