Friday, July 18, 2008

How Do You Break A Windshield Without Breaking A Windshield?

So, in my movie, there is a crashed car. I'm renting the car-to-be-crashed (a convertible) for the duration of the shoot.

I am not planning on *really* crashing the car. I don't need to show lots of damage on it, but I would like it to have a cracked windshield. Okay, so how do I accomplish this?

On Wednesday after work, I drove to an auto glass place in Naperville. Here's a friendly tip -- don't drive to Naperville from downtown during rush hour. Ever.

I had called the place earlier and said I wanted to get a cracked windshield, and they said they had no problem giving me one for free.

I rolled into their parking lot just as they were getting ready to close. They pointed me to a dumpster out back that had several broken windshields sticking out of it.

I put down the back seats in my car and carefully laid down one of the cracked windshields. The windshield I obtained wasn't for the car I'm going to be getting (hopefully, a Ford Mustang). My thought was to try and lay the windshield over the existing windshield of the car, and see how it looks.

I spoke with an employee of the shop for a while before I headed out. He gave me a couple warnings. 1) Be careful handling the windshield, because it might have some sharp edges (it is broken glass, after all) and 2) Be very careful when putting the windshield on the other car, because it wouldn't be too hard to break or scratch the real windshield with the broken one.

I haven't tested laying the broken windshield on a car yet. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend.

Another option for faking a broken windshield may be to purchase some window film (a very thin layer of plastic), affixing it to the windshield, then somehow drawing cracks on the film to give the appearance of cracks. I would need to figure out what to use to draw the cracks -- I wouldn't want it to look cheesy.

I'll keep you informed, probably post some pictures if I get a solution that doesn't look too half-assed.


Freida Bee said...

My first thought was to try and do it digitally afterward, kinda "photoshop" it in. If you had a picture of a cracked windshield (possibly even the one you now proudly own) in the same position as the other there would be a way to juxtapose it onto the image of the rental car (a series of still put into the video briefly). Or, the image of the broken windshield could be from something else altogether, but slyly put into your footage where it is imperceptible. For instance, you could show the people in the car (with their fake blood, I hope) and then, from their angle, show the inside of another windshield which is cracked.

I don't know if any of that is useful. I don't have any experience to base that on besides watching movies and taking pictures of negative signage.

lulu said...

I think that the window film with cracking on it would probably work really well, particularly if you figure out how to light it.

There have to be books on this sort of thing,don't there?