Directors Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan collaborate for a new “Filmmaker Mode” initiative for 4K televisions. Hoping to optimize the home viewing experience, various filmmakers have teamed up with the UHD Alliance.
Last April, the highly anticipated Game of Thrones episode “The Long Night” made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Directed by Miguel Sapochnik and filmed by cinematographer Fabian Wagner, the Battle of Winterfell production upset viewers because the visuals, aesthetically, seemed to be too dark. Wagner took offense to the concept that he didn’t understand his own creative vision, and that he didn’t understand how the images would ultimately appear on HBO. The cinematographer’s brash statements led to online backlash, and sparked discussions about optimal streaming environments and the importance of ideal television settings. Wagner recently clarified his early statements, but also stated that streaming compression is a “big problem.”
Per THR, various directors and cinematographers are collaborating with the UHD Alliance to establish a new 4K TV setting known as “Filmmaker Mode.” Along with Scorsese and Nolan, popular directors such as Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, and Rian Johnson are supporting the initiative that will benefit both viewers and filmmakers. Prior to the announcement, the UHD Alliance sought out over 400 filmmakers to gain insight about what could be done to improve HD settings. According to UHD’s Michael Zink, the aforementioned directors, along with Paul Thomas Anderson, reached out about “extending” the home theater viewing experience. Per Johnson, the director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the upcoming Knives Out, “If you love movies, Filmmaker Mode will make your movies not look like poo-poo.”
On social media, Scorsese and fellow filmmaker Quentin Tarantino have been popular topics of conversation for various reasons. Over the years, both directors have become known for their gritty crime movies featuring primarily male leads, and both also have controversial 2019 releases. Scorsese’s new Netflix film, The Irishman, will reportedly be three and half hours long, which in itself creates discussions about the “Netflix and Chill” concept. For Tarantino, he’s received backlash for not necessarily providing what some viewers want and expect with his movies like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which has led him and others to speak out about creative intent, and that filmmakers should be free to follow a specific vision, rather than following 2019 trends.
As Netflix and Disney+ continue to evolve, cinema purists will be forced to accept the complexities of the Streaming Era. However, moviegoers should be thankful that industry veterans like Scorsese and Nolan are joining forces to ensure that consumers can have a proper viewing experience at home, certainly if they have a large screen, the right TV settings, and the lights off.