How To Create Dolly Zoom Effect

The dolly zoom technique is a method utilized in film production to evoke feelings of discomfort or disarray. This effect is achieved by either approaching or retreating from the subject with the camera, simultaneously altering the focal length to maintain the subject’s size constant within the shot. The result is a sensation of motion and stress, rendering it a favored technique for use in thrillers and horror movies.

Equipment Needed

To create the dolly zoom effect, you will need a few pieces of equipment. Firstly, you will need a camera with manual focus capabilities. This is important because you will need to adjust the focal length while moving the camera. You will also need a dolly or gimbal to move the camera smoothly and steadily.

Setting Up

Before you begin shooting, it’s important to set up your equipment properly. Make sure your camera is securely mounted on the dolly or gimbal, and that it’s level with the ground. You will also need to adjust the focal length of your lens to ensure that your subject remains the same size in the frame as you move the camera.


Once you have set up your equipment, it’s time to start shooting. Begin by framing your shot and focusing on your subject. Then, slowly move the dolly or gimbal towards or away from your subject while adjusting the focal length of your lens. It’s important to keep the subject in focus throughout the shot, so be sure to monitor your focus carefully.


After you have captured your footage, it’s time to edit it. You will need to use editing software to adjust the speed and timing of your shot to achieve the desired effect. You may also want to add sound effects or music to enhance the mood and atmosphere of your scene.


The dolly zoom effect is a powerful tool for creating tension and unease in filmmaking. By following these steps, you can create this effect yourself and add an extra layer of depth to your work. Remember to practice and experiment with different techniques to find the one that works best for you.