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Car rollover.


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#1 Cody Lundmark

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 05:16 PM

So I am shooting a film that requires a scene in which a car rollover takes place. I was going to actually roll a car until my professors at my school found out about it. I came to a compromise to have a junk yard car pushed over with a bobcat. Any tips on how, if possible, to make this look as real as can be?
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 07:21 PM

So I am shooting a film that requires a scene in which a car rollover takes place. I was going to actually roll a car until my professors at my school found out about it. I came to a compromise to have a junk yard car pushed over with a bobcat. Any tips on how, if possible, to make this look as real as can be?


That's still a bad idea for safety reasons. I would shoot footage for outside the car and do it with a greenscreen or rear projection. Cut it right and it'll be plenty believable. You don't want to hurt crew or actors.
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#3 robert duke

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 03:10 AM

That's still a bad idea for safety reasons. I would shoot footage for outside the car and do it with a greenscreen or rear projection. Cut it right and it'll be plenty believable. You don't want to hurt crew or actors.


I did this on a $1.5m feature when the stunt team couldnt do it. They actually were not able to flip a step van. they claimed they couldnt get it up to speed. I used a 1/2 inch steel cable to a forged eye bolt on the opposite side of the van. ran the cable over the van to a tractor and pulled it over with the tractor.from a 90 degree angle. we shot it using two cameras at low angles. because the van was not moving forward we were able to place the cameras on remotes very close to the rollover. It ended up looking great cut with a couple shots of the van speeding toward camera and swerving out of control.

Yes this is very technical and very dangerous. I kept the immediate area clear, along with a 45degree field along the cable incase of equipment failure.

you might try it with a forklift. use a remote start on the camera and keep the shot angle low.
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#4 Bob Hayes

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:34 AM

I did this on a $1.5m feature when the stunt team couldnt do it. They actually were not able to flip a step van. they claimed they couldnt get it up to speed. I used a 1/2 inch steel cable to a forged eye bolt on the opposite side of the van. ran the cable over the van to a tractor and pulled it over with the tractor.from a 90 degree angle. we shot it using two cameras at low angles. because the van was not moving forward we were able to place the cameras on remotes very close to the rollover. It ended up looking great cut with a couple shots of the van speeding toward camera and swerving out of control.

Yes this is very technical and very dangerous. I kept the immediate area clear, along with a 45degree field along the cable incase of equipment failure.

you might try it with a forklift. use a remote start on the camera and keep the shot angle low.


I did exactly the same shot on a show with a highly professional stunt crew. The van spun around instead of rolling over and took out my camera crew. My operator was knocked out. After the accident we all went of course that would happen before we went no way. Please be careful.

Also cars have lots of dangerous fluids in them. Gas, Oil, transmission fluid etc. When you turn them over the go everywhere. The fire department will shut you down and fine you if you don't prep the car properly.
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#5 Hal Smith

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 11:29 AM

One group of people with enough expertise to safely roll a vehicle over while moving would be racers. For instance, someone who has built and raced sedans in SCCA would know what type of safety equipment would be needed on the car to avoid a fire after the crash, etc. I raced sports cars for twelve years and viewed the world from upside down several times. A slow flip really isn't that dramatic but you want the crew well away from any possible impact zone and the car with every safety measure practical. One way to put a race car on its roof is to over cook a turn slightly, spin off to the inside of the turn, and then run into soft dirt which trips the car and flips it over. Getting a car going sideways and tripping it will roll it every time.

For an idea where to place crew, look at where they place corner workers on a road racing course. The corner workers are in places where they're close to the track and can see all the action, but where cars don't end up after incidents. On the inside of an approach to a turn is a pretty safe place. You never see workers anywhere near the exit of a turn.
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 04:53 PM

This still sounds awfully stupid for a kid in school to do.
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#7 Hal Smith

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:29 PM

This still sounds awfully stupid for a kid in school to do.

Yes. Without some very experienced car or stunt people to help rig everything it would be very dangerous.
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#8 Joseph Nesbitt

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:36 PM

have you ever thought of using a method like in the volkswagon commericial, have your charachters driving along in a car using blue or green screen. As they are driving you see and S.U.V head straight for them and apperently ram they're car. To achieve this have somone with and S.U.V drive towards a zoomed in camera a high speed. Then in a new shot shake the car throw fake glass at the driver, have his head hit the dash whatever. Then Cut to Black. The car the charachters were in is rolled over, have after effects fire burning in the backround. The car already prepped is sitting they're in no danger. This is alot easier because if you roll over a car for real, maybe some elements won't happen, it might not look as good as desired. now with the cut you can have a door hanging off, glass everywhere, blood coming out of the car, Oil leaking ( fake oil of coarse ) and you control it.
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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 11:39 PM

have you ever thought of using a method like in the volkswagon commericial, have your charachters driving along in a car using blue or green screen. As they are driving you see and S.U.V head straight for them and apperently ram they're car. To achieve this have somone with and S.U.V drive towards a zoomed in camera a high speed. Then in a new shot shake the car throw fake glass at the driver, have his head hit the dash whatever. Then Cut to Black. The car the charachters were in is rolled over, have after effects fire burning in the backround. The car already prepped is sitting they're in no danger. This is alot easier because if you roll over a car for real, maybe some elements won't happen, it might not look as good as desired. now with the cut you can have a door hanging off, glass everywhere, blood coming out of the car, Oil leaking ( fake oil of coarse ) and you control it.


This is the way to go. You can make sure you get what you want and make it very convincing. If you really roll a car, what if you don't get it first try? You're screwed unless you have another car, time, money etc. to do it again.
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#10 Cody Lundmark

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 11:06 PM

Thanks everyone for your insight. I thought very hard about all options presented here. Yes, we may be students but we still have common sense. I know that we can pull this off without using green/blue screen successfully and safely. On a professional set, green screen is a legitamate option. On a student production, It is very difficult to make it look acceptable. We really want to pull it off without much post work. The forklift idea is the one for us. One camera inside and two ouside low angle should do the trick. Thanks again for the responses.
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#11 robert duke

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 12:31 AM

I used to be a corner man for the SCCA in Memphis, my last race a porsche broke an axle and slammed straight into our barrier, the concrete barrier moved four inches.

Remote starts, Crash boxes , planning, safety meeting, think out all possible directions for the car to go. planning, buddy system, planning, all things need to be thought out. If anyone has any reservations you should discuss in full the issues brought up. be careful.

good luck

I tried to attach a photo of our crash but it was too big.
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#12 Matthew R Rodwell

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 01:44 PM

You can get a high poly model of a car on turbosquid.com, they have free models but I would suggest something about $250 for a detailed model animated with a motion blur. Combine that with interior footage with your talent and a green screen outside the car. Use AE to add some elements falling up like soda cans, glasses, change etc. to pull off the effect.
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