PDA

View Full Version : Car scenes



TC
11-19-2004, 03:32 PM
I'm shooting a short in early January, here's the deal. There are several scenes (6ish) that take place in cars. Just people talking, nothing fancy. So here's my dilema, the way I see it, it can be shot one of two ways, since I've never shot car scenes before I thought I'd ask you guys about what experience would suggest is the best way.

1: Get a car mount and put the camera on the hood. Drive around and get the scenes that way. I suppose I would Gaff tape the XLR cable to the side of the car and feed it in a back window to mic it, as I don't have (or necesarily want) any wireless gear.

2: Set up a garage as a set, and use green screens, and fill in the background later. The nice thing about that is that it's a controled enviroment. The probelm is that it can look a bit fake, because you don't get the authenticity of the driver actually piloting the car.

Thoughts?

BLUESPIDER
11-20-2004, 01:33 PM
1: Get a car mount and put the camera on the hood. Drive around and get the scenes that way. I suppose I would Gaff tape the XLR cable to the side of the car and feed it in a back window to mic it, as I don't have (or necesarily want) any wireless gear.

That would be the best idea if you want realism. Just make sure that you don't film in a busy street. This would probably the route I would take. I know a area in Alemeda would be good for you to shoot without having to worry about cops and traffic assuming you have no permits.


2: Set up a garage as a set, and use green screens, and fill in the background later. The nice thing about that is that it's a controled enviroment. The probelm is that it can look a bit fake, because you don't get the authenticity of the driver actually piloting the car.


This could work too but if you don't know how to key well then its going to look process. I've maybe only seen 2 or 3 films that was done via blue/green and look amazing. You can give it a test try and if doesn't work then go the practical way. Remember if youre shooting DV, keying can be a beaatch!

TC
11-20-2004, 01:47 PM
Hey! Blue, I didn't know you lived in CA. Nice. I can't believe your Platnum already. HAHA.

Yea, I was talking about this with someone yesterday. He suggested that I use the car mount, and run the XLR under the hood, then through the firewall into the car, that might work, though I don't know how hot an XLR can get.

BLUESPIDER
11-20-2004, 01:57 PM
I can't believe your Platnum already. HAHA.
Yeah funny. I've only been on for 4 weeks I think. So who do I have to sleep with to become a DVX guru member?

TC
11-20-2004, 01:59 PM
Barry Green is the only Guru. Nobody else could ever fill those shoes.

BLUESPIDER
11-20-2004, 02:10 PM
What size shoes does he wear?

TC, you have any work I can check out, short films anything?

Peace brotha

TC
11-20-2004, 02:27 PM
Turn an 8 sideways, that's the size of Barry's shoes.

I don't have anything online. Once I get some compression software I'll put some stuff up.

Mike_Donis
11-20-2004, 08:19 PM
If the scenes take place during the day, I'd definitely go with the car mount, and not go the greenscreen route. To me, it never looks good - it bugged me in Terminator 3, and that's with a Hollywood budget :-/

Slap a few ND gels over the windows and mount that sucker onto the car, do what you will with audio. In a pinch, you could get a separate recording device for the audio in only the car shots if you can't work out a way with the XLR cord...

dvpixl
11-20-2004, 11:32 PM
TC, have you seen what is that movie with richard gere about that big moth... anyway, they had a night car scene and also on the dvd showed how they did it - with many people faking car lights as the crew rocks the car back and forth while it's on some sort of platform to simulate movement.. and spraying water for rain effect.. all in a warehouse or garage...

oh yeah... mothman prophecies

Barry_Green
11-20-2004, 11:38 PM
Car scenes are tricky to do, because you're putting a lot of people's lives in potential peril. Car drivers should be driving, not acting, not worrying about lines and their performance and the value of the camera and whatnot.

The "right" way to do this is to load the car on a low-to-the-ground flatbed trailer, which you can then drag all around town wherever you need, and someone in the pickup truck (or whatever's pulling the trailer) can worry about the driving. The actors can concentrate on acting, and the crew can move the camera wherever they need, etc.

TC
11-21-2004, 12:09 AM
Dv- That's a really good idea, unfortunately they are day shots, or that may have worked.

Barry- That's a really good idea, I'm going to see if I could round up something like that.

