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lighting inside a car


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#1 igus mikler

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 10:07 AM

Hi!
I am getting ready to shoot some scenes inside a car, by day and night.
am wondering if anyone could give me good advice on how to do this. I have to light the driver and the passenger in the passenger seat. what sources would best be applied and where would these best be positioned?

thank you for all the help.
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#2 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 10:25 AM

for night i like to use litepanels. for day some sort of bounce mounted on the hood works well, plus nd on the windows that are in the frame. you don't mention your budget though and whether you'll be towing the car or driving it, and how fast?

/matt
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#3 igus mikler

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 10:54 AM

for night i like to use litepanels. for day some sort of bounce mounted on the hood works well, plus nd on the windows that are in the frame. you don't mention your budget though and whether you'll be towing the car or driving it, and how fast?

/matt



budget is low, no tow:( speed no higher then 50km/h) during sunny day, how many ND filters you anticipate, covering the windows from outside? how would you apply them...gaffer tape i guess would leave marks on the car?

what gear would you need for attaching the bouncers onto the car at this speed? the camera mount will be atached from the drivers side window and then from passangers side window.
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#4 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 02:00 PM

gaffer's tape will come off the car no problem, no marks that you can't wash off. you can use the same to fix the bounce card to the hood as well. the angle can be quite small and still get plenty of light in there so i wouldn't be too concerned about it falling off at that moderate speed. good luck.

/matt
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#5 Brian L Schilling

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 03:21 PM

I've used a 400W Joker bug w/ a chimera attached to the hood using a suction-cup hood mount for this purpose. It worked great. Just make sure to have plenty of battery packs because it will suck them fast.
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#6 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 04:40 PM

Diffusion covering an open sunroof is easy and pretty for daytime.
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#7 Bob Hayes

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 01:24 PM

I?d recommend shooting against a background that is in shadow. The best is back lit so the on camera cast gets a back edge and you don?t have camera shadow issues. Residential streets work well for this scenario. Putting a bounce on the hood can be distracting for the driver and dangerous. As can driving around with 1 meter of camera sticking out to the side. I recommend towing the car so the cast can concentrate on acting.
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#8 Fredrik Backar FSF

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 03:55 AM

Did shot for feature a while ago where camera was rigged straight on hood with the "gripcontrol" large rig and tons of straps.
Clad the inside of the dash with tin foile for some fill as we didn´t have a tow-rig.
Polarizer on that and all was well. Especially when sun was hitting a bit sideways from behind 45 degree angle or so.
Must give small warning for night shots in car though that i noticed. Had lightpanel on dash for slight fill in face, but this made the driver virtually "nightblind". Danger danger....
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#9 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 05:08 AM

listen to fredrik, he the man. we have to work together again soon. i'd be happy to set your lights again but if you want in on any of my directing gigs you better start returning my phone calls. :-)

/matt
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#10 Fredrik Backar FSF

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 11:25 AM

listen to fredrik, he the man. we have to work together again soon. i'd be happy to set your lights again but if you want in on any of my directing gigs you better start returning my phone calls. :-)

/matt


Tja mannen! Va på inspeöning o glömde ringa tillbaka.... skickade meddelande via Rune dock. Hoppas han sa nåt? Ha de king så länge!! Ring om de e nåt såklart! Tjo!
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#11 Tonyg34

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 08:49 PM

I have struggled with shooting in cars every time I have tried it. The problem is no one ever wants to spend the money to rent a camera car, like the available from the gilbert group. The problem is the background is always over exposed, because there is no room or electricity for proper lighting (unless you tow and have a generator). You can tape layer after layer of ND on the windows and still have a blown out look. I recommend renting a convertible or a car with a moon roof. Definitely use a front hood bounce, that really works. The other trick, assuming you have friends in the post production world, is to pull the car into the studio, shoot in front of a green screen and than take the car for a spin and shoot the scene exposing for the background. But my answer to everything to shoot in front of green screen.
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#12 Adam White

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 12:30 PM

If you can afford the time then why not get a car from a scrapyard and then adapt it to be as light friendly as possible?

We fitted removable struts for small soft units and/or camera support and enlarged compartments like the glovebox to handle larger batteries for extended light time. We also fitted two sunroofs, one over the front, one for back. These were then diffused and helped lift the level in the back during the day and gave amazing flashes whilst driving under sodium lights at night. Nobody who has seen the exterior shots noted anything strange about the double fitting, which was a relief.

We arranged for private roads and closed carparks to be available so we were able to put a safe amount of fittings on without endangering the actors. When we fitted anything that even slightly blocked the actors view then we towed. in those situations we used thick plastic blocks with reflectors attatched to bounce light from specific angles as required. Clunky yet effective.


We did this because of zero funds and two producers who were mechanics! If you have more than a few pennies to rub together then see what sort of deal a hire company may do on a camera car. I think many dont as they assume a huge expense. If you dont have that then dont be afraid to adapt. . .just keep it safe...

Edited by Ad8m, 08 May 2006 - 12:32 PM.

