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Old July 5th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #1
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License plates for film use...

Hey guys,

I'm looking to get a custom white and blue "Empire State" New York license plate made for use in a film.

I've found a few websites that make license plates to one's requirements, but only a few that supply the design I'm after. However, those that do supply this design either don't use the correct font, or the state-shaped divider is missing. I need something that is as authentic looking as the DMV issued white and blue license plate.

Any recommended websites I could check out?

DD.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 10:33 AM   #2
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Re: License plates for film use...

Those plates aren't the most current one anymore. I wonder if you could contact the DMV themselves and get the plate made. I guess I'd be surprised if anyone could legally give you a perfect counterfeit plate.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 10:45 AM   #3
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Re: License plates for film use...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Owens View Post
Those plates aren't the most current one anymore. I wonder if you could contact the DMV themselves and get the plate made. I guess I'd be surprised if anyone could legally give you a perfect counterfeit plate.
I'm just not too keen on the current yellow and blue design.

I had thought about contacting the DMV, but figured I probably wouldn't have much luck. Guess anything's worth a try.

Licenseplates.tv sells some of the most authentic looking license plates I've found so far, and they supply most designs, but only up until the "Liberty" plate.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 10:45 AM   #4
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Re: License plates for film use...

I once saw a Hollywood film being filmed in Miami, in which they had made printed -- i.e, cardboard---replica plates for the stunt cars, with the real Florida plates underneath...one couldn't tell it in the film because the detail isn't that fine, it seemed to work. Could make them on a color printer using Adobe Illustrator or the like, I should think...
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Old July 5th, 2011, 10:47 AM   #5
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Re: License plates for film use...

Unless you have an extreme closeup or need to physically handle the metal plates on screen - a simple photoshop/illustrator mock up will solve your problem.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 10:51 AM   #6
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Re: License plates for film use...

I'd have though that a simple perspex blank and a self printed backing would fool anyone?
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Old July 5th, 2011, 10:52 AM   #7
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Re: License plates for film use...

There are going to be several extreme close-up shots of the license plate, because of what the number will read.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 10:55 AM   #8
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Re: License plates for film use...

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Draper View Post
I'm just not too keen on the current yellow and blue design.

I had thought about contacting the DMV, but figured I probably wouldn't have much luck. Guess anything's worth a try.

Licenseplates.tv sells some of the most authentic looking license plates I've found so far, and they supply most designs, but only up until the "Liberty" plate.
My thought was that since they aren't the most current, maybe they would be more likely to help you out. I've got to think they've got a BUNCH of old plates that are just going to be scrapped. Why not sell a few to a film maker as props. ( I know that's not how the government works... but might be worth a shot.)
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Old July 5th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #9
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Re: License plates for film use...

I know for CA, the DMV has a site where you can preview what a vanity plate design will look like:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/wasapp/ipp2/processPers.do

Wonder if NY has a similar thing.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 01:43 PM   #10
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Re: License plates for film use...

I once used a scanner to scan a real plate, changed it up in photoshop, then color printed it out on several types of photo paper (glossy, semi-glossy, matte). We used the semi glossy. You can even emboss it by rubbing the "numbers" from behind with a blunt object. Once mounted back in the plate frame, we couldn't tell it was fake, even in closeups.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 12:10 AM   #11
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Re: License plates for film use...

Well you could make a plate in Photoshop or something and track and composite in AE or something.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 02:54 AM   #12
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Re: License plates for film use...

Hi David my late Dad collected american number plates and I have two boxes of them downstairs, can you be more specific or send me a picture and I will see if there is something that is suitable in his collection that you could use as a starter to modify.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #13
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Re: License plates for film use...

Many thanks for the input, guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
Well you could make a plate in Photoshop or something and track and composite in AE or something.
Thought about that, but would really prefer to go the practical route, with an embossed metal plate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
Hi David my late Dad collected american number plates and I have two boxes of them downstairs, can you be more specific or send me a picture and I will see if there is something that is suitable in his collection that you could use as a starter to modify.
Many thanks for your kind offer, Gary. However, I need a license plate with a specific custom number.

Does anyone know where Hollywood has their custom plates made?

Also, does anyone know if it is illegal, in the state of New York, to use a license plate on your car that is not current / recent issue? Say, from the 70s, 80s or early 90s. If not, I could, perhaps, go with an older issue design from Licenseplates.tv.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 11:35 AM   #14
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Re: License plates for film use...

Where does Hollywood get their license plates?

These days probably where they get their cars - ie computer generated. Really not sure about that, but I've heard that most advertising these days uses CG modeled cars instead of the real things.

Doing an embossed plate in a 3D package is trivial - the harder part is making it look realistically dirty.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 12:29 PM   #15
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Re: License plates for film use...

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Draper View Post
Does anyone know where Hollywood has their custom plates made?
My experience is admittedly somewhat limited, but I've never seen an embossed metal fake plate on a Hollywood set. Only paper. I remember always being surprised by that, by how well they read on film.
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