One of the most dramatic effects that filmmakers create is rain. The trouble is, working with water is really expensive. If you want a good old fashioned rain storm (i.e: water and wind) it’s even more expensive.

Big budget movies use jet engines and water towers hooked to high pressure water mains. This is likely not within your budget.

You might decide to wait until mother nature provides you with some rain. Generally however, natural rain isn’t obvious enough on camera.

So, how do you make movie rain?
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Filmmaker Jason Satterland lives in Portland Oregon and was introduced to me by the good people at Raindance LA. Jason’s Big Puddle Films is kicking up the airwaves with his new web series The Record Keeper. The reason I am dragging Jason into this is because he is somewhat of an expert on sexy movie rain. He manages to create scenes in the midst of howling gales that make it look like he’s working with a million dollars rather than a million cents.

He says that there are four important elements to movie rain:

  • Big, fat drops (a garden hose doesn’t cut it)
  • Wind
  • Debris (blown in the wind)
  • Backlight (edge lighting the drops so they show on camera)

Once you have seen this video (it’s a terrifically fast and entertaining watch of just 3 minutes) do me a favour: go here, like Jason’s Youtube channel and then watch Part 2. This portion is 4 minutes long.

After that you will know how to make big raindrops that will make any of your actors as sexy as Ryan Gosling.

About 

Elliot Grove is the founder of Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. He has produced over 700 hundred short films and also five feature films, including the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead in 2006, Deadly Virtues in 2013 and AMBER in 2017. He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance trailer 2017

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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