Eternity: The Impact of Slow-Motion on ‘American Gods’

Making moments last.
By  · Published on July 5th, 2017

Making moments last.

If you watched the American Gods series that just wrapped on Starz, then you know that like other shows from co-creator Bryan Fuller – Hannibal, Pushing Daisies – it has a very distinct visual landscape, a hyper-theatrical aesthetic that aides in the series’ world-building and helps to establish an atmosphere of mystery, magic, and intrigue.

Of the many techniques Fuller has his directors – namely David Slade, who directed 3 of 8 episodes here and 5 of Hannibal – use to create this aesthetic, the copious and dramatic use of slow-motion has to be near the top of the list. To prove how prevalent and effective such shots are, editor Zackery Ramos-Taylor has cinematically stitched together the following compilation of all American Gods’ slo-mo sequences. Notice how they almost interrupt the narrative with their staggering beauty, how they take you for a moment out of the narrative and transport you into the headspace of a character. As was the case in Hannibal, the use of slow-motion here is a tension-heightener, it’s an opportunity to make the viewer feel every single beat of what’s happening on screen, to live it, emotionally-speaking, from the comfort of their couch; in a show about deities, it also stresses the manipulation such beings would have over our natural world.

Bottom line, Fuller has had a hand in some of the most visually-daring shows in recent memory. Any chance you have to explore their aesthetic you should take, starting now.

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