The opposite of {{overcrank}}ing.

Undercranking involves filming at a slower frame rate so that the action is sped up when played back. Sometimes witnessed in car chases, especially on the 1960s ''Series/{{Batman}}'' TV show. In the days when film cameras were hand-cranked, most operators were trained to slow down slightly whenever a punch was thrown, so that the blow would seem faster than it really was: almost all of Jackie Chan's martial arts movies make use of the same basic principle during the fight scenes to make the action seem more exciting. When shooting video, where the framerate cannot be manually controlled mid-shot, a similar effect can be produced in the edit suite by selectively deleting a single frame here and there.

Generally, the frame rate isn't lowered to less than 21 frames per second, as anything beyond this makes the effect too glaring. More extreme undercranking tends to be used for supernatural characters (to emphasise their unnatural speed), or comedic effect (because it's easy to make it look [[RuleOfFunny funny]]). As with overcranking and the ''Film/ChariotsOfFire'' [[ParodiesOfFire theme]], if someone's running, [[StandardSnippet expect to hear]] "[[Series/TheBennyHillShow Yakety Sax]]" either onscreen (if it's a comedy) or in your head (if it's not).

Beyond extreme undercranking, where you are still counting in frames exposed per second, comes "TimeLapse" shooting, where you are counting in seconds (or hours, or longer) per frame exposed. Popular subjects for time lapse are blooming flowers, the movement of the clouds or stars, building concert stages, and city streets.

A significant subtrope is TheSpeedOfSilents. See also AdrenalineTime, i.e. ramping.

* Used on {{Transformers}} toy commercials, to avoid having to either sit there for five minutes while a kid transforms a 10-inch-tall toy, or cut off a transformation halfway through to fit in the commercial slot.
* {{LEGO}} commercials use this as well. Whenever the set is being thrown together in the commercial, it's actually the model being taken apart in reverse so it looks smoother and faster.

* ''Series/PlanetDinosaur'' does it in various scenes, and it's a major reason why the CGI of that show gets trashed so much. But truth be told, it ''is'' a very distracting effect, especially when there's no motion-blur, and the animals you're watching are supposed to be several-ton beasts, yet jerk around like frantic mice.
* ''Film/{{Koyaanisqatsi}}'' was largely based around exploring how this and the {{Overcrank}} could be used in creative ways.

