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Jaime Marin III

Slow motion syncing in music videos

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Hi everyone!

 

Im very excited to join the cinematography community here in order to learn and continue to advance my craft. With that said here is my very first question / post.

 

I've noticed a handful of music videos that are shot in slow motion (my guess here is possibly 60fps?) and the performer is singing and yet the lips appear to be relatively in sync to the music. Now is this a case of simply shooting the performance like you normally would but just at a higher frame rate, or is there more to it that I'm missing ? Below are some examples the first one being the strongest.

 

 

Example # 1

 

Example # 2 (most evident at 1:03, you can see the bus on the right moves slowly yet lips are in sync)

 

Example # 3 (most evident at 0:49)

 

 

Thanks everyone!

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Generally if you're shooting at say, 48fps, you have audio playback and singing at 2 x speed to have it appear "normal" in the final version. Or if you were shooting at 12fps you'd playback and sing at 1/2 speed if you wanted the singing speed "normalized" in the final cut.

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Thanks for your response Adrian.

 

I suspected something like that would have to happen. However I don't believe I can achieve a frame rate of 48fps with my fs700/odyssey 7Q combo, although I might be mistaken. How much should I speed the song if I want it to be in sync at 60fps?

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To shoot at 60 fps you speed up the track 2.5 times

 

The calculation is simple 60 divided by 24 = 2.5

 

The issue with higher frame rates is the more difficult for the performer to mime and maintain good lip sync. You should def give the performer time to practice. I've done this a couple of times and giving them a few days to get used to miming quickly will pay dividends.

 

I directed this video a few years ago:

 

 

We mostly shot at 25 fps - but did some 30fps to add weight to the falling bricks. We did a couple of takes at 50fps but the drummer really struggled with keeping up at that speed and couldn't do it for long periods. Any higher would have been too fast for sync on that track. A slower song might have allowed a higher frame rate. We were shooting on an EX1 which maxes out at 60fps so it wasn't an option anyway. But in our case it was about keeping the slowmo subtle rather then have it as an obvious effect. I used to work with a producer that was always keen on shooting at 27 to 28 fps for music videos.

 

When you speed up the track it raises the pitch and sounds very annoying (think chipmunks) on set - I always pitch shift the track back down again after speeding it up - so it sounds more normal on set. Its easier for the performer as the can sing along in the key they are used to.

 

I quite like using 30fps - slowed down to 24/25 - its subtle and dosen't look too much like obvious slowmo - but nice for giving a a smoothness for ballads.

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Thanks - I was quite pleased with. Tricky to get a cinematic look off the Sony EX1 - but lots of smoke and dust help

 

Was never happy with the EXT stuff though as we'd run out of money at that point, so it was a bit run an gun with a Panasonic HVX-200 instead and its a bit "video" looking compared to the studio material on the Sony.

 

You can make out that the track was sped up on this behind the scenes shot and see how difficult it was for the band to play at the correct speed:

 

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If targeting a 2X slowmo, you can still shoot at 60 fps, or indeed at any other camera speed. What really matters is the rate at which the audio is played during the shoot. For 2X slowmo you will want to play the audio at 2X it's normal rate- regardless of camera rate. The performer mimes to the audio rate (singing 2X faster than normal). The camera can shoot at any rate it likes. But for a smooth result in the final deliverable you'll want to shoot at any rate that is equal to, or faster than 2X normal frame rate. So 60 fps is fine: it just means the superfluous frames you will have shot just get dropped during the final conform.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper

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If targeting a 2X slowmo, you can still shoot at 60 fps, or indeed at any other camera speed. What really matters is the rate at which the audio is played during the shoot. For 2X slowmo you will want to play the audio at 2X it's normal rate- regardless of camera rate. The performer mimes to the audio rate (singing 2X faster than normal). The camera can shoot at any rate it likes. But for a smooth result in the final deliverable you'll want to shoot at any rate that is equal to, or faster than 2X normal frame rate. So 60 fps is fine: it just means the superfluous frames you will have shot just get dropped during the final conform.

 

C

Why would you do that? If you want 2x Slowmo, you shoot at 48 or 50 fps. Shooting 60fps is just going to give you headaches in post. If you drop frames to get it into sync, your going to get motion judder. If you use time remapping your going to have long render times and the risk of motion artifacts such as warping.

 

If the performer is mining at 2x then you film at 2x. Possibly you could shoot at 4 x (to avoid artifacts) but what would be the point? Unless you wanted so ultra slowmo for non sync purpose. That said if your having non sync sections - its probably best to shoot at the highest possible frame-rate for maximum post flexibility.

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Why would you do that? If you want 2x Slowmo, you shoot at 48 or 50 fps. Shooting 60fps is just going to give you headaches in post. If you drop frames to get it into sync, your going to get motion judder. If you use time remapping your going to have long render times and the risk of motion artifacts such as warping.

 

If the performer is mining at 2x then you film at 2x. Possibly you could shoot at 4 x (to avoid artifacts) but what would be the point? Unless you wanted so ultra slowmo for non sync purpose. That said if your having non sync sections - its probably best to shoot at the highest possible frame-rate for maximum post flexibility.

 

Why?

 

One reason why is if the camera can't do 48 but can do 60 (as suggested by the OP) and if miming at 2.5X might be more difficult than at 2X (as suggested by a subsequent post)

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper

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