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  1. Member Since
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    Aug 14, 2011, 3:19 PM - why are movie streets nearly always wet #1

    its been niggling me latley , movies that are set in somewhere dry , clearly filmed in hollywood but the streets are always wet

    at first i thought it was just action films so that cars can skid and slide in the wet , but no its also in movies with no car action

    any ideas on the reasons
  2. Member Since
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    Aug 14, 2011, 3:31 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #2

    The answer is for contrast. A black asphalt street at night will not provide an image that a camera can capture. The camera would only capture a dark image, since only your eyes are adjusted enough to tell the difference between the street and the dark surroundings.

    The water is used with ambient lighting to help the camera capture an image that can be used for post-production touch up. I'm not an expert with this at all, but I've done enough photography and video editing to know this much.
  3. DaddyfromNaboo's Avatar
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    Aug 14, 2011, 3:33 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #3

    Because dry streets look boring.

    Light bounces off wet streets very nicely, especially at night. It gives some more depth to images, and the wetness makes a street that probably has several patches of asphalt or something else look more uniform, i.e. dark.

    "Complete Wetdown" sometimes is a horror for the production designers/on-set-team, since you have to re-wet sometimes between takes. Sometimes you are lucky and there are a lot of hydrants in an area, if not you call the local fire department or city cleaning department to do the wet down for you.
  4. jarvis's Avatar
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    Aug 14, 2011, 3:39 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #4

  5. Member Since
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    Aug 14, 2011, 3:53 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #5

    steveo3002 said: View Post
    its been niggling me latley , movies that are set in somewhere dry , clearly filmed in hollywood but the streets are always wet

    at first i thought it was just action films so that cars can skid and slide in the wet , but no its also in movies with no car action

    any ideas on the reasons
    Because you get two actions for the price of one. The actual action and it's reflection.
  6. Universal Greeblie RPF Premium Member Jedifyfe's Avatar
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    Aug 14, 2011, 4:35 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #6


    Damn it! I wanted to post that...
  7. RPF Premium Member Funky Jedi's Avatar
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    Aug 14, 2011, 4:42 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #7

    No...I wanted to post that!
  8. DarkHelmet's Avatar
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    Aug 14, 2011, 5:17 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #8

    From a cinematographers perspective, wet streets look purdy.
  9. Member Since
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    Aug 19, 2011, 2:28 PM - Part III , Why are movie roads all wet? #9

    Why are movie roads all wet? Part III ?

    Part III?

    Can a topic on an internet forum even have a sequel, or a remake?
    Itís an interesting question; at least itís got you thinking.


    Movies can be remade (just as well for that!, the Spiderman remake being far better that the 80ís sunglasses version), songs can be remade, and even the performers themselves continually reinvent themselves to appear fresh. Why not internet topics?
    We might be thankful that (when George Lucas went to make Star Wars) the studio didnít say to him "JEDYFYFED!", Just go and re watch the black and white King Features Flash Gordon cliff-hangers again?

    So, with that bloated introduction, I introduce "WET ROADS III: The day after the last crusade".

    I didnít really notice how many wet roads there were in movies (and on T.V.) until the "Wet Roads I" topic appeared here on the RPF. Several theories were thrown up at the time, ranging from the aesthetic value of all those pretty lights to the practical need of getting extra light onto the 35 mm film - to trigger those lazy grains of silver into action.

    But as I listen to a yet another song on the radio with the lead vocal electronically clipped and the base cut out, I realise the answer to the great wet roads enigma.
    Fashion, the fashion of the time steers the look of things.
    Innovative artists use a particular technique to create novelty and convey meaningÖ then as soon as you can say "Batman Returns" every other contemporary artist jumps onto the bandwagon. Shortly thereafter that technique is adopted into the grammar of that particular medium.
    Will I use wet roads in my cinematographic excursions? You betcha! Why? Because all light has it's place on film, even the reflected stuff, the result is similar but strangly different from the initial image.

    Drop back later for "WET ROADS IIII: I may have been wrong about that last thing".

    In the meantime, Iíd be very interested to hear your thoughts on how water is used in movies in interesting ways.

    Last edited by blip; Aug 19, 2011 at 7:47 PM.
  10. cboath's Avatar
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    Aug 19, 2011, 2:30 PM - Re: Part III , Why are movie roads all wet? #10

    They look better visually, give it more texture and reflection. Don't think it's anything more than that.
  11. Member Since
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    Aug 19, 2011, 2:38 PM - Re: Part III , Why are movie roads all wet? #11

    I'm with you, "looking cool" is a great reson to capture an image.
  12. Member Since
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    Aug 19, 2011, 5:07 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #12

    What about the glass of water in "Inception ...or the glass of water in Jurassic Park, with the base string attached (to give the warning that something big was on it's way)..

    Light and water...tell it to the impressionist painters.
  13. Member Since
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    Aug 19, 2011, 7:38 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #13

    Or ST6. The close-up of the vibrating glass of water always bugs me.

