Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Lighting Cars On A White Cyc – Additional Info


I'm lighting a variety of cars [individually] for a VW promo. Shooting on a white cyc in a studio. This will be my first experience lighting a car and would appreciate any advice. From the research I've done I will probably take this kind of approach... [feel free to give any other opinions]

rig up 2 x 20by's above the car with either bleached muslin or a full silk as bounce [not sure which is the better approach] Prob use 2K Fresnel’s to bounce , maybe try place them hidden behind the car or outside of frame and reflection area.

To get the one side of the car lit will use a few more 2k's and bounce off side of cyc wall or white bounce board to create reflections on car. Will definitely use a couple 4x4 flags to get rid of unwanted reflections and to hide light sources in the car reflection if need be .

Lastly was thinking of rigging 2 x 4ft 4bank Kino Flo’s from above aiming at back of cyc wall to create a clean soft fill for the white cyc .

May also need to add more light onto model in frame with car. Would like to use some kind of 3/4 backlight to rim them, but am worried about creating shadows on cyc floor ?


Gavin Goodman, D.P ,Cape Town, South Africa

>>I'm lighting a variety of cars [individually] for a VW promo. Shooting on >>a white cyc in a studio

Look into a big as you can get. Chimera makes one...there may be a studio that is equipped with a lightbox. 20 x 40 or 25 x 60 or larger will serve you well. It is worth every penny you pay to rent it and if it's large enough there will be a technician assigned to operate the mechanism that positions precisely where and how you want it.

Rick Thompson
Midwest dp

>>I'm lighting a variety of cars [individually] for a VW promo. Shooting on >>a white cyc in a studio

Personal preference but try for a studio with infinity white cyc that includes the top of the walls and roof. A white egg. Simply bounce instruments off the walls, floor and ceiling. With all the light bouncing around It creates a softer lower contrast look than say a large lightbox overhead but maybe that’s what you need. If you are shooting a variety of cars lighting time saved could be substantial allowing more time to finesse.

Many Thanks
Tom Gleeson
0412 677 541

Do remember to avoid the reflection of the camera and yourself on any part of the body of the car. You could do this by using black cloth to cut all light falling towards the axis from which you are shooting.

You will have to very critically place your fill as well.

Pankaj Prakash
403/138, Mamta Appts.
Shere Punjab Soc.
Andheri (east)
Mumbai. India. 400 093

I'm in the same boat only worse. I've got a huge rear screen projection going plus another projection happening over the top of the car for reflections. No room for a lightbox even if production would spring for it. It's a total brain teaser.

Tomorrows the prelight we shoot 5 days of process starting Monday so any and all ideas are welcome.

Ben Minot

Rome Italy

You folks might want to see We did an interview with
Ken Fisher, the king of Auto Shoots that al manufacturers use.

Hope you like it.

Jonathan Ames
Hawkfeather Productions, Los Angeles

Copyright © CML. All rights reserved.