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  • If you Googlebest slo-mo scene ever,” you'll find the Matrixlobby scene

  • over and over again.

  • It is actually a 3 minute 13 second tapestry of 74 apparently normal clips and just 35

  • slow motion ones.

  • Yet this is what we remember.

  • Slow motion animates sports, and sells iPhones, and is so powerful in movies it can make you

  • forget everything else in the scene.

  • How does it work?

  • To demonstrate the principles of slow motion, we actually hired a world-class juggler to

  • show how a lot of the fundamental ideasOK, you know, it throws me off when you pan up

  • to my face, it's not supposed to be in the shot.

  • So...

  • Though this juggling is filmed with a digital camera, the fundamental principles are the

  • same as they were with film.

  • This 1 second clip is shot and played at about 24 frames a second - 24 picturestoday's

  • standard speed for movies.

  • Now let's say we film this at 60 pictures a second.

  • If we play both clips back at a rate of 24 frames a second, the 60 pictures take 2 and

  • a half times longer to play than just 24 pictures - that is slow motion.

  • This comes with some technical hurdlesespecially when it comes to lighting.

  • Imagine a door opening and closing to let light in.

  • If I take 24 pictures a second, the camera door - the shutterwill be open for about

  • 1/50th of a second to let in the right amount of light for a nice amount of blur in the

  • motion.

  • Not enough blur, and things look disorientingly sharp.

  • Too much, and they look fuzzy.

  • 1/50th is just right for what we think of as a cinematic look.

  • If I take 60 pictures a second, see how everything is darker?

  • That's because I need to use a higher shutter speed when I'm shooting more frames per second

  • the door is slamming open and shut more quickly.

  • There's less time for light to hit the camera's sensor (or the film).

  • To lighten it, I have to crank the light or use more sensitive film (or in a digital camera,

  • use a higher ISO setting).

  • But once all this is done, you can control not just how your picture looksbut how

  • it moves.

  • Because these rules are so important to capturing any image, the potential to shape motion was

  • obvious from the beginning of photography.

  • And just like the slow mo tennis balls ball, early pioneers took lots of pictures quickly

  • to slow down time - a process that transitioned to actually filming motion.

  • See this crank?

  • Early film was often - though not always - fed through the camera manually to control the

  • speed of a picture.

  • Cameramen used this to their cinematic advantage.

  • They often overcrankedcranked too fastto put more film frames in front of the

  • camera in a shorter period of time.

  • That would record slower motion.

  • Or they undercrankedcrank too slowto make things look faster.

  • Movie projectors could be messed with too.

  • This 1897 film, Charity Ball, looks dreamy and slo mo when played at, say, 22 frames

  • a second, but realistic when played at 40 frames a second.

  • Setting rules for movies required the one thing that was missing.

  • Sound.

  • If I bounce this ball on a tennis racket, the speed of the audio and video have to be

  • the same.

  • Otherwise, it falls out of sync.

  • This idea became increasingly important in the late 1920s, when films with soundcalled

  • talkies” — became the norm.

  • They didn't work if film recording and playback speeds were all over the placewhich they

  • were.

  • In 1927, the Society of Motion Picture Engineers noted that the sound recording devicemust

  • be perfectly synchronized with the camera.”

  • The Jazz Singer, the first talkie, a 1927 movie that centered on a blackface performer,

  • was made thanks to a company called Vitaphone.

  • Their technology synced recording speed using a mechanical engine, not a person at a crank.

  • The Motion Picture Engineers followed Vitaphone's standard and settled on 24 frames a second.

  • Confusion about playback and film speed was over.

  • With a standard established, people were free to experiment.

  • Slow motion had already been used in science and sports, like newsreel footage of baseball

  • player Babe Ruth.

  • Or in filmmaker (and Nazi propogandist) Leni Riefenstahl's Olympics documentary.

  • Beyond sports, there was some slow-mo dabbling in Hollywood, like the dreamlike hunting party

  • photography in this 1932 musical.

  • In 1938, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced in slow-mo too.

  • But these slow motion scenes were rare.

  • French Filmmaker and theorist Jean Epstein played with Slo mo in the Fall of the House

  • of Usher.

  • He wrote: “Slow motion really brings a new set of

  • possibilities to dramaturgy.

  • Its ability to dismantle feelings, to enhance drama...surpasses all the other known tragic

  • modes.”

  • 1930's French film Zero for Conduct featured a slow motion scene after a pillow fightand

  • it's like a Wes Anderson epilogue.

  • Jean Cocteau's Orpheus used slow motion to add drama to a dreamy sequence.

  • Akira Kurosawa, whose groundbreaking hit Seven Samurai featured slow-mo, helped influence

  • Hollywood to add slow-mo to action and narrative.

  • No longer just for sports, musicals, or outsiderartistes,” slow motion appeared at more

  • than 100 frames a second in the final shooting in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde.

  • By the '80s it was suitable for everything from blood rushing from an elevator

  • to the end of a glorious race.

  • Slow motion was an established trope by the 1990s - one with rules, and references, and

  • expectations.

  • Ow!”

  • Even today, some tech obstacles exist.

  • Film with your iphone in regular motion and slow motion.

  • Notice that noise?

  • That's the phone compensating for less light - by making the sensor more sensitive, raising

  • the ISO.

  • But for movies, with speeds at thousands of frames a second possible, and VFX augmentation

  • common, slow motion has fully become an aesthetic storytelling tool rather than a technological

  • hurdle.

  • It was obvious from the beginning of photographybut now slow motion has developed a full

  • range of meanings and uses.

  • It can make 3:13 seconds iconic.

  • A lobby run becomes a study in momentum.

  • A bus stop becomes a reunion.

  • Reckless driving becomes flight.

  • And bad juggling becomes a story of time and light.

  • So while I was wrapping up this slow motion video, I got to wear these Raycon earbuds

  • at my computerand they are the sponsor of this video.

  • Do you know how long it takes to pick music?

  • Raycon earbuds last for 6 hours of playtime - which I can definitely use.

  • No.”

  • (Terrible music.)

  • It's got the detail I needthey sound just as good as other premium earbuds.

  • They gave me this pair, but the price actually starts at half the price of other buds.

  • And because I work from home, it means I can listen without disturbing the napping baby

  • over there.

  • ARE YOU ASLEEP?

  • See?

  • (Baby cries.)

  • These Everyday E25 Earbuds are the best yetit's Bluetooth, it's bassy, and the

  • fit is great.

  • And it's pretty discrete too, which is good, since it means nobody can hear the music I'm

  • listening to when I'm doing Fake Slow Motion around the house.

  • So click that link and check out buyraycon.com/vox.

  • You'll get 15% off.

  • You'll have new earbuds that look and sound great, whether you're trying to finish a

  • video or listen to a podcast while you're juggling.

  • Raycon doesn't directly impact our editorial, but their support helps make videos like this

  • possible.

If you Googlebest slo-mo scene ever,” you'll find the Matrixlobby scene

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How slow motion works

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/28
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