Now that summer seems to be fading, you'll need a few tips to keep filming through the winter
Working with the elements is part and parcel of filming in the UK at the best of times but conditions are only going to get worse with the end of summer.
But while you might think most feature film weather conditions are concocted post-production, a behind the scenes look at Dunkirk revealed Christopher Nolan and his team working with storms on location.
The changeable conditions were an integral part of the film, highlighting the treacherous nature of the Dunkirk beach.
Therefore the team had to learn to work with them rather than reschedule shooting around them.
Director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema pointed out: “The first two weeks of filming we had huge storms and it was wet, it was raining, it was cold but I mean we were shooting our best material there.”
Inspired by the great director, we at The Video Mode have compiled a few tips to help you get the shots you need even in the worst conditions.
If Nolan can do it with heavy IMAX cameras, you can do it too.
Prepare your camera’s rain protection
There are lots of options out there for protectors and rain covers for all kinds of equipment that are definitely worth investing in if you’re planning on going out on location. Also – as they’re pretty portable – keeping one in your kit bag when heading out is always a good idea. Rain in this country can come and go with very little notice.
Check out this waterproof cover for SLR cameras on Amazon for £7.99.
Lens hoods are another essential bit of gear to help keep raindrops off your lens and stop them ruining your shot. These are often in included with your camera kit or you can easily pick them up on Amazon, like this DSLR hood for £7.99.
Stormy weather worked really well in Dunkirk because the film required it. However, if your short film is set in the summer then you might struggle in these conditions. Obviously, weather is changeable but when planning your shoot it’s a good idea to have a weather app to make sure you don’t waste time and money waiting around for a brief ray of sunshine.
There are plenty of free options out there such as the Met Office’s own app, Met Office Weather Forecast, which is available on Apple and Android.
If you failed to take heed of our last tip, or dark clouds suddenly appear on an August day, you might need to get a bit creative. The good people over at Amateur Photographer give a few tips of how to make a DIY waterproof cover.
Take a clear plastic bag, cover your camera completely and secure it at the end of your lens with elastic bands. Then cut a hole for the lens and a hole for your eyepiece. Then attach your lens hood and you’re all set.
It’s important to check everything is completely covered and secured. Also, beware that this is more of a one time fix rather than your new go-to cover.
Beware of audio
If its raining heavily, your audio is likely to be affected as rain can be quite noisy. There are a few solutions to this, including fixing it in editing through plug-ins or attaching a recording track from when it’s not raining to your footage if you’re just looking for background noise.
Check out our tips for recording audio for video to make sure you have the basics down.
Now you have no excuse to let a little rain stop you from going out on location – no matter how much the actors complain.