Beat The Heat | For the northern hemisphere, summer has officially begun and warmer days are certainly coming.
As filmmakers, sometimes the weather doesn’t want to cooperate with the assignment at hand. Whether you’re trying to keep the talent from being drenched in sweat, or you just need to prevent your camera from overheating, shooting in the heat can add a lot of difficulty to a DP’s job. Here are a few tips that can help you beat the heat this summer.
The first thing you should look for when you’re on location is shady areas that will provide cover from the solar radiation that can make your camera more susceptible to overheating. Most cinema cameras are black and made from some kind of metal; this will absorb a lot of the heat from the sun that will make your gear more likely to overheat and fail. Even when you are in the shade, you should try to keep your camera covered with some kind of cloth, especially when you aren’t shooting.
Avoid Extreme Temp Changes:
One thing that you want to avoid is sudden changes in temperature. If you keep your gear in the air conditioning, immediately exposing it to heat will add stress to your camera and could fog up your lenses. Insulated bags will allow your gear to gradually heat up to the temperature you’re working in. Once your gear is at the same temperature as your environment, you can safely remove it from the bag to begin shooting.
Sweat is another factor that needs to be considered. To reduce the glossy look that sweat creates for on-camera talent, a little face powder can go along way. Bringing hand towels is a great idea to help dry up a sweat before applying powder. It can also be used by camera ops to reduce the liquid that comes in contact with your camera. If it’s really hot, consider bringing a headband to absorb the sweat that drips from your face and hair.
If your production allows flexibility for when the shoot takes place, shoot early in the morning or late in the evening. Check local weather sources for when the coolest point of the day is. This allows you to try and schedule your shoot for then.
Plan plan plan:
It is important to limit how long you are out in the summer heat. Plan accordingly to ensure you aren’t directing talent under the sun. You can explain the itinerary while relaxing in the AC. This way, when it’s time to start shooting, everyone is already in position.
Last but not least, bring plenty of water and sunscreen. It is always better to have more than you need than not enough. The last thing you want to happen on set is putting someone’s health at risk.