The Dizzying History of the Dolly Zoom

The dolly Zoom the vertigo effect the Push pull or the Thousand other names That it's known by is a really wacky Camera technique that you've definitely Seen before but you might not fully Understand its origin or the technical Proficiency that goes into pulling it Off hey I'm Tom Graham for envato tuts Plus and I'm a film nerd so let me walk You through the dizzying history of the Dolly Zoom I think we should get off the road All right Get off the road the technique is Commonly known as the dolly Zoom or the Vertigo effect but as I alluded to in The intro it's also known by many many Other names but basically it's a camera Technique that was first introduced in The 1958 film vertigo directed by Alfred Hitchcock hence why vertigo is one of The most common names for the shot the Technique involves moving the camera Toward or away from the subject while Simultaneously adjusting the focal Length on a zoom lens and this maintains The subject's size within the frame it Creates a distorted perspective and Gives the feeling that the character is Being pushed through space even though They are remaining still so that's where The other names for the shot comes from As well the dolly Zoom It's a Combination of Dolly in the camera and

Zooming the lens [Music] Foreign Now Legend has it that Hitchcock once Fainted at a party and then asked Herman Roberts who was a second unit camera Operator who he was working with at the Time to try to replicate that feeling on Film but I wasn't invited to that party So don't quote me on that it's also said That Hitchcock was trying to get this to Work about 18 years earlier during the Production of Rebecca in 1940 but he Couldn't quite nail the technique at the Time so kind of shoved it until vertigo Now since its introduction in Vertigo The dolly Zoom has been used in numerous Films for dramatic effect the Disorientating nature of the shot can Create suspense demonstrate a Character's sense of fear or anxiety or It can be used to demonstrate a moment Of intense Clarity or realization that The character might be experiencing and Because it's often used for dramatic Effect this technique can then be Flipped on its head and utilized as a Punchline in comedic moments Okay Another very popular example of this Effect is used in Jaws where the dolly Zoom was used to create a sense of Realization when the shark approaches The beach and begins attacking the

Townsfolk we'll come back to that Example a little later on in the video And the third in the trilogy of the most Popular Dolly Zoom shots to discuss when Talking about this technique goes to Goodfellas where it was used to Demonstrate Henry's descent into Paranoia by literally showing his Surroundings closing in on him Reflecting his ever-growing sense that His capture is inevitable on the surface Of course everything was supposed to be Fine we were supposed to be discussing My case but I had the feeling Jimmy was Trying to sense whether I was going to Rat him out to save my neck cool right But how is it achieved well I'll tell You exactly how it's achieved right After I tell you how to achieve some Amazing results with your edits by Subscribing to envato Elements which is A fantastic service that gives you Complete access and unlimited downloads Of millions of creative assets like Stock footage video templates music and Much more there's literally millions of Assets available to download and use Right now and it's downright affordable So make sure you click the link in the Description below to learn more about Envato elements today and now let's get Back to the Dolly Zoom So as I mentioned a little earlier on The dolly Zoom is achieved by moving the

Camera towards or away from the subject While simultaneously adjusting the focal Length or in other terms the zoom of the Lens and this keeps the subject the same Size in the frame this creates a Distorted perspective and creates that Really wacky visual effect that we're so Used to seeing so here in this Jaws Example you can see that we start on a Close-up shot of Martin Brody which is Captured on a telephoto lens and as the Shot progresses the camera is physically Moved towards the subject on a dolly and At the same time the operator is zooming Out at the same speed and so when that Shot comes to its conclusion we're now In the exact same close-up shot but Using a wide angle lens not only have we Achieved the unsettling effect of the Dolly Zoom but we've also moved to a new Focal length which in itself is a visual Technique used to quietly convey Information to the audience A telephoto lens compresses the image Meaning that the foreground and the Background appear closer to each other And a wide angle lens well it does the Opposite it creates an instance where There is more separation between the Foreground and the background When it comes to filming faces such in The Jaws example a telephoto lens is Often seen as a more flattering choice Because a wide-angle lens tends to end

Up stretching out and distorting the Features of the face and now hopefully You can see that using the dolly Zoom Effect allows the filmmaker to rapidly Change from one extreme focal length to The other without having to shift the Subject within the frame that's the Beauty of the shot I'm a trend pimp what stops here today The dolly shot can be achieved with Specialized camera rigs that use Remotely operated Motors that can be Pre-programmed for precise control for Both the camera movement and for the Zoom of the lens And given all of the advancements that Have been made in the animation and CG Side of the industry the dolly Zoom has Also found its way into animated films Where the filmmakers have precise Control over every single aspect of the Image and that includes the generated Cameras which makes it really fun to be Able to pull off this physical camera Technique in a completely virtual Environment there's a few really famous Animated examples and it's not Necessarily just in contemporary Animated films either so check out this Iconic scene from The Lion King that Comes at the pivotal moment in the First Act it's a truly memorable shot that Scarred a generation yes well forgive me For not leaping for joy and bad back you

Know There's also two examples from Ratatouille used in two very different Ways to relate to very different ideas To the audience in the first example we Have Remy watching Chef Cousteau on TV And the dolly Zoom slowly brings those Two characters together creating a sense That the two are bonded meanwhile at the Conclusion of the film the dolly Zoom is Enacted in the more traditional sense to Show Anton ego's Transportation back to His childhood as he takes a bite of the Titular dish Thank you So that's the dolly Zoom it's a Technical process that results in a very Specialized and highly stylized shot and Has been used to great effect for over 60 years and in my opinion it's going to Be used for years to come I wonder what Your thoughts are on the shot and how You think we might see it implemented in Future film and TV shows I didn't even Get to talking about how crazy this shot Looks when you swap out a dolly for a Drone what would we call that a trolley Shot anyway I hope you got something out Of this video I really love diving into Different filmmaking techniques like This like I said at the start I'm a film Nerd I actually covered the history of The aspect ratio recently so if you Liked this video make sure to go and

Check out that one as well I'll link it Over at the end of this video or down in The description also let me know if you Have any other great examples of the Dolly Zoom that I didn't cover in this Video and as always don't forget to get Subscribed to the envato's YouTube Channel okay until next time stay funky Foreign

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