View Full Version : Car interior lighting
06-16-2004, 07:26 AM
Any ideas for lighting car interiors, both for day time and night time shooting.
Do they make small floro sticks that you can run off a car battery or is that wishful thinking.
06-16-2004, 07:56 AM
You probably don't need to worry about daytime lighting--it's pretty bright inside. For evening work Kino makes the very cool and expensive Micro-Flo kit, but I found a very nice small flo emergency light at Lowes. It plugs into a lighter socket and costs about $20. Not as elegant as the Kino, but very workable.
06-16-2004, 07:58 AM
Yup Kino Flo makes a small Mini-Flo 9" AC/DC lighting kit. Sells for $749.95 at EVSonline.com. I have never used these but you see them all the time in various Mtv shows and in Music Videos and Movies.
06-16-2004, 08:04 AM
Here's a similar light to the one I have.
Don't expect a high CRI, but for a car interior scene at night--it's fine.
06-16-2004, 08:39 AM
Thanks. Just what I was looking for.
The problem I've run into with daylight is the extreme difference to daylight and the faces inside the car. It was an overcast day so our reflectors couldn't bounce enough light into the car. This should still work for that though. Thanks.
06-16-2004, 09:46 AM
If you are shooting a sunny day, you can always count on mirrors. For small focused beams of light (as in lighting their faces) it works very well. Just have a good system ta attach them on a tripod, Hollywooding mirrors is not a very good idea.
06-16-2004, 09:49 AM
You can buy some window tint material and temporarily put it over the outside of the windows that will appear in the shot.
Assuming you're only shooting the inside of the vehicle at the time, your craftsmanship with the window tint doesn't have to be perfect. Just get it as flat as you can. Don't worry about trimming it out exactly to size... unless you have the time.
Leave windows uncovered that will not appear in shots. This will assure you have some ambient light left to reflect. Use your best judgment as to whether or not the uncovered windows help or hinder and cover accordingly.
In addition, try using small reflectors or pieces of foam core to help fill shadows. At Wal Mart, you can get car shades that have silver reflective material on one side and gold on the other for less than $10... makes for a great inexpensive reflector.
06-16-2004, 11:23 AM
If you have the cash, you could try a dedo kit....
If not, those battery powered closet flourescents are pretty good too, and they can be found at Target, Home Depot, etc. They take AA's or a an external DC source. If you get the 12" version, you can replace the bulb with a Kino Flo bulb or a color corrected bulb for a photography light table from Logan Electric or whoever. (they take the T5 bulbs) There are pretty handy to have anyway.
If you use the flourescent that Barry_S refers to, you can modify it to use the 9" Kino Flo bulbs, by chopping the plastic part by 3" and either supplying a 9V source or adding a 6 Ohm resistor in the electrical path.
There is also a 12v Halogen with a magnetic base so you can attach it to the car's siding, hood, etc. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like it could be pretty useful. I don't have a link for it, but I imagine it could be found at a car parts store.
Hope this helps.
06-16-2004, 12:18 PM
Some good suggestions from everyone and welcome to DVXUser, Garrett. Yeah, balancing the interior lighting to match a bright exterior can be difficult. Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that the exterior is going to blow out on the shot. I was watching some car interior scenes from The Weatherman being filmed in Chicago and they were *blasting* the interior of the car with a huge HMI through a silk on the camera truck. It takes a lot of light to balance daylight. Terry's suggestion to gel the car windows is worth considering, but it does start to complicate things.
06-16-2004, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the welcome Barry!
Yeah, I've been planning out building my own car kit and everything after seeing the prices of the kits from kino and dedo. As it looks now, I will spend about a third of what it costs for a new kino kit, but I will have three times as many lights as well. (maybe more by the time I purchase all the parts... :) )
If anyone is looking to do a night scene with a car, check out the 'Frailty' DVD. Bill Butler, ASC, (Jaws) has a short making of movie of the car scene in that movie. If not doing a night scene, check it out anyway, it is pretty informative to see.
06-16-2004, 01:54 PM
Garrett, that sounds great. When you get your kit together it would be nice if you could post some specs, photos, and details of any mods.
06-17-2004, 10:02 AM
I have one of those light bars like you Barry_S but mine is actually a neon green light and I have used it many times for mood lighting or giving the look of night vision inside a dark car.
06-26-2004, 10:27 AM
Yes, the tinting is great, and if you arnt driving to fast you dont even need to cut it, you can tape it to the outside of the windows and it will give you a perfect edge. If The car is not moving, you can put a silk up over the car to control the light.
Ive used mini/micro flos before and they are definately the best route. Usually I stick them to the visors, and/or down by the dash. Work well.
The little battery or DC/AC powered fluros are good, just make sure you test em before the day. Some really cheap ones can flicker like a bitch and can give off a shitload of hum for your sound guys.
Definately tint windows.
Also try this. Buy one of those handheld spot lights with the cigar lighter plug. Puts out a ton of light. Blue gel, or half blue, the face to balance for daylight and then mount a piece of foam core to the inside roof and bounce the light off that. Buy drapery hooks to use for mounting the foamcore. Soft natural light.