Fast forward? New Netflix plan for variable speeds has filmmakers fuming

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

We live in a fast-paced society where the name of the game is multi-tasking. What with work, family, school, and a myriad of other circumstances we are constantly in motion, flitting from one thing to the next. From an entertainment standpoint we are also living in a golden age. There's a plethora of movies, films, and videogames to choose from through a number of different mediums on a variety of technologies. It's impossible to see everything. Hell I write for a website devoted to movies and television and even I can't keep up with everything. Netflix on the other hand feels that while you may not have time to see everything, you can certainly see more things faster.

Yesterday, the streaming giant announced plans to introduce a new feature allowing customers to speed up or slow down content on their smartphones. The feature will allow people to slow down a movie or show by .5x or increase up to 1.5x normal speed. As you might imagine this news has ruffled the feathers of many a filmmaker who feel their content should be viewed in the manner they intended. People like Judd Apatow and Brad Bird quickly took to Twitter to voice their displeasure.





For Netflix's part the streamer was quick to point out that the new feature was not necessarily something that will catch on, stating, "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."

I have to say I'm fully on Apatow and Bird's side here.This seems like an utter disregard for filmmakers' visions and with the debate continuing to rage about what constitutes cinema, this only adds fuel to the fire. Take out the aspect of content for a second. People are already busy as it is. Why would you want to rush through your entertainment as well? When your focus is constantly on the next thing, you're never fully in the moment. That's why mindfulness has become such a huge thing in the last few years.

What do you guys think? Do you believe – as I do – that this is a horrible idea? Do you agree with Bird and Apatow? Sound off in the comments below!

Source: THR, Twitter

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