October 7, 2010

52 Canon DSLRs Recreate 'Bullet Time' Effect -- Over the Water

The famous bullet time effect from The Matrix got pretty staid after it was used in (seemingly) hundreds of commercials in the years that followed. But I found my interest piqued by this spot for Rip Curl -- not only because it's a surfing commercial and it's getting colder in NYC, so I find myself wishing for warmer climes -- but also because you can't quite figure out while you're watching it just how they got 52 Canon DSLRs safely positioned over the water. What's their secret?

It's a wave pool. They're not on a boat, they're on the shore nearby. Very clever... Here's the spot:

And the behind the scenes video, where you can see the positioning of the cameras:

Some more details on the shoot:

In collaboration with Timeslice Films, Rip Curl took on an ambitious bullet-time campaign shoot in Malaysia's Sunway Lagoon Wavepool with lead surfers Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Owen Wright and Matt Wilkinson. The revolutionary campaign captures surfing in a way never seen before, with the final visuals baring more resemblance to a fight scene from the famous Matrix movies than a promotional surfing video. The two-day rental of Sunway Lagoon Wavepool allowed Rip Curl and Timeslice to operate in a more stable environment than the open ocean offers. The Rip Curl surfers were repeatedly towed into the machine-controlled waves by Jetski and their operational space was determined by the 52-camera rig set up in the pool.

[via CheesyCam]

Your Comment


That this is newsworthy (which it is!) just goes to show how far ahead of its time The Matrix was! Very cool stuff.

October 7, 2010 at 3:56PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


The Matrix really nailed this type of shot I must say

October 7, 2010 at 5:57PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


simply fantastic !

just wonder why you don't use 1 DSLR, moving on a circle rail round the spot, shooting high speed pics
- instead 52 devices
shouldn this have the same bullet effect - more efficiently ?

October 8, 2010 at 12:32AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


No Markus, it would record a moving picture instead of a still frame captured at exactly the same time from different points of view around the subject.
The technique you sugest would be just like a normal dolly video camera movement, or a classic travelling.

October 8, 2010 at 1:09AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


There was a video like this done about kite boarding, ive been trying to find it for soo long. it starts off with a guy in a VW bus, and somehow ends up kite boarding, then to a ferrari scene.. someone find it and you will be legend. lol

October 8, 2010 at 11:38AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Alexander Miller

nevermind, i found it. http://vimeo.com/groups/kitesurferen/videos/2677941 someone please explain how some of these shots were done? I know the simple ones but how did he slow down the action and keep the background and foreground same speed?!

October 8, 2010 at 11:42AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Alexander Miller