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As we’re approaching the warmer weather, you’re going to see more film crews shooting outdoors, especially around the city. Filming outdoors is great and unique, but it can be challenging since you don’t have control over things like you do indoors. Take a look at our list of important things to consider when filming outdoors below.

1. Weather

Weather can make or break an outdoor shoot, so always schedule back-up shoot days since Mother Nature is so unpredictable. Some things to look out for include rain, cloudiness, and high winds. If the weather is bad enough, you should probably opt to postpone the shoot to those back-up days rather than risking it in the inclement weather.

2. Sound

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 5.00.08 PMAudio can be tricky to manage when you’re not in a controlled location. If you’re in an area with high traffic such as Lake Street in Chicago, you should anticipate having to stop and start over frequently due to car horns, sirens, etc. Using high quality, personal lavalier mics and a ‘dead cat’ cover over your boom mic (pictured) will improve audio quality and help decrease background noise. If you have extra room in the budget, you can also obtain a permit to close down the street which will eliminate most noise issues.

3. Location Permits

For most outdoor shoots, you’ll need to get a film permit from the city you’re filming in and provide a Certificate of Insurance, or COI. This involves knowing exactly where and when you want to shoot, and if you’ll need areas of a street blocked off for the crew to park their vehicles. Obtaining these permits can take 72 hours or more, so make sure you allow plenty of time prior to the shoot. If you have any questions about permit requirements, contact your local film office.

4. People

It probably seems obvious, but planning some extra time around people in the background of your shot is necessary. Think back to when you watched the news last night — those folks waving to their moms behind the news anchor can really cramp a video’s style. If it gets excessive you may have to ask people to stop, or get an additional permit which can close the street(s) down temporarily.

Check out another blog from SolidLine: “What Should I Wear For My On-camera Interview?”