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#1 John Allen

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:28 AM

This summer I am shooting a thriller in Chicago and have some car scenes that I need to light. It's a no budget film so I'm only going to be able to use what light that I have(shop lights) and pratical light. So I really need advise or ideas on how to go about lighting a car scene. Below are some pics of what the directer wants it to look like.




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#2 Xiaoyu Huang

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 12:59 PM

you can buy some fluorescents to use inside the car, the light outside of the car you can use is the practical light, and you may lay a man on the top of the car roof to control a light with hand in order to simulate the changing light from the outside when some close-up shoots if it is not fast.
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#3 John Holland

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 01:07 PM

Dont think having a person on roof of car is very safe !!!!.
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#4 Paul Bruening

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 01:21 PM

As I recall from the DVD features of Collateral they used flexible panels of white LEDs attached to the ceiling of the car. They were flat, broad light source like flos but had a really low profile, were light in weight and molded well to the curved shapes in the ceiling. They spoke really well of the rigging. I assume they had to filter for the associated color spikes but that's just a guess.
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#5 John Allen

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 01:53 PM

As I recall from the DVD features of Collateral they used flexible panels of white LEDs attached to the ceiling of the car. They were flat, broad light source like flos but had a really low profile, were light in weight and molded well to the curved shapes in the ceiling. They spoke really well of the rigging. I assume they had to filter for the associated color spikes but that's just a guess.


Sweet! Thanks alot for help Paul.
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#6 John Holland

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 02:04 PM

no way will you be able to afford LEDs how about 12volt fairy lights rigged under dash and where ever you hide then run of car battery from cig . lighter ?
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#7 John Allen

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 02:09 PM

Yes, that could work. Thanks.

Edited by John Allen, 24 January 2008 - 02:13 PM.

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#8 Hal Smith

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 02:37 PM

There are 12 volt DC compact fluorescent bulbs that screw into a standard edison socket. They use a high frequency solid state internal ballast so they're flickerfree.
Screw them into a aluminum reflector worklight (with the AC plug removed) and run some tests. I've used a couple inside a van to shoot a scene with a miniDV camera and they worked quite well.

Here's a link that will find a bunch of them:

Google Compact Fluorescent Search
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#9 robert duke

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 03:06 PM

Collateral used luminescient panels similar to laptop screens to illuminate the taxi interior, which caused the greenish tint to the interior. You can use these if you can afford them. Other options are:

Christmas lights run through an inverter. You can buy a 400w inverter for under $30.

you can get a 50w 12v household bulb trouble light at your local RV supplier.

you can get 12v puck lights/ under cabinet lights that when wired without the 12v power supply will run off a car battery.

you can used a 12v inverter and use inkies and other standard fare light fixtures such as Kino's and inkies.

you can get a 12v flourecent trouble light at autozone for $15.

Or you can RENT a Kino car kit.

All of these are options to using low budget car shots.

The collateral shots utilized a sheet of luminescent panel on the ceiling of the taxi, and a Kino car kit.

The other shot looks like either a kino car kit or 15" kino with an inverter.
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#10 Bill Totolo

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 12:21 AM

What if this were a day exterior? I'm shooting something similar and have some ideas but would love to hear from the collective.

bt

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#11 Michael Nash

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 03:50 AM

What if this were a day exterior? I'm shooting something similar and have some ideas but would love to hear from the collective.


Daytime is a LOT tougher. Basically you can't light much from inside the car, since the exposure difference between inside and outside is too extreme for small units. You pretty much have to light from outside the car, which usually means process trailer since actors can't drive while staring into bright lights coming through the windshield. If you choose to go without external lighting you can attempt to ND the on-camera windows; use a sunroof (diffused or not); and bounce a little available sunlight in with a few small, strategically placed pieces of foamcore; or some combination thereof. Oh, and there's always the greenscreen or rear-projection approach.

I sure we've discussed this many times before so there's bound to be stuff in archives.

And where can I get one of those cool masks?
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#12 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 05:33 AM

Get some christmas tree lights on a loop and place around inside the car - gives a nice non-sourcey look. You can also use so called rope lights, they're decorative lights built into a flexible rope and they come in different colours.
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#13 Paul Bruening

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 09:06 AM

Collateral used luminescient panels similar to laptop screens to illuminate the taxi interior, which caused the greenish tint to the interior.


John,

I remember that now. I gave you a bum tip. I apologize for that.
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#14 Dorel Mihaila

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:40 PM

hi

Shot an entire short film in a car. Action took place before dawn and a little after sunrise. The car was parked so i didn-t have problems about shooting while the car was in motion.

I also used some "compact fluorescent bulbs that screw into a standard edison socket"..turned out cost effective and did the job quite well, very similar to a car kit. For the shots after the sunrise i also used some lighting from the exterior of the car but no more than 2 X 500W light sources.

At one point, the characters fall asleep and they wake up shortly after the sunrise. One of them turns off the light inside the car. The too lights from the exterior do their job but you can still "feel" the light from inside the car as it is turned off. Placed it right above the rear view mirror and didn-t bother me with any of the shots. Only problem was shooting from the back seat had to tilt the camera a bit but still had the mirror in the shot to see the character reflected as he was talking.

good luck with your shooting
d.
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#15 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 04:12 PM

Get some christmas tree lights on a loop and place around inside the car - gives a nice non-sourcey look. You can also use so called rope lights, they're decorative lights built into a flexible rope and they come in different colours.


Hey Adam, that sounds like a good idea. Do you have any examples where you or anyone else has done it this way?
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#16 Matthew Buick

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 05:53 PM

Dont think having a person on roof of car is very safe !!!!.


A car roof is designed to tolerate the weight of the car overturned, as long as the car is checked out previously, and the man on top is using grippy shoes it should be okay.
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#17 robert duke

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 11:15 PM

Grippy shoes or not you are putting someone in great jeopardy, and opening yourself up to a career ending possibility. Placing people in harms way is not cool nor is it smart. even if you wratchet strapped someone to the roof it would still be extremely dangerous.

Stop and think.
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#18 Hal Smith

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 11:41 PM

Grippy shoes or not you are putting someone in great jeopardy, and opening yourself up to a career ending possibility. Placing people in harms way is not cool nor is it smart. even if you wratchet strapped someone to the roof it would still be extremely dangerous.
Stop and think.

I would only attempt it with a full body harness tied into the car that was rigged by a stunt supervisor who had experience doing this. The G forces involved in a moving car can be amazing. In my sports car racing days I had a wreck that ripped a shoulder harness strap right out of its mounting - a mount that had been inspected by professional race safety people and deemed safe.
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#19 John Brawley

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 11:48 PM

Hey Adam, that sounds like a good idea. Do you have any examples where you or anyone else has done it this way?



Here you go !

I use xmas lights and rope light all the time for this kind of thing. I don't have a movie example to show right now...here's a lighting preview. This is a couple of stand-ins...actually the producer and the gaffer....! (guess which one is which)

So it was xmas lights across the dash and dedo 100w liners...(which were moved during the shot)

The other shot is with the real actors...


jb

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Edited by John Brawley, 30 January 2008 - 11:54 PM.

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#20 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 03:16 AM

Thanks John. If you can get a movie version to show, that'd be great. I'm curious about the motion of the christmas lights.

Great stills, btw :)
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