There was recently a short film released by a music collective 'Jackboys' with a very lo-fi, noir look to it, and when transitioning verses, the video cuts to shots with intentional, extreme camera shake with lag, and for the short film I'm working on, this effect is perfect. A large part of this effect is going to be in the filming of the video, but I'm not sure what the best way to approach this is. Should I just shake the camera a lot when filming, or should I lower the shutter speed first? The laggy part looks like it's either a result of the camera used or was made artificially using After Effects or Premiere. How would I go about getting the lag effect in one of those Adobe programs?



1 Answer 1


OMG strobe! That's what the "laggy" effect is; it was very popular with "experimental" film school students back in the nineties. It went the way of lens flares and the posterisation effect; some would say it is better left in its tomb, but that's a matter of personal taste.

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If you slow down the video you'll see what's going on, the apparent frame rate is slowed down to four or five frames a second, destroying the illusion of smooth motion. In the nineties, to achieve the long exposures that give the light trails and motion-blur you had to shoot on a film camera that could do variable frame rates; these days a lot of digital cameras can do it. You can lower the frame rate in post, but you won't get the trails and motion blur. Here's how to do it in After Effects.

You need to find a camera that can shoot at a frame rate to around 4-10fps, and that lets you adjust the shutter speed to give you as long an exposure as possible. Then, as you said, go nuts shaking the camera around. Your audience will thank you /s.

  • Do you by any chance have other examples (short films on youtube, etc...) of this particular style? I've never seen strobe used to describe anything other than flashing lights before
    – Jodast
    Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 0:17
  • 1
    You can see the strobe button about 1/3 of the way down this page. All of the examples I can think of are sitting on Umatic video tapes at the bottom of a filing cabinet. mvsvideo.com/equipment_visionmixer.htm
    – stib
    Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 0:25

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