Slow Motion in Sports Movies

Slow motion is a camera and post production technique that will slow down the footage. Because sports games occur live and the photographer does not know how events will unfold, most slow motion in sports will be done with video editing software. In sports, the activity and motion can be so fast that many viewers will miss key activities. Most sports movies will use slow motion to heighten the emotion of an event. It is also used to dissect particular plays in team sports.

Step 1: Watch Sports Movies

To determine how and why slow motion is used within a sports movie, watch a few of the greats. Slow motion can be used differently depending on the sport, so choose movies that deal with the sport you will be using. Take notes about when and where the slow motion is used, how long it occurs, and where this particular spot fits in the story line. 

Step 2: Notice the Action

Most of the time slow motion is used in sports movies so the viewer can actually see what is going on. Those fast paced sports scenes may even be slowed down a tad. Most of the time sporting events happen so fast that it is virtually impossible to know what is going on until the referee makes a call or someone calls a goal. This is the entire reason that sports casters are used. Almost all of slow motion will occur when all the action is happening.

Having the entire sporting game or match occur in slow motion will take a long time and viewers will lose interest. This is the main challenge of slow motion, keeping a good pace without slowing down the action.

Step 3: Draw out Suspense

In almost all movies, slow motion is used to help draw out the suspense. Will the player make that final goal? Is the soccer ball going to make it into the goal? Slow motion will draw out the tension just a little bit more so that when the team does win or the goal is made, the viewer is relieved and cheering.

Step 4: Emphasize the Climax

In a sports movie, it is almost required that the final climax use slow motion in some way. This is the spot where the team can finally achieve success after losing and fighting their way to the top. The team will be in a tight match with the opponent, and at the last minute will manage to win. Somewhere slow motion is going to be used to heighten the suspense and create an emotional response.

Step 5: Editing

Because sports are very fast paced, the slow motion will occur in post production using video editing. There is plenty of software that can be used to slow down motion. This is normally achieved by creating new frames between the shot frames. Software will create these images by blending the surrounding shots. Most video editing software will come with functions to be able to use slow motion. Software makes it very easy to determine the best places for slow motion within a sports movie.