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#1 Natalie Saito

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 06:36 PM

Most of us I assume have seen Hitchcock's classic "Vertigo." You know the POV shot when Scotty get nauseated from acrophobia--the effect when the background shrinks but the foreground stays the same and in focus. I know that they use a dolly and a zoom simultaneously to create such effect. But do they zoom-in and dolly-out or do they zoom-out and dolly-in? Also, how do they keep everything, at least the main subject, in focus? How would the 1st AC go about measuring the focal distance?

thanks for reading!

--Natalie

Edited by NSFilms, 25 November 2006 - 06:38 PM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 07:15 PM

The focus pulling would be the same for any dolly move where the camera moved away or towards a subject.

When you dolly in and zoom out, the shot gets more wide-angle so the background seems to shrink away from you (what they did in Vertigo). When you dolly back and zoom in, the shot gets more telephoto, so the background seems to rush towards you, flattening out the perspective.
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#3 Tim Terner

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 11:59 PM

There's a bit about the 'trombone' shot here http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A4075030
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 05:23 AM

In "Vertigo" that shot was only used in a cutaway from Scotty fainting, then we would see his POV of the stairwell rushing away from us. If you need more examples, there's a marvelous one in Jaws.
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#5 timHealy

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 10:22 AM

I agree about the shot in Jaws. I felt really caught up in the film and story, and then the use of the dolly in and zoom out was much more emotionally effective for me, than when I saw Vertigo for the first time.

Best

Tim
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#6 Brandon McCormick

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 11:19 AM

Unfortunately, since anyone with a camera and a zoom feature on their camera can now do this effect, I've seen WAY too many uses of it. In my humble opinion, it has become nothing more than a "hey look at me, I'm awesome at directing" shot.

disclaimer: of course, I've used it.
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#7 Jon Kukla

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 06:42 PM

Usually the most difficult thing about the dolly zoom is figuring out how to time the speeds of the dolly and zoom so that the subject remains consistently sized during the move. Needed: at least several tech rehearsals, a good grip, probably a zoom motor, and a fair amount of time.

The focusing should be rather easy, since the subject probably is going to be still. In which case the focus puller can make marks relative to the dolly's position on the track. Very easy, I would imagine.

Edited by Jon Kukla, 26 November 2006 - 06:44 PM.

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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:39 AM

oh, btw, back to the question about keeping focus on your subject...it's called having a good focus puller to do the follow focus as you move closer to or further away from your subject.

And just to reference another good instance is in the restaurant scene between Liotta & DeNiro in "Goodfellas". It's a subtle and slow one, but it keeps the frame interesting as we watch these two fine actors having a mediocre beginning to a wiseguy conversation.
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#9 Chris Clarke

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 03:18 AM

And just to reference another good instance is in the restaurant scene between Liotta & DeNiro in "Goodfellas". It's a subtle and slow one, but it keeps the frame interesting as we watch these two fine actors having a mediocre beginning to a wiseguy conversation.


I worked with the operator of this shot, the fine David Dunlap. I asked how he did it and he explained that when working with Michael Ballhaus he was encoraged to zoom manually using a chrosziel damper with a zoom bar. They used it all the time on Goodfellas but it was especially useful for that scene as it gave him more feel during the shot.
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#10 Luke Allein

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 02:11 PM

2 Questions:

1. The process that started out this conversation, is that what they used in the shot in "Road To Perdition" where they first show Jude Law's character? He's walking down an alley under an L train towards the camera, and the background is shrinking and moving away but he's coming closer. It almost looks more complicated than just the thing they used in "Vertigo", but I could be wrong.

2. I know I read how they did it somewhere, but the opening shot of "the Godfather", when Bonissera is telling the story, I could have sworn they used some cutting edge new thing to make that extremely slow zoom out, like it was computerized or something? Does anybody know what I'm talking about, or am I nuts? Maybe Coppola said it on the commentary track, I can't remember. But I could have sworn it was some crazy process they used to achieve that effect.
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#11 Felipe Perez-Burchard

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 03:15 PM

1. The process that started out this conversation, is that what they used in the shot in "Road To Perdition" where they first show Jude Law's character? He's walking down an alley under an L train towards the camera, and the background is shrinking and moving away but he's coming closer. It almost looks more complicated than just the thing they used in "Vertigo", but I could be wrong.


Yes, that was a trombone shot as well.

2. I know I read how they did it somewhere, but the opening shot of "the Godfather", when Bonissera is telling the story, I could have sworn they used some cutting edge new thing to make that extremely slow zoom out, like it was computerized or something? Does anybody know what I'm talking about, or am I nuts? Maybe Coppola said it on the commentary track, I can't remember. But I could have sworn it was some crazy process they used to achieve that effect.


Yes, Coppola does mention it in the commentary track. The high end technology used was a zoom motor; common place today, but at the time, to do such a SLOW zoom by hand could have easily produced a jerky spot at some point during the take.

best,
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#12 Luke Allein

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 06:43 PM

Yes, that was a trombone shot as well.
Yes, Coppola does mention it in the commentary track. The high end technology used was a zoom motor; common place today, but at the time, to do such a SLOW zoom by hand could have easily produced a jerky spot at some point during the take.

best,


Thanks! I love learning all this crap on here, this website rules. Wow, so it was just a zoom motor? That's so funny, I thought it was some like exclusive cutting edge thing they designed just for that.
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