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#13 ihaveanewname

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 09:01 PM

I found this thread because I'm going to be shooting in a car soon too. Some people in the script are going to dinner, so it will be dusk. I think I'm going to go with shooting in front of a green screen, because I don't want to deal with traffic and expense from towing, losing light, and being on location without a place to put my generator. Does anyone have any tips for this? I'm thinking about:

-the car moving as if it's going over bumps
-reflected light from the green screen since the scene is supposed to be almost night
-S16 film stock I should be using when filming half outdoors (image to replace the green screen) and half in studio
-exposure I should be aiming for to make it look as realistic as possible
-any other problems you think I may have

thanks,
Josh
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#14 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 09:00 PM

If ou're really low-budget -and maybe even if you're not - I often use those clip-on visor spotlights
from AutoZone (U.S. auto parts store) that sell for five dollars. Buy a bunch and diffuse/ gel them and
they work great and don't blind the driver or make his/her knuckles hot. Measure the color temp. though
and adjust to your liking as they're very blue.
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#15 chism24

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 04:57 AM

In a low budget environment what is the best solution for the "blown out" backgrounds, when safely lighting the cars interior to a suitable level is out of the question.... apart from green screen!
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#16 Jessica Bennett

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 10:56 PM

In a low budget environment what is the best solution for the "blown out" backgrounds, when safely lighting the cars interior to a suitable level is out of the question.... apart from green screen!


Low Budget?
For a two shot, Step by Step:
Get a car with a sunroof. Diffuse the roof. Bang some rigged light in from above if needed. Use 3/4 or 1 inch clear double-stick tape on the outside of the windshield. First, apply tape along edge of glass - out of sight. Then, lay out major ND over windshield without sticking. Put a finger in the center and stretch the ND out and stick it. Trim. Works every time. Tape Flos - size of your choice - to trimmed white show-card - called a Dan Flavin. Tape Dan Flavins frontal/overhead. Use some duvetine, blackwrap, or tape to flag off reflections. And throw some bleached white muslin over the actors' laps and/or dashboard. You can use that for day and night by adjusting color and direction.
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#17 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 05:35 PM

Low Budget?
For a two shot, Step by Step:
Get a car with a sunroof. Diffuse the roof. Bang some rigged light in from above if needed. Use 3/4 or 1 inch clear double-stick tape on the outside of the windshield. First, apply tape along edge of glass - out of sight. Then, lay out major ND over windshield without sticking. Put a finger in the center and stretch the ND out and stick it. Trim. Works every time. Tape Flos - size of your choice - to trimmed white show-card - called a Dan Flavin. Tape Dan Flavins frontal/overhead. Use some duvetine, blackwrap, or tape to flag off reflections. And throw some bleached white muslin over the actors' laps and/or dashboard. You can use that for day and night by adjusting color and direction.



Jesisica,

If you're not towing the car how do you power the Flos? Inverter? Why double stick tape and not gaffers
tape? ?

Thanks.

Edited by DPinthewilderness, 27 May 2006 - 05:36 PM.

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#18 Michael Nash

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 07:10 PM

Jesisica,

If you're not towing the car how do you power the Flos? Inverter? Why double stick tape and not gaffers
tape? ?

Thanks.


"Car Kino's" (9" and 15") are powered off 12V DC, and usually have adapters for both the cigarette lighter socket and clamps for the car's battery terminals.

http://kinoflo.com/s...40x_system.html

Double stick simply allows you to keep the unit as low-profile as possible, by hiding all the tape behind the light.

The problem I always run into with taping kinos in cars is vinyl surfaces on the dash that have been Armour-All'ed, and won't let the tape stick.
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#19 Hal Smith

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 08:04 PM

The problem I always run into with taping kinos in cars is vinyl surfaces on the dash that have been Armour-All'ed, and won't let the tape stick.

An idiot car wash Armor-all'ed the full length mats in my work van once. It turned it into a skating rink - anything I put on the floor (cases, etc.) that normally stayed in place would skid one way or the other when I drove. I got it off by using mineral spirits - left the mats looking pretty nice, clean and evenly colored. You might try a test sometime on an Armor-all'ed dash, I would have the matching sheen Armor-all on hand to restore. I've read that professional detailers use other brands of products (Vinylex and 303 for instance) they don't particularly seem to like Armor-all so it could become an issue as to exactly what product has been used on a given car.

I LOVE Jessica's sunroof tip - boy does that sound like a winner!

Low Budget?
For a two shot, Step by Step:
Get a car with a sunroof. Diffuse the roof.

Have you got a clip or any stills of this rig? I'd like to see it in action.
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#20 Jessica Bennett

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 11:57 PM

Thank you Michael. And, no pictures of that sunroof rig. But, any key grip can make it happen. I'd say there are several possibilities for a easy and safe rig on the roof of a car. Low Budget option would be to ratchet strap a light on a pancake onto the roof. As far as the tape thing goes- i can't stand it. But generally, we'll start shoving shims or camera wedges into the crevices and tape or clip to those. Rigging upwards off of a pigeon on a pancake on the floor works wonders too.
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