You may have never heard of the “Soap Opera Effect,” but if you buy the Blu-ray (4K or standard edition) for Mission: Impossible Fallout, you’ll be treated to an unusual plea before the movie begins: Tom Cruise, the movie’s star, and Christopher McQuarrie, the movie’s director, encourage you to turn off the motion smoothing feature in your TV’s settings. Often referred to as the Soap Opera Effect, the feature removes motion blur and makes film look like video, which is not how the filmmakers intended Mission: Impossible Fallout to look.
Techhnews’s written about the Soap Opera Effect in the past (), and we agree wholeheartedly in turning off motion smoothing while watching films (it has its purpose for other content, such as sporting events). However, it’s not always so easy to find in the settings and some people don’t even know it’s in on.
Cruise took time out from shooting Top Gun: Maverick to shoot the short public service announcement and posted a tweet about it. While McQuarrie wanted to amplify the conversation about motion smoothing, he told Techhnews he doesn’t want to come across as a film snob or taking a shot at the feature. His only issue, he says, is choice.
“When I’m making a movie, I work hard to squeeze the life out of every dollar,” McQuarrie said. “Then I see the best television money can buy with a feature that inadvertently makes even the biggest budget productions look like they were shot for the lowest possible budget. It’s on by default and it takes me ten minutes to turn it off. When a movie looks better on a smartphone, how is that a feature and not a bug?”