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Lights for Car day?


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#1 Cole Webley

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 02:19 AM

Next week I am shooting a short on S16mm with several day exteriors in a moving car. I loaded on a commercial with Oliver Curtis, BSC and he mounted a 2k HMI on a trailer pullling the picture car and punched it through the front window...with some diffusion taped on the front windshield---like 250 or something...we are going to be using a car mount and driving the car instead of using a trailer so I won't be able to mount much if anything to the car. I could add fill in the shadow with some kinos (I have 2' and 12'' banks but will they give much fill?) or should I just shoot with natural lighting? I guess what I am asking is what most people like to do in this situation--I am most likely shooting kodak's 7212 or 7217 Tungsten balanced film wearing some 85ND's...I would like to keep a high contrast between my highlights and shadows so maybe I shouldn't worry about any fill...anybody have pics or links to scenes they have shot in cars during the day and how they lit them or didn't light them?
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#2 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 04:35 AM

hi cole
i'm also curius about this setup as from my AC experience i only worked on loaders to film cars moving with dialogues.
i don't inted to use any light projector, only to choose roads with apropriates angles of the sun.
i was thinking about taping some ND's gels for the background and diffusion for the key but somehow the driver will need to see the road!!!
i'm filming dv and my concern is to reduce the contrast.
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 06:17 AM

Using a bonnet car mount a polarizing filter is a great help. I like setting it so you just get a small amount of reflection in the glass. However, the light does need to be in the right direction to get the best results and you need to keep an eye on camera shadows.

If you've got the budget you can rig battery powered HMIs, or even rig a small generator in a trailer (sound mightn't like that one) towed behind the car. People have also rigged a black tent out over the windscreen to flag out sky reflections.

Just be careful to ensure that the driver can see out, because they'll be both thinking about their performance and driving the car.
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#4 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 06:44 AM

thank you but what is a "bonnet car mount"?
polarizing the lens is definitly what i intended to do, is it what you wes refering to?
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#5 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 07:39 AM

I've many times rigged a small Honda 2000W portable silent genny (why can't you ever get these at rental houses?) on the roof or in the boot of the picture car when using bonnet mounts or Bullit-rigs. Works fine and keeps the unit small and self-contained.

On a short I did some years back all I could run was a 575W HMI on the car due to power. Worked fine, but the source had to be quite spotted to fight the daylight (it was a sunny day too). It also gave it that hard, 70's style look that just happened to be right for this story. Check out the image of the guy driving in sunglasses - that's the one with the 575W on his face. The one below as well.

http://www.adamfrisc...cura/index.html
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 08:20 AM

thank you but what is a "bonnet car mount"?
polarizing the lens is definitly what i intended to do, is it what you wes refering to?


Sorry, in America hood or le capot in french. You can get a beam that goes across the front of the car that you can mount the camera onto. Once it's set up you can chance your camera position extremely quickly. http://www.egripment...tInfo.asp?ID=78


There are also suction camera mounts, but you'll also need to put safety straps.
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#7 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 08:27 AM

so does everybody strongly recomand a projector to fight against the sun?
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#8 MatthewJClark

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:07 AM

One of the cheapest and actually more useful rigs I worked with was a pair of 400w jokers mounted on the hood. The hood mount was fabricated out of lumber (2x6) strteched acroos the width of the car. "Legs" for the rig were made out of 2" angle iron (~12"long), wrapped in gaffer's tape and then wedged into the hood seam between the hood and fender along with some scraps of duvetyeen as padding. The angle iron was screwed into the 2 x 6 and there was our mount...saftey-ed, of course. Power was run off a big inverter. The down side of the inverter with higher wattage fixtures is that there may not be enough output of the car's alternator. We made the actor drive every where in second with higher RPM's to keep the output high enough to drive the Jokers. I've used the silent Honda generators strapped to the roof and the rear bumper and that works well too. Having a rental car is always nice...just get the extended insurance. Then you don't have to worry about scratching the paint. We always tried to keep the lights out of the eye line of the actor so she could drive and think and act.

