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It does not seem right to call the technique one of racking focus.  It
involves both a zoom and a camera movement.  But racking focus is not
a zoom.  It is a change in the plane of focus.  A zoom makes a plane
take up more of the frame.  A rack does not substantially change the
amount of the image occupied by the plane of focus.  The technique in
Vertigo involves a dolly out and a zoom in.  The area occupied by the
subject stays roughly the same, but the contours change.  The image
becomes much flatter, if I remember correctly.

There is certainly a better way to describe this.  Time to re-read
chapter 7 of Film Art . . . .

Aaron

On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 3:26 PM, Violet Lucca<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Actually I believe the term is "wracked/wracking focus". It's in Bordwell
> and Thomson's Film Art.
>
> On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM, Andreas Treske <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>>
>> I don't know the English term, in German it was called "Fotografische
>> Perspektive". This was the term Johannes Mueller was using in his classes at
>> Munich Film Academy. Straight translated it would be "photographical
>> perspective". Other films with the same effect are "ET", "Poltergeist",
>> "Death of a Saleman" (Schloendorf), "Jaws". It seems like Spielberg loves
>> the effect. While searching with Mueller examples I somehow did not find
>> anything older than Hitchcock's.
>>
>> Andreas
>>
>>
>>
>> On Jun 29, 2009, at 9:11 PM, Henry M. Taylor wrote:
>>
>>> Is there a technical term for the visual effect achieved in Hitchcock's
>>> Vertigo where the camera simultaneously tracks forward and zooms back (or
>>> the reverse)? It has in the meantime become very common in films. I would
>>> also be intrigued to know whether Hitch and his DP Robert Burks were indeed
>>> the first to use this feature.
>>>
>>> Thanks for all comments and suggestions.
>>>
>>> Henry
>>>
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>>
>> Andreas Treske
>> Assistant Professor
>> Chair Department of Communication and Design
>> Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture
>> Bilkent University
>> 06800 Bilkent -Ankara
>> Turkey
>> [log in to unmask]
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