The film industry can be very profitable, but it is not free from risks. Like in any occupation, there are factors that must be monitored to provide a safe working environment for staff. Many movie sets are found in outdoor locations, where the weather has an impact on the filming process. There are even times where the plot requires scenes in locations with extreme weather, such as deserts and snowy peaks.
The film industry has a distinct set of safety challenges, and the weather has an impact on nearly all of them. The following are some examples of risks with outdoor the movie sets:
- Many films involve stunts with inherent risks. These risks are increased when the stunts involve high falls or vehicles. Strong winds can be especially risky when a film involves balloons, helicopters or planes.
- Controlled fire or explosions are required in some films, and controlling them becomes more difficult with unfavourable weather.
- Movies often involve child actors, and this requires special safety considerations. It must be considered that children could also be involved in weather-related accidents and more seriously harmed than adults.
- The film industry uses expensive equipment, for example, scaffolding, tall ladders and video camera cranes that must be safeguarded from harsh weather.
Weather monitoring provides three main benefits for outdoor movie sets:
- The filming process can be carried out with less disruption
- Safer conditions are provided for the actors and staff
- Equipment is protected from damage
Movie Sets in Extreme Temperature Environments
The weather must always be monitored in outdoor film sets, but it requires special attention when the script requires that part of the movie be filmed in an extreme weather environment. The temperature is already a risk by itself, and the thermal sensation can become unbearable with the influence of wind speed or humidity.
Cold Weather Risks
For movie sets in cold environments, one of the main risks is low temperature combined with strong gusts. Careless filming in cold environments can expose actors and staff members to two life-threatening conditions: frostbite and hypothermia.
Protecting humans from chilling winds involves monitoring two key conditions: ambient temperature and wind speed. As the ambient temperature decreases, dangerous conditions are created with lower wind speeds. For example, at a wind chill of 0°C, the risk of frostbite is very low, but human skin freezes in less than 2 minutes at a wind chill below -55°C.
Periodic warm-up breaks are a key requirement for working safely in low-temperature environments, and the film industry is no exception. The frequency of these breaks increases as outdoor temperature and wind conditions become more extreme.
Hot Weather Risks
Movie sets in hot environments are exposed to a different set of risks, but weather monitoring can effective at preventing them.
There is a limit to how fast the human body can get rid of heat, and several risky conditions present themselves with excessive body heat accumulation:
- Some conditions are relatively mild. For example, heat rash occurs when a hot temperature is combined with high humidity, and heat cramps occur when excessive sweating starts to upset the balance of body fluids.
- Heat exhaustion is more serious. It occurs when the natural cooling capacity of the human body is reaching its limit.
- Heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer get rid of heat by itself and has been drained of fluids and salts – it is a medical emergency and there is a risk of death if the person is not attended.
All the conditions above are bodily responses to extreme heat, and it is important to note that both wind speed and relative humidity influence the sensation of heat. All three variables can be monitored effectively by WINDCRANE.
Weather Monitoring for Outdoor Locations
Weather monitoring is the only way to ensure safe conditions in outdoor film sets. This is especially important when filming in extreme temperature environments. WINDCRANE is a highly versatile weather monitoring solution, capable of measuring any weather variable in addition to wind speed and direction.
WINDCRANE is dust-tight, waterproof and corrosion resistant, and comes fully configured with GSM capabilities and cloud data services. Our technology is possible thanks to a decade-long track record at Logic Energy, experts in monitoring hardware and software. More specifically, smart data management and integration with mobile applications.