Under The Weather: Mother Nature Vs Infomercial Production
Weather conditions can cause numerous challenges on production companies when it comes to shoot time. Each season has its own unique set of inherent difficulties that need to be dealt with properly in order to wrap your infomercial production in a successful manner. Here are some of the challenges you may be up against as well as some potential solutions to help you navigate through them.
Rain On Your Parade
There are many aspects of production that can be disrupted and impaired due to rain. Rain can sometimes last for days, bringing any outdoor filming that doesn’t warrant rain to a stand still. Unfortunately, even if the rain passes fairly quickly, it can still sometimes have long lasting effects with regard to your intended production. Depending on the severity of the precipitation, props and equipment as well as your set can be ruined if they aren’t properly sheltered during the rainfall. They may need to be replaced, fixed or require time to dry before filming resumes if they didn’t have proper protection, thus further impacting your production schedule and budget. It’s important to consider as well that If the ground becomes soft because of the weather, equipment may not be able to stand up or be used to its full capacity. In order to combat the challenges associated with a rainy production: consider season as it relates to the various locations you intend to shoot at. Implement a backup plan and make sure all types of rain protection are readily available. If your equipment does become exposed to the elements of mother nature, here are a few tips to bring your gear back to life. One thing that may be helpful is to have a hair dryer packed away. As long as the camera isn’t completely drenched using a hair dryer to help evaporate the water can help restore the camera faster than simply waiting with your fingers crossed. Another tip is to put the wet device in an airtight container with packets of silica gel to help absorb the moisture. And lastly, the trick using uncooked rice to dry out electronics can work wonders. Simply fill a container that’s a little bigger than your equipment with uncooked rice. Then bury your camera in it. After a few hours it should be ready for the front lines again.
Beware Of The Melting Zone
The effects of snow can be disastrous. Long lasting and easily even more inconvenient than rain (unless your setting is a winter wonderland or slushy mess of course). Snow can halt production for days and sometimes even weeks. While blocked and icy roads present safety and scheduling concerns for your crew, talent and equipment, if your infomercial is being shot outdoors you’re in for much more than a few delays. People that are traveling from areas hit hard by the storm may not be able to arrive at all. If this happens your production is then at a stand still until everyone that’s needed, or replacements for those unable to make it are found. But don’t despair. If there’s nothing but snow in your crystal ball consider having everyone that’s vital to your production stay at the same hotel or establishment close by the actual shoot location to eliminate the potential of missing team members. If you find yourself having to deal with the effects of snow and your equipment, snow is a little easier to deal with than rain, but be sure to bundle up your equipment well to protect it from the elements. If your gear takes a snow dive make sure to pick it up by the strap so you don’t accidently compress the snow and create further challenges. You do not want the snow to melt. So once you’ve retrieved it, take a cold glove and wipe off the snow gently.
Nothing Burns Like The Cold
Even if there’s no snow throughout shooting during the cold weather months, low temperatures can be just as harmful and sometimes even more so than the snow. Proper precautions should always be taken to prepare for cold weather outdoor filming. The good part of single digit degrees versus snow is that the show can usually still go on. However, in order to continue your infomercial production outside, you must be prepared with protection for your entire team as well as all of your resources and equipment. Expenses are also a huge concern, such as purchasing extra gear to combat the freezing air or even implementing remote or additional heating sources . Postponing your shoot may not be an option as it can be incredibly costly and often disrupt a tight schedule. Being well prepared to handle the frigid environment is not only beneficial to everyone likely to endure the weather but proper preparation will also help ensure you’re able to complete the goals at hand. A few simple things that may make a huge difference would be having items like: blankets, extra gloves and socks, hot beverages and even tents for protection to keep everyone and everything warm on the set. Having all these precautions in place can make a tremendous difference between having the shoot run smoothly or become an awful experience for all involved.
TWISTERS, HURRICANES & TROPICAL STORMS, OH MY!
Extreme weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes and tropical storms are obviously much more rare of an occasion than any other weather conditions you’ll likely face. Hopefully you’ll have enough warning and the sense to avoid these situations all together. However, should you find yourself in the path of a hurricane or tornado while in production, the damage and danger you’ll likely be up against will be tremendous. Without dwelling on the obvious tragedies that can come about, everything you may have planned can likely take weeks, months or even years to come back to any sort of normalcy. With this in mind, always evaluate properly what type of weather you may be facing when planning your infomercial production. If a certain geographic area is prone to such catastrophes, consider looking for an alternative location right from the start. For instance, if you have an upcoming shoot scheduled to take place during hurricane season that needs to be on a beach, you should likely stay away from the entire south-east of the U.S.. Regardless of what you have in mind for your upcoming production, consider having a look at some weather websites and look beyond the forecast to examine the history of the weather for that particular locale during your upcoming production schedule.
BEAT THE HEAT
While the hotter months tend to be much more pleasant than colder months, your production still needs to be prepared for the challenges that extreme hot weather can put before you. To combat potential high temperatures, your production should be prepared with plenty of water on hand and you should pay close attention to make sure that breaks are taken on a regular basis and possibly more so than usual. Breaks are beneficial to not only the crew but as well to cool down any equipment that may run hot and potentially ware down. Whether it be your equipment, cast or crew, too much heat can be detrimental to your efforts. In addition to heat exhaustion and dehydration, extra make-up, touch ups, costume changes, and various adjustments may be in order to make sure your infomercial production stays on course. Even if the shooting is indoors, it’s critical the establishment has properly functioning air conditioning and enough power or the shoot may be in for some trouble. Backup generators may wind up being lifesavers to help keep your production on schedule and your budget in line. The extra investments ahead of time can wind up saving you a great deal more than the expenditures.
Even though there are many different weather related obstacles production companies might face, if proper precautions and planning are taken into account, you can certainly shoot your production nearly anywhere at anytime. Nothing should stop you from saying “ACTION!”.