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replicating cop car light help


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#1 David Calson

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 09:55 AM

Novice DP trying to do a scene at night with silhoutted car in background standing in as a cop car, just need to make the cop lights. I've got some worklights, lowel pro, omni lights, blue gels. Main problem is creating that strobe/flicker look. My guess would be to take a clipboard or something and just put it out and in front of the light really quickly. Any other suggestions for something really low budget? Thanks in advance!
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 05:27 PM

Another thing to do is just rotate the lamp head. Wind up a bunch of cord around the stand, then turn it the other way during the shot.




-- J.S.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 06:13 PM

Mirrors on record player turntables.

More than one mirror multiplies the speed of the effect.

P
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 07:25 PM

Mirrors on record player turntables.

More than one mirror multiplies the speed of the effect.

P


This is pretty much what I've seen before. Three mirrors cello taped into a prism shape and set on a turntable. Then you hit it with a red and a blue light.
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#5 David Calson

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 07:32 PM

Wow, lots of good stuff, thank you everyone!
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:09 PM

Wow Chris, that's a really good idea, I might have to "borrow" that ;) for when the situation comes up.
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:12 PM

I don't know if it's the same in the US, but certainly in the UK most police vehicles are starting to use LED and xenon strobes which don't have that rotating character anyway.

Not that the strobe is nearly so iconic, I suppose, but it's becoming as outdated an archetype as jitteriness and vertical scratches to indicate home movies.

P
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#8 Chris Keth

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 10:36 PM

I don't know if it's the same in the US, but certainly in the UK most police vehicles are starting to use LED and xenon strobes which don't have that rotating character anyway.

Not that the strobe is nearly so iconic, I suppose, but it's becoming as outdated an archetype as jitteriness and vertical scratches to indicate home movies.

P


There are a lot of both types of lights on vehicles in the US. Here in California where everything seems to be new, there are lots of the strobes. Elsewhere in the country where things have a little wear and tear on them and less budget money is wasted, vehicles still mostly have the spinning lights. Might be a nice look to mix the two and keep the rotating red and blue but add a white strobe.
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 10:54 PM

Non-low budget approach: Program a couple of theatrical moving lights to sweep through the scene. I did that to great effect with a pair of my Cyberlights for the bombing scene in a stage production of "Driving Miss Daisy".
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 03:59 PM

One thing to bear in mind with strobes is that they don't mix with rolling shutter digital cameras.





-- J.S.
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Aerial Filmworks

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