Make a Cold Weather Outdoor Shoot More Bearable

photographer out in the cold working
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When you work in video production, you're going to have to shoot outside in winter. Make sure you have the right cold weather gear. Here’s how our team handles it!

production crew member dressed for the cold weather shoot

Winter is a great time of year for filming, and though Atlanta is often dubbed the Hollywood of the South, Atlanta does experience winter and temperatures fall below freezing. Knowing what to expect and coming prepared will make your production go smoother and will go a long way to keep your entire crew happy, while getting the shots you need.

Prepare your crew for the cold

Make it abundantly clear that you will be outdoors in the cold. Remind your team to wear layers, preferably thermal layers. Have them wear the correct accessories for the weather. Keep in mind that some of your crew members may not be used to colder weather and may not own winter weather gear. If this is the case, it’s a problem I’d much prefer to solve two days before a shoot than on the shoot day when everything is coming together. If you have extra gloves and coats, it’s a good idea to bring them just in case they are needed. Also consider providing the following:

  • Hand Warmers – These are very inexpensive and portable so they keep your crew warm while working. They can feel like a life saver on a really cold day.
  • Hot beverage runs – Tea, coffee, or hot cocoa breaks will go a long way to keeping everyone warmer and happier.
  • Heaters – If it is possible to bring heaters, it will make for a much easier shoot for everyone involved. If you don’t need audio, serpentine-type heaters can be used, but patio heaters are very quiet and can be placed anywhere without needing any electricity if that is a worry of yours. These do tend to be large though, so keep that in mind when looking for a vehicle for travel..  
  • Plan for more breaks – Allow time for your poor DP’s fingers to thaw. If there’s any way to rent a space nearby or trailer with heat for respite when the crew needs breaks, do so. If flexibility is possible, keep an eye on weather patterns and choose a day with the least amount of wind and the highest temperature. Keep in mind the warmest parts of the day and if it’s possible, film during that time.

Luckily for the Atlanta film industry, we typically have great weather, but that makes it all the more shocking when the temperature drops suddenly and unexpectedly. Being as prepared as possible will keep your shoot day running smoothly and allow you to keep your crew members safe and healthy for the next shoot.

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