How to: Dealing with weather on video shoots
Every now and then, you’ll find yourself shooting on location and maybe even outside. But you can’t control the weather and lighting. SmartCuts has all the answers.
8 minute read
Who doesn’t love a nice sound stage where every last detail is under the crew’s control? But for certain circumstances, a time will come when a project calls for shooting outside. And what’s for sure is that the weather is definitely anything but controllable. So, how do you deal with changing weather on video shoots? When it comes to dealing with weather on video shoots, you have two priorities: one, the safety of your cast and crew and two, the safety of your video equipment.
Whether for posting on social networks, or as a brand outreach strategy, videos have become one of the most consumed media today. What’s more, 66% of consumers find short-form videos to be the most engaging type of content on social media. The quality of videos takes on enormous importance, since the idea is to produce increasingly attractive and aesthetically beautiful materials. But as mentioned, you may be shooting indoors or outdoors depending on the project. In this article, we’re offering suggestions and tips for outdoor shoots for different weather conditions. Before you read on, here’s an example of what filming in extreme weather can look like. Filming in Alaska, director Sean Casey points out that, “you bring everything you think you’re going to need, but there’s always going to be stuff that happens that you can’t control, and it’s about how you deal with situations like that.”
Specialized weather shoots
1. Why would you choose an outdoor shooting location?
2. Why you need an agency for outdoor shoots
3. Benefits of outdoor shoots
4. Outdoor vs. Indoor shoots for YouTube views
5. Tips for video shoots for all types of weather
Why shoot videos outdoors?
The great thing about shooting outdoors is that it provides an endless supply of unique and beautiful backgrounds that can help to enhance the quality and feel of your videos. When you’re capturing your videos indoors, you’re often limited to using the same backgrounds over and over again. However, you do have the option to work with green screens, which comes with its string of opportunities. Our blog post on green screen studios in Geneva and Lausanne is available here. Green screen studios can be expensive to rent though. Whereas, shooting in nature gives you the ability to capture a variety of unique and beautiful backgrounds that can help to enhance the quality and feel of your videos.
On top of that, maybe you’re wanting to shoot a corporate video. But why are outdoor videos beneficial for businesses? If you’re one of the 86% of companies that create video content, outdoor shoots can be an exciting new part of your strategy. Filming your corporate video outside means that you have access to all types and backdrops and lends your production a convincing, real-world feel. A video filmed outside can take advantage of nature to make your brand feel personal, friendly and great.
Why you need an agency for outdoor shoots
Of course you can make your own videos, however, when you work with a production crew that is professional and experienced, you gain access to all the tricks to make the best outdoor videos. Some of these benefits include the following:
- Lighting – production crews will be able to manage the lighting with specific gear, such as reflectors and neutral density filters.
- Audio – production crews will know everything about audio. Capturing clean audio outside might mean using protective gear on your boom mics, for example.
- Access to equipment – hiring a production crew means that they will have access to all types of high quality equipment. For instance, drones can provide stunning visuals that can’t be captured from the ground.
The benefits of outdoor video shoots
As mentioned, shooting your videos outdoors means that you can have interesting and beautiful backgrounds to be able to produce high quality videos. Some other benefits of outdoor shoots include:
- Space – Shooting outside means that you have unlimited space. That means you have the ability to be more creative with your shots, try new things with depth of field, etc.
- Natural light – If the weather is good, working outdoors means that you have beautiful natural light. If you don’t have a budget for studio lighting, then just take advantage of natural light outside.
- Cost – Finally, most times, it’s free to shoot outside. However, be aware that some locations may have a fee charge.
Whilst there are several benefits to outdoor shoots, on the other hand, shooting outdoors also means that you’ll need to be ready to handle a wide range of weather conditions, which can make things difficult when you’re trying to capture your videos. For example, too much sun can cause your video footage to become too bright and washed out, which will make it difficult to see and edit. Should the day be scorching, you also run the risk of your video footage becoming distorted and degraded. Here is a video by Think Media, detailing tips on how to shoot better videos outside, including avoiding direct sunlight, avoiding loud background noises, and looking for open shade.
Outdoor vs. Indoor shoots for YouTube views
Following on from the benefits of shooting outdoors, it’s important to note that for your brand, shooting outdoor vs. indoor can affect YouTube views. In the following video, Tim Schmoyer says that shooting outdoors means that you can use natural lighting and sunlight. With that, the colors seem to be more vibrant and natural. Schmoyer noted that he generally got more views when he shot outside because of the more friendly and natural lighting. Watch his full video here to see some more reasons as to how shooting outdoors vs. indoors can affect your YouTube viewers.
Video production tips for all types of weather
Furthermore, in this next section, we’re going to be highlighting various types of extreme weather and giving you suggestions and tips for producing high quality videos in these conditions.
1. Cold weather
Obviously a very clear tip when shooting in cold weather would be to stay warm (but do make sure to wear enough layers). Another tip is that you should make sure everyone on location is hydrated. Colder climates are generally drier climates, which makes the risk of dehydration high on a shoot. So make sure everyone is drinking enough fluids. You can make a schedule to add to the call sheet where everyone takes a water break to ensure adequate hydration. Additionally, cold weather and batteries don’t really go hand and hand. When you’re not using them, keep your batteries in a heated space— like a car or even a bag with some heat packs.
2. Extreme heat
In addition to making sure everyone is hydrated, make sure to find shade. If you can’t find shade, make it. Also, it’s important to note that keeping your equipment in perfect condition is essential. In any weather, any video producer should keep a clear protective lens filter on their cameras to protect the lens from scratches. You can watch this video here by BBC about filming in extreme heat.
3. Windy weather
The wind might sound like more of an inconvenience than an actual threat to your shoot. But at the same time, it’s important to take precautions. For example, a gust of wind could cause a piece of equipment to fall or fly away. What you don’t want is for a cast or crew member to get hit with a piece of equipment. So, secure everything you can from your camera stand to lights and more. You want everything to stay in the same position.
So if it’s raining, it may not necessarily be extremely cold, but it’s still important to take precautions in all types of weather. One of the most important tips is to wear waterproof gear. It can be dangerous and uncomfortable to be working whilst wearing wet clothing. In particular, wet socks can quickly lead to injured skin,hypothermia, and more. Whilst the cast may not be wearing all of this clothing during their scenes, at least have tents and trailers set up so that they can stay dry in between takes. Also, make sure to have protective gear for your equipment. Umbrellas, for example, can cover your equipment.
And there you have it! Sometimes, you may have to take your video shoot outside. Depending on the project, an outdoor location for a video shoot may be the ideal option. Documenting your adventures outdoors is rewarding, however, the one downside is that you can’t control the weather. Hopefully these tips and suggestions that we have given you on various weather conditions will help for your future video shoots. If you need any more guidance, feel free to contact us directly.