Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

class="style7"> Shooting Inside A Car

>Published : 25th April 2008

>I've heard that rope lights are good for lighting the inside of a car during shooting. Is that right? If so, how are they powered?

>Rich Wells
(graduating) student
Oakland, CA


>Nice to use, but mains only the way to use them is probably with the use of a small inverter which are not that expensive anymore nowadays. they're a bunch of low voltage bulb in series (10x12V = 120V) You could also have a look around if there are some low voltage Led lights of a suitable colour temperature at your local diy/light store and wire these up.. Another would be to use some brakelight carbulbs in a suitable housing (so you don't melt any plastic dashboard...) advantage is they run on 12 V and can be lighted directly from a cigarette lighter socket... (See American graffiti for some use in practical settings) A quick trick to get as much light bouncing back (if feasible) is to place some white towels in the actors laps to reflect as much light back as possible to their faces....

>Werner Van Peppen
Engineerie type person


"I've heard that rope lights are good for lighting the inside of a car during shooting. Is that right? If so, how are they powered?"

When I am shooting inside a car, I use one of those fluorescent work light which I bought from Lowes hardware store in Virginia, you can find them at Home depot its a 13w light plugs into cigarette lighter but really bright enough cost only 20 bucks, i use a sheet of ND gel in order to cut some light coming from it.

>Good luck

>Farhan Alam
Dp/ Karachi/Pakistan


Ledtronics makes 12-volt LED strip lights that are intended to replace under-kitchen-cabinet fluorescents. They come in four different lengths and are pretty bright. They're available in 3000K or 6000K colour temperatures, with and without a frosted housing. They weigh next to nothing, give off virtually no heat, and can easily be gaffer taped to car ceilings.

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA


>Kino makes a great car kit called mini flos. They usually come with an adapter you can plug into the cigarette lighter. They are small and easy to rig inside a car.

>Scott Uhlfelder
DP
LA, CA


>I have used Christmas lights, but my new favourite is those 12v puck lights for under your kitchen cabinets. they come in 12v version and with wiring a cigarette lighter plug on them they work wonderful as a directional source.

>They are only an inch thick and 3 inches around, so they hide easily.

>They are light enough to Velcro to the ceiling. Check them out.

Robert Duke
Memphis TN USA
key grip

"...for you whose pastime it is to make midnight mushrooms..."
-Prospero


class="style8">> Kino makes a great car kit called mini flos.

>Pretty expensive, though. But there is no denying the *nine-inch-nail* is very useful for car shooting. And the MicroFlo's (4" and 6") are pretty great for very low light night car stuff.

>The Ledtronics strips look like they would be great for car shooting.

>Rosco has a new product that is pretty cool. Sheets of Plexiglass (maybe Lexan?) that are ringed with LED's. The plexi has vee shaped channels scored into the surface that extend across the surface so the panels *glow* somewhat evenly. Because the LED's ring the panels, you can drill right through the panel if required!

>Couldn't find anything on their website, though. I saw them at the Sim Video open house in Toronto.

>Anyhow, these Rosco panels are somewhere around $200 CDN/Sq.Ft. And come in a few different sizes. Because they are so thin they appear to be perfect for car work. Unfortunately, only available in a 9K Kelvin version.

>David Perrault, CSC


>David Perrault writes:

class="style8"><< The Ledtronics strips look like they would be great for car shooting.>>

>If you get the kind that has a clear housing, be prepared to throw some diffusion on it because it's very directional, and at a full 12 volts is bright enough to be really hard on the eyes. Undiffused, its illumination is a wee tad uneven, though you can't really tell unless the light is in motion or vibrating (as it might be in a car).

>I have two of the 6" units. Each one weighs about an ounce and a half and cost about $25. I power one with a small 12V wall-wart AC adaptor, and the other with a 12V ciggy plug on the end of its cord. Still basically experimenting with them....

>Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA


>I'm shooting interior of a car for a scene in a student final coming up soon and had a few questions about proximity to the subjects.

>There are going to be two people in the front and one in the back, with some mild interaction with the passenger side front seat and the person in the back -- obviously placing me in the other rear passenger side seat for the shots with coverage of all three of them.

