bullet time n.

a video effect in which the camera appears to move around a stationary or very slow-moving subject

First applied to the use of this effect in the movie The Matrix (1999).


SF Criticism

  • 1999 T. McCarthy in Variety 29 Mar. 67/5

    Filmmakers have employed a technique they call ‘bullet-time photography’, ultra-fast lensing that, when combined with computer enhancement, allows for altering the speed and trajectories of people and objects, resulting in the live-action equivalent of a Japanese anime film.

  • 1999 D. Green in Guardian 5 June (electronic ed.)

    To keep the action going, the ‘bullet time’ team didn’t actually fire their 120 cameras simultaneously, but fractions of a second after each other, creating super slow-motion instead.

  • 2003–4 Film Criticism Winter 46

    The recognition that time and space have become more fluid is articulated through the ‘bullet time’ effect that allows the camera to move fluidly through a ‘frozen moment’.

  • 2014 Starburst Magazine (#404) Sept. 57 page image

    We always wanted to do it with a ‘bullet time’ rig but when we actually went out to the companies who do this professionally we found them to be way too expensive so we looked at various options as to how you create a frozen time-style shot.

  • 2021 O. Gleiberman in Variety 18 Mar. 60/3

    Flash is introduced with far wittier dialogue than anything Joss Whedon came up with, followed by a mesmerizing bullet-time sequence in which he saves a young woman from a car accident.

Research requirements

antedating 1999

Research History
Suggested by Bill Mullins.

Last modified 2021-07-28 17:08:50
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.