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how can i film a car chase?

Posted: Fri, 3rd Oct 2008, 10:50am

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djswallow

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how can i film a car chase?
Posted: Fri, 3rd Oct 2008, 11:06am

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Arktic

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First off - filming a car chase isn't easy! If you're not particularly experienced with film making, then I'd suggest that you don't even try yet; because more than likely, it'll look awful.

In real productions, trained drivers are able to drive at high speeds on closed roads and sets - combined with clever editing / compositing.

I'd steer clear* of trying to film a car chase altogether (especially given your age!) - can you come up with a creative way around shooting a car chase? Why not have a chase on foot? Or on pedal bikes?

Hope this helps smile

Cheers,
Arktic.

* - Oh come on... that was funny and you all know it. You're just jealous that you couldn't get there first wink
Posted: Fri, 3rd Oct 2008, 12:00pm

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djswallow

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thanks

and also, how do you know how old i am?
Posted: Fri, 3rd Oct 2008, 12:22pm

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goddard996

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iolo jones wrote:

thanks

and also, how do you know how old i am?
It says in your profile.
Posted: Fri, 3rd Oct 2008, 2:21pm

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ben3308

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A ten-year-old whose favorite film is North by Northwest. There's hope for us yet!
Posted: Fri, 3rd Oct 2008, 5:13pm

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Tim L

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Yeah, if you're really 10 years old, you need to reply to the end of this thread: http://fxhome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=36704
I think you'd be the youngest yet.

But regarding the car chase -- it still might be worth a try, with help from adults, of course -- especially if this is just a little home movie you are making.

A while back I actually put a tripod and camera in my pickup truck (in the front, pointing out the front windshield) and drove some country roads, and I was surprised at how well it turned out. Maybe it was due to a good optical stabilizer in my camera (Sony FX7), but it was *way* smoother than I expected. I had my 14-yr-old daughter in the front passenger seat holding the tripod down so it wouldn't tip or bounce. I don't think you'd have much luck just holding the camera in your hand, though, just too bouncy.

To film a "car chase", have your adults drive at regular, legal speeds, and drive the same route twice. One time you drive behind the vehicle that is being chased, and you video that vehicle in front of you, and the second time you drive in front of the vehicle doing the chasing, and video that car behind you. Shooting behind like this might be tough unless you have a minivan and don't have tinted windows (or have a convertible). In both cases, make sure you zoom in enough so that the vehicle you are filming from doesn't show up in the video. And clean the glass as best you can, inside and out, so the camera gets a clear shot.

Then, when editing, you speed up the footage to make it look fast, and add some sound effects of loud engines and squealing tires. Also, as with any action sequence, frequent cuts back and forth between the two shots helps to sell the illusion.

Speeding up the video will work best if you film where no other cars are on the road -- find a country road, or a time of day when there is little or no traffic. Otherwise, all the other cars on the road will look like they're going crazy fast also.

If your actors are kids, you can show a kid running up to the car and getting into the driver's seat, then cut to a shot of the tires as the car pulls away (with an adult now driving it). If the kids are wearing hats and sunglasses, for example, make sure the adult driving wears the hat and sunglasses, also. But if you see the actual driver (from the front car looking back) it will be hard to really hide the fact that it isn't a kid driving.

But like Arktic suggests, if the actors are kids, it might make more sense for them to do the chase on bicycles or something.

(Ooops -- apologies for the long, long post...)

Tim L
Posted: Fri, 3rd Oct 2008, 5:16pm

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Bryan M Block

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ben3308 wrote:

A ten-year-old whose favorite film is North by Northwest. There's hope for us yet!
Amen!


If you really, really, really want a car chase in your film I would suggest doing something like this: Go ahead and film your actors in cars with greenscreen outside the windows pretending to drive. They did this in movies for decades. The next time you go for a ride, take your camera and shoot out the window for backgrounds to put in the greenscreen background key.

Get an adult to drive the cars you want to shoot having a chase.

Get a low camera angle of the car approaching and then one of the car going away

Get a low camera angle of the second car approaching and one of the car going away.

Get a set of shots from the side of the cars going by.

Between quick cutting these and your interior shots of the drivers, you can give the "impression" of a car chase.

