View Full Version : Lighting a moving car at night
John A. Davies
April 23rd, 2005, 07:40 AM
I'm making a short film about a car chase at night and without
much money I'm a little clueless on how to light it. It's on a
highway so there won't be city lights to help. Has anyone tried
this and come up with a way to do it.
April 23rd, 2005, 09:37 AM
There are a few methods I've used in the past.
The best way to light the car is to put it on a rig, and light it inside and out. I'm guessing this is not an option, so...
There are three budget lighting techniques I've used with some success in the past.
Christmas tree lights placed around the inside works suprisingly well. Placed on the ceiling, floor back of the cairs, dashbord etc. You can remove lights where you don't want them as well.
Rent a couple of mini kino kits
Rent the LED 'car kit' from Lite Panels. They run off batteries, run 'cool'. and have a throw distance of around eight foot.
I usually used a combination of the three suggestions above.
John A. Davies
April 23rd, 2005, 10:10 AM
thanks Stephen, that's very helpfull.
April 23rd, 2005, 11:06 AM
Another good low/no budget trick is to get battery operated flourescent fixtures - you should be able to find them in electrical/hardware stores - and a roll of minus green gel.
The tubes are about 10 inches long and quite narrow so I don't think you'll get flo tubes that will fit but a "cool blue" or "cool warm" with a minus green should look fine for either daylight or (probably more fitting with your other options for in car lighting) tungsten colour temperatures.
You can remove the covers and tape a small sheet of gel in to the inside, and then you're good to go...
Get a couple, they're cheap and dead handy!
Christmas lights are a nice idea, btw - cheers!! It's just made me think, you can also get rope-lights these days which may kick out more light per foot, if you see what I mean?
April 23rd, 2005, 09:18 PM
Could you shoot day for night?
John A. Davies
April 26th, 2005, 08:23 AM
I'd rather not shoot day for night. I think the suggestions I have will work.
April 26th, 2005, 08:29 AM
Great.Let us know how it goes.
April 26th, 2005, 03:32 PM
light color car, not black
use bright streets, tunnels, parking garages,
well lit street locations/ malls ect
12 v omni or pro for interiors ctb
suction mounts, brackets
inverter dc to ac
May 5th, 2005, 02:11 PM
I need to shoot in a moving car during the day. My problem (consumer camcorder Sony HC-85) gets too much backlight in bright areas. The exposure "chokes" down and then it's too dark in darker areas (under trees etc.). I can manually set the exposure settings, but there is still too much contrast between inside and outside. I'm guessing some kind of light source could remedy this, allowing more constant light on the drivers face under all conditions. Is there a cheap 12 volt solution? This is just for an instructional type video - purely as a hobbyist.
September 9th, 2005, 02:08 PM
something we college filmmakers have done with great success is use small closet lights from wal-mart ($7 for small ones, $9 for longer). they're battery powered, and can be gaff taped near the dome light and on the dash. look for the rod-shaped lights.
cheap, effective, and cool.