GHADA FIKRI - Bachelor Thesis Spring 2011
ID: 13-5979 , email: ghadafikri@gmail.com


First Supervisor: Prof. Daniel Fetzner
Second Supervisor: Julien Schmid


Since motion picture began, artists have been fascinated by freezing action and scrutinizing events that happened too fast. Reviewing the format used to create an illusion of time being still in film media, this thesis observes the use of the freeze technique as a tool that helps add intensity to the viewer experience. A Time Freeze film is designed and realized to convey a specific moment, while attempting to separate the time dimension from the spatial dimension. Along with the essence of cinematography to provoke a journey through ones mind and feelings. The film takes place during the Egyptian political change that started on the 25th of January 2011. The aim is for this technique to help an audience reflect on different emotions by engaging in a surreal recreation of a fleeting happening, regardless of having been part of its occurrence.

Keywords: Time freeze, Cinematography, Spaces, Emotions, Egyptian Politics


1] Introduction
1.1] Purpose
1.2] Questions
1.3] Method
1.4] Limitations

2] Background
2.1] History
2.2] Time-slice – Tim Macmillan
2.3] Flow-mo – Manes Studios
2.4] EyeVision – CBS and Takeo Kanade
2.5] Time Freeze – Adam Berg
2.6] Motion Perception

3] Theoretical Structure
3.1] Test 1 – Testing Freeze Efficiency
3.2] Test 2 – Testing Selected Time
3.3] Development
3.4] Pre-production
3.4.1] Script, Technique and Plan
3.4.2] Equipment
3.4.3] Location
3.4.4] Permissions
3.4.5] Cast
3.4.6] Attributes
3.5] Production
3.5.1] Shoot
3.5.2] Re-shoot
3.6] Post-Production

4] Results

5] Discussion

6] Appendix

7] References


The idea of stopping time has always been fascinating to man. A possibility of controlling this dimension and the ability of exploring all its hidden details, making visible what is conventionally not visible. And on a smaller but more significant scale, freezing specific moments, crucial or minor ones, equally intriguing. Keeping the visual appeal and possibilities of such a thought in mind, the aim is to examine how the essence of cinematography could be used to reflect on a selected spatial dimension at a certain moment but while stopping time.

1.1] Purpose

Capturing a single frozen moment in time as one continuous shot, allows a narrative to unfold all its elements in an uncommon manner. The attempt is to offer an exploration into an emotional point in time that expresses fears and feelings of people now or on the 25th of January. What is hoped to be interesting, is the surrealism aspect created by this format, this dream-like journey through an event, that might be just like a clearance, a thought or an idea on ones mind. The viewer observers a camera move through space, while the time on the film characters’ side appears to be frozen. Thus, the possibility is to reach a conclusion that would reveal the strength of this format in engaging and intriguing the audience, as opposed to conventional techniques. And the outcome would be for the people to experience and re-experience the subject through the design of the film. It is also a possibility that this combination of both conceptual and visual project, provides aid for future students and professionals as an introduction to this effect.

Related Work

Philips Carousel - Adam Berg

EyeVision Samples

Theoretical Structure

Time Freeze Test [1]




Bullet time. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 6, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullet_time

Berg, A. (Director). (2009, April) Carousel [Advertisement]. Retrieved March 29, 2011 from http://labs.tribalddb.nl/Cinema219/?ls=gb_en

Carnegie Mellon Goes to the Super Bowl. (2001, January) The Robotics Institute. Retrieved March 29, 2011, http://www.ri.cmu.edu/events/sb35/tksuperbowl.html

Doherty, C. (2009). Situation. Documents of Contemporary Art. London: The MIT Press.

Honthaner, E.L. The complete Film Production Handbook - Third Edition Focal

Rehak, B. (2007). The Migration of Forms: Bullet Time as Microgenre. Film Criticism, 32(1), 26-48. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Stasukevich, I. (2009, August 1). Short Takes: "Carousel" Showcases Philips' New Widescreen TV, American Cinematographer, 12-16.

Timeslice Films. Retrieved March 10, 2011 from www.timeslicefilms.com