Im in the process of shooting a short and have a car scene that I'm a little skeptical about. I need a side close up of a person driving the car at night. How should I light the scene?.. Mount the camera?.. Any comments will be appreciated.
Have you considered doing it poor man's process, with a stationary car?
EDIT: Here's a video which illustrates the idea.
Last edited by Erik Bien; 2008 March 1st at 16:45.
Great link Erik. Lots of useful video there!
I'm not sure if you want the camera to be inside the vehicle, or outside, but I've used a decent little product called a "Sticky-Pod" which mounts a platform, via industrial-strength suction cups to any smooth surface. It's designed specificaly for vehicular photography. In our tests we were able to mount it most anyplace on the car, including inside the windshield. We didn't have any close calls with having the mount come loose, but it's a good idea to have a safety tether to keep your camera from hitting the ground should it break free.
As far as lighting the inside of the vehicle, you may want to look into LED's. They are small, so they are relatively easy to set up somewhere off-camera. Micheal Mann used strips of LED's to light the inside of the taxi in Collateral. Worked quite well if you ask me.
That just leaves the small problem of someone trying to act and drive at the same time, at night, with blindingly-bright lights aimed straight into their face!
Seriously, that is only done with a "process trailer" (picture car is towed behind another vehicle) or a "buck" car (a body stripped off its chassis and mounted to another vehicle). This is one shot I wouldn't try to "guerilla," even if you thought you wouldn't attract the attention of the local gendarmes zig-zagging all over the road in a vehicle lit up like a billboard.
Yeah, i would definantly suggest towing the vehicle. Thats how its done in almost all major films, and its relatively easy and inexpensive.
you have to see this :
- one tutorial on how tranform a daylight shot into a nightlight shot :
maybe it helps...
You are risking the wrath of "the man" (and possibly the safety of your crew and talent) if you try to do this practical "gorilla" style. Especailly at night. I have to go with the others on doing it as some sort of "process" gag.
If it were day for day though, you might be able to do it with Sticky pods and stuff. I have a couple of friends who've gotten great results that way.
An "interesting" lighting setup would be to drive the car on a lighted highway/freeway. That way it's obviously at night and the look created could be pretty cool. Look at a series called "Top Gear". You can find clips on youtube and a site called
has links to torrents. Do a search for some of the races, specifically the boat/SLR race to Norway and there's some footage shot at night and it looks good.
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