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Car rain day


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Hello!

I will shoot a short film soon and the main action is happening in the car. Basically two people talking. City, car, day, raining.

What would be the best way to shoot it? 

my reference is a scene from "A rainy day in New York"

Thanks,

Aidar 

Screen Shot 2022-05-07 at 10.28.21.jpg

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Okay so I'm not a DP so take what I say with a grain of salt. It sounds like a fun challenge. I have lots of free time so... what the hell, right?

My first question would be, how long is the film? Is the car moving or stationary? 

Anyway, I suppose a bonnet mounted camera would work, although getting it rock solid might be an issue. You could consider putting the car on a trailer. That would cost money but it will make your life much easier. You might want a polariser maybe. I would stop down to maybe T5.6 or so. Focus would be locked. I wouldn't try to follow the action.

You would also want to use interior lights, though not too much, and not in any obvious place like the roof. You could place a subtle light on the rear vision mirror, perhaps. Or you could place external lights on the wing mirrors if that works. You could maybe even bounce a light from the rear seats onto the roof as long as your WB isn't affected.

You could establish to the audience that the car has a lot of lights inside it, if it were sufficiently modern. I drove a car the other day with a dash mounted LCD.

If the car isn't moving, that makes the shoot much easier and much cheaper. I just would be prepared to spend some money on the proper rigs and perhaps, as I suggested, a trailer and a driver who knows how to drive it.

Whatever you end up doing, I'd like to know.

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I suspect the method used may depend on your budget.

A good bonnet mount (e.g. a beam type) should be solid enough, however, having the actors driving the car while giving intense performances can cause safety problems.

The main issue may be creating consistent rain, which would suggest having the action vehicle on a trailer, with the rainmaker and its water supply on the towing vehicle.

An alternative is to use a LED screen for the background and shoot in a suitable "studio" space, but you will need a suitable lighting rig. Doing this would require having access to suitable facilities.

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4 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

My first question would be, how long is the film? Is the car moving or stationary? 

 

Hi Karim, 

It should be around 6 pages long for the car, so maybe 6 minutes. 

I think it would be too much hassle with bonnet mounted camera since I need to finish it in a day and would need several angles. Also it's a bit dangerous since its happening in the city and acting might suffer. 
Trailer is a solution, but then I have to have more things to worry about. Rain on a moving trailer. I'm also worried that height of the car would increase quite a bit and passing cars would seem lower. Even one trailer I found made for shooting was a bit too high for my taste . 

Car is moving and since its a cloudy day time scene, I'm not sure about lights inside the car. It can be a bit moody. A bit. 

I was thinking maybe get car outside. cover it with 20*20 muslin or black. put a green screen on the background and using a water hose create a rain? I'm just worried about green screen and rain. How it would workout together. 

My main reference is a car sequence in "A rainy Day in New York" by Storaro. It doesn't have to be perfectly real, just pretty since story kind of justifies it in a way(the Film about a daydreamer).  I'm trying to understand how they shot it there. 

I'll let you know what will work for us 🙂

Thanks!

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3 hours ago, Brian Drysdale said:

An alternative is to use a LED screen for the background and shoot in a suitable "studio" space, but you will need a suitable lighting rig. Doing this would require having access to suitable facilities.

Hi Brian,

Is there any way to recreate it cheaper? I would assume projector is not strong enough and greenscreen is not possible because of the rain? 
How do you think they shot in the reference I attached? 

Thanks!

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7 hours ago, Brian Drysdale said:

I suspect the method used may depend on your budget.

A good bonnet mount (e.g. a beam type) should be solid enough, however, having the actors driving the car while giving intense performances can cause safety problems.

The main issue may be creating consistent rain, which would suggest having the action vehicle on a trailer, with the rainmaker and its water supply on the towing vehicle.

An alternative is to use a LED screen for the background and shoot in a suitable "studio" space, but you will need a suitable lighting rig. Doing this would require having access to suitable facilities.

Rain rig + LED volume seems like a bad time 

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I have an idea, although it's perhaps not necessarily practical. You could schedule the shoot for a day where you know it's going to rain.

Have the actors rehearse the scene, as if they were rehearsing a play. Do it in one take while it's raining with one or two cameras in the back. Then, you will have to do another take with perhaps an exterior camera. Hmm. In your case maybe this won't work either.

Even without the rain it's a problem. Unless you can find a suburb with very little traffic - that might help a little. You did say it's set in the city but I'm not sure you can do all of this quickly or cheaply. 

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I'm sure a lot of others on here would have much better advice than me.

But having a VFX background, I'll say having rain shouldn't be a deal breaker when considering green screen.  It's possible to key and maintain a level of smoke when using green screen, so I don't see why rain would be different.  Then as long as you're getting some good splatter on the car itself and some rain on the windshield, you could add the proper level/intensity of the falling rain using a VFX particle generator such as Trapcode Particular, and really dial it to tastes.  

Of course, then you're allocating budget to VFX and probably wouldn't hurt to do some thorough tests to make sure you can pull a solid key with the motion blur of the rain itself.  

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14 hours ago, Nathan Walters said:

Of course, then you're allocating budget to VFX and probably wouldn't hurt to do some thorough tests to make sure you can pull a solid key with the motion blur of the rain itself.  

Hi Nathan,

Recently, I had a similar answer from a local VFX artist and got the same answer. 

I'll definitely will do the test before the shoot. Thanks a lot!

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