Tom Cruise took a break from regularly promoting his upcoming and current projects (Like Mission: Impossible Fallout, by starting a new crusade (Cruisade), addressing the ills of the industry.
No, not how Hollywood is corrupted and perverted, or how some artists receive only minimal acclaim and attention, but rather that viewers are not watching movies the way filmmakers intended.
The process Cruise refers to, in a minute-and-half long PSA, with director Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible—Fallout) is called video interpolation, better known as “motion smoothing.”
I’m taking a quick break from filming to tell you the best way to watch Mission: Impossible Fallout (or any movie you love) at home. pic.twitter.com/oW2eTm1IUA
— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) December 4, 2018
Motion smoothing is when additional frames are added to a film in order to decrease blurriness and any sort of visual confusion onscreen. While this practice is heavily implemented in sports, where it is not only useful but necessary, film is the wrong medium with such a process. Film, typically shot a 24-frames-per-second, is supposed to be blurry and confusing at points. When motion smoothing is done, additional digital frames are added in, making the film look much different than it did in theaters—looking more like a soap opera than a full-fledged movie.
In the PSA, Cruise makes note of its, “unfortunate side effect is that it makes most movies look like they were shot on high-speed video rather than film.”
One of the most problematic elements of this whole fiasco is that most televisions come with the setting already turned on. That fact, coupled with the fact that every TV is different and equally as challenging to navigate, most viewers are not only not getting the experience the filmmaker intended, but that they are also settling for a much worse alternative.
Viewers should be advised that in most menus, even though motion smoothing is referred to under conflicting terminology depending on brand/model, any settings that are labeled with “motion” typically deal with the issue. If unsure, a simple Google search will inform any curious parties to the proper way to disable the feature. And, since the feature can be turned on and off, that means viewers won’t have to sacrifice the way they prefer to watch sports if they happen to be cinephiles as well.
The video has already gained support from Rian Johnson and Ben Stiller, along with other professionals in the industry. Perhaps this will be the dawn of a new era that more fully respects the craft of filmmaking?