What is Undercrank?

Undercrank is a technique in video production where the recording speed is slower than the standard playback speed. When the footage is played back at normal speed, it appears faster and sometimes gives a comical effect. This method was commonly used in the early days of cinema, particularly in silent films.

Undercrank in Video Editing

Undercranking is a valuable technique for video editors looking to add a unique visual effect to their footage. When used strategically, it can increase the pace of a scene, add a sense of urgency, or simply provide comedic relief. Here is how you can utilize undercrank in your video editing process:

  • Speed up motion: Undercranking is a simple way to speed up a character’s movement or the progression of a sequence without resorting to fast-forwarding the footage in post-production.
  • Create a timelapse: Undercranking can be used to create a time-lapse effect, compressing long periods into short, watchable segments. This is particularly effective when capturing moving clouds, traffic, or crowd scenes.

Undercrank in Filmmaking

In filmmaking, undercranking has been used to create various effects, ranging from Charlie Chaplin’s comedic antics to the epic battle scenes in films like ‘300’. Here’s how filmmakers can use undercranking:

  • Comedic effect: Undercranking can make actions appear exaggerated, which works well for comedic scenes. This technique was often used in silent films to add visual humor.
  • Action sequences: Undercranking can make action scenes appear more intense and fast-paced. This technique allows filmmakers to show more movements and details within a short time frame.

Undercrank for Influencers and YouTubers

Undercranking can also be an effective tool for influencers and YouTubers looking to create engaging content. Whether it’s to speed up a makeup tutorial, create a fun travel video, or simply add a unique visual style to your vlog, undercranking can add a dynamic element to your videos.

Remember, it’s all about experimenting and finding what works best for your unique style and audience. So don’t be afraid to play around with undercranking and see how it can enhance your video content.


Undercranking is a versatile technique with a range of applications in video editing, filmmaking, and content creation. Whether you’re looking to speed up a scene, create a time-lapse effect, or just add a unique visual style to your footage, undercranking is a tool worth having in your video editing toolkit.

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