It’s been five years since the passing of Alan Rickman. So, in honor of the great British actor, we’re calling back to the most dramatic tea time in the history of man. Rickman is famous for his portrayal of Severus Snape, the debated holiday classic, Die Hard and the terrible husband in Love Actually. He’s known for his languid tone and elongated vocal delivery. So, the decision to create a slow motion film without these key characteristics is bold to say the least. And thus, in 2011 Rickman teamed up with filmmaker, David Michalek to create an evocative emotional portrait. Minimal movements created the magical feeling of a detailed photograph come to life.
This seven-minute, slow-motion tea time, is far more engaging than it should be. And, we attribute that to Rickman’s charismatic presence on camera. That cinematic presence coupled with a dramatic score by Inception composer Zach Hemsey is a match made in film heaven.
Slow motion footage
David Michalek’s slow-motion portraits utilize ultra-high-speed, high-definition cameras to capture 10-15 live-action seconds of unknown and well-known actors and performing artists. For example, the normal speed of film catches video between 24-30 frames per second. TV shows, sports and video games use higher frame rates of 30, 60, 120. Michalek’s super slow-motion films utilize the camera as a means of reflecting micro emotional responses with the weight they deserve. And in turn the films break down body language in order to reflect our emotional response through physicality. And tiny facial ticks become the centerpiece for dramatic narratives.
Action without speed
The seven minute short, “Epic Tea Time with Alan Rickman”, attached below is a feat of acting and filmmaking. We encourage you to pay particular attention to the four minute mark when Rickman lifts his gaze to meet the camera.
What do you think of this slow motion portrait by David Michalek? Was it worth the full seven minutes? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!
Kaeley is a contemporary artist and cultural organizer who loves good espresso and a cold Coke Zero.