Technique: Dropped Frames

While editing my most recent short film, Middle of Nowhere, I came across a shot I wanted to tweak. In one scene the character of Peter (Tye Nelson) is literally shot while running away from a parked car. Tye did a good job a faking the bullet hit, but I wanted a more violent reaction.

After pondering a bit, I came across a fairly simple solution: the jump cut. Since the camera was fixed on a tripod, it was easy to drop a couple of frames between his normal running and his reaction, to facilitate a more dramatic response. Now he appears to lurch forward when we hear gunfire, creating the illusion that the bullet has just entered his leg, causing him to quickly snap forward in shock.

The above clip shows how two little frames can make a noticeable difference to achieve the desired result.