How To Shoot "Bullet Time" Video With a GoPro and a Ceiling Fan

I've seen a lot of DIY setups over the years, but every now and then one comes along that's so unstable it's scary and yet way too cool not to try. You can tell by the title that this isn't going to be some amazing setup with a hundred cameras arrayed. This is what it sounds like...A GoPro on a ceiling fan whipping around your subject while it films at high speed. If you're at all like me then your reaction one of "this is silly," but the results look really good! For those of you that don't know what effect "bullet time" refers to it is the effect in the movie The Matrix where the camera pans around the subject while it stays frozen in time. This is achieved by an array of cameras firing at the desired moment and then stitching together the resulting pan in post.

This rig isn't capable of fully "freezing time" like a proper array would, but the effect works well anyway as you can see in the final video above. Jeremiah Warren, the creative that put this all together also documented the process in the second video and in greater depth on his blog which you can view here. On his site he has the full description of how he made the parts and a video on the process as well. I highly recommend that you go check it out.

The Blog of Jeremiah Warren

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Pretty cool footage, but such a travesty to use Mozart's Requiem as the background music...

Remy Musser's picture

Wil that moron be held responsible when kids will have their hands blown off and setup a forest on fire?

Jayson Carey's picture

I don't see why he is a moron? Or why he should be held responsible for other people's bad parenting.?

Remy Musser's picture

If you wanna play with fireworks you do it in a clear area, not in a forest.
I'm living in Greece and see fire forest every summer.
You can hear in the news very often kids getting injured while playing with firecrackers or fireworks.

That guy got it all wrong and to me is a moron!

Jayson Carey's picture

1. how is he responsible for stupid kids and bad parents?
2. look at the area he's in. it's not a forest, its a yard with trees. the ground looks to have been cleared away of any brush or other consumables.
3. don't be so serious, it's a cool looking video.

It rained 4 days before. I wasn't in a forrest, just a patch of trees with a cleared out strip. The firework materials quickly died out after being shot. I had a hose "just in case".

Well, nothing caught on fire, so what's the big deal?

won't somebody please think of the children!!

Absolutely brilliant ingenuity mate. Well played!

Really want to try, but really scared to nail the GoPro with a firework directly.

I taped a cheap UV filter over the GoPro, prevented any possible damage.

Jayson Carey's picture

I was wondering what that was.

First Video made me dizzy..ugh!!

I'd like to see how he edited the video. Most likely used a high fpm setting and slow speed on the fan.

Sometimes a horrible idea is just awesome enough to be built. To the tool shed!

Lee Whitman's picture

I wonder if you could rig this to hold a light 7D/5D setup...