What is a night film shoot? The answer depends on who you ask. For us, it means we are filming in the wee hours of the morning for some reason, usually because that’s when we have the location available.
Surviving A Night Shoot
What Is A night shoot In Filmmaking?
Night shoots are very common in the film industry. This can be a daunting if you’ve have never done it before.
A night shoot is generally considered to be any time that the sun has gone down. This is typically between 5pm and 9am. Night shoots are different from day shoots because of multiple factors.
The dawn of the digital age has greatly affected night shoots. They have become much more difficult because of noise pollution.
The noise pollution can come from many places, including your crew, equipment, generators and traffic. The more time you spend filming at night, the more likely it will be that you will run into a situation where the noise pollution becomes an issue.
There are three main types of noise you will encounter: Traffic, and noise from your crew, and equipment.
During the day, you may not even notice traffic noise because it is all around us. However, when filming at night, this is one of the most difficult noises to get rid of during post-production.
Traffic noise is created by cars and trucks passing by on the road near your shoot location at high speeds.
What Is A Night Film Shoot?
A nighttime shoot can be a lot of fun, but it does come with its own set of challenges. To help you prepare to tackle your own night film shoot, here are our top tips.
Be Prepared To Work In The Dark
With a few exceptions (like shooting in a studio), most night shoots take place without any lights. This will be different than anything you’ve done before as it requires a certain amount of patience and flexibility from everyone involved.
If you are used to directing, you will have to adjust to working as an actor for this project. If yu are used to being an actor, you will have to get used to not being able to see what you’re doing.
It can be challenging for the video crew because they aren’t able to see the actors or where the shot is going either. But if all goes well, it can also be one of the most rewarding filmmaking experiences you will ever have!
Night Film Shoot Check hours and overtime rates
As you might imagine, the logistics of a night shoot are quite different than those for a day shoot. The location is usually changed and the crew becomes much smaller.
If this has been your first experience on set, it can be a bit unnerving to not have the usual support staff around. However, there are still things that need to be checked before you begin shooting
Work Hours and Overtime Rates
Special permits are required for filming at certain locations in NY, including Central Park and other landmarks. In addition, if you’re filming at any of these locations outside of normal business hours (i.e., 9am-5pm), you must hire security guards to patrol the area.
This may add thousands of dollars so it’s important to budget accordingly. If you’re shooting at an apartment building or private home that belongs to someone who doesn’t work full-time, they may not be home during the day when you want to film there.
Therefore they will probably ask that their apartment or home be filmed during off-hours in exchange for allowing you to use their location. Likewise, if you’re filming outside of normal business hours, you’ll likely need security guards who will cost extra money as well.
Night Film Shoot Research nearby accommodation
There are many variables to consider when booking your hotel, one of the most important is location. If you’re researching a Night Film shoot or looking for an accommodation near a venue or attraction, we can help.
How to find the best deal on hotels
When you’re looking for a hotel in a specific city or area, chances are that Hotel For Dogs can help you find the best deal on hotels located right where you want to be in your next big city adventure. We have experts who know just about everything there is to know about a city’s hotels and what they have to offer.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have regarding hotels and their amenities.
How much should I expect to pay?
Rates vary from place to place and from day to day, so it’s tough to say exactly how much you’ll spend on accommodations during your stay. But by using our price comparison search engine, you can quickly find affordable hotels in any area, which gives you the freedom to budget for other things during your trip.
What can I do with the money I save?
By booking a Night Film shoot accommodation through our website, you’ll be able to give yourself a bit of extra spending money during your trip.
Night Film Shoot Be prepared for people to be grumpy
If you are shooting a film on a real location, be prepared for people to be grumpy. You’ll see cars getting towed away and cops asking you stuff, but as long as you’re not blocking traffic or filming in the middle of the street or anything like that, it’s totally fine.
Also, you can shoot at night if you have a permit for it. Always bring extra memory cards and batteries because Murphy’s Law will be in full effect.
