A conversation between some of Hollywood’s most well-regarded filmmakers has turned into something of a call to arms against a common enemy. That enemy? Motion smoothing on modern flat screen TVs.
Dubbed the ‘soap opera effect’ and know by various names depending on your TV’s manufacturer (TruMotion, MotionFlow, Motion Interpolation, ClearScan, Auto Motion Plus, AquoMotion, De-Judder & De-Blur). For live sport and some animation, the effect is actually fairly useful, but for filmed content like movies, TV series, and so forth it renders content in a way that looks anything but cinematic.
The setting can most commonly be seen on screens you see in electronics stores where it is often turned on by default, on cheaper TVs where it sometimes can’t be turned off, and on the TVs in less tech-savvy homes. This is why A/V experts recommend that when you buy a new TV, make sure to go into visual settings and turn every picture enhancement to ‘off’ if you can.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn tweeted on Thursday that he, Rian Johnson (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), Edgar Wright (“Baby Driver”), Matt Reeves (“War for the Planet of the Apes”), Chris Miller (“The LEGO Movie”), and Christopher McQuarrie (“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”) are “all on board the anti-motion-smoothing campaign” and asked for others to join.
Peyton Reed (“Ant-Man”), Ruairi Robinson (“The Last Days on Mars”), Dan Trachtenberg (“10 Cloverfield Lane”) and Reed Morano (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) then joined the fray, with Johnson saying: “You want movies to look like liquid diarrhea, fine. But it should be a choice you make, not a hoop everyone has to jump through to unmake.”