Music Video Features “Bullet Time” Using 625 Pinhole Cameras and 35mm Film

We’ve featured quite a few “bullet time” projects in the past that involve freezing time using rigs of tens or hundreds of cameras, but have you ever seen the technique done with pinhole cameras? That’s what you’ll see in the music video shown above. It’s for the song “Wasting My Young Years” by London Grammar.

The project was carried out by Bison and Academy Plus. The effect wasn’t faked: wanting to “trap people in space” in a creative way, the team actually built giant rigs containing 625 individual pinhole cameras.




The pinholes were placed at small distances from one another in the rig, and long strips of 35mm film were placed into the rig in order to “load the camera.”



A challenging part of the project was loading up the camera without accidentally exposing the film. The team turned off all the lights in the studio and then had 7-8 people feeding the 35mm film into the rig in complete darkness.

The rig was then ready for the shoot, which involving having models/dancers/band members jump into the air while the pinholes are briefly uncovered.




Once the film was exposed, the team spent 2 hours developing the strips themselves in large buckets. Finally, the processed film was digitized and animated into the “bullet time” “stopped motion” footage seen in the video above.



Here’s a behind-the-scenes video showing how the project was carried out:

(via DIYPhotography)

  • Scott M.

    Very creative and dreamy effect. Bravo!

  • Jeremy Madore

    I came here expecting a poor attempt, based on the YouTube preview screen…
    I’m commenting because I got anything but. This is surprisingly creative and quite well done. I’m not much of an OOF fan, but it works here and it adds a certain mystery which, coupled with the song lyrics, makes for a wonderful video.

  • Kamil’ Guliev

    The only question is why they used vertical frame orientation in the first place.

  • J

    That’s great, I’m very impressed! But I have a question: doesn’t it take like, hours, to have an image print on the film through a pinhole? How did they manage to capture such a quick moment in time (people jumping), even with overhead lighting. The film used must have been 1600 ISO or something? And, I love the music and the voice. Annie Lennox’s rightful heir maybe?

  • Mako

    Neat, but would have had sharper images using 65 mm film. Note pinhole cameras traditionally are large format … which can create a decently sharp image. The pin hole size for 35 mm would need to be VERY small to get a sharper image, which then leads to image degradation because of diffraction. A larger format film allows a larger pin hole

  • Mako