Watch Surreal Drone Footage of New York City Shot Using the Vertigo Effect


Thanks to drones, filmmakers are able to shoot scenes that would be impossible to capture otherwise. Cinematographer Tim Sessler has found a way to combine this new filmmaking method with a camera trick first made popular by Alfred Hitchcock.

As PetaPixel reports, Sessler's short film BALANCE intercuts aerial helicopter shots of New York City with trippy drone footage that experiments with the "vertigo effect," or dolly zoom. The tricky camerawork was a collaboration between Sessler, the director of photography, and camera operator Brandon Bray. According to their blog Brooklyn Aerials, the film was made to stand out from the clean-cut, composed content that's normally seen in aerial videos.

The vertigo effect (which was actually the idea of an uncredited cameraman, not Hitchcock himself) is normally created by dollying the camera and zooming at the same time to keep the subject in place. To achieve this in the air, the team gradually zoomed their camera lens to the widest possible angle while flying the drone towards whatever it was they were filming. You can check out the final product above.

Header/banner images courtesy of Tim Sessler via Vimeo.

[h/t PetaPixel]