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Creating a specific rain effect in studio


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#1 Brian Rose

Brian Rose
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Posted 30 August 2008 - 10:26 AM

HI all,
I'm working on a documentary for my thesis. It's a historic piece, a biography of President James Polk, and I'm planning on shooting a few minimalist reenactments (ala "The Thin Blue Line"). One scene involves his signing a declaration of war against Mexico. I envision a shot of a desk with the pertinent document, illuminated only by light through a window. I'll be shooting in a studio, and there is a particular effect I want to pull off that I'm having trouble with. I want to have rain drizzling down the window. With proper backlighting, I hope to achieve an effect whereby the droplets of water appear to run down the length of the document itself, like tears. Basically, I'm trying to achieve the same effect as Conrad Hall did during the penultimate scene in "In Cold Blood."

I've got most of the logistics figured out, except for the tempo of the rain. I'm not sure how to do that. I figure it has to be a very specific rate of fall. Not so little that the effect is lost, but not so much that it looks like a torrent. Any ideas on how to create the effect of a moderate rainfall, a steady drizzle?

Any advice would be most appreciated!

Best,
BR
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