Watching movies when you don't really have enough time

📅 Posted 2016-03-10

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A colleague recently blogged on our internal blog system about an article describing how the BBC is building personalised media “remixes” for audiences.

You can read the article here:

Part of the concept is that the clips and media delivered to the audience is based on how much time the user has to occupy themselves with content from the BBC.

This reminded me of something I tried a little while back which I found really useful, and it’s all about trying to best use what little time all of us have to enjoy entertainment.

I recently watched Argo for the first time. This won’t be a movie review, so I won’t go into any details about it just yet. What I did though is discover that the movie goes for 2 hours. Fact! That’s a long time to sink into something that may be good or bad but you aren’t sure yet. I also played it late at night, before going to bed.

My idea was simple: increase the playback speed. All of a sudden, I was able to watch the entire movie without really missing out on anything in less time.

One side effect is the film is more ‘smooth’. I actually like films at 23.976024 fps (give or take a few decimal places) or actually anything that doesn’t look silky smooth because it seems too close to real-life. It’s a bit like those TVs that have motion compensation built in and when enabled, everything looks somehow ‘wrong’.

Anyways, back to the speed thing. I only added 20% (or playback speed of 1.20x) which brought the original 2 hour movie down to 96 minutes. I could also shrink this a bit further by skipping the credits at the end.

Different movies can probably handle more speed increase, depending on the level of action in the movie and how fast everyone speaks.

So, next time you’re watching a movie, give it a try. Turn up that speed dial just a little. See if you can squash more movies into your 24 hour day!

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