Education, Pro Tips

6 Filmmaking Tips for Shooting Scenes in the Rain

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When you’re shooting a scene that takes place in the rain, there’s a lot to plan for. If you’re working with real rain, you’ll have to deal with Mother Nature and be sure to shoot at the right time for the right light. If you’re faking it, there’s a whole other set of challenges to tackle. Our friends at StudioBinder put together this helpful video on shooting rain scenes, made entirely with Pond5 media. Check out it out and read on for a rundown of everything covered.
 

 

Tip 1: Avoid the Sun

When you’re filming rain, it’s important that people can see it properly. Sunlight can make rain almost invisible, so shoot at night if you can. If not, opt for sunrise or sunset, and always make sure your backlight is good.

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Tip 2: Plan Extra Time

Everything takes longer when you’re shooting a rain scene. Weather can always be unpredictable, and setting up will take more time. You’ll also need to have a way to keep gear and lighting dry — not to mention the cast and crew between takes.
 

Tip 3: Fake Your Rain

If you don’t want to rely on the frivolousness of actual weather, faking rain is the best option. Fire hydrants are one option for a water source (if you have a permit), or you can rent a rain truck, which will usually come with its own crew and rig.

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Tip 4: Control Your Flow

If you’re faking rain, it’s important to be able to modulate the flow with your rig. This way, you can create different types of rain depending on the scene, from drizzles to downpours.
 

Tip 5: Use Wet Downs

By hosing down roads, scenery, props, and even actors, you can mimic the look of a just-rained environment — which can go a long way toward enhancing the realism of your scene.
 

Heavy Rain Loop With Alpha Channel by LucidPixel
 

Tip 6: Add Rain VFX

If you need to add rain to your footage in post-production, you can always go with a rain video clip with an alpha channel. You can find plenty of rain video clips on Pond5 and experiment to see which one works best for your scene.
 
Do you have tips of your own for shooting rain scenes or questions that weren’t covered here? Tell us in the comments!

Explore all the media used to create this video in the collection below:

Rain Video Collection
Top image: Still from Lonely Girl in the Rain by DobraLama