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Blog

8 Tips for Filming in the Heat

Rachel Ciehoski

         By: Rachel Ciehoski          

         Whether you are a director, camera man or woman, a PA, or just an intern there to watch and learn, filming in the heat can be dreadful and heat factors can sometimes affect the equipment you are working with to the finished product. I’m here to hopefully remind you of a few tips on how to beat the heat as well as insight you to new knowledge that could benefit your film career.

1.   Bring plenty of water bottles.

This may seem obvious but it’s necessary to bring more than enough water bottles in a cooler. There should be at least double the quantity for each person on the crew.  They should be kept chilled in a cooler not sitting in the back of the crew van left out for the sun to warm them up. Who likes warm water on a scorching day? Also remember to always offer the talent or spokesperson on the project a bottled water!

2.  Pack wash cloths.

There’s a reason why it is important to pack double the water bottle amount per person. If you bring a few wash cloths, then you can pour the cold water onto the cloth and place it on the back of your neck while you’re filming, directing, or getting the extra batteries from the crew van. Hey everyone on the crew is as important as the other. As an intern, I live by that statement. 😊 With the cloth, you can dab off the sweat you have rolling down your face... hey at least you’re not in front of the camera! Instead of pouring water on your head, which could get the equipment wet and you look foolish in front of your client, the cloth will cool you down subtly while still being professional.

3.  Bring umbrellas.

No this isn’t a tip for filming in the rain. This tip is more for your equipment. You don’t want to be in the middle of a shoot and have to stop because your cameras have overheated. Hold them over the equipment while the talent is in preparation mode. If you can have a PA hold the umbrella above the camera while it is shooting. This way the cameras are protected from the harsh sun! 

4.  Avoid shooting on asphalt.

Plan the location of your shoots wisely. Look up the forecast days prior to the shoot and if it looks like it’s going to be over 80 degrees, try not to film on asphalt. The black color will absorb the sun and make the day miserable for you and the crew. Grass and concrete are best for hot days.

5.  Slowly expose the cameras.

When travelling on a hot day to the on-location site, you and the crew are going to expose them to the heat. If you immediately expose them, dew will get inside the camera and its lens. Let it sit in the van in room temperature prior to taking them out into the dreadful heat.

6.  Bring powder foundation.

You’re not the only one sweating out in the heat. Powder foundation mattifies the skin to appear less oily. Maybe the talent will bring their own powder to put on their face before the camera starts rolling. If not, politely gesture your powder foundation to them. More than likely they’ll take it as a blessing instead of an insult. You want the talent to look their best to get the most aesthetically pleasing shot and you want to hide the fact that its scorching hot.   

7.  No SUNGLASSES.

Sunglasses are great on sunny days to give your eyes a bit of a rest. For filming wearing sunglasses is a big no-no. If you are operating a camera, if you keep them on it will completely mess up the appearance of each shot looking through the lens. For other crew members shades may hinder what you are actually seeing.  If something looks wrong, you need to let the director know about it. Instead of wearing sunglasses, I suggest wearing a hat of your choice. 

8.  Suck it up.

I mean this literally. After the crew has collected all the necessary B-roll, thanked the client, and packed up the cameras go and get a Slurpee of sorts. You deserved it, especially if you’re an unpaid intern. 😊