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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Netflix fooling with run speeds and pissing filmmakers off (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Netflix fooling with run speeds and pissing filmmakers off
Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12742
From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 10-29-2019 03:19 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The quote from the Netflix rep at the end tells it all.... they don't give a shit what their content providers think, it's all about the "feedback."

Nice job, content providers. You got in bed with the devil, now this is the result. More to come! [Roll Eyes]

Netflix Plan to Test Varying Play Speeds Meets Filmmaker Backlash

Netflix said Monday it is introducing a new test feature to allow viewers to either speed up or slow down content on their smartphones, a move that quickly gained criticism online from Judd Apatow and other filmmakers.

Android Police first reported the new feature, showing a screen grab that allows a viewer to choose to slow down a show or film as much as 0.5 times the normal speed, or increase the speed up to 1.5 times the normal runtime.

Apatow, who co-created the Netflix series Love, slammed the feature, tweeting, "No @Netflix no. Don’t make me have to call every director and show creator on Earth to fight you on this. Save me the time. I will win but it will take a ton of time. Don’t fuck with our timing. We give you nice things. Leave them as they were intended to be seen."

He added in a follow-up tweet, "Distributors don’t get to change the way the content is presented. Doing so is a breaking of trust and won’t be tolerated by the people who provide it. Let the people who don’t care put it in their contracts that they don’t care. Most all do."

"We’re always experimenting with new ways to help members use Netflix. This test makes it possible to vary the speed at which people watch shows on their mobiles. As with any test, it may not become a permanent feature on Netflix," a Netflix spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. The feature would apply to all of the streamer's content.

A rep for the streamer later added that the test was only available to mobile Android users.

In a blog post, Netflix added that the feature "has been frequently requested by our members," saying the tool "has long been available on DVD players."

Viewers might want to use the feature if they were "looking to rewatch their favorite scene or wanting to go slower because it’s a foreign language title," Netflix wrote.

"We’ve been sensitive to creator concerns and haven’t included bigger screens, in particular TVs, in this test," the streamer added. "We’ve also automatically corrected the pitch in the audio at faster and slower speeds. In addition, members must choose to vary the speed each time they watch something new — versus Netflix maintaining their settings based on their last choice."

Netflix said it doesn't plan to "roll any of these tests out in the short term."

"And whether we introduce these features for everyone at some point will depend on the feedback we receive," it added.

Super Troopers filmmaker Jay Chandrasekhar and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse helmer Peter Ramsey also echoed Apatow's sentiments, and The Incredibles director Brad Bird tweeted, "Whelp— another spectacularly bad idea, and another cut to the already bleeding-out cinema experience. Why support & finance filmmakers visions on one hand and then work to destroy the presentation of those films on the other???"

Oct. 29, 9:35 a.m.: This story has been updated with Netflix's blog post about the playback speed testing and an additional spokesperson's note that the test was just for mobile Android users.

[URL=https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/netflix-plan-test-varying-play-speeds-meets-filmmaker-backlash-1250533?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=THR%20Breaking%20News_now_2019-10-28%2013:36:40_jkonerman&utm_term=hollywoodreporter_ breakingnews]Hollywood Reporter[/URL]

quote: Judd Apatow
Leave them as they were intended to be seen.
Yeah....on a phone, right? [puke]

quote:
The Incredibles director Brad Bird tweeted, "Whelp— another spectacularly bad idea, and another cut to the already bleeding-out cinema experience. Why support & finance filmmakers visions on one hand and then work to destroy the presentation of those films on the other???"
I dunno Brad, it might be a pointer to the fact that once again, the theater is the best place to see your damn movies rather than on phones or at home where people can FUCK WITH THE SPEED.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: West Milford, NJ, USA
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 - posted 10-29-2019 03:33 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Much to do about nothing. Nothing new. Many VHS and some DVD players had this capability back in the 1980's, and many movies and TV shows since then have been speeded up with sound pitch correction to fit into a time slot on many different cable stations. USA Network, TBS/TNT were notorious for this. Where were these filmmakers back then?

