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Old June 22nd, 2007, 04:46 PM   #1
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Tips for a Rain Scene Needed

Hi,

I have a scene that needs to be shot at dusk, with it pouring down rain, with one actor standing on a street corner getting soaked. Will a natural rain come across on HDV 24p footage? Or, do I need to hire a professional "rain person" to come out and make it "look" like rain? Or is there a rain plug-in for FCP that is believable?

There will be wide shots and closeups. Not very much movement at all with camera or actor.

Or

Thanks, Chris
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 06:20 AM   #2
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How often does it rain in Texas? Anyway cameras don't tend to pick up rain very well, you do see it but not like the human eye picks it up, i've heard storys of holywood puting stuff in the water (milk was one i heard) to make it more visible.

A proffesional rain man will cost you both your arms and legs i'm guessing, i suggest just filmming it in a well lit part of the street in natural rain, youll see some rain and the actor being soaked and then you just add sound effects and they bring it to life. You could also add some cut aways to puddles or drains or even start a shot on a puddle or drain like a dolly or crane shot.

Andy.
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 08:41 AM   #3
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It rains almost every day during the summer along the Gulf Coast in Texas. (Afternoon Thundershowers)

But he's in Dallas - so not quite so reliable.

Since you say the shot takes place at 'dusk' - you will probably need at least a cloudy/overcast day. You say 'street corner' so having vehicles with their headlights on, and light coming from storefronts will help establish time of day.

Putting a 'rain curtain' between the camera and the character, and a 'shower head' over the character will help create the rain. A rain curtain can be created by using a long , flat 'watering hose' that has holes spaced along it, and suspend it above the frame. I know one production that just put lawn sprinklers on top of ladders, and in the hands of PAs out of frame. The point is to get water falling between the camera and character for some establishing shots.

Judicial use of cutaways help - Rain streaming down a window, feet sloshing through puddles, cars splashing water onto your character - you get the idea.Toss in a strobe flash every now and then, and add the thunder in post.

Watch 'rain scenes' very carefully in movies. In fact, watch the famous "Singing in the Rain" scene over and over. The rain does not fall consistently in the same spots. Often, it's not even falling directly ON the actors in a shot.

You'll have to experiment to find what you can get away with.
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 10:11 AM   #4
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You really need some back or side light to pick out the rain. you'd be surprised how heavy the rain needs to be before it'll register on camera, especially when the scene itself is dark.
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 10:34 AM   #5
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Also if you can get the camera further away from the subject and zoom in some that really flattens the field and makes things like rain and snow show up better.

Chris
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 11:48 AM   #6
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Thanks to each and every one of you for your time and your great suggestions. I am now confident I won't have to spend $1,000 on a "rain person".

Thanks!
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
Watch 'rain scenes' very carefully in movies. In fact, watch the famous "Singing in the Rain" scene over and over. The rain does not fall consistently in the same spots. Often, it's not even falling directly ON the actors in a shot.
And that was milk falling in that scene to make it show up on film.

I would also suggest upping the shutter speed a little bit. It tends to make the water droplets stand out a little more. Plus, if you can get a good sized fan from just out of frame blowing the water droplets, it would give that wind illusion where the rain doesn't fall straight down.

-gb-
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 01:08 PM   #8
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Here's a pic from a Liza Trainer shoot a few years ago:

http://www.sticktowhatyouknow.com/li...6/DSCF6960.JPG

From this thread:

http://www.sticktowhatyouknow.com/ph...opic.php?t=137

The video has been taken down, but it did look really good...the messed up formatting on the forum page is due to a forum software change, but she lists out parts for her rain rigs.

More pics from this rig:
http://www.sticktowhatyouknow.com/ph...opic.php?t=136
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 01:21 PM   #9
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Found the final video:

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...eoID=865281977
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 03:20 PM   #10
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I didn't see anything in the post of the other board that suggested this, but it looked to me as though they added glycerin to the water to increase the size of the rain drops. If you look at the shots when the rain is falling on the windshield and the single drop that lands on the face of the watch. I know several still photographers that add glycerin to water for this effect. It may be hard to add into a garden hose system. I'd try putting it in one of those Miracle Grow lawn feeders that attaches to the end of the hose.

Just a thought for what it's worth...
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 04:42 PM   #11
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The audio mix is critical.

Years ago my son did an indoor scene where the rain sound was EQ'd to have little high end. The doorbell rings, the door opens and the rain sound gets louder and gets a high frequency boost. The door shuts and we go back to the original EQ. The camera never looked outside, but to the audience it was definitely raining.

Play with the volume and EQ as you make your cuts, and it will feel much more real than if you just play the rain sfx straight across.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:27 PM   #12
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I have an outcome!

I wanted to inform everyone what my final results were! I've attached a small file to show you.

~ I shot at night (which makes the fake rain a lot more visible FYI)
~ The subject was 20 feet in front of the camera
~ Used 2 water hoses with adjustable nozzle heads
~ One guy sprayed directly on the actress
~ One guy sprayed where the water landed behind the actress about 5 feet
~ The spray guys were standing about 20 feet away from the actress, the nozzels were set between shower setting and full stream, and they aimed in the air, arching the stream so as if the water fell from the sky.
~ Front and back-lighting were used.

It's not perfect, but it works! And I saved $1,000 on hiring a rain guy!

Thanks to everyone.

Chris
Attached Files
File Type: mov rain.mov (303.6 KB, 388 views)
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 05:02 PM   #13
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That looks like it worked out fine for you, on a different note with regards to your color correction (i know this comes down to personal preference and everyone is different) I reckon pulling the red and green down a bit to let the blue come through would look more natural like moon light......just a thought.

Andy.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 05:34 PM   #14
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Thanks Andy. I will do that. I had not yet color-corrected. Thanks!
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