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2 - Pimp my Bus

One of the "characters" is a bus, owned by a hippie who likes to customize. It was bought for the project, and immediately the engine broke. Months went by and eventually it got fixed. Still has a few issues (still working to make it pass emissions, for example) but we were good to go to turn it into the proper movie car. It was in mostly primer with a fair amount of Bondo in a few spots, but mostly smooth enough that we weren't going to stress on the styling. It isn't a shiny 100 point concourse car. A little gritty is okay.

I looked at a lot of buses on the 'net for ideas. The caveats were "cheap" yet distinctive (in case the van is ever used for promotions). Also, not green or blue, as it would mess with the green screen. Also, not too shiny - it might reflect the chase car (or worse, the camera man). Eventually I came up with a red over black with the red dropping onto the black in stylized flames. I also deleted the front spare tire mount in favor of a throwback styled "V" in front, reminiscent of the old split window buses. 

There is supposed to be a gun that comes out of the spare tire where a peace sign covers the center hole. I changed that to a larger logo in the center (okay, a plastic picnic plate, held on by supermagnets, with the peace symbol glued to the center). It brings it WAY more when it is alone, and I have a way to camera magic the gun out of the nose of the bus. I am mocking up just the center and painting it to match with another matching plate and symbol. Close up shot on just the symbol, it moves aside and the gun slides out of a reinforced hole with a bolted collar. Switch to distance shot and the magnetized one on the bus is off on an angle, and the "gun" and "collar" is attached. In reality the mounting holes are under the logo on the bus and the collar is attached to the gun - the collar is the mounting flange. Should look good.

The black on the bottom was painted with flat black rustoleum, thinned 25% with mineral spirits. Next time I paint I'm using Acetone (it will flash off quicker), although the odorless mineral spirits was a nice bit of non-stinky. The red was Rustoleum Sunrise Red in a gloss, but we won't be buffing it out right now - again, that "shiny" thing with the camera.

You can't see it, but there are removable sunroofs in front and back. This is so the good guys can pop up and fight back against the bad guys. That was the first thing we did to this bus a couple weeks back. Having the ability to pop up through the roof like a gopher to spray some paint on the roof was a big help, although the black aluminum on there gets pretty hot in the sunshine. Something to think about to protect the actors from.

On the bottom under the front bumper is supposed to be some drop down sweepers to push away nails and caltrops, just in case somebody drops them on the road. So I mounted a grill thing under the bumper, and two reinforcing bars on a diagonal that can hang down to angle things away from the front tires. Here is the underneath, without the sweeper plates.

Next Up: 3 - First day shooting