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-   -   Shooting a 'bullet-proof glass' promo (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/65800-shooting-bullet-proof-glass-promo.html)

Marko Urbic April 24th, 2006 08:00 AM

Shooting a 'bullet-proof glass' promo
I got an offer to do it and wanted to see if you have any tips on how should I shoot it.
There will be guys shooting from pistols into the glass.
The things that I'm aiming at are shutter speed, sound (very loud), frame-rate...

Any tips welcome...

Rob Lohman April 24th, 2006 08:16 AM

Probably no need to say this, but safety first! Of course set the camera to
record and get out of the way!

I would probably try to shoot in interlaced with something like 1/100 shutter
speed or something. You can set the audio levels manually so it might be a
good idea to dial them in low?

Bob Hart April 24th, 2006 08:38 AM

I suggest you put another piece of glass or lexan between your camera and the armour glass being shot at to avoid any splinters coming off the back of the armour glass and chipping your camera lens or getting into the tape transport, maybe put an old towel or clean rag across the camera to keep any splinters out.

Marvin Emms April 24th, 2006 11:04 AM

Just a suggestion, but is there any way to shoot with safety such that the bullet proof glass, optionally with whatever is holding it suffer recoil from the bullet hits?

Bullet hits sound pretty dull on their own, a bang, a blur of the pane being hit a few pixels wide for one frame. More impressive if you aim a cannon at it, chase the flying pane for half a mile, dig it up from the crater and show its undamaged. Even if this is scientifically less meaningful.

Perhaps by mounting the pane in a frame with springs so you get a sizable deflection after each hit?

You don't want to imply that the glass is top notch but its prone to becomeing detached from its mounting, but I'm trying to think of a way of putting the force of the impact on the tape. Maybe a large sturdy mounting for the gun, something far heavier than it really needs, and closeups of the gun to make it seem slightly bigger than it really is. Leaving significant time between shots will make each bang seem less trivial than ba-ba-ba-bang, and a 'here is one we shot 100 times into' (and then gave a good polish to) might be a good prop.

Marko Urbic April 24th, 2006 12:02 PM

Thanks for the tips guys, I knew I'll get good advice here.
Tomorrow I'm going to check the place where it's going to be preformed and try some audio checks to see how it's going to sound.
Also need to see how will I protect my cam and talk about Marvin's advice.

Will tell how it goes...

Nick Jushchyshyn April 24th, 2006 12:28 PM

You really won't get to see much in the way of dramatic action, even at 60i.
The impact will take place and be done in less time that that. The slow mo shots typically shown of this kind of impact is usually shot with film cameras that have prism based shutters allowing for frame rates well in excess of 1000 frames per second.

Interestingly, here's a post on cinematography.net that appears to be dated today, with some insights:

Neil Fontaine April 24th, 2006 05:00 PM

high speed
Right, when the guys on Myth Busters film high speed things such as this, they use a special high speed camera shooting 1000 frames a second of faster. Even then you only get a few frames of the bullet in slow motion. But the effect is worth it in my oppenion. Nothing better than actually seeing the bullet bounce off the glass.

It would still be nice to see a fake person behind the glass and shoot a whole clip at him. With the glass in front of course.

For drama it would be nice to have a real person behind the glass, but for safty reasons this would not be good. However, you would maybe shot the person on green screen, then fake that they are behind the glass. These are my thoughts anyways.

K. Forman April 24th, 2006 05:36 PM

Being the slightly disturbed person I am, I would have someone stand behind the glass in a Superman-esque pose. Someone in front of the glass empties a pistol at the guy behind the glass, then throws the gun.

Jim Michael April 24th, 2006 06:54 PM


Originally Posted by Keith Forman
Being the slightly disturbed person I am, I would have someone stand behind the glass in a Superman-esque pose. Someone in front of the glass empties a pistol at the guy behind the glass, then throws the gun.

Then the gun breaks the glass.

Neil Fontaine April 24th, 2006 10:13 PM

lol someone dressed as superman

Jack Smith April 24th, 2006 11:15 PM

Cool job.It should be fun.Like others have said a high speed camera would be needed to show bullet travel.Let's see 900 feet per second .... the bullet will travel 30 feet per frame and 15 feet per field so even interlaced isn't going to help you.You could try still camera with multiple flashes set to 1/10,000th and a trigger device timed up.Then in post isolate each flash shot and drop each one into a frame.
The idea of having the glass move with the shot would not be good for proving the strength of the glass, as the movement would absorb some of the energy and cause me concern that the visual wasn't an accurate depiction.It's going to move enough on it's own anyway.(mounted solid)
You could fake it in post using animation but again hokey.
How about not trying to show the bullet in slo mo at all .I don't know what the specific market for this client is but showing it in that enviroment eg. automotive window , may be a different approach.As in a car in a driveway and an assailant approaches and starts unloading on the car window,then runs away.Tell a little story of how the glass did a job.
A setup of the guy with a briefcase getting into the car and the assailant coming at him,then pulling the pistol.
Shoot some angles from the pistol, some of the glass as it's being hit( repeatedly as in emptying the clip on it), some shots of the glass after the shots, some shots of deformed bullets hitting the ground as they bounce off the glass,some shots of the deformed bullets as they lay on the ground(floor)
If the market is other then apply that situation.
Point is ,I'd rather see the product do it's job under real situations.
Just a different approach.

Marko Urbic April 25th, 2006 01:02 AM

Well, I'm amazed how much good ideas are people willing to share here.

It's all going to be shot in a place (don't know how you say it) where people practice shoting, so no (2pac&Biggie) drive-by shooting.
The bullet travel is out of the question, cause it's all going to be shot with an XL2.
Today I'll go chech the scene where it's going to be done and see if they really belive in their glass to put themselves behind it :)

Glenn Davidson April 25th, 2006 01:06 AM

Yeah, that would be good. "We Stand Behind Our Glass"

Marvin Emms April 25th, 2006 01:26 AM

...and then Keith and Jack came along with some GOOD ideas. Throwing the gun at the end in desperation is just perfect Keith! Humor is great and that sequence cannot do anything but sell the stuff.

I fully agree Jack that a pane supported by springs is going to suffer much less of an impact, this is why I said less scientific, but I'm just thinking along the lines of an XL2 (implied) being completely unable to see the bullets and trying to think of a method where the scene won't look like the guns are firing blanks.

I'm also assuming that green screen or animation would be breaking advertising rules unless it was covered in disclaimers.

Maybe several lights in a cluster could be pointed at the glass, and the camera angled so these are visible in reflection. Then when it gets hit these reflections would dance around like crazy even with minor movements of the glass.


A nice touch at the end might be just a mirror. Turn the mirror, or perhaps better still just backing away the camera from its sheild, show the camera itself (and by psychological implication the viewer) is being protected by the same bullet proof glass the company is selling and you've just been watching everything through it.

K. Forman April 25th, 2006 06:44 AM


Originally Posted by Neil Fontaine
lol someone dressed as superman

That would be a copyrighted property... the pose, on the other hand, is up for grabs. Same as the classic throwing the empty gun at the bulletproof man. Of course, it was always funny when Superman ducks the flying gun!

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