Bring a tripod and lights too, if you have them. Some things to bring: extra lights, extension cords, a generator, an adapter, and as many memory cards as you own . Keep your head up if things go south and stay positive. Sometimes people will talk to you like they hate your guts but keep going. Don’t listen to what they say, focus on the task at hand and do your thing.
A few words of advice: make sure you have the right location information before arriving to the set; come early; don’t block traffic; don’t be loud; don’t forget your business cards; don’t forget your script on set; don’t forget where each scene is supposed to take place (unless it’s improvised); good luck!
Night Film Shoot Give Notice of an Upcoming Night Shoot
As a working professional photographer, the night shoot is one of your go-to options for working with clients. But how do you work with people who are interested in working with you, but not so much with being disturbed at night? It’s not as difficult as you think, but it does take some prep work.
Please be aware that if you are planning a photo shoot outside of normal business hours, it is your responsibility to make sure the location or surrounding businesses have been properly notified of your presence. This is especially true if you plan to be loud, disruptive or use lighting equipment. When scheduling a shoot outside of the hours of your typical business day, we recommend using one of the following notification methods:
Call the property management company and let them know what date and time you plan to be on site. If they are not available right now, leave a message with the answering service or have someone else call in on their behalf.
Email or fax them a copy of your shoot schedule ahead of time and explain that they might be disturbed by people and lights during this specific period. Display “No Trespassing” signs around the perimeter of the location (make sure they are facing outwards).
Night Film Shoot Make Time in Advance for your Set-up Schedule
Doing it the night before is a bad idea. Don’t just show up with no plan, make sure you know what you are doing beforehand. Plan out exactly where you want to be at what time and how long it will take you to get there.
It’s best to shoot around sunset or dusk. That gives you the most time with good light and shadows. If you want to go for star trails then you need to be at the location about an hour before sunset or dusk so that the stars have time to move and make a pattern as opposed to just a blurry streak across the sky.
You will also have time to set up your shot and double check it so that when the sun goes down, you are ready to go. Tripods are a must if you plan on getting into longer exposure shots such as nighttime cityscapes, star trails, etc…
If you don’t want to bring a tripod then make sure that whatever camera settings you end up going with will compensate for a slightly longer exposure time (maybe try bumping up your ISO setting). If possible, bring along someone else who can help hold lights and camera equipment while taking pictures.
Night Film Shoot Block out Extra Time for Lighting
One of the most common mistakes budding filmmakers make is they don’t allow enough time to properly set up shots at night. It can take 3-4 times as long to get things right when shooting in low light, especially if you are shooting in a location that has never been shot before.
Trying to shoot a scene at night without allowing enough time for a proper setup is like trying to shoot a romance scene between two people who have never met each other before. It just isn’t going to work well and you will be forced to cut it out of your movie.
The best thing to do when planning a night shoot is to give yourself an extra 2-3 hours of time. This will allow you the time you need for lighting and for setting up the shot without missing your shooting window.
When shooting at night, remember that good lighting makes all the difference in the world. Without proper lighting, everything looks flat and uninteresting on screen.
If you are shooting in a place that has never been filmed before, be sure to walk around with a flashlight or headlamp during daylight hours so that you can map out where the sun will be at different times of the day.
Night Film Shoot Secure Enough Power
It is not uncommon for film and TV productions to have a need for power. Often, they will have a generator on hand to provide the electricity they need. But what happens when they get to a location that has no power? In those cases, it’s often necessary to run a cord from a public source of electricity back to the set.
While this may not seem like an issue, there are many things people don’t consider when they’re running cords through public areas. Tape can ruin floors and carpets, and securing the cord can be more than just an inconvenience.
If someone trips on the cord, there could be serious injuries that end up costing thousands of dollars in medical bills. A good security cable can keep the cord out of sight, but still close enough that it’s accessible if it’s needed. This is especially important at night when there is less ambient light making it easier for people to see where they’re going.
