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Old October 20th, 2019, 12:06 PM   #76
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Can the actor act and drive? Probably, but if you stick two people in a car and you're not in it as the director, have you got a video/audio link so you can monitor what theyre doing and how well they are doing it? On a trailer, you can be in the towing vehicle with cables between. No point towing them, he still has to steer = and I guess you've never been towed like this, because it's more stressful the driving!
Yeah that was the plan just monitor it from the outside. But for the close up shots, I can be in the back seat I think, as long as I am not in the close up shot. No, I've never been towed in a car, I have just seen them be towed. Another thing, is is that if the car is not being towed, you don't hear the truck towing it, so sound is more easier to record, if you don't hear that as well.
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Old October 20th, 2019, 12:30 PM   #77
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

It's nice and quiet with the engine off, but being towed is not for novices. The problem returns to your directing. You NEED a monitor and as you won't have a dedicated sound op, you will need to hear everything too. If you are outside the vehicle watching a monitor and listening to the audio, you also need walkie talkies or talkback so you can direct, and stop things and do re-shoots. You're running, not walking again. I have only done this kind of thing once, and a three minute scene took me all day, and wasn't perfect by any means. Driving around the streets of Cardiff took planning, and the involvement of the Police to ensure it went smoothly.
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Old October 20th, 2019, 12:33 PM   #78
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

I also wanted thought maybe I don't need to have this conversation take place in the car, and I can just skip ahead to after they have parked and exited the car. But I was told by readers, that there is no way they are going to drive through the city and not have this really important conversation that whole time, which they need to have, so I have to execute it in the driving, they said.
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Old October 20th, 2019, 12:40 PM   #79
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Surely this is in the script? Why go to the effort of the car, if all you need is people getting in and driving off and then cutting to them getting out?
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Old October 20th, 2019, 04:48 PM   #80
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Oh they need to have a conversation but the conversation is of the utmost urgency, which means they wouldn't wait till a car drive was over, in to have it.
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Old October 21st, 2019, 04:52 AM   #81
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Shoot it mostly hand held from the back. Keep your camera on wide. Dub the dialog. Helps if they're in a camper. Shoot the driver from the passenger side.
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Old October 21st, 2019, 03:58 PM   #82
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Doing video is a balancing act. Balancing that shot or scene that is wanted against limited resources (gear, talent, oh yes, and even money).

Reading this thread back in page 5, the posts were a lot about different ways to capture a scene with people talking while driving a car. Every option presents problems and costs. One option not mentioned was the use of smaller cams, recorders, and gimbals that can be controlled via Wi-Fi.

The kit I’ve been using this year includes the Sony AX700, AX53, X3000 (sport cam), Tascam DR44-WL recorder, and an electronic gimbal, all of which can be controlled via Wi-Fi. Each piece of gear has it’s own capability but they can be mixed according to the need. The gimbal ($190 US), has the capability to keep a horizontal horizon automatically, with horizontal and vertical motion controlled via Wi-Fi. All the cams have Wi-Fi capability for record Start, Stop, Zoom, etc., and the recorder also has Start, Stop, Gain, and a few other functions. The AX53, X3000 (both with optical steady shot), and the gimbal have stabilization, the X3000 being a sport cam has really good weather protection (something to consider when filming this winter). [Edit: With all the cams one can see the actual image on a smart phone and the gimbal also has weather protection]

There are tradeoffs but the capability for capture of reasonably steady action images is there for not much money. With an action scene like driving across town at night, how important is it that the image matches the adjacent scenes on either side? It’s a balancing act … the feeling of the viewer getting the inside scoop about what the two are discussing while in a car and feeling like the viewer is there vs the look of the video.

Anyway, Wi-Fi can be your friend. Just thought the mention of Wi-Fi capability might help in such a situation.

As an aside, last spring I caught a newspaper thief (at ~4:30 AM) with the action cam by using the small form factor to hide the cam (in a potted plant) and Wi-Fi to record it. Lots of new possibilities!

Edit:
Another thought:
Taking video from the back seat, set up two cams on each side in the back of the vehicle, and someone can control them with the remote (wired or wireless), by laying down on the back seat in the event there is a cam looking toward the windshield from the front. The passenger would do well to face toward the driver while speaking the lines, and the driver to periodically glance toward the passenger while still being a responsible driver.

