8 Simple Production Tips for the Perfect Summer Shoot

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

Summer is here! Finally, you'll get to enjoy that sun you've been waiting for. And while you're there, the weather will be nice, so why wouldn't you shoot a few videos? We all like to think this way. Summer easily lures you into thinking that filming in it will be a breeze. However, if there's no breeze, you'll be cooking in no time. And that's just one of the problems you'll be facing. In reality, there's a lot of things to consider. And to help you out with the heat, we have prepared a few production tips for the summer shoot

In essence, there are three things you need to keep in mind when planning a shoot:

  • Sun
  • Weather
  • Water

These three elements are critical. They can hurt your gear even more than in the winter extreme weather productions. But you don't need to worry. We'll go over everything you need to know about each of them. And if you follow all the tips, you'll have no problems getting pro-level footage. 

So, let's start with the star of the show.

The sun

We all know that the sunlight is great for filming. You get something that's hard to replicate with artificial lights. However, it can also bring challenges for the cameraman. Although glare is a fantastic effect if you want to see it, it's impossible to get rid of it if you catch it by accident. And on top of that, you have to worry about shadows and brightness. It's a plateful. But, here are some solutions. 

The sun is your biggest ally and your greatest enemy at the same time, so there'll be a lot of talk about it in the production tips for the summer shoot. Alt tag: A cameraman filming a woman pushing a car in the sun. 

Filters

If you have ever researched camera filters, you've heard about the sunglasses analogy. And it makes sense. Your camera is an extension of your eye. During the summer months, a lot of light enters your eyes. And we use sunglasses to keep the extra light out of our eyes. So, it only makes sense that the camera needs a pair too. Think about getting a neutral density or a polarizing filter for your lens. They will make your life a lot easier.

Shadows

The best time to work in summer is early morning or late afternoon. The middle of a bright sunny day will bring you nothing more than wonky shadows. On the other hand, in the earlier and later times of the day, the light will be easier to manipulate. So, it'll be easier for you to work with it.

And if you have a whole day of shooting in front of you, it's not a bad idea to rent a storage locker for your filming equipment. Try to find a unit in the area and secure it for the day. It's a great place to seek some shelter from the heat, and you can recharge the batteries and empty your memory cards there. Your gear will be thankful, and you'll get some rest in the middle of the day. 

Heat

No matter where you are in the world, all the chances are that the summer you're experiencing will be toasty. Now, we're not saying that you should stay inside and hug your AC unit for the rest of the time. However, it would be best if you took some precautions.

Of course, you'll take care of yourself during the summer. But don't forget to take care of your equipment. All of those heat-warning stickers on your camera aren't there just for show. So, maybe the biggest of our production tips for the summer shoot is to insulate your equipment from the heat. Keep it out of the car no matter what. And if you want to go even a step further, pack it in cooler bags. Just don't use the ice if you go this way. 

Heat is a problem for your crew and your equipment. Alt tag: A man thinking about production tips for the summer shoot.

Water

If you're filming in the summer, it's hard to stay away from the water. It's not by accident that Florida's most filmed locations are almost all by water. At the end of the day, oceans, lakes, pools, and sprinkles bring the charm of the summer closer to anyone who's watching the video. Hence, they're an excellent location for any commercial or short video.

However, try not to get too close with your gear. A sudden gust of sea spray is all it takes to lose not just all your footage but also an expensive piece of equipment. That's something you want to avoid. So, be careful and take measures to keep everything dry

Here's a pro tip for you. Always have plastic bags on hand. If you're working close to water, use them to protect the gear between uses. On humid days, be sure to look out for condensation as well. It can be as dangerous. 

Wardrobe

Putting together a short video can take hours. We've all been there. So, keep this in mind when planning a wardrobe for the shoot. You're going to work in a hot environment, so people are going to sweat. It doesn't take much to realize that your actors will look different at the beginning and the end of the day.

To avoid continuity issues later, make summer costumes simple. Sorry, but no Victorian-themed videos this time of the year. Simple, lightweight layers are all you need. Put your focus on colors. These should reflect the sun and the time of the year. 

Make wardrobe simple and light to keep consistency. Alt tag: A cameraman and a woman shooting on the roof of a building.

Provisions

If they're hungry, thirsty, and hot, people are going to be cranky. No matter how nice they are, it's going to happen. And if you want to run a profitable production business, you'll do everything you can to stop it. Of course, you don't have to have professional catering. But, you should ensure that there's enough food and drinks for everyone

Naturally, water is your number one necessity. You want to have it on hand, and you want plenty of it. Getting a few jugs is the best way to go. They're cheap, and you can get them in big volumes. And when it comes to food, think light and filling. Things like watermelons, sandwiches, salads, and ice cream will always be well-accepted. 

Embrace it

Yes, it's going to be hot, and the sun will annoy you. However, if you know what you're doing, you can get it to work in your favor. Use the haze of the heat meeting the ground to increase the drama. Elements like this will bring your production to a whole new level. 

Just don't expect everything to be easy and run smoothly. Even with all the production tips for the summer shoot, things can get a bit gritty. But this is how things usually are during any shoot, aren't they? So, keep your calm, follow the advice, and you'll be just fine. 

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About the Author

Daniel Ferrell
Daniel Ferrell is a freelance writer and filmmaker living and working in Miami. While writing is his job, filmmaking is his passion. And he enjoys combining the two. He also loves the Florida lifestyle. So, when he's not working, you can find him sunbathing on the beaches or riding his bike down the coast.

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