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Shooting scenes in a car


#1

I am writing a full length screenplay right now, and most of the scenes take place in a car between the driver and the passenger. Does anybody have any experience shooting scenes in a car, or any suggestions on how I could carry it out? I don’t know, it seems that I have no choice but to have a hood mount , but it seems pretty complicated and a huge risk is involved with the sfaety of the camera. Any help would be appreciated.


#2

The main thing is to not be cheap with equipment - mainly the mounting gear. What I’ve found as a photographer is that you can’t place a value on the quality of your equipment. One of the things that I’ve found is that a lot of guys will have a really nice camera/lens and a really shitty tripod - kind of like having a racehorse with a 300 pound mexican riding it. Anyway…I’m sure that if you look hard enough there is some kind of mounting aparatus for shooting in a vehicle that will provide a steady and secure shoot. you may want to look here:

<LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1 … Mount.html”>http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/143777-REG/Glidecam__Vehicle_Mount.html</LINK_TEXT>

or

<LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/3 … ystem.html”>http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/330377-REG/Glidecam__V_16_Stabilizer_System.html</LINK_TEXT>





remember this: Italians make great support equipment…I knew they were good for something! ;D


#3

I dunno what you have in mind exactly…but you could also have like a screen behind the car…with black and white footage of a road…or something else and make it deliberately in that look…



Could be a cool effect…


#4

The only other way I could think of to do it without all the mounted camera stuff is to have the actors say their lines to each other, and edit the separate takes together. So they look like theyre talking to each other live. Do close ups on their faces so you cant tell its not a live conversation. Throw in some pauses for certain reactions. Edit those parts, then lay some music under it so it works. I guess you wont know whats best until you try it. Def do some tests if you can.


#5

[quote=“Seth_Gecko”]
I dunno what you have in mind exactly…but you could also have like a screen behind the car…with black and white footage of a road…or something else and make it deliberately in that look…



Could be a cool effect…


[/quote]

you mean like the scene in the Taxi on Pulp?


#6

[quote=“Seth_Gecko”]
I dunno what you have in mind exactly…but you could also have like a screen behind the car…with black and white footage of a road…or something else and make it deliberately in that look…



Could be a cool effect…


[/quote]

[quote=“PutneySwope”]
The only other way I could think of to do it without all the mounted camera stuff is to have the actors say their lines to each other, and edit the separate takes together. So they look like theyre talking to each other live. Do close ups on their faces so you cant tell its not a live conversation. Throw in some pauses for certain reactions. Edit those parts, then lay some music under it so it works. I guess you wont know whats best until you try it. Def do some tests if you can.
[/quote]

Thanks guys. Actually, those 2 suggestions already came into my mind. Pete’s suggestion I am going to definitely use, but since most of the scenes take place in the car…I have to find some alternative shots other than the close-up on the two faces only. The projection idea is one I considered too, it’s cool cause it will give the movie a Film noir feel too (I’m gonna shoot the movie in black & white, so that’s a plus). I’m just concerned it would look too fake.


#7

That noir look also only works if you are ‘driving’ in a city or a forest or something…some places don’t project so well…like a desert or nighttime where there isn’t much around. This way it does give it a cheap effect. I think a city with lots of lights at night would work best…people would accept that look the easiest I think.



Well you should just try it all out and at the end use what looks the best…



You could also put the car on a trailer. and let the truck drive around slowly, while you can be filming while standing on the truck too or mount the camera on the truck…if the trailer is low enough it looks like the car is driving around…



Just throwing in suggestions :stuck_out_tongue:



Do you know where they are driving mostly? What kind of car is it? Convertible?


#8

What the heck? Do a mix of them maybe.



You can also shoot shots of the car driving down the roads and have the actors do voiceovers later as if theyre talking in the car.



The truck/trailer idea is actually really good because it adds an aspect of safety to the thing.



The nighttime scenes you could probably put the car in a big garage and set it up so its totally dark, then add some lighting effects so it looks like cars are driving by/in back of it. Maybe add some lights on the floor of the car so you can see the actors as they drive around at night, like they did in Repo Man. Looks cool.



This is a funny idea I just thought of that could work for a low budget: If you watch Pee Wees Big Adventure, theres a shot when Pee Wee and the convict are driving down the road in the dark. Then they cut to a Road Warning sign as they drive by. If you look close, you can see the sign is moving on a track. Not the car. You can do all kinds of tricks like that as well. Its all about how your eye sees the action.


#9

Is the whole movie taking place inside a car?



If it is you probably need to do a rewrite. Or is it like Reservoir Dogs where most of the movie takes place inside a warehouse, but then you see some exposition through flashbacks…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that takes place inside a car, but even those kinds of films have some open, exterior shots like in Michael Mann’s Collateral. It would be helpful to know what your film is about. But hey, if you can have a movie that takes place inside a phonebooth for 40 minutes, i guess anything is possible.


#10

One things for sure, the dialogue better be damn interesting if this is only in a car. I guess it depends on what kind of relationship the two have. Is this going to be a road thriller like The Hitcher or a reg drama w/ dialogue type film? Youll need to keep people riveted to the characters in some way either through suspense or likeability.



You should probably get a heap of road movies to watch to see the best ways to go at it too. Not to copy, but just to see how the set ups work and how to keep it flowing.


#11

The movie will not take place exclusively in a car, but there are several scenes which do. The Collateral comparison is spot-on.



I don’t think it can be categorised easily, actually. It’s part drama, part road movie, part psychological thriller.


#12

That sounds really cool. Good luck with it!


#13

do you remember the scene in Twilight Zone where the two are playing name that tune and Dan Akroyd says “you wanna see something really scary?” That was done very well and was probably pretty easy to shoot because it was at night.


#14

That was like a ten minute segment. I think Scar is talking about a feature-length film.


#15

how about that part in Clockwork Orange where they are driving the stolen car…do you remember that?



[size=170]http://www.imps4ever.info/specials/centaur/durango.html[/size]


#16

I saw that film about two years ago…I don’t think they even spoke in that scene…or did they…hmmm. I do remember Alex getting that hobo beating, that was funny.


#17

Can we see some scenes from your script, Scar?


#18

[quote=“Biohazard”]
Can we see some scenes from your script, Scar?
[/quote]

It is still at an early development stage, but I am already anticipating which issues I would eventually have to deal with. That’s why I created this topic. Due to my work and busy schedule, I still don’t know when I’ll actually be finishing the script and start shooting.



To give you a basic idea, the film is going to be a cross between The Hitcher; Fight Club; and Paris,Texas.


#19

“a guy picks up a hitch-hiker who is carrying a large duffle bag. The driver says “what ya got in the bag?”. The hitcher says “NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS”. The driver is silent for two hours. When they get near a gas station he says “I’ll fill up, if you need to take a leak go for it”. While the hitcher is in the bathroom the driver hauls ass without him. He gets to his destination and realizes that he still has the duffle bag in his car.”



“so what was in the bag?”



“NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS”


#20

[quote=“Kilgore Trout”]
“a guy picks up a hitch-hiker who is carrying a large duffle bag. The driver says “what ya got in the bag?”. The hitcher says “NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS”. The driver is silent for two hours. When they get near a gas station he says “I’ll fill up, if you need to take a leak go for it”. While the hitcher is in the bathroom the driver hauls ass without him. He gets to his destination and realizes that he still has the duffle bag in his car.”



“so what was in the bag?”



“NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS”
[/quote]

Good plot, better than mine! ;D