When it comes to watching movies, we want to view them in high resolution; anything under 4K is like watching VHS with poor tracking. We also want those movies to play at a steady 24 fps (or higher) without tearing or jumpiness. With that said, what if we were to slow those movies down, way down to say, like 24 fph (frames per hour)? That’s the idea behind Bryon Boyer’s Very Slow Movie Player (VSMP), which will play a roughly two-hour movie on an ePaper display over the course of about 8,000 hours or approximately a year.
On the technical side, Bryon’s VSMP features a Pervasive Displays’ 7.4-inch ePaper display (480 x 800- 126dpi), which is connected to a Raspberry Pi Zero running a Python script that converts a frame from a movie file into a black and white dithered file and then sends it to the screen. The whole setup is packed into a creative 3D-printed case that can be positioned or hung like any digital photo display.
Bryon came up with the VSMP idea while walking around Brasilia and studying the city’s beautiful architecture and noted that the city was “designed to be “read” at the speed of a vehicle, so taking in Brasília by foot is like watching a movie in slow motion.”
He then pondered:
“Can a film be consumed at the speed of reading a book? Yes, just as a car city can be enjoyed on foot. Slowing things down to an extreme measure creates room for appreciation of the object, as in Brasília, but the prolonged duration also starts to shift the relationship between object, viewer, and context. A film watched at 1/3,600th of the original speed is not a very slow movie, it’s a hazy timepiece. A Very Slow Movie Player (VSMP) doesn’t tell you the time; it helps you see yourself against the smear of time.”