what's this called? "Hitchcock Effect" at DVinfo.net

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Old March 19th, 2004, 11:11 PM   #1
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what's this called?

you know this effect:

there are 2 different types i guess:

(in both the subject stays the same size thru the effect)

the camera is zoomed in tight on its subject while positioned away from it to start,
the camera moves close to its subject while it zooms out
giving a cool effect of everything in the background (like its being stretched)

or the opposite:
the camera is zoomed all the way out and positioned close to the subject in the beginning,
and as it moves away from it, it zooms in.


Here is an example:
http://www.movie-list.com/trailers.php?id=takinglives
look at the quicktime trailer
there is a shot that does it with Angelina Jolie at 1:51

is there a name for this?
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Old March 19th, 2004, 11:39 PM   #2
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Bret,
The effect is often called the "Hitchcock dolly", as Alfred seemed to be the first, or at least a prominent, director to pioneer its use.

A very complex maneuver that cannot really be done by a single person. Zoom, focus and camera must all move in unison.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 12:24 AM   #3
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JAWS I . . . . . dooo dah doooooh dah . .. .

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Old March 20th, 2004, 07:45 AM   #4
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I wonder if you achieve something similar by green screening the subject and compositing the result with a suitably zoomed background (perhaps with the zooming done in post)?

Wasn't the Jaws effect done in stages? ie several very fast zooms on Schneider while pulling the camera away?

There was another similar technique used, I think, in The Graduate, where you see the subject running towards the camera for ages but always remaining in the same relative spot in the frame. I read a "how did they do that" article on this sometime in the last year. I'll see if I can dig it out.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 08:29 AM   #5
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Vertigo

I think the name you are looking for is the vertigo effect. It was also done very effectively in the Michael Jackson video Thriller. This can be done by yourself with focus on auto or manual if you're that good but probably not as smooth as on track and/or with assistants as Ken said. Just find a free standing subject, stand far enough away to zoom in on it, then slowly or quickly move towards it while zooming out. You will see the effect right away and how it changes with camera and zoom speed increase or decrease toward the subject during the move. Constant speed and steadiness are the keys to a smooth move which is where assistants are a great help. This can be done with steadicam or a jib as well.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 08:53 AM   #6
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