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Watch: 8-Minute Supercut Celebrates The Evolution Of The Dolly Zoom

Watch: 8-Minute Supercut Celebrates The Evolution Of The Dolly Zoom

While contemporary directors have no shortage of visual tricks and effects to use when putting their movies together, one of the oldest in the book requires nothing more than a camera and a set of wheels. You may not know it by name, but the dolly zoom is an effect that keeps the subject of the shot in focus, while the camera moves in or away, creating a pretty nifty effect on the visual plane. And now you can see the best of the best of that artistry in one pretty solid supercut.

Vashi Nedomasky, courtesy of his blog Vashi Visuals, has put together the best of the best when it comes to the dolly zoom, starting with Alfred Hitchcock‘s “Vertigo,” and moving forward in time from there. Comprising of 23 shots — with context of the scenes before and after to help emphasize the effect — the eight minute video is great look at how one technique can carry different weight depending on the filmmaker, genre and characters involved. It’s definitely worth a watch so give it a spin below.

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They missed Spielberg's very first dolly zoom, a police sniper's POV of an approaching car, in THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS.


Fincher has a lot of great dolly zooms I would've love to've seen, like the final scene in Panic Room.


No, a dolly zoom does not just require a dolly and a camera…it requires a zoom lens as well. There are plenty of moving dolly shots in movies but to achieve a dolly zoom you must zoom out while pushing forward on a dolly, or conversely zoom in while pulling back on the dolly. These achieve different effects since zooming inherently changes perspective (compressing an image by zooming in…expanding by zooming out) while dollying just changes a camera's position. Deciding on which one is used really depends on the psychological effect one wants to achieve…for instance dollying out and zooming in would make the character feel compressed and closed in.

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