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How To Zoom Like Your Favourite Directors

If you Kubrick Stare the camera hard enough, the camera also stares into you.

Stanley Kubrick

You'll want your image to converge around a single point (presumably your face), with cold, mathematical lines leading inward. Colour should be simple and precise — none of Lynch's hazy blending. Make sure every book and piece of furniture behind you is meticulously arranged. Start with the camera close on your face and slowly zoom out to reveal your background. Then, as you speak, walk through your hallway and carry the camera with you, moving steadily to create a tracking shot. Also, tilt your head down and glare menacingly up at your colleagues to get that signature Kubrick Stare.

Quentin Tarantino

Place your camera across from you at a diner booth, or in the trunk of your car, looking up at you as you speak to your colleagues. Wear a black suit and tie or a cowboy outfit.

Make sure to stretch your presentation out for considerably longer than expected and lace it with quirky mannerisms and (if you can) ornate, poetic profanity. You'll want to go off on seemingly unrelated tangents about pop culture, relishing the sound of your own voice. Try mixing it up with some non-linear storytelling: start at the end of your presentation, move on to the introduction, and end with the middle. Most importantly, your zoom image should be exciting. Whip your camera around, zoom quickly in and out, attach it to the ceiling if you can. Throw up a title card signaling what your next topic of discussion will be. Break into dance while a 70s deep cut blasts over the zoom call. Explode some blood squibs to wake up your lethargic colleagues. Be creative.


Wes Anderson

Your image should look like a postcard — evocative, colourful, and most importantly, symmetrical. Your mise-en-scéne should be carefully crafted and geometric. Eliminate a sense of depth and space — your coworkers/classmates should feel like they are staring at a perfectly composed painting. Try decorating your room in faded pastel colours to get that nostalgic, retro look. Dress in corduroy. If you're going to move your camera, quickly rotate it 90 degrees, or better yet, snap-zoom in on your face. A song by the Kinks or Beach Boys should be playing under your presentation. When you're finished, walk away from the camera in slow motion.

David Lynch

Light your room with woozy, expressive reds and blues, leaving your face drenched in shadow. Lay out some surreal props in the background — masks, flickering lamps, dying plants, street signs to imaginary small towns. Try to deliver your presentation with as little emotion as possible, speaking slowly and with a subtle look of growing confusion on your face. If you can litter your presentation with cryptic phrases and musical motifs, all the better. Eventually, your voice should be overpowered by an ethereal, ambient rattling, and your camera should suddenly cut off.


Ingmar Bergman

For the Bergman look, you'll need to throw a moody black-and-white filter on your zoom image. Clear your room of any ostentatious clutter. In place of your furniture should be shadowy, empty white spaces and foreboding iconography (crosses, chess sets, mirrors). Your camera should be uncomfortably close to your face, half of which should be in shadow. Speak slowly, emotionally, emphasizing each word. Don't be afraid to veer into depressed, existential pontification. It may bewilder your colleagues, but you can be confident you're nailing the Bergman ethos.

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