You could say Darren Dyk lives a slow life. What would be more accurate to say though is that Darren Dyk lives his life looking for the slow. He's a master of slow-motion videography and has been building a name for himself on YouTube (check out his channel BeyondSlowMotion). I first caught some of Darren's work last year when I wrote about a video he made of a really cool dog doing parkour (or barkour, as it should be called).

Darren reached out to tell me about his latest project, a commercial campaign for Purina cat food that puts a bunch of active kitties in front of his slow-motion lens. The results, seen below, are really fun.

Darren was nice enough to satisfy my curiosity about a few things and answered these questions.

MNN: What do you like best about working in slow motion?

Darren Dyk: I think there is something viscerally attractive about seeing otherwise reasonably normal subject matter at incredibly slow speeds. As humans we have a surprisingly impressive capacity to retain visual input and quickly, especially if we have trained ourselves to that end, but with high-speed cinematics we are able to experience the world in a way that seems almost more than real. It's a whole different level of insight as to what is actually happening in the world around us.

What's the hardest thing to shoot in slow motion?

That is a hard question in itself. Slow motion is widely understood to be a game of chance because the most interesting stuff in slow motion is often the least controllable. I suppose getting particle materials like water, dust, sand, et cetera, to react in specific manners can be pretty challenging. Also, filming small fast moving objects with precision can me tough. Bugs, for instance, can be really challenging to catch mid-flight. Ha ha. I once had a fly buzz into a macro field of focus only barely wider than the fly itself, then it proceeded to fly from one side of the screen to the other completely in focus. To this day I consider that my luckiest shot.

A portion of that clip was used in an edit for a collaboration with For Human Peoples.

Why cats?

Because they are so energetic, playful and downright lovable. There is a reason that cat videos get so many views online. People can relate to them. I personally find them straight-up fascinating and while it may be a challenging prospect to capture cats in their best moments, it is really rewarding when you capture the golden shots. Plus I grew up with cats and have a bit of a soft spot for cute animals.

Are you working on anything fun right now that you can share?

Of course! I'll include a few screen shots as teasers. I have a backlog of cool videos for the first time in a long time, so expect a lot of cool stuff in the very near future!

A man stands on top of a building high over a city at night.

Color kickflip on skateboard

up-close shot of kendama

person doing an amazing backflip

Besides my YouTube page, the landing page for the Purina project talks a lot about why we shot this and I have a tips/tricks video. I'm sure some people would find that interesting.


Thanks, Darren!

Are you on TwitterFollow me (@sheagunther) there, I give good tweets. And if you really like my work, you can join my Facebook page, visit my my homepage, or listen to my podcast Marijuana Today.

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Slow-motion camera slows kitties WAY down
See what happens when you put a bunch of frisky felines in front of a slow-motion video camera.