How to Create a Dolly Zoom With Just a Prime Lens and AE

By Lewis McGregor, Premiumbeat

The Dolly Zoom is one of cinematography’s most striking shots. Here’s how you can recreate it in post.

A dolly zoom is a cinematic technique in which the camera moves closer or further from the subject while simultaneously adjusting the zoom angle to keep the subject the same size in the frame. The effect is that the subject appears stationary while the background size changes (this is called perspective distortion).

The dolly zoom. it’s an iconic technique that has been used in countless films from the late 50s until the very present. First employed by Irmin Roberts in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, the technique has become a staple shot of Hollywood classics. I will always remember the moment, at sixteen-years-old, when I first understood how the technique was deployed. I spent the entire day rushing toward things while zooming out on my DV camcorder. But this article is not about the history of the dolly zoom, nor the technique. PremiumBeat already has an extensive article about that here.

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Note:  Here’s a great Pinterest page with LOTS of information and detailed examples of Dolly Zooms.



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