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How to light a car interior night scene cheaply

lighting cinematography night low budget

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#1 Rogelio Sanchez

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 03:46 PM

So I'm shooting a short film and it mostly takes place at night on the road inside a car, and I have a very low budget, it's supposed to look like a kind of b horror/grindhouse movie. My inspiration of the lighting is Deathproof by QT, here's a picture and basically I'm looking to light my scene exactly like that, my question is, how can i achieve this cheaply? which lights do you recommend and how do i place them?

Thanks 

 

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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 04:17 PM

I once did something almost exactly like that with a 1200W HMI PAR about forty feet behind the car (which was overkill, a 575 or 2K tungsten gelled blue would probably have done it), and a single four-foot tungsten kino-flo tube taped to the dash. If you want something in the back seat, well, you'll need to rig something similar behind the driver.

 

I seem to recall I had a four-foot, four-bank daylight kino rigged overhead on some sort of creatively-gaffed combiniation of C-stands so the exterior front of the car was at least slightly visible.

 

Obviously if you want to simulate driving along, you'll need some lighting gags to produce moving lights, reflections, back projection, whatever.

 

P


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#3 JD Hartman

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 04:28 PM

On the cheap, for the interior: under-cabinet florescent lights (electronic ballast); KinoFlo tungsten tubes.  The small 8w strips are small enough to tape/hide in a car.  Use a 100w inverter in the cig. lighter to power them


Edited by JD Hartman, 04 July 2015 - 04:29 PM.

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#4 Rogelio Sanchez

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 05:59 PM

I once did something almost exactly like that with a 1200W HMI PAR about forty feet behind the car (which was overkill, a 575 or 2K tungsten gelled blue would probably have done it), and a single four-foot tungsten kino-flo tube taped to the dash. If you want something in the back seat, well, you'll need to rig something similar behind the driver.

 

I seem to recall I had a four-foot, four-bank daylight kino rigged overhead on some sort of creatively-gaffed combiniation of C-stands so the exterior front of the car was at least slightly visible.

 

Obviously if you want to simulate driving along, you'll need some lighting gags to produce moving lights, reflections, back projection, whatever.

 

P

Thank you so much!


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#5 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 09:55 PM

I'll second JD's recommendation. I once lit part of a commercial in China with $2 12" fluorescents gaff taped to the outside of a car window. Looked great, and the weird color temperatures fit right in with the mixed lighting you generally have at night in the city.


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#6 Rogelio Sanchez

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:23 PM

On the cheap, for the interior: under-cabinet florescent lights (electronic ballast); KinoFlo tungsten tubes.  The small 8w strips are small enough to tape/hide in a car.  Use a 100w inverter in the cig. lighter to power them

Thanks! I'll try that


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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 07:42 AM

Are you talking about lighting a poor mans' process shot? Or is the car actually driving?
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#8 Rogelio Sanchez

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 04:18 PM

Are you talking about lighting a poor mans' process shot? Or is the car actually driving?

I'm thinking about the former, shooting inside, putting some black drapes or something to pretend it's night and the car is moving, or I don't know if greenscreen is better; the scene is supposed to take place in the middle of the night on a deserted highway


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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 06:44 PM

Greenscreen lets you do more, but is highly reliant on post for convincing results. Cars are reflective and the solution is rarely straightforward.

 

Night driving scenes can be done convincingly with lighting gags and a bit of ingenuity. Back projection can be surprisingly useful.

 

P


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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 06:55 PM

If the car is driving in the middle of nowhere then usually poor man's process against black is fine unless you really want to see a moonlight landscape outside the windows, but that means shooting day for night (or dusk for night if there are car headlamps visible in the background) for background plates which may need post work to darken the skies, and then using green screen or rear projection.

If you do poor man's process, it helps to obscure the background a little with rain drops on the glass or dust and moving shadows plus maybe a distant car headlight gag using two small lights in the background, perhaps sliding side to side slightly.
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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

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Broadcast Solutions Inc