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Netflix recently announced that they will be adding a feature to their streaming service that would allow watchers to speed up the playback to 1.5x or slow it down to 0.5x the normal speed.  I’m intrigued.  It could be fun to take a massive action scene and slow it down to be able to enjoy every moment.  1.5x speed might be useful for skipping long boring sequences (like the middle third of ‘Ad Astra‘!).  Netflix explained:

“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.”

However, some filmmakers aren’t real keen on this technological advancement.  Judd Apatow was particularly outspoken in a series of tweets:

“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.”


“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.”

Brad Bird (director of ‘The Incredibles’) echoed the comments:

“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 understand that directors are proud of their art and they are very deliberate in the timing they use in their films.  However, in my opinion, film is a medium that is interactive.  To resist the ability of users to change the speed is akin to trying to end the ability to skip scenes, pause, fast forward, or rewind.

What do you think?  Do agree with the directors, or should they just get over it and enjoy their millions?


Source: The Hollywood Reporter