Some Helpful Tips on Speed Ramping

Speed ramping has become ever-present in modern filmmaking, yet this doesn’t mean it should be used on every occasion just as any other filmmaking technique. While it may undoubtedly look sick in action or sports videos, if it’s not relevant to your story at all, it doesn’t make sense to make use of it.

Not only is this technique great for creating smooth transitions in and out of slow motion, it also has the ability to transport viewers through story lines in different spaces or times. To achieve best results, use a camera that can shoot much higher frame rates than your usual 24p. Remember: higher frame rates = more dramatic effects.

As for us, we’ve had the Sony FS5 for a while now, and so far it has been doing a pretty decent job when it comes to delivering great image quality and dynamic range.

Check out our post: Just got our very own Sony PXW-FS5!

One other thing that you need to consider when shooting slow-mo is the shutter speed of your camera. As a general principle, you need to double your shutter speed depending on the frame rate you decide to shoot at. However, this will affect the amount of light that reaches your sensor which is also something you need to consider throughout the whole process.

Additionally, before you even start going crazy with those speed ramps, you may want to ask yourself these questions first:

  1. Will it truly help your story?
  2. Are you focusing on the most important moment in your shot?
  3. Are you doing it too often?
  4. Is your shot going on for too long?

These are just some questions to get you started – guides if you will – to help ensure maximum impact. 

Still feel a speed ramp is in order? If this is still how you feel, then it’s time to get to work at it! 🙂


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