Jump to content


Photo

Shooting Afghanistan terrain in New Jersey


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Hemant Tavathia

Hemant Tavathia
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • New Jersey

Posted 08 July 2009 - 07:51 PM

Hi All,
Wasn't sure where to post this topic but this seemed like a good place. I have a 12 page script set in Afghanistan. The 8 pages of nighttime can easily be cheated, but 4 pages are set during Daytime. Some daytime exterior scenes call for medium to wide shots. I'm based in New Jersey. In your expert opinion, what would be the best way to cheat the daytime exterior shots, so I can somehow get the feeling of being in Afghanistan.
Some suggestions and possible options available to me are:
1. Shoot in a Quarry (how do i get permission?).
2. Shoot out of state (expensive).
3. Shoot low angle, so you mostly see sky (I don't want to lose the feel of the terrain too much)
4. Shoot in a studio and build a set (expensive)
5. Shoot green screen (too much post required, possibly expensive)
5. Stick to close-up (easiest way to go)

I know the ultimate solution is to find a good location to double as Afghanistan. But, if you have any suggestions as far as camera/lighting/other tricks that might be useful, please reply.

Thank you.
  • 0

#2 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1252 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 08 July 2009 - 08:46 PM

I would think Arizona or New Mexico would be better than NJ, but if you had to do it in NJ, I would shoot after the leaves fall off the trees to give it a more barren look. But it would be a serious cheat. NJ with leaves looks more lush and not nearly as mountainous as Afghanistan.

Just my 2 cents.

Tim
  • 0

#3 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 July 2009 - 03:08 AM

A quarry will look like a quarry, not Afghanistan. Are cheap tickets to vegas over the film's budget? A friend of mine in Afghanistan sent some photos and it's alarmingly similar looking to the desert just outside of vegas.
  • 0

#4 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 09 July 2009 - 05:47 AM

If the story fits, perhaps shoot in/near Centralia PA, where the ground smokes?
Aside from that, yeah, someplace like Arizona, Utah, Nevada would be much better-- not so much so desert/sand but scrub-brush.
  • 0

#5 Tom Lowe

Tom Lowe
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1211 posts
  • Director
  • somewhere worshipping Terrence Malick

Posted 09 July 2009 - 11:48 AM

The deserts near Vegas would work. Or Lone Pine, CA. Or some rocky mountains with little vegetation somewhere near you.
  • 0

#6 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 09 July 2009 - 12:02 PM

It's funny, too, cause this student project I worked on with a Director who I like and needs a deal of help; great guy dont' get me wrong, but perhaps not cut out for this industry, wanted me to recreate Iraq in S. Jersey, because the actors complained about traveling 2 hrs out of the city, when we're driving them in a van :/
Needless to say, it didn't work to well being in a heavily wooded area.
Oh well, so it goes :/
  • 0

#7 Hemant Tavathia

Hemant Tavathia
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • New Jersey

Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:57 PM

I guess this can only be fixed by shooting out of Jersey. Well, thank you all for the advice.
  • 0

#8 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:07 PM

You need a desolate place with scrub-brush and few trees. An old abandoned industrial complex might work it ... but that depends on what type of Afghan terrain you need.
Look into Centralia PA :

http://4.bp.blogspot..._926ed8280c.jpg

Might kinda work?

http://www.city-data...centraliapa.jpg

http://geology.fulle...s/centralia.jpg

best i can think of 'round these parts.

Good luck.
  • 0

#9 Jamie Metzger

Jamie Metzger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco

Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:02 PM

I'm sorry, but I'm from NY, and I laughed so hard reading this title.
  • 0

#10 Tony Coan

Tony Coan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts
  • Student
  • Philadelphia, PA

Posted 19 July 2009 - 09:14 PM

I grew up in the pine barrens, im not totally sure of the look you are going for. But i have seen desolate sandy areas throughout this area.
Check out forked river mountain, which also has alot of old desolate clay quarry's in the same area.

If i had more time i would try to go out and get some pictures, but the next few weeks are very busy for me.
  • 0

#11 Hemant Tavathia

Hemant Tavathia
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • New Jersey

Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:34 PM

I grew up in the pine barrens, im not totally sure of the look you are going for. But i have seen desolate sandy areas throughout this area.
Check out forked river mountain, which also has alot of old desolate clay quarry's in the same area.