That is the best advice I can give based on your age.

-B
Posted: Sat, 4th Oct 2008, 8:33pm

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djswallow

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thanks everyone!

Tim L, I am 10. I can't prove it but I'm not one of those stupid people like that one who asked to download VisionLab for free, claiming he had no money, BESIDES the internet and a computer.

I liked the green screen idea but my green screen shots always look crap 'cos I've only got a rubbish imovie blue screen plugin - but I'm saving up for CompositeLab.

Or I could ask my dad to madly drive around the neighborhood burning the tires down, while I film him;
but for some queer reason I think it wont work.
Posted: Sat, 4th Oct 2008, 8:38pm

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djswallow

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oh I just forgot!

nice website Bryan (you don't mind if I call you by your real name?), and what's Motor Lodge about?
Posted: Sat, 4th Oct 2008, 8:58pm

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JoelM

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You may even want to think about making it with stop-motion using miniature/model cars (or even full size vehicles). Who knows, it might introduce and give you an enjoyment for a whole other kind of film making other than live action. smile
Posted: Sat, 4th Oct 2008, 10:58pm

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ssj john

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Arktic wrote:

First off - filming a car chase isn't easy! If you're not particularly experienced with film making, then I'd suggest that you don't even try yet; because more than likely, it'll look awful.
I mostly just want to point this out because I disagree with it as a general statement. To suggest someone refrain from filming something such as a car chase or anything, because they are not experienced and it will look awful isn't exactly good advice...because lets be honest, we've all made a horrible film, but who hasn't learned from it?

...To me at least, film-making is most of the time a trial and error process. You attempt certain techniques and styles, then you look it over and look into what you did good and what you did bad and try to improve. If you were too only stick to scenario's and sequences you are skilled at you'd never progress. Especially now, when you are doing film-making as a hobby it is very important, as cliche as this sounds, to push your abilities to the limits.

The rest of your advise was spot on. You cannot run before you crawl. Starting out with foot chase, and learning the basics of filming a chase is important and may be easier learned when dealing with something a little simpler. Then when you get a handle on that, you can start throwing in more complicated action and scenarios.
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 12:00am

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Arktic

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The rest of your advise was spot on. You cannot run before you crawl. Starting out with foot chase, and learning the basics of filming a chase is important and may be easier learned when dealing with something a little simpler. Then when you get a handle on that, you can start throwing in more complicated action and scenarios.
Yeah, which is why I said "I'd suggest that you don't even try yet" - like you say, it's best to start basic and work up! smile
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 2:25am

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RodyPolis

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A question concerning cars. How can I film the front of the car while it's running?
what I mean is to show the drivers face, but also show the windshield. So how coukd I attach the cameraa so it doesn't fall
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 2:28am

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Serpent

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Rody: that's a good question. There are rigs available for that, if you want to get a clean shot. Search for DIY Car mounting camera rig. Or you could buy from a legit company. This will be more expensive, but it'll be even more expensive if you build it poorly and your camera breaks. Check this site out (or Google for more/other):

http://www.filmtools.com/succupmoun.html

I think Aculag was looking into this a couple years back (no idea how I remember that, and I could be mistaken), but if you don't get an answer you could shoot him a friendly PM.
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 2:47am

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RodyPolis

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thanks Serpent
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 6:37am

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ssj john

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Arktic wrote:

The rest of your advise was spot on. You cannot run before you crawl. Starting out with foot chase, and learning the basics of filming a chase is important and may be easier learned when dealing with something a little simpler. Then when you get a handle on that, you can start throwing in more complicated action and scenarios.
Yeah, which is why I said "I'd suggest that you don't even try yet" - like you say, it's best to start basic and work up! smile
DOH! my eye's must have accidentally skipped over that part, my apologies. But I still disagree with the notion that you shouldn't film something just because it wont turn out so good.
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 9:03am

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No Respite Productions

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RodyPolis wrote:

A question concerning cars. How can I film the front of the car while it's running?
what I mean is to show the drivers face, but also show the windshield. So how coukd I attach the cameraa so it doesn't fall
If you have green screen then this problem is easily solved by Bryan's technique above.

