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Old September 20th, 2010, 03:13 PM   #1
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Interior of the moving car - Day

I saw a couple posts on shooting characters in a moving car, they all specified they are shooting at night.

I have a scene where 2 characters are in the front seat (one of them is driving, obviously) and they have a short conversation. It takes place during the day.

I really don't have the resources to have the car towed with the actors in it - does that leave greenscreen as the next best alternative?
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Old September 20th, 2010, 08:59 PM   #2
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Sounds like greenscreen would be the best answer. BTW, I've been told that some municipalities require a special police permit for shooting people in a car being towed by a camera car. (Not sure about the details on that.)

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Old September 21st, 2010, 05:02 AM   #3
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Thanks. Yeah, towing isn't really an option for me at all.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 05:51 AM   #4
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I have the same ugly problem coming up for one of my own soon. Previous in-car-in-motion was done with an actor driving on a back road for a concept test.

We used the SI2K mini head on a stick controlled from the rear seat with an ultrawide lens (5.7mm for near-2/3" frame). The front of the pole sits in a stiff-foam block on the coaming above the dash. The camera is suspended under the pole. A side handle on the pole gives the operator some leverage.

The cam was fixed firm on the pole. Tilt and pan trims to maintain frame are a bit tricky but come with practice. Tilts by rolling the pole which holds a camera facing rearwards at an angle, also introduces a dutch movement so this has to be counteracted by also raising or lowering the operator's end of the pole. Because they are trim movements it is not a big deal. A remote monitor for the operator in rear is essential.

The actor-driver drove with the seat well back to give better work room. Being a taller guy made this easy.

This time round, the car is small and the actor is also smaller by comparison. She is also on her "P" plates and less experienced. I might try one of the large retirement complexes which have semi-closed streets to drive and shoot in.

Last edited by Bob Hart; September 21st, 2010 at 06:01 AM. Reason: error
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Old September 21st, 2010, 10:05 AM   #5
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What specific coverage are you looking to do? If you are looking to pull this off without permitting (aka doing it legally and properly), frontal coverage is the most risky, both in terms of visibility/safety and chances of attracting interest from the local constabulary. Raking shots through the side windows (aka "hostess tray", named for the 50's era carhop restaurant setups) are one better as they don't obstruct the driver's view, but there's still the chance of sideswiping.

If you are using tiny cameras like DSLR's, SI2K etc you can mount them inside the windshield in the corners and get decent raking singles, with nothing hanging outside the car to attract attention. Finally, shooting handheld from the back seat you can get "French overs", where you shoot from just behind the passenger's headrest to the driver and vice versa--obviously this angle works best when the actors are looking at each other, but it's a perfectly good way to tell a story, and again nothing outside the car.

Day scenes are much easier to achieve in that you don't "have" to light them as you would night scenes. You will be dealing with some high-contrast as the faces are down a few stops from the exterior. You can combat this with judicious ND gel on the windows seen in the shot, but that will again attract attention and it's not the easiest job to apply the gel taut enough so that it doesn't ripple in the wind.

Even without being concerned about being pulled over, remember that an actor acting while driving means they are somewhat distracted and there is always a risk. Avoid heavily trafficked areas if possible--e.g. Storrow Drive at rush hour !
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Old September 21st, 2010, 11:27 AM   #6
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Charles.

At risk of sort of hijacking the intiating post, thank you once more for your generosity of advice, in particular one helpful option I shall now examine.
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