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Increase Your Video's Impact with Slow Motion Footage (w/ Examples)

Slow motion is cool. Just about anything you could shoot looks cool in slow motion – if if moves (the more the better). Slow motion footage is dramatic & emotional. It just grabs your attention because it’s a different way of seeing things than we normally do. See for yourself, check out this example of a skier walking:

Seems pretty bad-ass, right? It’s just a person walking but 10x cooler. Imagine the possibilities!

Slow motion is one of the many tricks of the trade that can be used to increase the impact of your footage. In most cases, this desire to leave an impression on your audience is one of the main reasons to use video in the first place.

But what kind of difference can it really make? Let's take a look at a couple examples to compare real-time footage to slow motion of the same thing.

In this first example, lets look at a normal speed video at 24 frames per second of a snowboarder:

Now check out this example of slow motion snowboarding shot at 240 frames per second (10x slower) and see how different it feels to you:

I’d imagine that you can just feel the difference. For me, it just feels more meaningful, more important and above all else, more engaging.

So, it’s great, we agree right? But in some cases, using slow motion wouldn’t make sense. It’s a technique best used in cases with lots of motion, a subject but even things like water, smoke, crowds and in this case snow, all provide particles that can be seen to move at a slower speed – dialing up the impact even more.

Ultimately, it’s just another tool in the production toolbox but it’s certainly a good one. It never seems to get old and it has many applications. In my opinion it's so good that it feels like cheating, or maybe let’s just call it ‘a shortcut to awesome land’. If you hope to use slow motion in a project, just test it out and see what you think, I’ll bet you’ll be glad you did.

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