If i had more time i would try to go out and get some pictures, but the next few weeks are very busy for me.


Thank you.
  • 0

#12 Hemant Tavathia

Hemant Tavathia
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • New Jersey

Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:36 PM

You need a desolate place with scrub-brush and few trees. An old abandoned industrial complex might work it ... but that depends on what type of Afghan terrain you need.
Look into Centralia PA :

http://4.bp.blogspot..._926ed8280c.jpg

Might kinda work?

http://www.city-data...centraliapa.jpg

http://geology.fulle...s/centralia.jpg

best i can think of 'round these parts.

Good luck.


Thanks.
The location pictures you sent me might work well with the right camera angles, lenses, and lighting.
Are you a local around that area?

Edited by Hemant Tavathia, 19 July 2009 - 10:37 PM.

  • 0

#13 Jim Keller

Jim Keller
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts
  • Producer
  • Fresno, CA

Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:44 PM

Of course, the other approach you could take is to set everything in the bombed-out parts of Afghanistan, in which case most of Jersey City could pass... :P
  • 0

#14 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:04 AM

Of course, the other approach you could take is to set everything in the bombed-out parts of Afghanistan, in which case most of Jersey City could pass... :P


There's a different kind of desertous terrain in New Jersey, five-lane highways at the end of every street.

An exaggeration? Maybe, but not much of one. . . :rolleyes:
  • 0

#15 Delorme Jean-Marie

Delorme Jean-Marie
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 513 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • paris, france

Posted 22 July 2009 - 03:13 AM

maybe you could film at a desolated airstrip, they look the same worldwide and are free from buildings, powerlines.
I shot myself in afghanistan in may and it wasn't dry at all, it was raining like hell.
landskape near Kaboul is only grey medium mountains, no trees, it's already 6000ft high!!

we stayed at KAIA the KAboul International Airport.

if you find a military air strip you can cheat afghanistan.

saying that i don't know new jersey
  • 0

#16 Jim Keller

Jim Keller
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts
  • Producer
  • Fresno, CA

Posted 22 July 2009 - 02:01 PM

maybe you could film at a desolated airstrip, they look the same worldwide and are free from buildings, powerlines.
I shot myself in afghanistan in may and it wasn't dry at all, it was raining like hell.
landskape near Kaboul is only grey medium mountains, no trees, it's already 6000ft high!!

we stayed at KAIA the KAboul International Airport.

if you find a military air strip you can cheat afghanistan.

saying that i don't know new jersey


You know, now that you mention it, during a dry spell Lakehurst Naval Air Station might pass, with some careful framing. It's close enough to the Pine Barrens to give you the option of popping over to some of the various sand pits as well.

Edited by Jim Keller, 22 July 2009 - 02:02 PM.

  • 0

#17 Hemant Tavathia

Hemant Tavathia
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • New Jersey

Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:52 PM

maybe you could film at a desolated airstrip, they look the same worldwide and are free from buildings, powerlines.
I shot myself in afghanistan in may and it wasn't dry at all, it was raining like hell.
landskape near Kaboul is only grey medium mountains, no trees, it's already 6000ft high!!

we stayed at KAIA the KAboul International Airport.

if you find a military air strip you can cheat afghanistan.

saying that i don't know new jersey


Thanks for those descriptions. Airstrip might work. Wanted to check these posts sooner, but was bombarded with work.
Thanks again.
  • 0

#18 Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 873 posts
  • Sound Department
  • Minneapolis

Posted 08 August 2009 - 09:37 PM

There's an old Nike missile base in the Watchung Mountains with military style ruins. I remember that base from years ago, as a kid, playing in the area.
  • 0

#19 Chris Millar

Chris Millar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1642 posts
  • Other

Posted 09 August 2009 - 12:36 AM

Afghanistan:

Posted Image

Posted Image

:lol:
  • 0

#20 Matthew OSullivan

Matthew OSullivan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts
  • Other
  • Toronto

Posted 04 September 2009 - 08:24 AM

Just go to Asbury Park!

Seriously though... a quarry could work. Some friends just built this set in a gravel pit

Centralia is a creepy place, and the fumes are toxic as hell. Camp there at your own risk.

Attached Images

  • 6250_261579970194_698470194_8743469_1250013_n.jpg

  • 0


The Slider

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

Opal

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport