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Car Crash Through Forest At Night

Published : 23rd July 2013

Hi folks..

Have a week of night shoots next week including a scene where a car comes off the road, rolls down a steep valley full of trees, tearing many of them down until it finally hits a huge tree near the bottom. needless to say we don’t have enough money to do it properly so wondered if any of you had any genius and cheap suggestions?

very much appreciated thanks!

Gary Clarke
director of photography
London
www.garyclarkedop.com
mob: +44 (0)7957 212384


>>we don’t have enough money to do it properly so wondered if any of you had any genius and cheap >>suggestions?

#1 Don't even try to do it in a one shot master. You'll never get it right.

#2 ...use close-ups to tell the story without destroying the car (wheels
skidding off the road, trees falling over, etc, etc)

#3 ...until it hits the huge tree, of course

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


Pov can be effective, doesn’t have to involve the car, rig a small piece of car foreground to a mobile or hand held rig, to sell the effect (or something that passes as part of a car). Two battery lights on a portable pov rig (go cart) would create a realistic dynamic lighting effect as it bounces down the hill, you could include a rollover.


Consider wrapping a go pro or other small cam in foam and rolling it around the hill, put it on a pole and swing it into the trees for a wobbly chaotic pov.


Also rig foreground branch onto pole and drive car into the camera pulling the pole up as the car hits, obviously use as few frames from these cheats as possible.

Mike Brennan
DP
Melbourne


I agree with others; it's all in the edit.


I remember working on an episode of Heart to Heat in Greece. We did a spectacular helicopter crash. Everyone wanted to know how we did it, "was it a model?"
No, you never saw the crash itself, PoV from cockpit (shot in reverse and low speed) lots of cuts, reaction shots etc.
This was very much a case of Occum's Razor.

Brian Rose
UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 8868 1729
Mob: +44 (0)7768 635 788


>>>Consider wrapping a go pro<<<

GoPro's don't do well in low light situations (OP states it's a night shoot) ... they simply gain up and get noisy.

Consider the new small, micro 4/3 rds sensor cameras that have been coming out like the Panasonic GF series. Here the latest GF3:

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/panasonicdmcgf3/

There is a growing collection of lenses/after market lenses available for these cameras.

They do pretty well in low light ... here a friend’s GF1 dusk shot:

http://images112.fotki.com/v502/photos/4/43793/4388532/_1110480-vi.jpg

Mako/Makofoto/S. Pasadena, CA


>> #2 ...use close-ups to tell the story without destroying the car (wheels skidding off the road, trees falling >>over, etc, etc)

That, and POV's.

Mike Most
Colourist/Technologist
Next Element by Deluxe
Burbank, CA.


I agree with Mike on the POV shots.

Get a few spare windshields and mount them to some kind of rig that lets you roll or fly downhill with the camera behind the windshield (I guess that's "windscreen," for the Brits) with branches hitting the windshield, cracking it, bouncing off of it. Also, maybe buy some spare, used bumpers that you can use for close-ups on various impacts, maybe even spare doors.

For the POV shots, you might be able to use a few junkyard cars and just roll them down a similar path. No need to use a functional car at all, of course. Might be cheaper than building something, though hauling them back up the hill might be expensive. Maybe find a location with a street at the top and a street at the bottom.

Steve Hullfish
contributor: www.provideocoalition.com


Do it with sound.

... and as few suggestive, fragmentary visuals as you can get away with. After all, it's night-time.

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA