Over the past year or two, there has been a lot of push back against motion smoothing and other settings on modern smart TVs that taint the cinematic experience at home. Last year Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie posted a short PSA on YouTube to try and raise awareness while several high profile filmmakers including Christopher Nolan approached the UHD Alliance to push for a new setting on TVs to preserve their vision. Now these efforts have paid off and resulted in something called “Filmmaker Mode” with manufacturers like LG, Panasonic and Vizio committing to add this new viewing mode to their future TVs as early as 2020. Nolan had this to say about the announcement:
“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.”
The UHDA supposedly consulted with over 400 filmmakers, including 140 directors and cinematographers, with such big names as Martin Scorsese, Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, Rian Johnson, J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and Paul Thomas Anderson all pledging support. The best part is that Filmmaker Mode will be “activated either automatically, through metadata embedded in the content, or through a single button which enables the consumer to activate Filmmaker Mode without moving through multiple menu levels.” It will also have a consistent name across all brands (unlike motion smoothing, which helped create some of the current confusion). Can Filmmaker Mode save the home viewing experience or is this already a lost cause?