>my question: I'm shooting this on Zeiss 9.5mm superspeed and as it'll be such close quarters, I’m worried about how close I can get with before losing focus. been looking for some specs online but to no avail.

>also I’m getting the lense from a rental house and remember reading another post about calibrating the lens with the camera for proper depth. would i want to do this at our rental house or is this something I’m able to do on my own?

>-Eoin McGuigan-
AC/(student in this regard!)
Minneapolis/St.Paul


>I think since you're shooting so wide, you shouldn't have any focus problems. What is your aperture set at, are you shooting during the day or at night?

>As long as your aperture isn't wide open, you should be fine with focus, but then again you should double check with the rental house. My guess is you're shooting this on 16mm? Just try to light it so that your f-stop is set at least a 11 and then you should be good with everything being in focus.

>Kak Lee


class="style8">>>I'm shooting this on Zeiss 9.5mm superspeed and as it'll be such >>close quarters, I’m worried about how close I can get with before >>losing focus. been looking for some specs online but to no avail

>Try this...

http://www.arrimedia.com/productlist.php?catalog_id=200

Close focus 10"

It shows that the 9.5mm does not cover super 16 but some do, some don't....

If you are shooting 1.78 or 1.85 then it's OK.

>>also I’m getting the lense from a rental house and remember reading >>another post about calibrating the lens with the camera for proper >>depth. would i want to do this at our rental house or is this something >>I’m able to do on my own?

If the lens is coming from a rental house then it will be OK. The problem is where does the camera come from.....? Perhaps you should take your camera there and have the two checked together.

>Cheers

>Andy Taylor
Camera and Lens Engineer
ARRI Media
DDI:01895 457141
Tel: 01895 457100
Fax: 01895 457101


>> Try this...
> http://www.arrimedia.com/productlist.php?catalog_id=200
>
> Close focus 10"

Thanks to both of you, believe you've answered my questions.

>-Eoin McGuigan-
AC/(student in this regard!)
Minneapolis/St.Paul


>I recommend putting ND filters on the windows so when you expose for the faces the rest of your frame won't blow out. ND the windows in frame and pull them off when not in frame to allow light in for exposure.

>Don't be content (unless it is your 'intent') to get all your coverage from one position. if it were me, I would be shooting from the front and rear as well as right and left and placing ND on any windows in frame... including the windshield.

>Best of Luck.

>David Rakoczy
DP/ Dir
LA/ Florida
www.EmeraldCoastFilmworks.com


>Hello Eoin,

>When the 16 SR flange is adjusted correctly at 51.99 + .01 -.00 MM and the lens set for 52 MM all the lenses are inter changeable. Any rental house that has to adjust the lens or the camera to work together should be avoided as they have shoddy equipment.

If you are shooting super 16 and plan to blow this to up to 1.66 or 1.85 the 9.5 MM Zeiss will not be a good choice. If you are shooting for 1.78 of 1.33 this lens will be OK.

In such tight places I would suggest the following lenses. 6 MM Zeiss lens, 7 MM Elite (also sometimes called a Panther or a Optar) as these are very good lenses and have they very little distortion. Also they will cover all the 16 MM formats. Also there is an 8 MM Zeiss and it like the 9.5 MM is not to be used for super 16 1.66 or 1.78, OK for 1.78 or 1.33 format.

Do not confuse distortion with forced prospective. Distortion is very noticeable on straight lines like a door way but this effects all the images. Forced prospective is where things closer to the camera look larger than things further back look. Example someone's face on a close up would have to have a large nose and the ears would look very small and far away. A small room will much larger than it is. All wide lenses will have forced prospective. If objects are further away this will not be noticeable.

Denny Clairmont


class="style8">>>Also they will cover all the 16 MM formats. Also there is an 8 MM Zeiss >>and it like the 9.5 MM is not to be used for super 16 1.66 or 1.78, OK for >>1.78 or 1.33 format.

>er...I have a Zeiss Distagon 9.5 in my Primes Case and I use it on my Super 16 Sr2 all the time.. framing for 1:66, 1:85 and 16x9.... worked every time without an issue.

>David Rakoczy
DP/Dir
LA/ Florida
www.EmeraldCoastFilmworks.com