It started off as a few posts on Twitter about the Change Speed Segment feature. It grew into a bigger conversation to whether speedramps are latest effect that ranks number one on the list of tacky 'eye candy' editing techniques. Are we right or wrong? 

Hate them, really hate them. I have refused to do them. Why? Because it seems to be the default way to jazz a piece up when the camerwork or content is less than stunning. Just because you can speed something up to 500%, slow down to normal speed, then speed back up to 500% doesn't mean to say you should. Pieces to camera delivered in the middle are particularly cringeworthy.

What makes it even more sad is the fact that camera guys are now shooting with long lead ins and tails especially for that effect! Speed changes do have a place. They should be used very sparingly. Not every other shot as demonstrated by a promo I saw run tonight on a very popular celeb dancing show. Jumping in and out of 300% on an EVS super slomo isn't attractive these days either.

I know people are going to groan, but I can give you a similar example that happened back in the eighties. The DVE or digital video effects machine became very popular. The phrase was "If in doubt flip it about" Shots would rotate, flip, squeeze, zoom or any other geometric distortion or translation possible. One BBC production here in the UK called the Clothes Show was flipping pictures everywhere. If you saw a piece to camera next to a mailbox, you knew where the next insert was going to fly in from! Looking back at clips on YouTube it makes you wonder if the effects looked good then. I was as guilty as anybody else, one benefit though it was my first encounter with the 'keyframe' concept.

So not only do speedramps look bad, they will date your piece. Imagine watching Dances with Wolves where the bison speed up & slow down. It is not a classy effect, it smacks of desperation and laziness in the goal to capture audiences with a low visual attention span. Done well it can be amazing, The Matrix with its timeslice, ah hang on, that effect is old hat now too.

OK, I've had my rant and I must admit I feel better for it. So in the interests of keeping a fair editorial balance, I have a few links for you that lead to a few speed change tutorials. I did say it was handy for doing a freeze frame didn't I? :)

Final Cut Pro 7 - The Tools of Speed (2009)  A comprehensive look at the speed tools by Steve Martin.

Using the FCP Change Speed Segment tool Scott Simmons kicked off the debate - I even get a mention.

Also because YouTube videos seem to be the tutorial resource people love, The AppleShakeGuru does his thing with skiers.

Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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