83 Shots That Prove There is More Than One Way to Shoot a Road Trip Movie

How do you make a film shot mostly inside a car look interesting?

Isn't this one of the major hurdles you'd have to jump over as a filmmaker of a road trip movie? This is something director Dominga Sotomayor Castillo had to face while making her 2012 family odyssey film Thursday Till Sunday (De jueves a domingo), 58% of which was shot inside a station wagon. Her and DP Bárbara Álvarez's creative approach to coverage is revealed by the always enlightening video essayist Kevin B. Lee in this Keyframe video -- a video that works as a sort of playbook for those stumped on how to shoot a road trip movie.

Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/134290896

The choice to have most of your film take place inside a car is a bold one to make, but Sotomayor Castillo and Álvarez managed to keep their film visually stimulating by using a wide range of shots inside and outside of the car. This is what Lee expresses by showing us 83 different shots from the film -- just how unique and varied your perspective can be within the small confines of a moving vehicle.

We've seen this before, actually. Director Steven Knight's Locke was filmed almost entirely inside of a car -- and that movie had to overcome the many storytelling and cinematography obstacles that comes with filming a one-man-show as well. And, of course we can all think of our favorite scenes that unfolded inside of a car. The first one that comes to mind is the one from Children of Men, but there have been many others, some of which employ truly inventive rigs to pull them off.

One thing's for certain, just because your film takes place in a car doesn't mean that it has to be as confined visually.     

Your Comment


How would you go about installing a camera in a car, like the film above, with the camera moving with the car.

August 22, 2015 at 10:15AM

Director of Photography

They build rigs to mount the cameras. To get even steadier shots, they might be using a gimbal system

August 22, 2015 at 10:43AM

Jan Wen

this is how they shot the car scene in Children of Men and the rig that was built for it.

August 27, 2015 at 9:09PM, Edited August 27, 9:09PM

Michael Militscher
Director / Commercial Producer

We also did a road trip thing on a message board. Some 20-odd people in a virtual car, using clever editing. We never met each other during the filming.


August 22, 2015 at 11:08AM

You voted '-1'.
Tom Ellingsen
VFX Artist/Director/Actor