    Movies have strange weather. Dry and dusty in the day, rain at night. Variable brightness at anytime.

    I was watching the Road Warrior yesterday. Saw it many times but just noticed, when Max breaks out it's at dawn. He turns on the blower and it's Noon! That thing shot him to the next time zone!
    And talking about water. They're after gas, but don't seem worried about a water supply in the middle of the desert.
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    Aug 19, 2011, 8:06 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #14

    terryr said: View Post
    Or ST6. The close-up of the vibrating glass of water always bugs me.

    Movies have strange weather. Dry and dusty in the day, rain at night. Variable brightness at anytime.

    I was watching the Road Warrior yesterday. Saw it many times but just noticed, when Max breaks out it's at dawn. He turns on the blower and it's Noon! That thing shot him to the next time zone!
    And talking about water. They're after gas, but don't seem worried about a water supply in the middle of the desert.
    Here's a few lines from a unused Indy script. They picked up on your idea.

    "against the mechanized Nazi army for the Lost City, which contains the fountain of youth. The Nazis mine the city, and a fight takes place as the fuse is lit, extinguished, and relit. The chief Nazi escapes into the desert with vials from the fountain of youth after Indy has won the battle. But we learn that only the pygmies can drink from the fountain without dyingóin the desert the Nazi eyes the vials with great thirst."

    I forgot about that vibrating glass in ST6, add it to the list.
  15. CB2001's Avatar
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    Aug 19, 2011, 9:08 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #15

    I thought I replied to this post already.

    The reason why the streets are wet is that it adds detail to the shot, especially with lighting. You can have a city street at night without the wet streets, but it wouldn't look as good. Some films don't give an explanation for why the streets are wet. However, in The Warriors, the reason for the streets being wet is actually explained (as it rains just prior to the Warriors getting to the subway stop).

    For daytime, the only time I saw it wet down was for the big chase from the remake of Gone in 60 Seconds, which is understandable as they want to make sure cars slide.
  16. micdavis is offline micdavis
    Aug 19, 2011, 9:11 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #16

    terryr said: View Post
    Or ST6. The close-up of the vibrating glass of water always bugs me.
    How about those phaser proof mashed potatoes?

    And people think Star Trek 5 is bad?!?!?
  17. Member Since
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    Aug 19, 2011, 11:48 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #17

    Ahhhh yes, that little known sixth element.

    Earth,Wind,Fire,Water...and Mashed Potatoes.



    .
    Last edited by blip; Aug 19, 2011 at 11:53 PM.
  18. Member Since
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    Aug 20, 2011, 11:56 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #18



    Ever looked at your reflection in the water? Not like this you havenít.
    This still from the ABYSS shows that with the right incentive even water itself can be trained,
    Well maybe not, but this early use of computerized animation heralded a new era in the electronic enhancement of film. Computers have really allowed the imagination of the filmmakers to go wild with water. Before that, water just kind of wrecked our cameras. More examples of water on film?... and just how did the cameras survive?

    Any observations or unusual examples would be cool.
    Last edited by blip; Aug 28, 2011 at 2:24 AM.
  19. Member Since
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    Aug 28, 2011, 2:27 AM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #19

    Just trying to get a copy of the film "Singing in the rain" so I can see how they deal with wet streets for another reason. Stay tuned.
  20. payton paison's Avatar
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    Aug 28, 2011, 8:46 AM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #20

    Taking it in a different direction but still satying with the water thing:
    Why is it always raining in movies with a lot of special effects?
    And it seems like the scenes are always at night.
    Does that help with the special effects in some way?
  21. Larry Young is offline Larry Young
    Aug 28, 2011, 9:48 AM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #21

    Night, rain, and smoke or steam hide a multitude of sins.
  22. HAL9000's Avatar
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    Aug 28, 2011, 12:29 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #22

    There's another reason for wetting down streets that an old time DP told me.

    To prevent kicking up excess dust that could get into a camera gate/mag/lens the streets
    and sidewalks were wetted down.

    So there is a practical side as well.
  23. Member Since
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    Aug 16, 2013, 2:56 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #23

    I always wanted to know im sitting here watching a movie men at work its not raining in asking wifey why is the streets ......wet why why I've played extras in movies and tv 2003-now i never seen them wet it if so I'll ask its these 90's movie's ....
  24. rodneyfaile is offline rodneyfaile
    Aug 16, 2013, 7:24 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #24

    Multiple people- "Why is it always raining in Blade Runner?"

    Ridley Scott- "Because I GD want it too."

    - - - Updated - - -

    It looks prettier on screen.
  25. RPF Premium Member SVTStingRay's Avatar
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    Aug 16, 2013, 11:45 PM - Re: why are movie streets nearly always wet #25

    if any fans of Miami Vice would notice, its always wet looking in Miami at nighttime, but not during the day!

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