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jeremy Lee
Car Lighting
on Aug 24, 2005 at 7:08:41 pm

Does anybody know an inexpeensive lighting solution for filming in a car. The video is for a driving school, so it just needs to be flat lighting on the two people in the front seat.
i have a lowel super ambi kit and would like to use it for the shoot if i can, but i'm not sure on how i should set things up. any advice is much appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
-Jeremy Lee



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Frank Otto
Re: Car Lighting
on Aug 24, 2005 at 7:24:14 pm

Daytime, nighttime, static, moving? Availible power? DC? Ext of car moving/static?

More questions...better answers!

Cheers,

Frank Otto



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john sharaf
Re: Car Lighting
on Aug 24, 2005 at 7:27:02 pm

Jeremy,

Lighting car interiors in not generally an easy matter! First off, assuming that it's a day scene, the supplemental light must be daylight balanced, and of a quantity to balance for the lighting outside the car, preferably HMI. Of course you can ND and/or color correct the windows, but this can be difficult to do without noticing bubbles and other imperfections and may have to be adjusted per shot in density due to direction and time of day.

Furthermore, there's the consideration of powering the additional illumination. Deep cycle batteries and an invertor are often used.

One of the main concerns however must be safety; namely that you'll be aiming bright lights into the drivers eyes and creating a hazard. Conventionally this, and some of the other problems like power and camera angles, as well as providing a platform for the director to view the action and the soundperson to mix the audio, is solved by towing the picture car from a "camera car". This also can provide a suitable platform for car-to-car photography.

Many commercial camera cars provide a generator, tow hitches or even trailors on which to mount the picture car, not to mention skilled drivers to operate such a rig.

On feature films, the grips often cut ND plexiglass to fit the windows and control the exposure. Also reflections on the windshield often need control by a solid black "roof" further necessitating additional lighting to replace the daylight that has been removed.

Proper camera mounts such as door mounts (hostess tray) and hood mounts provide the necssary angles to see the two people in the car in two shot and/or closeups.

Finally, it's often required that proper police escort be implemented to satisfy insurance and or legal requirements for operating on the open road.

Obviously, you'll need both technical and production assistance to pull all this off! An alternative might be to stage the action in a static car and use a green screen to create a key into which you can add the appropriate backrounds.

Good luck!

JS


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