An After Hours Survival Guide for Filmmakers: How to Prepare for Shooting at Night
Gearing up for a nighttime shoot? Here are some things you might want to consider.
Shooting at night is the filmmaking equivalent of a slumber party: they can be fun, exciting, and an overall great experience—as long as you know how to survive them. Nighttime shoots not only require more planning, money, and patience, but they also require a hell of a lot of foresight. To help shed some light on what to expect, StudioBinder goes over a bunch of tips in the video below to help you prepare and navigate after hours filmmaking.
- Give your cast and crew plenty of notice: If you want your team to pull an all-nighter, you need to give them a chance to prepare their minds and bodies. And it wouldn't hurt to prepare yourself, too.
- Confirm night rates: Hiring personnel is expensive, but it can get even more so if you hire them to work nighttime hours. Make sure you're aware of any night rates.
- Expect more prep time: It takes longer to set up a shoot at night. Not only do you have to account for thrown sleep schedules and less visibility, but the time it takes to set up more lighting as well.
- Make sure you have plenty of power: Again, light is a larger issue at night, which means you'll need plenty of access to power. So, either make sure your location has plenty of outlets or bring along a generator.
- Wear the right clothing: It gets cold at night, so wear layers. Bring jackets, blankets, and socks to stay warm.
- Bring flashlights: And don't rely on the one in your phone. Bring one that runs on batteries so you can swap them out as needed.
- Stock up on food: Since your team is probably used to sleeping at the time you're shooting, make sure you provide plenty of food that will give them the energy they need to stay awake. Watch out for sugary, carby stuff. And bring lots and lots of coffee.
- Be aware of tired cast and crew: Even the most professional cast and crew members hit a wall at night. Try to be aware of the energy levels of your team and let them take a rest if they're not needed on set.
- Make sure everyone gets home safe: Driving home after an all-nighter can be dangerous if you're dead tired, so make sure those who are half asleep have a safe ride back to their cozy beds.
When shooting at night, it's also helpful to keep closing times in mind. Most stores, coffee shops, and restaurants will be closed during your shoot, so if you need things like extra batteries, food, water, or some other random item, you might be out of luck trying to find an open place that has what you're looking for. So, stock up on what you think you'll need and take note of any nearby stores that will be open during your shoot.
What are some other tips for nighttime shoots? Let us know down in the comments!