Apocalyptic Rain Effects
For the launch of the new 675LT McLaren wanted a dystopian almost apocalyptic landscape complete with sideways rain effects. Over the course of the evening we put more than 20,000 litres of water into the air and my full respect went to the DOP who were not afraid to get out there and in it. Despite being completely soaked was able to captured some beautiful shots high speed shots.
HOW WE DID IT
Fortunately living in UK you get to see a lot of rain, however making rain to shoot with requires collaboration with camera and lighting departments as there are rules to work with that make it look convincing and effective.
Whilst you can blanket cover an area at great expense its rarely necessary, it may sound simple but dress to camera. Within the frame the only rain thats reads is what falls within the focal length, this naturally changes for different lenses. Our preferred method is to place in band of rain between sharp and the camera just as it begins to blow out, another band behind sharp and background and then focus area with hand held bars. Combined with the different scales of water droplets and range of focus a sense of depth is created.
Unfortunately water is transparent and so the only part you’ll see on screen is any light it reflects. Side or backlighting alone will not make the rain more visible as it will need to contrast from the background or subject. Shooting at night is best case scenario, during the day its easy underestimate the amount of light required to create contrasting highlights on the water droplets.
The finishing touch is wind, there are only a few occasions where rain falls without it.