Film Language Tag: bullet time

Also called Flow-Mo. Pioneered by Wachowski siblings in The Matrix (1999), it is a technique that enables filmmakers to change the speed of moving objects in progress. First, an actual movement is filmed and scanned into a computer to create a wireframe of the person or the object from which its trajectory is mapped. Then a battery of still cameras is placed along this path, and the movement is photographed again as a series of sequential stills. These are scanned into the computer, which arranges them in the manner of a film strip so that they can be digitally manipulated to reproduce the movement at varying speeds. Cook, A History of Narrative Film, 5th ed.

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