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Shooting Car Dialogue


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#1 Jaime Marin III

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 02:53 PM

Hey everyone! Just curious if anyone has done some dialogue between 4 people in a vehicle (that is supposed to appear to be on the road driving) or if anyone could show me some great examples of what they think is a well executed scene between 4 people in a vehicle having a conversation. 

 

Also what are somethings I should be aware of when shooting this type of scenario? Any helpful tips and tricks would be much appreciated. 

 

Thanks !

 

 


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 01:53 PM

Children of Men has a great sequence in it-- however in such case I would think that type of shooting would be well out of budget for most projects.

I don't see it any different than any other sequence. A lot also depends on what type of car. Also I'd try to do it on a process trailer.


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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 02:06 PM

Yep, children of men's sequence happens to be the best I've seen. However, they cut a hole in the roof of the car to stick the camera through on a 360 degree head, which maybe prohibitively expensive.

A car trailer like Adrian mentioned is probably the best thing because you can do camera moves from outside and the car can be driving down the road, which is pretty sweet. I also think creating shots that look like they're inside the car is also slick. Ya know, taking the windshield off and sticking the camera in one of the corners of the dash like a go pro shot, but only with a big camera. There are tube lenses that are designed for this, which aren't too expensive to rent. But no matter what, car shooting doesn't have a lot of options without spending a considerable amount of money, there really isn't any magic.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 07:14 PM

Trouble with taking the windshield off is, well, the wind!  Sound people complain even when you have to have one window rolled down to stick the camera through without reflection problems.


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 07:18 PM

Actually, you can very easily devise a system to remove the wind, it wouldn't be complicated.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 07:32 PM

You mean block the wind from hitting the actors or fix the bad sound from a missing windshield?


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#7 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 09:41 PM

Both actually, assuming the car is on a trailer.
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#8 Justin Hayward

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 09:58 PM

You mean block the wind from hitting the actors or fix the bad sound from a missing windshield?

 

 

Both actually, assuming the car is on a trailer.

 

 

 

Tyler, how have you done it?


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#9 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 11:42 PM

Tyler, how have you done it?


If you aren't seeing the windshield in the shot, it's really easy.

Cut a piece of plexiglass to fit the window. Then make a small cut for the lens of the camera. Tape the plexiglass to the car using gaf tape. We used a thicker piece once and attached speed rail mounts to it and the top of the car, so it worked like a hinge. We then built a small box out of the remaining plexiglass to cover the hole left by the lens and camera. On one shoot, we built a little box out of plexiglass, glued it together and used that to cover the entire camera, so no wind would come in.

Another trick I've used in the past on night jobs, is two pieces of plywood along the side of the hood (l&R)and a piece of plexiglass on top. Screw it all together which gives you the over head light looking down, but gives you a box to protect from the wind. It allows you to put speed rail on the plywood, to hang lights and gives you a lot of room to mount the camera. We tried this trick with a car in motion once and it worked really well once we put another piece of plexiglass covering the gaping hole in front. On a trailer rig, you can cover that with extra pieces of plywood if the wind is crazy. But from my experience, the half-box generally reduces the wind enough.

Now sound is always a problem with car shots, doesn't matter if the windows are up or not. Most of the time I go into a car scene knowing I'll have to ADR it. So in my eyes, the sound isn't a big problem unless you're working with A list talent and don't have the money for an ADR session. Sure, there are rare occasions where the road is super smooth, the windows are up and the camera is on the outside of the car. However, I haven't been that lucky over the years, most of the time, the roads are beat up (car shaking), windows are down and camera is inside the car making all sorts of noise. Since audio is just as important as picture in my world, ADR is really the only solution to good audio in a moving car scene.
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#10 Justin Hayward

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 08:19 AM

Since audio is just as important as picture in my world, ADR is really the only solution to good audio in a moving car scene.

 

You would have a hard time convincing me to shoot a big dialogue scene knowing I was going to have to ADR the whole thing in post.  But that's just me.


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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 01:17 PM

You would have a hard time convincing me to shoot a big dialogue scene knowing I was going to have to ADR the whole thing in post.  But that's just me.


Well, you only need the ADR for that one shot when the windshield is gone. All the other stuff when the car is buttoned up, you could probably make it work. However, being a sound guy as well, I generally favor ADR for car scenes unless the vehicle is on a trailer.
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#12 Justin Hayward

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 01:30 PM

being a sound guy as well, I generally favor ADR for car scenes unless the vehicle is on a trailer.

I love the idea of a sound guy saying, "can't you just ADR this?"   :P


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