The Art of shooting inside a car!

A car is a challenging environment to shoot in—especially when it’s moving. If you’re finding it difficult to figure out how to approach capturing a scene inside what is basically a tiny mobile set, DP Julia Swain, who previously showed us how to light car scenes, names 6 essential shots in this video from Aputure.

Here are the shots Swain talks about:

Front windshield
Over the shoulder
Close up passenger POV
Back seat (French over)
Rear view mirror shot
Side mirror shot

A lot of these shots aren’t unique to car scenes, but the fact that they are shot within the tight space of a vehicle means that a little bit of reworking must be done to pull them off successfully. Along those same lines, Swain including her approach to following the 180-degree rule is extremely helpful considering the fact that it can often get a little complicated and disorienting to locate where the line of action is inside of a car.

Since a car interior is a severely limited space, there are a limited number of shots that can be captured within it. However, Swain offers a handful of basic techniques you can use to get the coverage you need. Beyond that, though, you can get creative with the way you shoot—granted, there are only so many places to put your subjects and your camera, but the more you play around, the more possibilities you’ll find. (Just ask Chivo Lubezki who broke our brains with the famous car scene in Children of Men.)

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