Multicam is good.

Better get moving on this because the snow is going to be flying shortly (if it isn’t already!). Some forecasted for Saturday!
Check the temperature operating range for the cams!!! Overnight low of 26ºF!!! (not good!). Thats one reason why they make movies in Hollywood. No noisy tire chains to mess up the audio.

Last edited by John Nantz; October 21st, 2019 at 04:32 PM.
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Old October 21st, 2019, 06:18 PM   #83
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Oh okay. Some angles from the passenger side are good, but I would also like angles from more of the front of the faces as well, to get more emotional reactions during certain beats if possible. I thought about using the Selens car mount, as one filmmaker told me it was the most stable car mount for it's price, if that's true. If I don't go with rear project or greenscreen that is.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 04:13 PM   #84
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Another problem with shooting in, or from a car are how to deal with bumps in the road. Manhole covers not level, road repairs, potholes, and other uneven surfaces, and even sudden car breaking. If one is actually viewing the take via Wi-Fi it then it can, or might, be able to be redone.

If it is raining, are the wiper blades squeaky clean? (I have one that needs changing that's why I thought of it)

A dry practice run with a car while shooting a video can determine sections of the road where, or where not, shooting can take place. Coming to a stop at a traffic light could add realism with the lights reflected on the glass or elsewhere. Stoplights are every where. Could be a good place where an important part of the conversation takes place. Just thinkin'
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 04:55 PM   #85
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

I made a film which was about 50% shot in a car, mostly using an Arri 16 BL with an Angénieux 9.5 to 95mm zoom. The camera was pretty much mounted nearly everywhere you could put a camera on a car. We made our own car mounts from timber and there was never a problem with vibration, The designs were pretty much based on those used in the film industry at the time. One was a beam mount that went across the front of the car over the bonnet (hood in yank speak), once fitted you could get a wide range of front shots. Get an engineer on your crew if you want to do this type of stuff, if you're not employing a grip.

With your small DSLR cameras it should be pretty easy to get frontal shots, although Go Pros are used in nearly every car program these days.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 05:23 PM   #86
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Oh okay. I was thinking of using a gimbal attached to a Stelens car mount, but that is probably not enough to smoothen out any bumps enough, I'm guessing?

As for the gopro, I really don't like the look of it, cause every time I've seen it used, the focal length is way, way too wide, unless that's avoidable?
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 05:47 PM   #87
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Tie a cushion to the bonnet (hood) and mount your camera on that with bungee cord. Absorbs the bumps. Avoid wet weather and traffic cops. If you go GoPro and suction cups, make sure you have a safety tether on the GoPro. Later GoPros can shoot shoot rectilinear.

Just adding - green screen is easy, but to me always looked like green screen. You can cover a lot of action with B roll of passing scenery while dialog continues.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 06:00 PM   #88
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

There is also a video I saw on a car mount that is hugely expensive and has absorbing shock mechanisms to it, compared to the Stelens. However, I thought the footage was too smooth as if it felt like the movement of a helicopter rather than a car. Here's a couple of examples of car scenes. In the first one, there is a bit of shake in the road, making it feel like it's a real car:


In the second example in the video, the car is much smoother, but one thing I noticed, is that while the car is moving, the camera is inside the car, and while the car, is stopped, the camera is outside. It's as if the filmmakers could only shoot outside if the car was stopped perhaps?
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 07:12 PM   #89
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Well being that there is SUPPOSED be a psychological component to each and every aspect of a film, that is, the director trying to convey something, perhaps the smoothness of the footage represents something (who knows what). So you could think about that...what is the subtext (if any) in your scenes (remember the blocking examples video). Maybe that informs how smooth/bumpy you allow things to be. I mean, within reason...too much bumpity bumpity and it goes from nuance to an annoying thing that people will hate you for.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 08:48 PM   #90
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Re: Why do a lot of filmmakers seem to hate deep focus cinematography?

Well the conversation in my car scenes, are more dramatic and anxious so I would say a little car shake could work with it, but not too much of course. How do you get that right amount with a car mount?
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