The Dolly Zoom is a camera shot made famous in Alfred Hitchcock’s VERTIGO (1958). It was invented by cameraman Irmin Roberts to visually convey the feeling of agoraphobia by zooming in with the lens while simultaneously dollying backwards the entire camera…or vice versa.
When the Dolly Zoom shot is used in conjunction with an unsettling or emotional moment…the viewer is swept up in a visceral visual that represents the pain/confusion/anguish occurring in the story. Here are 23 classic film examples of this technique in chronological order. I’ve also included the shot before or after the Dolly Zoom so it can be seen in context of the scene…and not as just a trick shot.
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