* In the first two ''Film/MadMax1'' [[Film/MadMax2TheRoadWarrior films]], many actions scenes are sped up massively to make the cars appear to be driving faster. The fourth movie, ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', is a nearly non-stop, two-hour long car chase, and over half the movie is either undercranked or overcranked to a degree.
* Oddly used in one chase scene in ''Film/{{Blade}}''.
* Used in ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'' with a shot from the arena floor that makes the tigers even quicker and scarier.
* ''Film/TheGodsMustBeCrazy'' makes extensive use of this (or overuse, depending on one's POV).
* An odd case is found in ''Film/GodzillaRaidsAgain''. In some of the fight sequences between Godzilla and Anguirus, the usual [[OverCrank overcranking]] technique used to add a sense of weight to the monsters was accidentally reversed - but the effects supervisor liked how the shots turned out and [[ThrowItIn kept the footage anyhow]].
* Used often, to comedic effect, in ''Film/HotFuzz'' for everything from shoot outs to signing papers.
* In some horror movies (the ''Film/HouseOnHauntedHill1999'' remake, ''Film/Thir13enGhosts'', and ''Film/JacobsLadder'' come to mind), the ghosts are filmed WAY undercranked to make them look [[UncannyValley deranged and supernaturally fast]] on playback. Especially the headshaking ghosts.
* The blaxploitation movie ''Film/TheHumanTornado'' severely undercranks every single "unimportant" fight scene, along with Dolemite's hilarious commentary.
* Used by the Creator/MarxBrothers, e.g. in ''A Night at the Opera'' to make Harpo's character run down the stairs unnaturally fast.
* Frequent during the fight scenes in the early [[Film/JamesBond Bond]] films, particularly egregious in ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService''.
* In order to achieve the intense shots of the car bearing down on Brendan in ''Film/{{Brick}}, the car was backed up slowly past the undercranked camera, then the film was reversed to give the impression of the car shooting towards the viewer.
* The backgrounds of the speeder bike race on Endor in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' are the result of an undercranked camera and a Steadicam.
** So undercranked that it shot one frame per second.
* For his FilmOfTheBook ''Film/{{Firefox}}'', Creator/ClintEastwood hired the same special-effects man, John Dykstra, to do the supersonic nap-of-the-earth fighter-jet chase footage as George Lucas hired to do the Endor speeder-bike sequence mentioned above. In the behind-the-scenes featurette, Dykstra said it was quite a struggle to find a place with enough land to do the sequence because like in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', the camera was being cranked at 1 frame per second, '''on a Learjet'''
* Used for action shots in the big chase scene in ''The Road Warrior''.
* Used in some scenes in ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' to make the Xenomorphs move with inhuman speed. And Bishop's FiveFingerFillet, of course.
* Baz Luhrmann's ''Film/WilliamShakespearesRomeoAndJuliet'' cuts undercranking into sequences with stylistic results.
** Also used in ''Film/MoulinRouge''.
* Used very subtly on the first person viewshots (to the point of near-unnoticeability) during parts of the famous chase scene in ''Film/TheFrenchConnection''.
* Used frequently in ''Film/RequiemForADream'' during drug scenes..
* Used for the Audrey II scenes in ''Film/LittleShopOfHorrors'', because the hydraulics used to move the animatronic puppet were too slow at natural speed to match the fast-paced dialogue.
* Used frequently in ''Film/TheThreeStooges'' shorts as a kind of special effect. Many of their signature gags are undercranked.
* Most kung-fu movies in the 70s were undercranked to make the action look faster.
** Inverted by Creator/BruceLee, whose scenes were ''over''cranked because he was so goddamn fast.
* ''Film/CoolRunnings''
* ''Film/ParanormalActivity'' was known for doing this in place of a TimeCompressionMontage (it even gets parodied at the Academy Awards, with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin sharing a hotel room.)
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/SurfsUp'' during the set-up for the surfing competition. During an undercranked montage of the set-up, the backing music speeds up faster and faster. At the end, one of the characters says "I feel lightheaded" in a chipmunk voice.
* A variant on this was used in ''Film/TwentyEightDaysLater''. The film was shot using Canon XL-1 DV cameras, which have the ability to use a very, very fast shutter speed (1/1600th of a second or faster) that appears to playback at the same speed as the rest of the movie, but while looking very jittery and jumpy. Nearly all of the scenes featuring the infected were shot this way.
