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class="style10" Car Shots Thru Front Windscreen

>Published :  26th June 2006

>I need to shoot some dialogue scenes from the back seat of a car looking at actors in the front seats. The shot sees profile of talent and then out the front windscreen. Is there anyway to tow a car whilst seeing out the front? Must the actor be driving to execute this shot? (Rear screen, green screen definitely not options).

>Thanks

Byron Shah
DP LA


>Byron Shah wrote:

class="style11">>is there anyway to tow a car whilst seeing out the front? Must the actor >be driving to execute this shot? (Rear screen, green screen definitely >not options).

>Nearly all professional camera cars are equipped to "side tow" a car.

>This is accomplished by extending a steel beam out from the side of the camera car and attaching a towbar between the beam and the towed vehicle. It works very well for exactly the shots you have described.

>The drawbacks are you'll need two lanes -- one for the picture car and one for the camera car, running side by side, so a police escort or a closed road is essential.

>Turning around (only very wide turns are possible) is difficult without unhitching -- a very long straightaway is desirable.

>The actor "driving" the towed vehicle can really mess things up if the steering and brakes are not disconnected.

>High speed work is extremely tricky -- especially stopping without the picture car "fishtailing". However, unless your actor is a very good driver and can act and drive at the same time (Insert favourite actor joke here) it is nowhere near as risky as letting an actor drive and act at the same time, especially with other cars on the road -- which is why camera cars are equipped for side towing in the first place.

>Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


>Hi Byron,

>The "Go Mobile" is killer. You can mount the cockpit anywhere you like:

>http://www.gostunts.com/gpv.php?id=275

>Best,

>Anders

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Anders Uhl
cinematographer, NY
the dop shop
http://www.thedopshop.com