How Frozen-In-Time Scenes Are Shot For Movies And TV

As seen in the likes of “Spider-Man” (2002), “The Matrix” (1999), and “The French Dispatch” (2021), movies can make scenes look like they’re frozen in time. The first step is shooting at a higher frame rate to slow the action down as much as possible. In “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014) and “X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016), the crew used a camera capable of shooting at 3,000 frames per second to capture time standing still as Quicksilver runs at superspeed. In postproduction, digital tools allowed animators to retime a live-action shot so Quicksilver looks like he’s the only one moving, while stabilizing any subtle movements on any characters who were supposed to be completely still. But movies can also approach these scenes practically. For the Oscar-nominated “The Worst Person in the World” (2021), prop master Hedda Virik created a fake coffee stream, built stands to hold up bicycles mid-ride, and employed stuffed dogs.

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