Most TV brands now offer a picture preset called Filmmaker Mode, but what is it and why should you be using it? The clue is in the name: it’s a dedicated picture mode instigated by filmmakers themselves to ensure their hard work is viewed exactly as it was intended it to be seen.
By selecting Filmmaker Mode you’re watching a picture that’s been calibrated in the factory to get as close as possible to the industry standards for greyscale and colour. These standards are used in film studios and professional mastering facilities to ensure all the monitors are identical, and if your TV matches them it means you’re seeing exactly what the director wants you to see.
The Filmmaker Mode also turns off any unnecessary processing, because these features are frequently marketing gimmicks and often detrimental to picture quality.
Most importantly, it turns off any kind of motion processing or frame interpolation, which adds extra frames to smooth out movement. While this can be useful when watching fast-paced sporting action, it destroys the look of film, which has used a specific frame rate of 24 frames a second for the last century. Any kind of motion enhancement makes film look like cheap video, creating what is often referred to as the ‘soap opera effect’.
The only major TV brand not to support this mode is Sony, which is ironic when you consider it’s also the only TV manufacturer to own a film studio. But, if you do have a TV with Filmmaker Mode, one button press and you can be watching your favourite film or TV show like a professional.