Sometimes the weather in a movie can help set the scene, and other times it’s the entire focal point. A scorching trek through the hot desert, a kiss in the rain, a holiday miracle under the falling snow...the list goes on!
Have you ever wondered how Hollywood producers create these weather effects for a scene when it’s not actually raining or snowing? Let’s find out.
Singing in the Rain
Whether it's an extreme downpour or a light drizzle, rain can set the mood for a great movie scene. Sometimes, set designers connect massive hoses to fire hydrants or trucks during outdoor shoots, then spray the hoses as desired from substantial heights.
Indoors, though, Most filmmakers use one or multiple rain curtains or rain bars, devices that create a rainfall effect when paired with some clever camera angles, lighting, and fans.
Let It Snow
Hollywood waits for no one, which means that many holiday movies or snowy sets are actually filmed during other seasons or in places that rarely get snow. So, how do filmmakers make fake snow to create the perfect winter wonderland?
In the very early days of movie magic, substances such as white-painted cornflakes, salt, and flour were used to create the illusion of snow. Nowadays, CGI accounts for some of the amazing effects, but science has also come a long way in creating the perfect snowy substance that’s both safe and believable.
Thin paper and plastics are two substances that are often shredded to look like snowflakes and blown around with huge wind machines to create a faux snowy scene. It may not sound picturesque, but it sure looks good!
DIY Movie Set
If you’re looking to create your own movie magic, there are simple recipes for artificial snow that don’t break the bank. All you need is laundry soap flakes or instant potato flakes and a strong fan to create a decent illusion of blowing snow. If you’re looking to set the stage with snow on the ground, you can mix liquid starch, laundry soap flakes, and blue food coloring.
Creating your own rain may take a bit more effort. But all you need is a garden hose and a bit of determination!
Next time you’re watching your favorite film, keep an eye out for the special weather effects filmmakers use to create the illusion of rain or snow. It may not be real water, but it’s still magical!