Posted 06 January 2010 - 05:14 AM
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.
Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:06 PM
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.
Posted 06 January 2010 - 04:14 PM
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.
Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:49 PM
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?
Posted 09 January 2010 - 04:58 PM
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.
Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:13 PM
In the mean time if you have more comments or ideas, please let me know.
Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:06 PM
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.