So just film the front of your car and your actors against green screen, then the next time you are out for the drive, just open the boot door and drive along for a few minutes shooting out the back of the car, making sure you've zoomed out to avoid catching the interior.

As said before make sure you do this on a quiet road.

NR
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 11:01am

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djswallow

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Rody, you could also try green screen;
put the camera on the front of the car with a green screen behind it;
then sit in the boot filming the road behind while someone else drives.
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 11:02am

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djswallow

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you type quickly adam; I was saying that!
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 11:04am

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No Respite Productions

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iolo jones wrote:

you type quickly adam; I was saying that!
Not that quickly, I posted at 9:05 GMT this morning wink
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 11:39am

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djswallow

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Not that quickly, I posted at 9:05 GMT this morning

????? well it wasn't there when I looked

tard
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 3:31pm

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DVStudio

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I did something similar in my Invasion planet earth movie (it is in the cinema if you want to see how I did it) the movie was bad, and the effects in the car scene were crap, but the actual car footage was only 1/2 bad. It could at least give you an idea. (It was the second scene in the movie)
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 6:56pm

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jmax

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Rating: +1

If you are set on shooting the chase itself, the folks over at videomaker put together a nice piece about how to storyboard and cut a low-budget chase scene.
check it out
Posted: Tue, 14th Oct 2008, 10:59pm

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ajjax44

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Well, you could do this:



Or of course, this:






But I DO NOT recommend it... twisted

AJ
Posted: Wed, 15th Oct 2008, 12:38am

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ssj john

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You guys are brave taping your camera up like that. I wouldn't trust that for a minute...
Posted: Wed, 15th Oct 2008, 12:51am

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SilverDragon7

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That is EXACTLY what I was thinking.
Posted: Wed, 15th Oct 2008, 2:08am

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Travis Kunze

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Im getting ready to work on a Car Chase (short one) for a web series pilot (The NCA) and i plan to do it all digital and green screen for the Pilot. If down the road the funds were available then i would certianly do it real driving, but for people as young as we are it is difficult. and considering im just getting my drivers license proballey better if i stick with digital for now.
Posted: Wed, 15th Oct 2008, 3:43pm

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djswallow

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If down the road the funds were available then i would certianly do it real driving, but for people as young as we are it is difficult.
eek

I'm 10 and I'd use real driving! Just get someone who has a driving license to drive in the shots where you can't see the driver and in the ones you can use green screen. Oh and also about the:
If down the road the funds were available
Just use quiet roads where people wouldn't really care!
Posted: Wed, 15th Oct 2008, 4:02pm

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Travis Kunze

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We all have our preferences, let us know how it all turns out!
Posted: Wed, 15th Oct 2008, 7:59pm

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SilverDragon7

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iolo jones wrote:

Oh and also about the:
If down the road the funds were available
Just use quiet roads where people wouldn't really care!
What he meant wasn't about literal roads, but down the road as in down your film making experience and if you had funds to get a permit to close a road for a shoot.
Posted: Wed, 15th Oct 2008, 8:22pm

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Travis Kunze

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SilverDragon7 wrote:

iolo jones wrote:

Oh and also about the:
If down the road the funds were available
Just use quiet roads where people wouldn't really care!
What he meant wasn't about literal roads, but down the road as in down your film making experience and if you had funds to get a permit to close a road for a shoot.
yeah, i wasn't going to comment on that, but you know... lol
Posted: Fri, 17th Oct 2008, 12:05am

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Rawree

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Arktic wrote:

Why not have a chase on foot? Or on pedal bikes?
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=DWTdj7LNQiU
Posted: Fri, 17th Oct 2008, 12:42am

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SilverDragon7

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Rawree wrote:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=DWTdj7LNQiU
It's hard to tell if you posted this as a 'Yeah bike and foot chases turn out well!' or a 'This is how not to make a bike/foot chase.'
Posted: Fri, 17th Oct 2008, 8:34am

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Rawree

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SilverDragon7 wrote:

Rawree wrote:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=DWTdj7LNQiU
It's hard to tell if you posted this as a 'Yeah bike and foot chases turn out well!' or a 'This is how not to make a bike/foot chase.'
I suppose that's a lot easier to figure out if you're familiar with the show. Watch a few clips/episode and all will become clear.