Slow motion videos are almost as old as film itself. In the early days of film when movies still worked by hand crank, operators figured out that if they cranked the lever more quickly they slowed down the film. And just like that “slowmo” was born.
As a filmmaker, you probably discovered the joy of slow motion video long ago—or perhaps just recently through your smartphone’s camera settings. But what if you’re trying to add a killer track to your epic slowmo film? Is there a trick to selecting the best musical tunes for the job? What do you need to know before you start your selection process? Let’s find out.
Decide on What You Want to Say
Slow motion and traditional video share a need for music—yet “slowmo” is a different cinematography experience. It’s used in movies like The Matrix and The 300 to show us how cool the characters are. But what about in your movie?
If you’re film is an action flick you’ll want to set it up for your audience with upbeat tunes, or if you’re movie is a comedy, you might want a different vibe.
Figure out what you want to say long before you start searching for music. The last thing you want is to get lost in a mountain of music clips. Get a plan for what you want to say and then search for music tracks.
Determine What You Want Your Audience to Feel
Next, think about your audience. Do you want them to laugh when they watch your slowmo clip? Do you want them to feel excited or scared? Explore the emotion behind your answer to select the correct music. Every note should correspond to what you want to convey.
For example, think back to what you felt when you watched Neo dodge bullets from the bad guys in The Matrix. You probably thought it was the most amazing thing you had ever watched. But how would you have felt if the music were uptempo and silly? You probably would have questioned the director’s sanity.
Don’t make your slowmo clip a puzzle for your audience to figure out. Be specific about the music to conjure up all the right emotions. Once you have, start searching through audio clips based on those emotion—our library has a built-in “search by mood” function to get you started.
Go With Something Short
Your slowmotion clip won’t be 10 minutes long, so why would your sound clip be? Opt for something short enough that it makes sense with the message you’re trying to convey.
Sure, you can edit your music clip to fit the track, but if it has an awkward cut off point you might as well skip it.
Something like this track from Audioblocks would be perfect.
You can easily cut that off without losing the effect. Plus it’s only about 35 seconds long—perfect for a wide-shot slowmo clip.
Open your video and compare different tracks on top of it. Don’t go with the first one that sounds good, either. Trial and error is the perfect way to find the music tune that best highlights your movie. You can also check out some popular slowmo clips on YouTube to see how other people do it. Inspiration might be all you need!
Keep the Energy the Same
Uptempo music creates a sense of urgency while slow music makes your audience relax. Your slowmo movie might be a comedy or a thriller—whichever it is, the music you choose determines its energy.
If you like a music track but want to speed it up or slow it down, use a music mixing tool. You can always learn more about music mixing by reading our Beginner’s Guide to Adobe Audition Don’t forget to experiment with the vibe you like to get the perfect fit!