How to Fake a Dolly Zoom in Premiere Pro

If you're a Hitchcock fan, you're no doubt aware of the dolly zoom, also known as the "Vertigo effect." It's dazzlingly disorienting, but it also requires a zoom lens and the physical ability to move the lens in space, things that aren't always simultaneously possible, such as if you're shooting with a drone. Here's how to fake the effect in Premiere Pro.

Coming to you from Justin Odisho, this helpful tutorial details how to create the effect popularized by "Vertigo," "Jaws," "Road to Perdition," and more. To do it, you'll need one of the two factors in place already: either the camera movement or the zoom. You'll also want to be filming at a high resolution, preferably 4K, as you're going to experience some resolution loss in the creation of the effect. The idea is to find the sequence in which you want to apply the effect, then zoom in or out at a rate that keeps the horizon at roughly the same size, also changing position to keep a prominent object static to sell the effect a bit more. While it's not quite the same as the real thing, it's still very cool, especially with aerial shots. Try it out!

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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