** And, interestingly enough, the scenes with Jim toward the end.
* Undercranking was used to create the signature head twitches of the 'demons' in ''Film/JacobsLadder''. This effect in turn was replicated several times in the ''Franchise/SilentHill'' video game series.
* In ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'' the shot of Casey's corpse falling from the tree was sped up [[{{Bowdlerise}} to avoid an NC-17 rating]].
* Used quite noticeably for some fight scenes in ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}''.
* Occurs for no particular reason in the Olivia Newton-John sci-fi film ''Toomorrow'', when ONJ and her wacky bandmates pile into her tiny car and peel off into the streets of Chelsea in London.
* The climax of ''Film/StrangersOnATrain'' (in which a carousel spins dangerously out of control) was achieved this way. It hasn't [[SpecialEffectsFailure aged particularly well, however.]]
* All of the zombies in the ''Film/DayOfTheDead2008'' remake are supernaturally fast and strong, which is most often represented by the actors having their movements sped up greatly in post-production in a comical manner.
* The entire four-minute opening credits of ''Three Men and a Baby'' is undercranked.
** As is the opening montage of its sequel, ''Three Men a Little Lady''.
* The Russian ballet in the 1963 film version of ''Theatre/ByeByeBirdie''.
* Used to make the chandelier appear as if it was falling faster in Lon Chaney-starring adaptation of ''Film/ThePhantomOfTheOpera1925''.
* In ''Film/AChristmasStory'', In the ImagineSpot with Ralphie shooting the bad guys, they are in fast-motion. Also, the scene where Ralphie turns in his paper begins and ends with fast-motion scenes of the boys running to and from school, complete with chipmunk voices.
* Chase scenes in ''Film/StrangePsychokineticStrategy'' go really fast, and include many of the same gags that ''The Benny Hill Show'' employs.
* Used in ''Film/BladeRunner'' to emphasize Pris's temper-tantrum when she gets shot, and used again briefly near the end of the film, to make Roy Batty appear inhumanly fast as he darts across Rick Deckard's field of view. Rutger Hauer's actual movements were slow and deliberate, so as to (successfully) make the scene not ''look'' like it's undercranked.
* During the three-way sex scene in ''Film/AClockworkOrange'', with the William Tell Overture as a soundtrack.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Seen at the end of every episode of ''Series/TheBennyHillShow''. This may have tainted it forever. Hence ''Yakety Sax'' is the StandardSnippet to undercranking just as ''Chariots of Fire'' is to [[OverCrank overcranking]].
* Unfortunately quite obviously used in early episodes of ''Series/{{Highlander}}: The Series'', especially in the pilot when they had to make Richard Moll look like a skilled and dangerous sword fighter. Yes, 'Bull' from ''Series/NightCourt''.
* ''Series/TheMunsters''
** In relation to that, there was a Nick-at-Nite commercial that promoted the comedic effects of "Fast motion!", featuring said scenes ''from'' The Munsters.
* ''Series/MyFavoriteMartian'' had a few of these moments, too, especially when [[AlienAmongUs Uncle Martin]] and Tim were trying to hide something from the nosy neighbor/air-headed landlady [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Mrs. Brown]], or worse, [[PoliceAreUseless Detective]] [[{{Jerkass}} Brennan]].
* Used in ''Series/RoyalPains'' for montages, at least in the PilotEpisode.
* Every single stinking car chase scene they ever filmed in the entire run of Pamela Anderson's ''V.I.P.''
* The ''Film/CarryOn'' movies.
* Often used in bursts in ''Series/GoodEats'', when Alton is doing something that would otherwise be boring, like stirring a bowl full of something.
* Used in every episode of ''Series/TheBigComfyCouch'' as part of the "10-Second Tidy."
* Every "Mind Your Manners With Billy Quan" sketch from ''Series/AlmostLive'' uses this effect combined with editing to make Billy and The Rude Man look like they toss projectiles at each other.
* The first act of the ''Series/DontTrustTheBInApartment23'' episode "Whatever it Takes ..." uses this technique to show three repetitive days in June and Chloe's life: Chloe comes in from her nights out, goes to bed, June gets up, watches TV on the couch all day, Chloe gets up, goes out, and the cycle starts again.
* The gimmick of the 1953 BBC interlude ''[[ London To Brighton in Four Minutes]]'', and its remakes in [[ 1983]] and [[ 2013]].
* ''Series/InYourDreams'' uses this all the time. Most commonly this is used to speed up unimportant actions (such as characters walking from place to place) or to speed up lengthy actions in place of montages (such as cleaning up a room).
* ''Series/MisterRogersNeighborhood'' occasionally featured "[[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Funny Fast Film]]", sped-up videos of people doing mundane things.
* Any scene with the [[BambooTechnology bamboo car]] on ''Series/GilligansIsland'' was conspicuously undercranked, likely to avoid damaging the scenery.

