Frozen Time

Found this little behind-the-scenes video from Film Riot that shows in a pretty simple way how to achieve a frozen time effect on your films.

This is something that coming from a post-production, compositing background, I've had to play around with a while, but doing it myself from the get go takes not only a bunch of really expensive gear, but also some great (expensive) software.

Just to give you an idea of what you'd need in simple terms:

  • motion control rig
  • compositing software (I always use Nuke)
  • 3D package if you want to add some CG elements to it, like flying pieces of paper, dust, or more (Maya is the get go usually, but there's cheaper/free versions of similar software out there that might get the job done for you)
  • editing/grading software (I've been using Final Cut and Resolve for these)

This is not even taking into account the camera used. If you notice in the video, Ryan even mentions he used a RED EPIC so that he could digitally zoom the footage in post without losing quality for HD delivery. This is obvious, since the RED EPIC shoots higher than 4K resolution.

So, there you have it. A great showcase of what can be achieved when you have high enough budget to rent all this equipment. Setting up a motion control rig like the CineSlider also takes time, and there's a pretty big learning curve to it, so make sure you run tests on it.

My tip? Always start small. Develop this whole pipeline for a simpler shot, and try to composite/stitch a bunch of objects with simpler camera moves. The CineSlider with 3-axis control is pretty incredible, and can achieve a ton of different movement, but it will also add some complexity to post-production side of things.

Either way, it's a fun exercise to do. Check out the video below, and be inspired. Go shoot something.