Jump to content


Photo

Rain scene


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Ken Minehan

Ken Minehan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 168 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Singapore

Posted 06 January 2010 - 05:14 AM

Hi Guys,
I am shooting a low budget short film about a boy going through his basic military training. There is a day scene that requires the main character to be running in the jungle while it is raining. I have never done a shoot using a rain machine before so i have some concerns.

I will be using the Panasonic hpx3700, 25fps, 90deg shutter.

In one of the shots, i was hoping to run with the actor (handheld) through the rain to capture him running in a mid shot. I was hoping to cover this from in front of him and from behind him.

what' s the best way to water proof the camera?
How do i keep water droplets from hitting the lens?
Any advice on running backwards with a camera? Is there an a more effective way to get these shots?

Looking forward to hearing from anyone with tips and advice.


regards
Ken Minehan
  • 0

#2 Kevin W Wilson

Kevin W Wilson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 42 posts
  • Film Loader
  • Atlanta, GA

Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:06 PM

Hi Ken.

Ideally you would want a rain slicker for the camera or a weatherproof housing, they aren't cheap though. I've seen camera ops do everything from Saran Wrap to plastic trash bags. Sometimes it works well, sometimes just sort of. A friend of mine is a severe weather photographer and he doesn't use anything, he keeps the lens cap on until he's ready to fire and he always has plenty of lens tissues handy. His photos are gorgeous and rarely require any touch up. At the very least the camera body and lens needs to be covered with some sort of water repelling material. Electronics and water don't tend to be friendly with one another.

You could have someone run along side you with a large 4x4 flag, I've seen this work rather well before. Mount the flag to the end of a grip arm and have an assistant run next to you with the flag out over the lens. Depending on how wide your lens is you will need to adjust and figure out the dance but it can work. A tarp is another option but it can be quite loud so if sound is an issue then maybe not.

Also, keeping a hood on the lens will help and adding a mattebox will aid further.

Running backwards with a camera and maintaining a specific shot is not the easiest thing in the world, but it can be done. There's a reason Stedicam ops practice with heavy rigs and workout so much! Always have someone behind you to guide you, this is non-negotiable on any production with valuable equipment, safety is a must with people first and equipment a close second. Walking is a different story but if you are running through a forest, in the rain, with a fully mocked up HPX, all of it backwards, you need a guide and possibly a guide for your guide! Practice the shot several times without the rain machine on, rehearse with the actor and dial everything in so you move as one unit. When you think you've got it, fire everything up and make some magic.

Good luck, be safe out there.

Kevin Wilson
  • 0

#3 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 06 January 2010 - 04:14 PM

I saw a device once for rain work that consisted of a clear glass disc spinning very fast. The camera would shoot thru this glass, which would instantly fling off any water that hit it. Another thing to try is an optical flat or a nice piece of plate glass as rain protection, and just rub the outside surface with a slice of raw potato. There's a chemical in the potato that breaks the surface tension and makes the droplets flatten out. Test that first, of course, because there'll be some residual distortion that you may or may not like. The bigger and farther from the lens, the less the distortion.

As for running backwards, given that you have an electronic camera, another thing to try is running forwards with the camera backwards on your shoulder. All you'd need is a small screen on an arm in front of you so you could see to operate. Give it a try before the shoot, you may find that to be an easier skill to develop than actually running backwards. It's sort of like how dentists can work by looking in a mirror. You've got the football, so have the rest of your team blocking for you. And bring dry clothes to change into at the end of the day.




-- J.S.
  • 0

#4 Marque DeWinter

Marque DeWinter
  • Sustaining Members
  • 117 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • New York

Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:49 PM

While it won't work for you... On the film I just wrapped on we used an air knife to keep water away from the beam splitter (it was 3D or the outter most element). What it does is create a stream of high pressure air shooting outwards away from the camera to blow any water away from the camera. It works ok but tilting up severely can be a problem.

~Marque DeWinter
  • 0

#5 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 08 January 2010 - 02:16 PM

On the film I just wrapped on we used an air knife to keep water away ....


Interesting -- Does it make a lot of noise, or can you shoot sync sound with it?





-- J.S.
  • 0

#6 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 January 2010 - 04:58 PM

You shouldn't have any problem if you just use standard type raingear for the camera and keep an eyebrow on all the time as a rain visor. Have your assistants give you a chamois so you can give it a quick wipe if you need to. Otherwise, hand it off to them to check the lens between each and every take. Rain spots might ruin a couple takes (or in the edit, those takes may be preferred, you never know) but you shouldn't have much real problem. I've shot in a hard downpour like that and kept the lens clear.

It will be much trickier if it's windy or only raining a tiny bit so it's like a mist. In those cases, keep a flat in front of the lens but don't tighten the knob that locks the tray in the mattebox. Then, if you have a lot of drops your assistant can pull the flat mid-shot and the lens will be clear again.
  • 0

#7 Ken Minehan

Ken Minehan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 168 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Singapore

Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:13 PM

Thank you guys very much. all your comments have been very helpful. My shoot is not until next month so i still have time to do more research/tests.
In the mean time if you have more comments or ideas, please let me know.
Cheers guys.
Ken Minehan
  • 0

#8 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:06 PM

One more bit I forgot. Have your first find some clear shower caps if he doesn't already carry them. He can get the lens all clean and put the shower cap over the mattebox. You'll still be able to frame up through it and everything but the lens will stay clean until the take is up.
  • 0

#9 Ken Minehan

Ken Minehan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 168 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Singapore

Posted 01 February 2010 - 04:03 AM

One more bit I forgot. Have your first find some clear shower caps if he doesn't already carry them. He can get the lens all clean and put the shower cap over the mattebox. You'll still be able to frame up through it and everything but the lens will stay clean until the take is up.


Wow, that's such a good idea.
thanks for the tip.
ken
  • 0


Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Visual Products

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Opal

The Slider

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Technodolly

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc