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EXT. Car DAY


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#1 Scott Bryant

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 06:02 PM

I'm shooting a daytime car scene outside and inside the car. Is there anyway to help light the interiors for a little better exposure? I don't have a sun roof to work with. Is there anything outside of pumping huge amounts of light into the car while dragging everything on a trailer?
Thanks.
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#2 Scott Bryant

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 06:04 PM

Also, I'd like to stay away from green screens or rear-projection. I've searched for this topic but haven't really found much.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 07:11 PM

Do you really need to light a car interior in the daytime? If you are shooting film, you can often get away with available light despite the contrast differences, especially with a low-con film.

One suggestion is to drive so that the background is backlit and/or shaded, which makes it easier to open up for the shadows, as opposed to a background in full sun with a foreground in shade.
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#4 Jess Haas

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 07:39 PM

You can also gel the window(s) that are in frame while allowing as much light as possible in through the ones that you aren't seeing through.

~Jess
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:18 PM

You have to be careful through because if you look at an ND-gelled window at a steep raking angle, it looks much darker.
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#6 Scott Bryant

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:46 PM

Yes i am using film. Sorry i forgot to be more specific. It will be kodak 250D 7205.

David, a little confused by

One suggestion is to drive so that the background is backlit and/or shaded


Do you mean driving into directional sunlight (early/late in the day) so that the interior will fill up with the light? Or having the light be coming from behind? Could you please clear up my troubled mind?
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 09:54 PM

Yes i am using film. Sorry i forgot to be more specific. It will be kodak 250D 7205.

David, a little confused by



Do you mean driving into directional sunlight (early/late in the day) so that the interior will fill up with the light? Or having the light be coming from behind? Could you please clear up my troubled mind?


I mean what I said, drive so that the background in the shot is backlit by the sun. The camera may be pointed out the side windows, so that's the background in that case. It doesn't necessarily mean that the car is driving towards the sun, unless you are pointing out the front windshield.

This means that most of what you see will be on the shadow side of the sun, so you can expose more for the shade. If the background is darker naturally, then exposing more for the car interior won't make the background get too bright, as opposed to when the background out the window is in frontal sunlight. The sun on a building may be f/16, let's say, but if the sun was behind the building, then the face of the building may be f/5.6. If there are trees and bushes in the background, that's good too because they tend to be dark. The worst thing would be a white building in full sun as a background; the best thing would be a dark tree in full shade -- then even if you expose more for the interior of the car, your background isn't too bright.

Whether this backlight also reaches into the car interior just depends, but it doesn't hurt generally. You can put some white towels or something to catch it and reflect it back up.
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#8 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:27 PM

Adding to what David said, cover your seats with a white sheet and cover the dash as much as possible. Often you can add a stop or more to someone in the front with just the dash bounce if the sun is high. I recently did a late-afternoon shot while sitting in a pasg. seat, on to the driver, with 7217 and a 12mm at T4. Outside was about an F8 so I let it go over by 2 stops on average. The face turned out perfect, very natural, and the film easily handled any highlights or changes in levels inside and out.

Some cars are easier to shoot inside of than others. Take the interior trim color, amount of glass and angle of windscreen into consideration, if you are lucky enough to be involved in picking out the car.
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#9 Scott Bryant

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:57 PM

A-ha. I get it the backlit thing now.

Thank you all for your help. I'll be doing some tests of these things and see what ends up working best for what i'm trying to accomplish.


Thanks again
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New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

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