It’s raining, it’s pouring, your lead actor is snoring… in the toasty-dry holding area, while you and the rest of the camera crew wait out the storm in the not-so-great outdoors. Or perhaps your director has decided that their scene would just be so much more emotionally engaging if shot in a downpour and the dreaded rain machine is making its ominous appearance. Here we outline several solutions for keeping your video or film equipment dry in spring showers or heavier precipitation.
When dealing with intermittent or soft rain, inexpensive options include this two-pack of Ruggard Rain Covers, which, although designed for a DSLR with a flash unit, will fit a DSLR, mirrorless, or small cine-style camera. You can tuck the upper sleeve over a small onboard monitor or another accessory instead of a flash unit. Camera and bag covers come in an array of styles and affordability, letting you choose the level of protection you need. You can also use a clear glass filter like this Schneider 4 x 5.65" Optical Flat in a matte box to protect the front of your lens from rain or water spray while preserving your image, without distortion.
The Rain Cover for mirrorless cameras with sleeves is just one of the many universal and dedicated Rain Covers available from Porta Brace. These made-in-the-USA protectors feature waterproof yet breathable fabric that prevents your camera from overheating, clear vinyl windows for easy display viewing, drawstring lens closures, and hook-and-loop fasteners. Bespoke Porta Brace covers, like this FX6 with Long Lens version, even cover your camera’s extended handgrip and its electronic controls. One of several sizes available, the XXL Pro SLR Storm Jacket, from Vortex, is a rectangular, water-resistant cover that fits cameras up to 30" long and features touch-fastener closures and bungee cord lens and rear openings.
For a wider area of coverage, consider an umbrella setup. The Novoflex Patron Umbrella offers a detachable Tent extension option, and it is available with an Umbrella Set, which includes the umbrella plus the tent and reflector set. ORCA makes several sizes of umbrellas that offer sun and rain protection, like this 51.2" diameter XL Outdoor Production Umbrella that mounts via a Baby Pin (5/8"). In addition to the Baby Pin version that can be stand mounted, ORCA also offers ¼"-20 and 3/8"-16 mount umbrellas for attaching directly to your camera or cage.
You May as Well Be in Ireland, Oregon, or Singapore…
For all-day coverage, layer up with a camera cover, a poncho, and an umbrella or tent setup. While designed for sound mixers, the clear vinyl front panels on the Sachtler Poncho and the Porta Brace Poncho work just as well for A.C.s viewing handheld focus monitors or for any crew member needing rain protection.
This waterproof Rain Tent for Mag Carts, from Backstage Equipment, attaches to your Magliner Mini or modified Magliner Junior or Senior Cart and features a zippered door, vinyl window, and grommets for sandbag anchors. It provides an excellent solution for keeping your lenses, monitors, and other equipment dry as you move from setup to setup.
Turn to your local home improvement store to pick up a roll of Visqueen (clear plastic sheeting) or to rent or buy a portable canopy. Commonly known as “E-Z UPs” after the most popular brand, some of these pop-up canopies have detachable sidewalls that provide additional protection from rain being blown in at an angle.
So, what’s the worst weather in which you’ve worked? Share your rainy-day video production stories in the Comments section, below.