… for Visual Effects

Tip #177: Ten Tips for Better Slow Motion

Slow motion often makes scenes more intense.

An example of a slow motion shot.
Action and drama are both enhanced by selectively using slow motion.

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This tip first appeared on Fstoppers.com.

Here are ten tips that can improve how you shoot and use slow-motion.

  1. Understand your subject. Slow motion is all about movement, and certain subjects do not lend themselves to being interesting in slow motion.
  2. Select a frame rate. Shoot at a higher frame rate than the project you’ll put the video into.
  3. Think about light. Faster frame rates require more light. In general, set the shutter speed to twice the frame rate.
  4. Emphasize drama. Slomo adds drama and intensity to intense scenes.
  5. Emphasize action. Cinema today uses slowmo to enhance action scenes.
  6. Emphasize death. in certain instances, the death of a main character or their impending death will be played in slow motion, which adds to the gravity of the situation
  7. Create alternative reality. Use slow motion to convey a sense of detachment from reality that helps your viewers distinguish what is real versus what is perceived based on your storyline
  8. Emphasize fear. Slow motion can emphasize the anxiety and terror of a dramatic moment.
  9. Use sound to match the motion. Use the sound recorded on set, then slow it down in the final mix to emphasize the slower visual motion.
  10. Use slow motion carefully. Like seasoning, use it wisely and food tastes great. Use too much and the food becomes inedible.

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