Yes, it is a crappy idea, but anyone watch a movie on a phone is not getting a movie going experience anyway. Nobody is forcing this anyone to use this feature and those that care about presentation will not.

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Martin Brooks
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 - posted 10-29-2019 10:18 PM      Profile for Martin Brooks   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Brooks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I always felt that directors should have had contracts where they could indicate that their films could never be modified when presented in other media.

I won't watch a movie on TV, cable or streaming in which a widescreen film is presented at 16:9. It's the primary reason I won't give HBO my money. The day they start presenting all films at the proper aspect ratio, they'll get my money again.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 10-29-2019 11:25 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, the outrage is 20 years too late. Some early DVD players could play movies at speed intervals of 2X, 5X or even 10X and still leave the audio audible. Of course the fast-forward and rewind functions were present in consumer video tape decks 40 years ago. Oh, and we've always had the pause button for when we needed to take a piss. Or you could just hit the stop button and then hit play again when you were ready to resume watching the show, be it a few minutes or a few days later.

News flash to the "filmmakers": the most destructive feature of movie watching on a portable device is being able to exit the show and start watching something else immediately.

I'm personally not going to watch an entire movie in high speed. Even if the movie sucks, I'm not going to waste time skimming through the dud in high speed. I'll just stop watching well before the end.

BTW, the writer must not have noticed that higher speed playback modes don't change the pitch of actors' voices into chipmunk territory. Digital audio doesn't work like that. The actors just sound like that guy in TV commercials back in the 1980's who could speak ridiculously fast.

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Marcel Birgelen
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 - posted 10-30-2019 04:58 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What moron would watch a movie at 1.5 times its normal speed anyway?

I'm not sure how smooth the fast-forward and fast-rewind with picture will actually work in combination with real-time streaming though.

quote: Bobby Henderson
BTW, the writer must not have noticed that higher speed playback modes don't change the pitch of actors' voices into chipmunk territory. Digital audio doesn't work like that. The actors just sound like that guy in TV commercials back in the 1980's who could speak ridiculously fast.
Actually, with digital audio, you can do both. You can have Scatmatman John and the Bee Gees.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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 - posted 10-30-2019 06:30 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Truth be told, I knew one exhibitor that changed the pulleys on their projectors to speed up the movie so they could get an additional show in or, at least, shorten the work day (saves money on payroll as well as electricity). It wasn't a huge shift but enough that you would shave minutes off of a day. Multiply that out by 365 days and you are shaving quite a bit of money. Nobody ever called him out on it either.

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Martin McCaffery
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 - posted 10-30-2019 08:07 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Radio DJ's used to do the same thing when there were such things as Radio DJ's and records.

They're watching a movie on an Android, just shut up and take your money. You've already sold away any claim to your "vision."

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Jack Ondracek
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 - posted 10-30-2019 10:30 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Steve Guttag
Truth be told, I knew one exhibitor that changed the pulleys on their projectors to speed up the movie so they could get an additional show in or, at least, shorten the work day (saves money on payroll as well as electricity). It wasn't a huge shift but enough that you would shave minutes off of a day. Multiply that out by 365 days and you are shaving quite a bit of money. Nobody ever called him out on it either.
Sadder than that: From back when I was a teen, the audio at my local theatre seemed a bit faster than it should have been, and the problem was hardly noticed.

Years later (like 20) and who knows how many service people had been there, I finally brought up the subject. The tech put a strobe on the shutter and... hey... the projectors (both of them) actually were running fast. Turned out that the drive motors were coupled to the soundheads by belt ('40s vintage Century C's). At some point, the wrong belts had been put on and they were riding over the top of the pulleys. New belts... problem fixed.

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Martin McCaffery
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 - posted 10-30-2019 01:15 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I guess we can say it goes back to the origins of movies and hand-cranked projectors. No motor, no standardized speed. Imagine the excitement of hand cranking the same 30mins of film for 12 hours a day. You'd speed up, too.

