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Zooming in?


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#1 Zahi Farah

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 03:04 PM

Hi guys,

I know the question might sound silly to 99% of you but its a bit of a mystery to me.
I heard that zooming-in is a very amateur thing to do, apparently only a few directors have done so in very specific situations (I think Hitchcock?). So I was wondering, do you ever zoom-in/out instead of using a dolly? And if so, why?

Thank you.
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 03:20 PM

Kubrick used the zoom as did directors during the 1960s and 70s. It has gone out fashion (it was the shallow DOF of that period), but it's still there today, often buried within the camera moves and the action, so that it's not obvious. Its use is extremely common in television and is used on many sports programmes.

It can still be a very effective if used with thought and care. The problem can be overuse or inappropriate use.

Edited by Brian Drysdale, 31 July 2010 - 03:21 PM.

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#3 Zahi Farah

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:54 PM

Kubrick used the zoom as did directors during the 1960s and 70s. It has gone out fashion (it was the shallow DOF of that period), but it's still there today, often buried within the camera moves and the action, so that it's not obvious. Its use is extremely common in television and is used on many sports programmes.

It can still be a very effective if used with thought and care. The problem can be overuse or inappropriate use.


Thank you.
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#4 Mike Lary

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 12:30 AM

Zooming is no less amateurish than using a dolly or crane. In the wrong hands, any tool becomes less effective.

Kubrick wasn't an exception by using zooms unless you look at the reserved manner in which he used them. Many directors used the zoom out of financial necessity or for convenience. Using a zoom in lieu of physically moving the position of the camera has gone out of style, and as a result isolated zooms can feel dated. An example of a modern director using zoom for a specific purpose would be the zoom/dolly shot in 'Goodfellas' at the end of the diner scene with Deniro and Liotta. It was so effective that other directors jumped on it, making it a bit of a visual cliche.

In decades past, there was a lot of great zoom work. Nicholas Roeg ('Walkabout') embraced the zoom in a very expressive way. Sven Nykvist did some beautiful work with zooms (see Bergman's 'Cries and Whispers'), following emotion in a very precise and graceful manner. 'Easy Rider' has some complicated zoom work, zooming in and pulling focus onto moving motorcycles from another moving vehicle.
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#5 Zahi Farah

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 04:35 AM

Zooming is no less amateurish than using a dolly or crane. In the wrong hands, any tool becomes less effective.

Kubrick wasn't an exception by using zooms unless you look at the reserved manner in which he used them. Many directors used the zoom out of financial necessity or for convenience. Using a zoom in lieu of physically moving the position of the camera has gone out of style, and as a result isolated zooms can feel dated. An example of a modern director using zoom for a specific purpose would be the zoom/dolly shot in 'Goodfellas' at the end of the diner scene with Deniro and Liotta. It was so effective that other directors jumped on it, making it a bit of a visual cliche.

In decades past, there was a lot of great zoom work. Nicholas Roeg ('Walkabout') embraced the zoom in a very expressive way. Sven Nykvist did some beautiful work with zooms (see Bergman's 'Cries and Whispers'), following emotion in a very precise and graceful manner. 'Easy Rider' has some complicated zoom work, zooming in and pulling focus onto moving motorcycles from another moving vehicle.


Ah! Thanks for the info mate :)
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