Shooting in extreme situations can present many issues and challenges. However, there are ways to prepare for shooting in extreme conditions that mean you can avoid errors and come out with the footage you need to create a compelling piece around your subject. The following 3 tips for shooting in extreme situations may help you:

 

1. Limit Your Equipment

You don’t need a lot of equipment to capture good footage, so consider what you can leave out and what is an absolute necessity to use. You should be focused on capturing the necessary moments for the narrative, not worrying about equipment. Going light can also help if you are on a limited budget. It’ll mean you are more mobile and able to capture raw moments on the fly. Audio is always a tricky one to determine, but a simple Rode mic on top of a 5D can do the job if you’re stuck.

 

2. Be As Familiar As Possible With The Conditions, Environment, And Activities You Are Shooting

Getting creative on the fly means being comfortable with just about any situation you are put into. Shooting on a mountain and filming climbing, for instance, you need to be familiar with climbing and knowledgeable about things like safety so you can make the right decisions while you’re out there. 

If you don’t do as much research as possible on the conditions, environment, and activities, it can hold up the entire team. Knowing the situation can help you to understand and anticipate what your subjects may be thinking and feeling, as well as what they are likely going to do. You will also be aware of whether a shot is authentic.

If you only have one chance at a shoot, knowing what to expect is a must, so go out and test the equipment and conditions or similar conditions yourself. It will seem obvious, but getting out and making yourself familiar with your equipment, researching what equipment works best for a given situation is vital. Also, make sure you know your camera packages and how they hold up in different conditions. Put in the time to make sure you don’t blow it – you won’t be prepared for an equipment failure if you don’t get out and test yourself.

 

3. Shoot Around The Action

Shooting around the action is a must for storytelling purposes. These moments can be powerful in editing and help to bring the story together. You should capture moments of contemplation, exhaustion, and preparation before and after the action. Don’t get too caught up in just capturing the action – you don’t want to miss that all-important emotional reaction.  

Of course, there are other things you can do to prepare for shooting in extreme situations, but the above 3 tips are a handful of the most important. Make sure you take them seriously, and you should find that your raw footage can be transformed into something exciting, emotional, and compelling.