Jim Brennan
11-21-2004, 09:51 AM
You also have the option of mounting the camera inside the car, in the back seat, or on the windows. If it's a longish scene, it might be good to have a few different angles.

David Jimerson
11-21-2004, 10:57 AM
Barry Green is the only Guru. Nobody else could ever fill those shoes.

Word.

Jim Brennan
11-21-2004, 11:21 AM
Ditto

mediamogul
11-21-2004, 02:13 PM
I just purchased this car mount for a film im doing and its awesome! http://store.yahoo.com/cinemasupplies/wimoupkit.html

We be doing some of the shooting with it in early December and ill post some no audio grabs for all.

cheers

TC
11-22-2004, 08:18 AM
I like the design of that, but I really wanted the shots to be from directly in front of them. Of course, if it's not going to work, it's not going to work. But I'm still going to try.

mediamogul
11-22-2004, 09:00 AM
It can be mounted on the hood of the car if thats what you mean. It comes with a safety strap that keeps the camera safe. The suction cups work effortlessly.

TC
11-22-2004, 09:19 AM
Oh! Awesome. Have you actually stuck it on the hood of a car and gone driving? That makes me really nervous just thinking about it.

alveraz
11-22-2004, 07:09 PM
We just shot a feature a few months back with an extensive car scene. We mounted the camera on the side, but we also rented a U-Haul and hitched the car to it. We lifted open the back of the U-Haul where the crew were set up. It was a pretty secure and steady way to go.

We captured everything from one angle, then switched to the other window. We then had the car (w/o Uhaul) pass several times on various streets, camera on tripod, panned the shots. When cut together everything looked great. If memory serves we also captured a few shots from the back of the open u-haul for dead on winshield shots.

Hope this made sense, or helps.

TC
11-22-2004, 07:43 PM
That helps a lot! Thanks! Those are great ideas.

alveraz
11-22-2004, 08:37 PM
I just realized you wanted dead on front shots, and I must say, the U-Haul we used was perfect for those. All the best.

One side note, we had to drive slower than a usual shot without being towed, but it still looked fine regarding the speed of the vehicle.

c.g._eads
11-23-2004, 02:08 AM
I too am shooting some car scenes. Except my car will be a convertible and most of the footage will be shot on a highway (deserted two-laners, some four-laners, and one non-dialogue shot on PCH). Any advice as far as lighting, sound, locations to shoot -- someone said earlier they knew of some locations where you won't be bothered by cops -- I'm in LA. It's a roadtrip movie. I want rich/beautiful colors. Not that harsh ugly top-down super-bright sun look.

c.g.

alveraz
11-25-2004, 08:05 PM
Hey guys, I was able to find some pics of the whole car set-up we used, as mentioned above. You'll get a solid idea of our set up. Here's the problem, I'm pc illiterate, if someone explains to me how to post pics in here, like I'm a 5 year old, I'll post them in here for you guys.

alveraz
11-25-2004, 08:30 PM
Let's see if this works...

http://www.jimmyandjohnny.com/prod_shots/thumb_010.jpg
http://www.jimmyandjohnny.com/prod_shots/thumb_008.jpg
http://www.jimmyandjohnny.com/prod_shots/thumb_012.jpg
http://www.jimmyandjohnny.com/prod_shots/thumb_019.jpg
http://www.jimmyandjohnny.com/prod_shots/thumb_020.jpg
http://www.jimmyandjohnny.com/prod_shots/thumb_scene-7_small.jpg

Hope that helps a little.

alveraz
11-25-2004, 08:37 PM
By the way, if you think setting up car shots is difficult, our current film requires high speed dolly shots with horses and carriages on rough terrain...sheesh!

TC
11-26-2004, 10:45 AM
That is awsome Alvarez, thank you so much. I'm going to pick up that car mount for sure.

http://store.yahoo.com/cinemasupplies/wimoupkit.html

So that's all you ordered?

mediamogul
11-26-2004, 11:59 AM
If your speaking to me, yes the car mount comes with everything you need including a safety strap.

TC
11-26-2004, 12:00 PM
Oh woops, I thought Alvarez posted that link. Sorry media! Thanks for the link!

mediamogul
11-26-2004, 12:04 PM
:P