Beginners and seasoned video production experts alike share a common goal: to create content that looks and feels as cinematic as possible.
Many different techniques can invoke feeling and make an impression on the audience, with one of the best-known – and most often-used – being slow-motion video. Think back to some of the most exciting and climactic scenes in Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters: your mind goes to at least a few that incorporate slow-mo!
But even if you aren’t a producer on a million-dollar action film, you can still learn how to use slow motion in the video to develop engaging and impactful content.
Understanding When to Use Slow-Motion Video
Like any video production technique, slow-motion should be used in moderation – and not every video project will fit the slow-motion vibe. You won’t want to use slow-mo for every scene or video you make.
First and foremost, consider the overall purpose of the content you’re creating. Is it something that would make sense with the addition of slow-motion? Keep in mind that slow-mo can also impact the video structure itself.
Ideas for using slow-mo in video production
Here are just a few examples of when slow-motion video can contribute to (rather than detract from) a video’s purpose:
- Highlighting a new product
- Explaining a specific equipment item or technology
- Intensifying an action sequence
- Delivering step-by-step instructions or how-to training
- Enhancing a particular scene in a documentary
Post-production has the option to remove a slow-motion section if it doesn’t seem to fit.
How to Create Slow-Motion Video
There are two basic ways to make slow-motion footage:
- The easiest method is using an editing program to slow down already-recorded footage. Even though this is a straightforward method, it’s also one that can produce lower-quality results. Depending on an array of factors, you could end up with choppy, pixelated video content – which is something nobody wants.
- The more professional method for shooting slow-motion footage is to use a high-frame-rate at a high resolution. You’ll need the right camera gear to do this, but your results will be better. Video footage shot at a higher frame rate has more frames per second, so you can then slow it down in editing without losing the vivid, smooth quality.
What You Need to Shoot a Slow-Motion Video
Once you’ve selected your method, it’s time to gather your equipment and start planning a video shoot. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared with all of the equipment needed for slow-motion video, including:
- A high-quality camera capable of shooting at a high frame rate (60-120 fps) and high resolution (minimum 1080p, but ideally higher)
- A lens with a broad aperture range stops for precision-level exposure adjustments.
- A tripod to reduce movement (camera stabilization) and noise, which is far more pronounced once the footage has been slowed down
- Lights or lens filters and light dampeners to achieve the ideal lighting
Filming Video for Slow-Motion
Finally, it’s time to get on set. One of the essential things about slow-motion videos is that the details become critically important, even more so than they already are. When footage has been slowed down, even the most minor details are far more noticeable to your audience.
So, that means you’ll want to pay extra attention to elements such as the background or any items that will are featured in detail. For example, if you’re using slow-motion to show off a new product, look at it closely to ensure it’s in perfect condition.
Post-production for slow-motion videos
Technically speaking, you haven’t done anything in slow-motion until you arrive in the editing bay. You’ll then use an editing program to convert your footage into a slow-motion video when you have your footage in hand.
The exact process will differ based on the program you’re using and your desired result. However, there’s generally a “retime” feature that lets you adjust the frames-per-second (fps) to your preference. With just a few clicks, you have slow-mo!
Master Even More Video Production Techniques at Our Media Schools
If you’re passionate about crafting creative, exciting video content, a job in video production could be right for you. At the BeOnAir Network of Media Schools, with campuses in Chicago, Miami, Colorado, and Ohio, you can gain extensive experience and knowledge of the techniques you need to break into the industry. Our Video Production program is just one of several media-focused training programs designed to equip students with real-world skills for jobs in media.
Get more information about video production training when you contact us today!
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