* Used comedically in the music video for Music/WeirdAlYankovic's "White and Nerdy".
* Used in Music/{{TLC}}'s "Dear Lie" Music Video, resulting in some really weird dancing.
* Music/{{Orbital}}'s [[ video for "The Box"]]. It looks like Tilda Swinton moved very slowly during filming, so the undercrank brings her up to normal speed while still making her movements [[UncannyValley rather unnatural]] and reminiscent of stop-motion; everyone around her is a super-fast blur.
* {{Music/Madonna}}'s "Ray Of Light" video is mostly sped-up film of everyday life.
* Used extensively in Music/OkGo's video for "[[ End Love]]" with a few moments of {{Overcrank}} for contrast.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'': The trailer "Things will be different" used this effect on in-game scenes.
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'', being heavily influenced by ''Film/JacobsLadder'', uses a similar effect on some of its resident monsters, particularly in the third game.
* ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' plays this straight with one of the possible effects where Bonnie or Chica, when in the West and East Hall corners (respectively), will have their heads twitch unusually. It becomes especially apparent in later nights.
* ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys3'' has this right on its menu screen--the new animatronic, Springtrap, is a horrific, twitchy, disturbing mess. It was also seen having whole-body spasms this way in the trailer, seemingly implying that it was on permanent undercrank. [[spoiler: It isn't. Oh dear lord, it isn't.]]
* A CGI equivalent was used in the trailer for a ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' video game. During a battle, there's a brief glimpse of an elf fighting an ork. While the motion of everything else appears realistic for the size of what's moving, the elf's movements are animated so he is wielding his swords inhumanly fast to show he ''isn't'' human.
* Some of the monsters in ''VideoGame/{{Unloved}}'' can use "Demon Speed" to rush into your face from the other side of a room in an instant. Rather than leaping or flying, they use their normal movement animations played at ''extremely'' high speed, creating an effect similar to undercrank.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* LetsPlay/{{raocow}} will sometimes speed up some of the footage of his LetsPlay videos in order for them to fit in Website/YouTube's 11-minute (later upped to 15) limit. He calls this "chipmunk time". Even though [=YouTube=] no longer has a time limit, he still does this sometimes anyway because [[RuleOfFunny it's funny]].
** In a similar vein (and possibly a FollowTheLeader of raocow), Let's Players playing PlatformHell games or ROM Hacks will sometimes also speed up footage of repeated failures.
** In one video, right after speeding up a section to get to a point where he had previously failed, a Website/YouTube glitch caused the audio to [[{{Overcrank}} go into slo mo]] for about 30 seconds before everything sped back up to normal, albeit out of sync. [[{{Ramping}} And then it went right back into 'chipmunk time'.]]
* This is how WebVideo/{{Fred}} gets his trademark high-pitched voice.
* In WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's review of ''Film/BattlefieldEarth'', during his epic meltdown, he rants on how stupid it is by screaming "stupid stupid stupid" followed by a ClusterFBomb. Most of the [[ rant]] is double-speeded.
** Also done with a "Try, try, try, try, try, try..." MadnessMantra in the ''Garbage Pail Kids'' review.
* LetsPlay/ChristopherOdd tends to use this when he has to repeat a section in a game or gets lost for too long, in order to keep his videos shorter.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Used in ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball''. In the episode "The Laziest", Gumball and Darwin undergo a sugar rush, which causes them to run around with their voices chipmunked (including at least one line that's sped up so much that it's unintelligible).
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' Aang does this after having a sip of Chi Enhancing Tea and goes all over the place on his Air Scooter. While riding around when he talks his voice is extremely high and very fast. He keeps going until he hits a pole.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'' episode "Beer Walk" begins with a comedic TimeLapse that compresses roughly 48 hours into 30 seconds. Cleveland happily announces that the weekend has begun, takes off his pants, plops down on the couch with a considerable supply of beer and snacks, and turns on "a sporting event". As Cleveland sits motionless in front of the TV, Donna folds the laundry, chases Rallo around, re-upholsters a chair, cooks dinner (spaghetti) for the family, [[RuleOfFunny chops firewood in the living room,]] clears away a sea of empties left by Cleveland, dusts, vacuums, and finally collapses on the couch in exhaustion. Then Cleveland, who had been asleep, wakes up and says:
-->'''Cleveland''': Is it Sunday night already? Another weekend of us doing ''absolutely nothing.''