DGA members figure prominently in the battle against Motion Smoothing

Filmmaker Mode

August 28, 2019

On August 27, 2019, the UHD Alliance (UHDA), along with leaders in consumer electronics, Hollywood studios and members of the filmmaking community, announced their collaboration on a new viewing mode for new television sets called Filmmaker Mode™. This option gives viewers a consistent, cinematic representation of images as the filmmakers intended, in terms of color, contrast, aspect ratio and frame rates.

Filmmaker Mode™ offers a single button designed to correct technological shortcuts that fall under the rubric of “Motion Smoothing.”  While the “Motion Smoothing” process may benefit video games and televised sports, it can be ruinous to the cinematic decisions of DGA members who put painstaking time and effort into making creative selections designed to evoke emotions and feelings as you witness their work. Faced with this issue, the Guild’s Creative Rights Committee,fronted by Directors Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Mostow together with Director Paul Thomas Anderson,  worked directly with the UHDA to address that oversight. In the months leading up to the UHDA announcement, the Committee provided input from DGA members regarding ways of maintaining creative intent for the home viewer. In a survey, more than 90% of the director respondents were in favor of a consistently named reference mode that is easily understood and accessed by the viewer.

"We got a great response from DGA members," said Nolan. "A lot of people responded to the survey with a lot of in-depth knowledge expressing their concerns. I think it's a great step forward and I think the manufacturers are now seeing an opportunity to really collaborate with filmmakers on getting the most out of the next generation of television sets. We want to get to a place where we can say we feel great about the way this stuff looks. Because if you see a well-aligned HDR image, it looks spectacular."

UHDA chair Michael Zink, Vice President of Technology at Warner Bros., pointed out how Anderson, Mostow and Nolan and Directors Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins and Martin Scorsese reached out to the UHDA about extending the cinematic experience into the living room. The launch announcement also featured video testimonials from these and other esteemed filmmakers including J.J. Abrams, Judd Apatow, James Cameron, Ava DuVernay, Ang Lee, Reed Morano, M. Night Shyamalan, the Duffer Brothers and a live presentation from Director Rian Johnson.

At the time of the announcement, LG Electronics, Panasonic and Vizio have announced a commitment to implement Filmmaker Mode™ in future television sets.

See video of Filmmakers discussing the issues of motion smoothing and the advantages of Filmmaker Mode™

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