Four Tips for Using Slow Motion in Comedies
Slow motion is a special effect that can get a lot of laughs when it is properly used in comedy. The effect can be achieved either in camera or in post production with an editing program. The effect looks better when it is done in camera but what really matters with the audience is why this technique is being used. They're not going to care about the quality of the effect as long as it is funny. Here are four tips for using slow motion in comedies.
1. Slow Motion for Parody
The slow motion effect is so effective that it has become cliche. Action and Romance movies have done it to death. Everyone has seen slow motion before and can mention at least five memorable scenes from movies off the top of their head that have used it. So one way to use it in your comedy is to parody it. Do almost exactly what they do in slow motion. Call attention to all the unoriginal movies that have over done slow motion and make fun of them. People will know exactly what you're referring to and most will laugh. Turn the cliche into a joke.
2. Call Attention to Gross Things
A man in shape running along the beach will never be funny no matter how you shoot and edit it. A fat man slobbering all over the place as he runs down the beach can be funny with slow motion. All the fat slowly jiggling can create some laughs. Call attention to the details by amplifying them with slow motion.
3. Draw out Undramatic Moments
Action movies constantly use slow motion to build up dramatic action. It's gotten to the point where audiences are expecting something crazy to happen when these sequences start. Play with their expectations and have trivial and undramatic events happen in slow motion. The unexpected is sure to get a laugh. And remember, the more absurd the better.
4. Make the Slow even Slower
One concept of comedy is exaggeration. We can get audiences to laugh by exaggerating something. You can use slow motion to make the slow even slower. This exaggeration will get a laugh because people can relate to it even if it is a bit ridiculous.