slo-mo singing in music videos - how do they do it?

MickeS

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In music videos, it often looks as if a singer is moving and singing in slow motion, but the music is at the regular pace. How do they do that? Are they just speeding up the music that the singer is lip-synching to, or do they use a special kind of camera? I've always wondered about that....
/Mike
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Jon_B

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It would help if you would provide an example. If I understand your question right, Alanis Morrisette's "Pocket" video would be shot this way.
Jon
 

Dennis Reno

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Are you talking about videos (or portions of videos) where the song is playing at regular speed but the singer and everything else is going in slow motion? If so, that is done (I believe) by speeding the song up during filming. Then the film is slowed to match the actual speed of the song resulting in the slow motion effect.
BTW, if I'm wrong someone feel free to correct me, but I can't figure out any other way to do that effect!
 

TheoGB

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No, I believe that's how they do it, too. Some examples would be the end of Blur's Beetlebum (maybe most of the video - I can't remember) and a Skunk Anansie track off their last album (not Lately).
How on earth do the drummers play that fast, though?

Incidentally, if you watch Radiohead's Meeting People Is Easy you can see this is also how they get Thom Yorke to apparently hold his breath so long in the No Surprises video.
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Jassen M. West

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They film the singer singing like normal but the camera is recording at twice the normal frame rate. So, when the video is played back at regular speed the lips move the same speed as the song. I hope i didn't confuse.
--jay
[Edited last by Jassen M. West on November 14, 2001 at 07:17 AM]
 

Marty Christion

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Then there's the "Amish Paradise" video, where Wierd Al had to learn a verse backwards, so they could play back the scene in "reverse", and everthing would be going backwards, but he would still be singing the song forwards. Kind of like that scene in the bookshop in "Top Secret".
 

Chad R

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They film the singer singing like normal but the camera is recording at twice the normal frame rate.
No, that wouldn't work. If the camera is recording at 48fps and the singer is singing normally, then when played at 24fps he'd/she'd be singing slower than the song.
On videos you synch up the song with the slate's time code so editing is easier, so they probably just speed up the playback and have the singer and everyone move faster to the playback. That's the on set way.
In this day of digital manipulation it would surprise me if they didn't do this with computer. Most videos are shot on film but completely posted on video (and that usually means edited on an Avid which is essentially a computer) and all types of things can be done.
 

Ken Seeber

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You guys need to watch MTV's "Making the Video" more often! Much is revealed there.
The guesses that the music is sped up during filming is correct. From the behind-the-scenes stuff I've seen, it's done digitally and pitch corrected so the sound on-set is listenable.
Let's say you want people moving at half speed. The speed of the music is doubled, then the performers are shot at 48 frames per second. When slowed down, everything matches.
The reverse of this technique is also used a lot now, by the way. A lot of Busta Rhymes videos are shot slower, so he looks hyper and sped up. Pink's new video was shot this way.
Even when the band is no one I care about, "Making the Video" can be fun to watch, just for the technical stuff.
 

Derek Miner

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Of course, some of you have brought up "digital" but left out an obvious example... the background action might be shot for slow motion but the musicians are filmed in real-time and composited digitally. Green Day's "Waiting" video is a good recent example of this.
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MickeS

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Thanks for the explanations guys... so I guess BOTH of my guesses were correct.

/Mike
 

Iain Lambert

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The classic example of the shooting at different speeds and compositing, of course, is Jonathan Glazer's classic video for Radiohead's Street Spirit (Fade Out), particularly the shot of Jonny waving the stick under the person jumping (was it Thom? I can't remember).
 

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