There was a porno theatre I worked in DC where, when the owner wanted to get home early, he'd either have us change over in the middle of the reels or just drop a reel altogether. No one seemed to care.

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Bobby Henderson
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 - posted 10-30-2019 10:29 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've heard radio stations speed up songs and do other crap like omit the guitar solo or even whole verses in the song just to squeeze in more commercial breaks. That's on top of the usually trimming of the beginning and end of the tune. The practice goes back at least 40 or more years. Pop/Top 40 format radio stations do all that shit most often. It's all the more reason to subscribe to a music streaming service.

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Marcel Birgelen
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 - posted 10-31-2019 06:31 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Steve Guttag
Truth be told, I knew one exhibitor that changed the pulleys on their projectors to speed up the movie so they could get an additional show in or, at least, shorten the work day (saves money on payroll as well as electricity). It wasn't a huge shift but enough that you would shave minutes off of a day. Multiply that out by 365 days and you are shaving quite a bit of money. Nobody ever called him out on it either.
I'm still wondering how the individual digital audio formats would've kept up with that. We know that especially SRD and DTS tolerate quite some variation, but if you speed things up by like more than 5 percent, I guess the decoder will simply kick out and go to bypass.

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 10-31-2019 03:12 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
With DTS, if you gave the film a little extra slack going into the reader and then let it out, the sound would "WOW" just like an audio tape.

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Sascha F. Roll
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 - posted 10-31-2019 06:33 PM      Profile for Sascha F. Roll   Email Sascha F. Roll   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Almost all 35mm projectors that had adjustable Speed (Kinoton FP30D/E, Ernemann 15, Cinemecc. Victoria 5 in later versions) were set to 25 fps instead of 24 fps here in Germany. Saved up to 5 minutes per show for the "cheap" cinema owner.

Also there were projectors which (by construction) were running in sync with Grid Frequency (50 Hz over here) resulting in 25 fps as default (and Only) Speed... Meopta MEO5 for example.

Then you had those old projectors which were running somewhere between 23,8 and 24,6 fps depending on the temperature and viscosity of the oil (Bauer B projector series for example, 3 phase Motor 1440 rpm directly coupled to the drive gear via rubber coupling.

One cinema owner I worked for had the LENZEs in his machines programmed to 52 Hz...

And please let's not talk about those dark "e cinema" years In the 2000s when independent cinemas here started to project movies on video projectors using some homegrown VLC based setups.
More than once I saw that playback speed set up higher Than 1.0x when I cam into the booth. "We started late and had to be on time for the next show..."

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Marcel Birgelen
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 - posted 11-01-2019 10:03 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Blakesley
With DTS, if you gave the film a little extra slack going into the reader and then let it out, the sound would "WOW" just like an audio tape.
Yeah, DTS but also SRD was known to simulate "analog behavior" when compensating for synchronization differences, which was quite a feat given the fact that DTS had to do this all in a single 486 CPU for all channels simultaneously.

I have too little experience with SDDS, but what I've heard from people operating it, it was far more picky when it came down to synchronization.

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Scott Norwood
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 - posted 11-01-2019 11:32 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've never actually shown a 24fps movie at 25fps in order to get home early, but I'm sure that it has been done. I have certainly been tempted.

More insidiously, there is something called "Time Tailor" that is used by television stations in order to trim a few frames here and there from movies to be broadcast. The idea is to allow extra commercials without requiring the stations to remove entire scenes.

As mentioned above, this all probably goes back to silent films, when theatres would re-edit the films and/or have the operators crank faster than usual in order to decrease show length.

I certainly get why filmmakers would be upset about this, but I also like having the option to rewind, fast forward, and pause when watching movies at home on a television set. This is not the same as the cinema experience, and I accept the limitations when I choose to watch movies this way. It's sort of like seeing a postcard of a famous building versus actually seeing it in person.

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