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mojofunkster

Filming in a car with the windows down.

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I will be working on a low budget indie film this coming weekend where a lot of the film takes place in a car. I was just told that they will be driving with the windows down so they don't see a reflection of the camera in the windows. Thankfully it is on back roads where they will be driving 25 mph, but I am very particular on getting the best audio I can. Is there any tricks or tips to cut down on the wind noise as much as possible?

 

Thanks.

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None of use will be on your set to point out what exactly you can do .  It's a low budget indie, get creative, do some problem solving , and learn some new experiences.

also Google searching topics + jwsound gets quicker answers for critical thinking on locations .

im putting a beer on your tab if I ever see you in real life. (Please adopt this across all JW for future non researched posts) 

 

 

 

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This kind of thing comes up with regularity in dramatic filmmaking.  Often there are no great solutions for every angle, and every additional camera eliminates more of your possible solutions.  The fixes are common sense--like eliminate BG noise any way they'll let you, and keep at it-what you can get clean get clean and hope you can get all the DX that way even if other coverage is noisier.  Make good notes about what worked, and turn in your files.  Know that in many scenarios, esp in the era of multiple cameras and infinite numbers of GoPros, you may only be able to get a solid guide track for ADR for them for some setups.  The main thing is to hang in and keep trying.

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Grips are often your best friends since they will hopefully have a bit of appropriate rag with which to shield wind/light from the open windows.

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Wind noise will likely be the least of your worries.  At slower speeds like 25mph, there won't be a lot of wind noise to worry about.  Any overcovers/softie will deal with that fine.  The biggest problem I find in car rigs is hiding the microphones, and that will be shot dependent.  That and losing lines to motorcycle or truck drive-bys.

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I wish  Gene recorded the Driven event in LA. It was very informative.

I can give you a few pointers but first:

Are you driving in traffic?

What kind of car?

How many people only 2 on the front ?

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  There are other ways to reduce / eliminate reflections besides opening the window.  Using a polarizer, and or building a blackout "tent" behind the camera all help.  Open windows aren't always avoidable, like with hostess trays, but often can be with cooperation from other departments.  Ideally the open window is not next to the primary actor on screen.

Choosing quiet roads will make a huge difference.

Work closely with the grips, and try to help make sure all the rigging loose ends are tied up tightly so they don't flap around in the wind.  

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Yayyyy for the grips!! A cold six-pack gets miracles done... he he he.

Some add-on thoughts (not really window related):

Depending the camera angles, the DPA goosenecks (with good windscreens) have been very kind when you have to drive with seatbelts on or can't get a proper wire on the actor (with overcovers) because of other reasons.

Place it in visor or cup holder and aim it at the sweet spot. Tuck transmitter in there as well, but if you can't:

Some cars have non-sticky surfaces ('good luck' with any type of tape or even sticky joe...) 2" T-pins might be your best friends to hold things in place. (Make a surface around the cub mic/transmitter/cable by using paper-tape (and cardboard if necessary) to pin the pins through and pin it in ceiling fabric, pulling the cable towards the door (depending on camera angle), where you can continue in the door's rubber trim to get your cable to your transmitter/recorder.

If you can't hardwire your mics, make sure your transmitters are as high as possible to prevent drop outs.

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Hey MoJoFunkster, cool handle. What rig are you using? What gear do you have? All this factors into the possible solutions. All recording comes down to S/N ratio. Recording in an open car can sound worse in you cans than over a speaker. How about you and a buddy mic up various ways (laws, plants, whatever you can do with your kit and ride around shooting the shit with different windows up n down. Then go listen to it in a room with good speakers. It will tell you a lot. Best of luck.

CrewC

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Use lavs on the actors

Put your recorder in the car

Do a static rehearsal to check quality and levels

Give the actors the slate

Press the record button

Have a coffee!

mike

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I've had good results planting in the visors and doing a bag drop. Otherwise I rig my LPDA's and monitor in the follow car. I've used Rycote overcovers as wind protection.

Edited by AlexQ

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Plant mics tend to be much too noisy compared to wired actors, when the windows are down. I would wire them with the wind protection of your choice, and make sure the seatbelts don't foul them up. For free driving, I've had good luck with setting up shotgun in a follow van with shark fins (Zaxcom), and running a local backup per Mike West's advice above.

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With open windows :

engine noise - newer cars are quiet so not a big deal

AC conditioner

Pavement noise is very important especially with passing cars.

Find a place with high quality asphalt .

 

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I recently encountered this same scenario on a car shoot. DP for some reason wanted to shoot with a hostess tray with windows down maybe he didnt' understand you can gel the windows for the green cast they give due to the tint or what ever... I used Peter Engh goosenecks on my SMQV transmitters. We were driving at real slow speeds 20

Continuation due to my hitting the wrong key.... Anyway we were at low speeds and the wind/road noise was minimal . When client asked how sound was I informed them. They decided to record lines in vehicle with Windows up just to be safe. I saw the final edit and it sounded good with both windows down or up. Check cleared on to the next:)

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