Goodbye Motion Smoothing: Filmmaker Mode Wins Support of Hollywood and HDTV Manufactures

Several of Hollywood’s biggest filmmakers, such as Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan, are here to help make your TV look better in the years to come. The UHD Alliance revealed at CES this week that a new setting called Filmmaker Mode has been backed by several major companies and organizations, in addition to high-profile directors, which will help combat the effects of motion smoothing, a common setting on TVs that often makes content look worse, not better.

Motion smoothing gained a lot of attention last year when Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie released a video PSA alerting consumers about the setting, which is often the default on modern TVs. Directors such as Rian Johnson have been highly critical of the industry standard and, over the last year, Filmmaker Mode was developed as an alternative. Samsung, TP Vision/Philips, Kaleidescape, LG, Panasonic and Vizio have all gotten on board with the idea and will release TVs in 2020 that come with the setting. Director Martin Scorsese, founder and chair of the Film Foundation, a film preservation and education organization, had this to say in a statement.

“Most people today are watching classic films at home. With Filmmaker Mode, different works will be presented accurately as they were created and designed by the filmmaker. Filmmaker Mode is a long overdue and welcome innovation.”

Filmmaker Mode “sets the television in a way that maintains filmmaker intent,” said Michael Zink, Warner Bros.’ VP of technology and chairman of the UHD Alliance. To help bring support to the feature, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and the International Cinematographers Guild have backed it as well. The Dark Knight and Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan had this to say about it.

“Modern televisions have extraordinary technical capabilities, and it is important that we harness these new technologies to ensure that the home viewer sees our work presented as closely as possible to our original creative intentions. Through collaboration with TV manufacturers, Filmmaker Mode consolidates input from filmmakers into simple principles for respecting frame rate, aspect ratio, color and contrast and encoding in the actual media so that televisions can read it and can display it appropriately.”

TV technology has come a long way in recent years. While many of the filmmakers who back Filmmaker Mode want to preserve the theatrical experience, they also know that movie lovers are still going to watch their movies at home. Motion smoothing gets in the way of seeing those movies as intended. This new setting looks to help steer the ship in the right direction.

Other notable filmmakers who have backed the setting include Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread), Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) and Ryan Coogler (Black Panther). LG will support Filmmaker Mode on all new 4K and 8K TVs released in 2020. Panasonic’s OLED HD 2000 series TVS will feature Filmmaker Mode in 2020, with more models to be announced at a later date. This news comes to us via Variety.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb