This week on the podcast we are breaking down a commercial that had quite a bit of car interior/exterior dialogue which meant we could highlight what a huge benefit it is to have a location you can move when shooting day exteriors.

We basically followed the sun with the angle of the car which meant with a little bit of planning we could be backlit all day long.  Unfortunately for the final look the sun didn't play ball all day but we managed to make the most out of it.


New Course: Mastering Exposure is LIVE

Course Link:  A Cinematography System: The Playbook Approach - Volume III

The 3rd installment of the B.O.D.V.O. Cinematography System is officially available.  

This latest course is all about the most challenging set up for any cinematographer and that is a scene between 3 or more people looking in multiple directions.

The more variables the more chances of things going sideways on the day and in pre-production.  If you aren't on top of all of the options and understand all of the choices at your fingertips you are going to leave shape on the table.

This course outlines how I think about shooting these scenes, we go over all of the various options, look at the pros and cons so that you can be the most knowl;edgable person on set when these situations arise.

The further out in to the future you can see the better you are going to be able to guide the crew and those around you to a final sequence that you are happy with.

Happy directors, happy producers and happy crew mean more jobs in the future because you are providing value to the production.  It is win, win for everyone.  

I am super excited to get this information out in to the hands of cinematographers around the world.

If you want to learn more about the course check it out here:

A Cinematography System: The Playbook Approach - Volume III

The Spot - The Advantages of a Movable Location

Shot #1 - The Tracking Shot

The Shot

The camera follows a policeman as he splits lanes at a traffic stop looking for drivers on their phone.

The Lighting

This shot was all about the schedule.  the track and the size of the shot meant there was nothing to add or takeaway.  Once the sun hit the right spot we rolled.

The Result

Shot #2 - The Reveal

The Shot

Our hero talent pulls up to the window of a driver on their phone.  He is not super pumped.

The Lighting

We moved the car to get a background we were happy with (the main advantage of a movable location).  

For lighting we had the sun as the backlight just out of the frame and then used a 12x12 bounce to return some of that sunlight outside the car frame left.  Inside the car we wrapped everything in black to try and up the contrast.

The Result

Shot #3 - The Realization

The Shot

A close up on the driver as she realizes she is in trouble.

The Lighting

We moved the car again to position the sun at the angle we wanted for the backlit look.

Off to camera left we had a 6k HMI through a few frames to bump the key levels inside the car.  The weather was quite overcast or we could have done the same thing with a bounce only.

Inside the car there is black everywhere the camera can't see.

The Result

Shot #4 - Jumping Out

The Shot

This was the wide shot of the policeman approaching the car.  We needed to see the bike, the car, and the road in the BG.

The Lighting

The sky in the BG looks more open than it was.  The overcast weather meant we had to use the 6k HMI again.  Always tricky because you don't want to overcook the levels with the light and it needs to fit in with the rest of the ambient level.

That was the only light here because we needed to see such a large footprint.

The Result

Shot #5 - The Conversation

The Shot

The POV of the Policeman as he issues a citation to the driver.

The Lighting

We used the same set up as shot #3 except we couldn't black inside the car so there is a bit more of an ambient contrast killer happening.

The Result

Shot #6 - The Reverse POV

The Shot

The opposite side of the coverage for Shot #5.

The Lighting

Lucky for us on this set up that the sun managed to pop a bit which meant we could kill the 6k HMI and use the sun as a bit of a backlight and just bounce off the car for the rest.

There are a few floppies frame left to help dial in the contrast levels we needed.

The Result

About The Author

Cinematographer and host of The Wandering DP Podcast. You can see select examples of work at my personal site or follow me on instagram.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.