An alternate way to do this gag is to pull the picture car behind a pick-up with a U-Haul dolly. The dolly keeps the car low, the actors don't actually have to drive and you can mount lights simply in the back of the pick-up. You can also still mount the lights on the car to keep them close if you have small fixtures. The camera can be mounted on a hostess tray or maybe operated in the picture car. The tow dolly doesn't cost much and is a whole lot safer for everyone plus you can carry some spare gear in the pick-up and a grip or electrician to help out with a re-rig or shaking everything up after a few takes.

Be safe out there...

Matthew
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#9 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 07:00 AM

The first car shoot I was on we also made our own bonnet mount from wood, It think it was made from two 4" x 2" and a 1" x 9" plank with holes drilled into for the various camera mounting positions, where we fitted an old Vinten tripod head. The mount was secured underneath the wheel arches by long 1/2" threaded stud bars. You could shake the whole car when you pulled the mount up and down.

We also had a tray type job for mounting on the car doors, it was also made from wood so that you could mount a Bolex. We also mounted a Arri 16 BL just inside the windscreen for front 3/4 CU shots of the driver. BTW It's not the best camera for filming inside cars.
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#10 Alexandre Lucena

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 08:11 AM

I shot a moving car in a short *Please critique my work, HDV Short fiction. The opening sequence. I only
used a black cloth to cut reflection, and natural light. I had to lay on the hood slightly to the left so the actor was driving in
a quiet street could see, He was driving rather slow. I must say the cameras limited latitude did a helpful
job by not registering the street outside too much. It is not that dangerours to lay on a moving car hood
as long as it is slow. Things we do on a short budget. :(
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#11 Jeyow Evangelista

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 06:02 AM

miniflo, very soft light to fill, it doesnt create hard shadows so your primary source of light will still be the cars' windows, proper arperture and go!
another option is wait for the clouds to cover the sun giving you a very soft picture...
go shoot on a cloudy day...
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#12 Mario C. Jackson

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 09:25 AM

I shot a film 3 months ago called 13 Months of Sunshine. I had to shoot a scene almost exactly like you did. We literally had no budget. So what I did what was drop a polarizer in the camera and just started shooting. I made sure the main actress was on the side of the car where most of the light was coming from, set my exposure and told my cam op to just roll the camera.
Hope this helps
Mario Concepcion Jackson
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#13 Werner Van Peppen

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 02:43 PM

One of the tricks we used a couple of years ago. (We shot from the backseat so it might not work when shooting from the hood, unless you keep it out of the way) was using a small round chinese lantern (from Ikea) with a halogenbulb(s) (or a carbulb. I think we used two 35or 50W bulbs) wrapped in CTB to keep the shadows from filling in (We stuck it behind the passenger with some clamps next to the Aaton). A couple of white towels on the actors laps might help with some bounce. The bulbs can be fed from the cigarette ligther socket.

(I think we shot 500ASA Kodak stock.)

Werner Van Peppen
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#14 Camila Freitas

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 10:03 AM

"On a short I did some years back all I could run was a 575W HMI on the car due to power."

I have the same situation in a few weeks and I thought about using exactly a 575W HMI. But how did you or your gaffer do to get the supply from the car battery? And wherer did you fix the light?

I was thinking of some way of mounting it at 45o to the windshield, as well as the camera would have to be mounted frontally. But I just can't figure out how to power supply a source that is not 12V like the car battery. Is there any adaptor for that kind of situation that you'd know?

Thank you

Camila Freitas
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#15 Cole Webley

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 02:41 AM

Last weekend we put a large 1'' thick 8'' wide and 7' long board across the top of the car with four baby plates screwed into it from which we hung some 350w peppers out and over the front of the windshield and one on the side window to simulate passing street lamps, etc. They were each hooked to a dimmer and fed into the car where a car battery hooked (with a normal pair of jumper cables) to a 1200w inverter (from Home Depot). This supplied power for a couple of hours before we had to change the car battery again. Then later in the night the inverter stopped working...fishy rig but we got the shots we needed. You could try something similar I guess for the 575 during the day...even less power then we had on the inverter.

All in all, I am more convinced it is worth the time/money to get a small trailer to pull the picture car on and bring along a silent genny to do the powering...

Tomorrow I am shooting a short on S16 with some car mount shots...we have the side mount but we are improvising for the hood mount...I will take pictures! We already tested it out tonight to make sure it would work, we'll keep our fingers crossed.

-C
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