Filming In The Freezing Cold – 3 Vital Pieces of Kit

brad Brad Shenton

Assistant Producer

Bio: I love all things adventure. Snowboarding, Surfing, Skateboarding, Racing, Bikes and anything else that gets your heart pumping. In my spare time you’ll mostly find me searching the web for that new Blueprint skate clip, or that bigger powder run from John Jackson. I’m more comfortable in the winter months and I have an over eager obsession with VW.

I recently watched this video from O’Neill – Unreasonable. The video itself is incredible, and it’s part of a video campaign which explores some of the principle and core values of the company. Ever since they brought the world the first wetsuit, O’Neill have been adventurous pioneers in the world of surfing and adventure. This new video campaign takes us through the journey of the daredevil world the brand lives in, where no water is too cold, no mountain too high and certainly no sun too hot. Here at Holler we have the same values, we’ll get out even if it is snowing, and if you really want to send us to the Caribbean – we will oblige.

However watching the video I got thinking that the cameramen would have gone through some serious weather conditions to get those incredible shots, I know from experience that standing in the freezing cold with a blustering wind can have it’s effect on you. And being based in England, I can’t say we are blessed with great sunshine, so here’s the top 3 pieces of vital kit you’ll need if you’re heading out on a cold wintery day.

1. Clothing

A Big Thick Coat: This is potentially the most important piece of clothing, and it’s worth investing in a decent, high quality jacket. You could be stood atop a hill, shooting one shot for at least a couple hours not moving. What you don’t want is a thin wind break that doesn’t really do what it says on the jacket itself – keep the wind out! Stay away from any cotton jackets, not only are they not waterproof, they get seriously heavy when the heavens do decide to open. Try to layer up as well, it’s easier to take items of clothing off than put clothes that you don’t have on. Nylon and gortex jackets are good in the cold, however they can tend stiffen up and interfere with your sound recording. There’s more to choosing a jacket than you think, but once you’ve got the right one you’ll hold onto it for years.

Boots: Going on set really isn’t a fashion shoot, not for the production team anyway. It’s always safe to say that your feet have the potential to get wet, so thick soles are a winner as well as making sure your boots have steal toe caps. I’m forever clipping my toes on big rocks, curbs and sometimes even big rigs. I’d always suggest buying a pair that are a size bigger, when it’s sub zero temperatures outside you want to put at least two pairs of socks on, can’t do that with a tight pair of boots.

2. Camera Equipment

Fully Charged Batteries:

One of the main problems that people forget about is the effect the cold can have on your battery. The cold tends to drain your battery quicker, so it’s essential to have your batteries fully charged, or pack a couple more than you usually would to back yourself up should the inevitable happen. A good tip though, should your battery discharge a little earlier than you would usually expect, put the battery in a warm pocket, in your jacket or somewhere else that may be that bit warmer. You should find that gives your battery a little boost. There are a few film maker experts that say you should use lithium, nicad, or nickel metal hydride batteries. But you can only trial and error and it really does depend how cold you intend to go. 

3. Camera Accessories

Waterproof Cover:

It’s more than likely the day your having to film outside is the day that it’s going to rain cats and dogs. It’s always the case, and it’s always a day that can’t be moved because everything else is planned and set up for that day. But you’ve got to get out and get that all important outside shot, so you need to be prepared. Manfrotto have a great selection of rain covers for a range of cameras, including the different lenses your going to use.

Like what you see?

Check out my previous blog ‘The Wonderful World of Filming & Surfing’