So what do you do when it is approximately 40C in Egypt?
You shoot a campaign in the middle of the desert, why not?
That is exactly what I was doing, a few months ago, in Cairo, Egypt’s busy capital set on the Nile River. The river is probably the only cooling area within the several miles of Cairo.
Luckily our influencer, in front of the cameras, was fitness instructor and modern day explorer Mario Rigby, a Canadian that, between 2015 and 2017, crossed Africa by foot and kayak attracting media attention and fans from all over the world.
Therefore, Rigby was well ahead of the crew in coping with the weather, due to his fitness levels developed through walking up to 50 miles per day through unpredictable environments. Even the filming equipment, most of it brought from much cooler Europe, stopped working at times after overheating.
In order to understand why filming under unusual temperatures, be it too hot or too cold, adds a lot of tension to a working day, you have to remember that a shooting schedule is not your average office day and not for the faint hearted. We start early, because of the natural light, and finish late, mostly due to light conditions and changes of locations. So instead of an average job shift, forget about Dolly Parton’s song because for those working around the cameras, it is more likely to be a 12 hour shift. In this case, we did so working under a 40C heat. #sandstorm
Mario never complained about the long hours, or having to repeat the same thing up to, you know, 8-10 times, because that is how filming works. That amazing two second-scene you see and love, very often took much longer than that to film. Sometimes hours. It is an exercise in patience, a patience game. Even when all the technical side is 100% ready, external factors beyond your control may delay the whole process. Birds fighting on the window during an interview in France? Check. Cars competing outside to see which has the loudest honk in India?. Check. Monsoon in the Philippines? Certainly check. Four times. Flight diverted to Mexico City, instead of landing in Honduras, because of a massive earthquake? Check – and that one is, actually, worth a whole post on its own – stay tuned.
The good thing about these shootings, under crazy circumstances, is that you learn a lot.
You learn to adapt. To set priorities. To review a shot list and to think fast.
While filming in a studio you have control over most things – lunch time and temperatures included – filming outdoors will test your ability to come back with effective results this is especially true when initial plan, put together over months of planning in a perfectly chilled office, falls apart.