Cable is also important because many cities have ordinances designed to prevent obstructions in public spaces. These laws are designed so that pedestrians aren’t impeded as they walk down sidewalks or travel in cars down city streets.
Night Film Shoot Bring Layers Of Clothing
New York City—Cold weather, long nights, and the excitement of one of the biggest projects in your life. All of these things can be found on a typical night film shoot in NYC. The winter months in New York City are not necessarily the most pleasant, but they do offer many benefits to those who are looking to add a layer to their portfolio.
I have been recently working on Night Film, a feature film directed by acclaimed director, Akiva Goldman and starring Robert Pattinson and Zoe Zaldana.
While shooting overnight is nothing new to me, it was different this time around because we were outside and because of the amount of time we had to work (we shot for 12 hours straight our first night). Night shoots are something I have gotten used to over the years since I started out in the industry as a PA.
However, if you are new to shooting at night, there are many things you will have to think about before you begin rolling. The first is clothing. When shooting at night time temperatures tend to drop and when you are stuck out there for long periods of time, it becomes crucial that you have layers on hand.
Night Film Shoot Bring Flashlights
To start, I would like to talk about the creative aspects of the shooting. The idea is that we are going to create a new universe for Night Film.
It doesn’t matter how far we get with this – whether it’s a music video or even a film, we are starting from the beginning, building it up scene by scene, and creating our own world.
Telling the story visually is one of the most interesting parts of filmmaking because you can actually tell your whole story without using any dialogue or explaining anything. The audience will understand everything through the images.
Night Film Shoot Always bring snacks on a night shoot
Bringing snacks to a night shoot is a must. When there’s no time for food breaks and the sun has set, you’ll be glad you have plenty of snacks in your bag.
Here are some of my suggestions:
- Airport peanuts: airport security won’t let you bring on grenades or MREs, but they’ll let you through with a few packs of peanuts. Airports always have a store, and the food is usually fresh or it wouldn’t be at an airport. You can buy several bags for just a few bucks.
- Bagels: I can’t stress how great a bagel is after midnight! Bagels have everything you need – carbs, protein, calcium, whatever you want – in one little package.
- Deli meat packs: delis usually close when the bars close (around 2 am) so there’s always a virtual buffet of meats to choose from if you get there early enough. Try turkey slices with American cheese – delicious!
- Chips: salty chips and salsa – yum!
Night Film Shoot Keep Actors Happy
When it comes to shooting a film at night, dealing with actors is not the only thing you need to worry about. The crew has a lot of other things to take care of as well. The cameras, for instance, have to be kept in a safe and secure place during the shoot.
You don’t want them to get damaged or lost, so you have to get them back from the set before anything else.
It can be pretty easy to lose yourself in the scene and forget about your surroundings, but if you don’t use the tape that’s around you can cause some serious problems. The best thing to do is use it to mark everything that belongs there on the set.
This way, you will know exactly where everything is supposed to go and you won’t risk ruining your shoot because of an unplanned mess.A lot of equipment will also be necessary during the shoot, which can often make things a bit complicated.
When you are setting up your lights and camera gear, remember that they will probably need an outlet or power source nearby in order to work properly. Make sure that all of these are in reach and accessible so that nothing will interrupt your filming process.
Night Film Shoot Be extra nice to the Electricians!
Trying to shoot a film at night can be difficult due to many factors.
One main factor being that the city is very busy and active during the night time. It’s hard to find places that won’t have people coming in and out of them.
Another issue is that there tends to be a lot of light pollution in cities at night. This can be remedied by using an LED light that is color corrected to match daylight. On top of shooting during off hours, you also have to deal with traffic and other street noise from passersby and vehicles. You will want to either block off the streets or buy out the entire street for your shoot.
If you decide on blocking off streets, you will need to get approval from the police department in your area and possibly even a permit depending on what you plan on doing with the streets (ie: blocking them off for extended periods of time). Some police departments require a fee for this approval, which is anywhere from $50-$500 depending on how long you plan to shoot.
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