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Hitchcock to Scorsese: 47 Years of the Dolly Zoom

A week ago, I posted a rundown of the visual effects at work in The Wolf of Wall Street, which, at least to this eye, appear fairly seamless. As wonderful as computers are, however, there’s nothing quite like a good, old-fashioned in camera effect.

The dolly zoom — pushing or pulling the camera while zooming out or in (respectively), and keeping focus locked on the subject — lends its resulting surrealistic planes to thrills, suspense, action or even a meaningful chat. The invention of a Paramount second-unit cameraman, Irmin Roberts, and a favorite of Scorsese, Hitchcock, Spielberg and Tarantino, this new video from Vashi Visuals strings together 23 dolly zooms, from 1958’s Vertigo to 2005’s Brick, with a little Truffaut and de Palma along the way.

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