The Cinematography Podcast Episode 210: Filmmaker Mode

Michael Zink is president of the UHD Alliance, an industry group founded in 2015. He is also the Vice President of Emerging and Creative Technologies at WarnerMedia. The Alliance was founded to bring together consumer electronics manufacturers, film and television studios, content distributors and technology companies to have unified technical specifications for what Ultra High Definition should be.

Michael has been instrumental in helping set the standards for Filmmaker Mode, an option now available on most new TVs. Most electronics manufacturers have automatic factory pre-sets on their HDTVs that include post-processing of the image, known as “motion smoothing” or “smooth motion” which makes every image onscreen look like the evening news or a videogame. It can be very difficult to figure out how to disable it or turn it off. Starting around 2014, actors, directors and cinematographers like Tom Cruise, Rian Johnson, Christopher Nolan and Reed Morano loudly decried the smooth motion default settings and were very upset that their films were not being seen at home as they had intended. Tom Cruise even went so far as to make a PSA he posted to Twitter in 2018, asking viewers to turn off motion smoothing.

UHD Alliance met with industry groups such as the ASC and the DGA, and determined that preserving filmmakers’ creative intent on home televisions was very important. UHD Alliance then came up with the specifications for Filmmaker Mode, which most manufacturers have adopted. Filmmaker Mode is designed to help you watch movies and TV shows at home the way that filmmakers intended AND make it very easy for consumers to use. Most people just use their electronics directly out of the box, without any special calibrations. By disabling all post-processing such as motion smoothing, and preserving the correct aspect ratios, colors and frame rates, Filmmaker Mode enables your TV to display the movie or television show’s content precisely as it was intended by the filmmaker. Today, even streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video have automatic switching in the data stream that will communicate with certain brands of televisions to switch it to Filmmaker Mode.

Find Michael Zink: Twitter @_MichaelZink

UHD Alliance: @experienceUHD

Filmmaker Mode

Close Focus: Cinematographer Bill Butler (Jaws, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) has died, as well as personal friend and cinematographer Jacques Haitkin (A Nightmare on Elm Street.)

Illya’s short end: Illya recently started watching the TV show Abbott Elementary, which deserves the praise and accolades that it has received.

Ben’s short end: You Must Remember This podcast, written and hosted by Karina Longworth, has a new season. This season’s subject is Erotic 90’s, a follow-up to last season’s Erotic 80’s.

Listen to Ben’s new horror series Catchersavailable NOW only on Audible!

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Sponsored by Aputure: Aputure has a new product called Infinibar, an RGB light that has pixels in it which allows the light to be animated. You can find the Infinibar and the hard-to-find four foot kit at Hot Rod Cameras.

Sponsored by Greentree Creative: If you enjoy The Cinematography Podcast and you’re interested in growing or starting your own podcast, contact Alana Kode at Greentree Creative. Greentree Creative can help you with social media marketing, strategy and planning, podcast production, and digital content creation.

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Instagram: @thecinepod

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Podcast Credits:

Producer: Alana Kode

All web and social media content written by Alana Kode

Host and editor in Chief:  Illya Friedman

Instagram: @illyafriedman @hotrodcameras

Host: Ben Rock

Twitter: @neptunesalad

Instagram: @bejamin_rock

Editor: Ben Katz

Composer: Kays Al-Atrakchi

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