Filmmaking Safety Tips During The Summer

Maura N.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
There are many projects that are being shot every year during the Summer Season. Even though there is a heatwave outside, this does not have to stop you from filming outdoors. Here are a few tips that you can use if you are filming during the summer:

1. Wear a hat

Hats are a great and easy method to keep your head, face, neck and ears safe from the sun. If you choose a baseball cap instead of a hat, make sure to protect the uncovered areas with sunscreen. Depending on the budget, you can either bring custom made hats to the set or encourage everyone to bring their own hats.

2. Use sunscreen

One of the easiest methods to block some of the UV radiation from being absorbed into the skin is by using sunscreen. It is recommended to use a sunscreen with a SPF factor higher than 15 and apply it 30 minutes before going outdoors. The sunscreen should be applied on all areas that are exposed to the Sun, including nose, ears, hands and so on.

3. Bring water bottles

One of the most dangerous things that can happen during this season is dehydration. To prevent this from happening, you should bring many water bottles with you. Don’t forget to bring a cooler bag to keep it cold.

4. Bring Umbrellas

If you are shooting in direct sunlight during a hot summer day, you might consider bringing many umbrellas with you. They can protect the crew and they can also be used to protect the equipment during a short and unexpected summer rain.

5. Film right after sunrise

If you have a very low budget and you also wish to not endanger your crew, you can simply film right after sunrise, when both the weather and the natural lights are in your favor.
 

Oskar Kuusk

Active member
I am not going to lie, I hate filming during a heat wave. Even if I wear light clothing and I drink a lot of water, I still feel like I am in a hot steamed bath. If my gear is in direct sunlight, it will eventually malfunction. I have worked with many cameras, if you stay for many hours in that heat, errors will happen. My personal recommendation if you are planning to shoot a film in the summer is to take breaks when needed and use damp towels to cool off. If possible, set up the whole scene the night before or at least get up really early in the morning and here I am talking like 4 AM and start working on it. It is extremely difficult to set up lights and backgrounds at 1 PM for example. Start filming as early as possible and try to get as much as you can done before 11 AM.
 
The weather is one of the biggest problems when you are making outdoor films. In the summer, we have the heat wave. In the autumn, heavy rain. In the winter, heavy snow. There is always something that you need to face. From my point of view, there are three problems that you need to find good solutions to:
1. Keep the gear safe - As Oskar said, the gear can and probably will malfunction if you use it for many hours in direct sunlight. The gear can also break if it is not water proof and it rains. It can also malfunction in very cold weather.
2. Keep the technical team safe - The gear is important but so are its users. The technical team needs to be safe at all times. Shooting a movie in the heat wave can have negative impacts on their health especially if they have heart conditions or other type of health issues.
3. Keep the actors safe - Insolation is a serious issue and must be prevented. If the technical team can have hats and use umbrellas, the actors are directly exposed to the sun. Take many breaks and maybe consider bringing a doctor with you on set just in case. If you have the money to do so, rent tents with sidewalls, where they can rest during those breaks.
 

EmilyWilkes

Active member
If you shoot a movie during the summer, especially when it is very hot outside, you should get used to the Sun before the big day. Spend a little time outside in the heat and then slowly increase that time. This will help your body adapt to the new temperatures. Of course, don't forget to drink a lot of water and if possible, wear a hat. You can't go out at 104 degrees and expect to find ways that will make your body feel like it's 68 degrees.
 
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