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The Poor Man's Process


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#1 Joseph Nesbitt

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 06:51 PM

Hi, I recently heard of this trick for lighting car's called the Poor Man's Process and I want to know more about it, the teqnique as I understand it is to use a sitting car in a sound stage, have a couple studio hands rock it at various times, add in some sound effects, and hang some lights on a string and move them in the back window of the car to simulate headlights. I know this teqnique was used in "The Godfather" in the night driving scenes so obviously looks pretty good. If anyone knows anything more about this it would really help me out.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 07:05 PM

Rent the indie thriller "Frailty", directed by Bill Paxton and shot by Bill Butler - there is some great poor-man's scenes, driving in the rain at night, and the behind-the-scenes documentary on the DVD shows how some of it was shot.
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#3 Michael Collier

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 09:08 PM

when I was younger I faked a moving car by simply shooting a plate out the window of a moving car and then flipping it and compositing it over the take (softly implying motion of trees in reflection). It was simple and effective, though you must not show the area out the back windows, and you must carefully place the camera for the plate to ensure proper perspective once its flipped.

works well for short shots. You can shot the car parked in a driveway. Maybe have a few people rock the car a bit.

keeping the front pillars out of the shot helps simplify composoting, though it still can easily be done if those need to be in shot. its even relativly simple to roto out the backwindow, though small detail is then lost like glass defects and the heater elements, unless you painstakingly roto those out too, or composite them in otherwise.
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#4 Joseph Nesbitt

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 07:11 AM

I'll Definetly Pick Up Frailty when I see it, I also like The Plate Idea, Somtimes I'm Short On lights, and I know The Poor Man's Process Wouldn't work For Day Scene's either so next Time I shoot a car scene I'll take That into consideration. Thanks alot for the ideas guys.
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#5 Matthew Buick

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 06:06 PM

shot by Bill Butler


OOH! :blink:

I'm buying it. :lol:

Edited by Matthew Buick, 07 April 2007 - 06:07 PM.

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#6 kelly tippett

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 10:52 PM

Hi, I recently heard of this trick for lighting car's called the Poor Man's Process and I want to know more about it, the teqnique as I understand it is to use a sitting car in a sound stage, have a couple studio hands rock it at various times, add in some sound effects, and hang some lights on a string and move them in the back window of the car to simulate headlights. I know this teqnique was used in "The Godfather" in the night driving scenes so obviously looks pretty good. If anyone knows anything more about this it would really help me out.


this can be done while the car is in motion.

Shoot all the driver's dialogue by duct taping the camera in the passenger's side window and run a mic above the driver. Then for the passenger's take duct tape a camera in the driver's side window and run a mic above passenger. use Thelittle lapel mic. And you can just hand hold the camera in the back seat for other shots. Gte soem cut aways- b roll from where ever.

Edited by kelly tippett, 28 April 2007 - 10:53 PM.

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#7 jacob thomas

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 06:22 AM

Rent Pierrot Le Fou (directed by Godard and shot by Coutard) there is a long driving scene at night where if you look carefully can see a light stand with a rotating disk with red and green lights on it.

The whole set up is very effective and simple.
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