The slow push-in is a fundamental building block of cinematic storytelling. Here's how you can achieve it in post.
We listed the slow push-in as one of our 8 camera moves that will help you tell better stories, and for good reason.
The push-in often takes place when the audience is receiving a key piece of information. The filmmaker is inviting the audience to lean forward. The camera slowly moves towards the subject to emphasize an important moment. It’s a way to subtly say, “Pay attention! This story beat is important.”
Classically, a slow push-in is accomplished with a dolly or a zoom lens.
But what if you didn’t have a dolly? What if you couldn’t get that perfect shot on set?
Vashi Nedomanky has your back.
Nedomansky, editor of Sharknado 2, created a free set of 10 presets for Premiere Pro that can be easily added to your footage, still images, and even text.
This preset package includes 5 scale percentage options for you to choose from, ranging from most subtle to most aggressive: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25.
Each percentage has a regular or smooth zoom option. The regular zoom will apply a constant zoom effect across from the first to the last frame of the clip. This has a more digital feel. The smooth zoom will apply a gradual effect, easing out from the first frame and gently landing before the last frame. This gradual effect is meant to achieve a more organic feel to the zoom.
In order to achieve a flawless push-in feel, Vashi recommends utilizing the 5 or 10 percentage option. They are almost indistinguishable from a practical dolly push-in.
To use these presets, simply import via the effects panel in Adobe Premiere Pro. Then, you can drag & drop onto any asset in your timeline. The presets adjust automatically to the length of your clip, and generate a keyframe on the first and last frame.
Can you tell the difference between an in-camera push-in and a push-in achieved through Vashi’s preset? Try it out on your next project, and let us know what you think down in the comments.