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Operating in Below Freezing Temperatures


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#1 Scott Coleman

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:08 PM

Hey All,


I was asked about operating in Northern Norway in the the middle of January to March and of course a lot of questions start to come up.

Do LCD's work? Will Batteries Work? Heck will Any electronics work. Let alone a RED or Alexa. They say temperatures in the day time will be down to 30/40 Celsius (20-30 Fer). Wondering if suggesting that doing the whole thing on tripod may be the only way to do it. Any feed back would be cool.
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#2 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:29 PM

depending on where you'll be in northern Norway, it actually isn't that bad. I spend a few weeks nearly every year near Tromso from February to March, the temperature is typically hovering around freezing, and sometimes it even rains. I've seen temps in in the low 40s (that's of course Fahrenheit, maybe 5-7 C?) during the day, but that's not average. The 20-30 they gave you is pretty accurate, but it nearly always warms up a bit and doesn't stay there. I've used every kind of camera and electronics you could imagine and never had a problem. No electronics problems, (Mechanical things tend to stick sometimes) unless the aforementioned rain kicks in. The Gulf Stream tends to warm up the coast line quite a bit, at least relative to the inland areas. Hardly anyone lives there though.
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#3 Joshua Harrison

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:29 PM

Yeah it'll all work although I've had lcd monitors not turn on right away. Once they turn on they seem to be fine but it's better to keep them warm until you need them on. Batteries will die quicker so have more and make sure they can charge at cold temperatures. On a movie I was on in Michigan last winter we couldn't get the batteries to charge because they were too cold, so we got a space heater for the charging area on the truck for over night charging.

Josh
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#4 Lars Erik

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:52 AM

Hi Scott,

Norway during that time can be quite cold, but as stated, not too bad either. There's no sun during those days.

I've filmed a lot there, since I am Norwegian. Sometimes it's -30-40 degrees. But the more normal temperature will be in the -20-25 area. But if you have a hard wind...cold yes.

I know the Alexa is stated to go to -20. Used RED in -25, worked fine. But getting a heated camera hood might be something worth looking into.

The batteries will have shorter life span. If I remember correctly, last time it was -30 and working outdoors, we had problems getting the batteries charged up to a 100%. The batteries didn't have a heated area then. So getting a heated area for battery charging is a good idea.

I'd say you have a good chance of doing some Steadicam stuff, my biggest worry would be the snow. Don't know what you're filming or where, so difficult to give specific advice here. But I'd look into the possibility of going hard mounted on a snow scooter.

Do you know whereabouts you're going? Is it by the sea or in-country? Do you have the name of the area/town?

Is it a Norwegian company or an international one you'll be working for?

Bring shitloads of warm clothes. If you're going far away from the coast, the weathers nothing like Sydney describes. Tromsø can be quite nice during the winter, but Finnmarksvidda as we call it, can be unforgiving if you don't have the right clothes... And I've seen snow storms appear out of nothing up there.

Good luck!


PS! Watch out for Polar bears!!! :-)
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#5 Pedro Guimaraes SOC

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 01:11 AM

good trick I picked up during the winter x-games was to use chemical handwarming packets taped onto the batteries and LCD monitors. This increased the battery life and kept the lcd's working good......and yes warm charging area is recommended.
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#6 Brian Freesh

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 02:25 AM

30 degrees Celcius is 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

20 degrees Fahrenheit is -6 degrees Celcius

I may have misunderstood something.
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#7 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:49 PM

30 degrees Celcius is 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

20 degrees Fahrenheit is -6 degrees Celcius

I may have misunderstood something.


He is talking minus 30 to 40 centigrade

PLUS 30 TO 40 CENTIGRADE WILL BE INDIA IN THE SUMMER ... NOT NORWAY IN THE WINTER
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#8 BJMcDonnell SOC

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:40 PM

Have a norway black metal band play constantly near your gear to keep it warm. Call the band Mayhem. That should do it lol.
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#9 Brian Freesh

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 11:03 PM

Everyone is so serious lately. BJ, you and Ron need to post more often, stop slacking!
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#10 Lars Erik

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:34 AM

Hell no! If you'll be using a black metal band, use Dimmu Borgir.

Be careful though. Most of their lyrics are based on Satanic verses...
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#11 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:51 PM

Obviously wear several thin layers of high performance wool or synthetic cold weather clothes under your vest. I also have a coat modified with a slot to pass the arm through. I use finger-tip less gloves for my post hand. Keep the spare batteries warm in a cooler with a heating pad or heating packets.
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#12 Scott Coleman

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 02:32 PM

I was asked this by a a DP I've worked with who's shooting up there at that time. I just wanted to get some feed back to him on whether they should go the Steadicam route or not. I appreciate all the feedback. Love spreading the knowledge.

Freesh: You're right about the temps. I was just saying LOW. My bad

BJ and Lars. Dimmu is great but Enslaved wins in Norway for me.
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#13 William Demeritt

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 07:00 PM

Hell no! If you'll be using a black metal band, use Dimmu Borgir.

Be careful though. Most of their lyrics are based on Satanic verses...


Dimmu Borgir is like the Limp Bizkit of norwegian metal. BJ is right, call Mayhem... although you may regret it later. Varg is out of jail now, so he may keep you warm with some church burnings.
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#14 Ants Martin Vahur

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 09:51 AM

Hi, all!

It is very possible to shoot in very cold conditions, if you are prepared.
The gimbal works very well, arm too. I had my vest buckles broken though form the cold (-25 degree Celsius). But I guess also the fact that my vest is about 10 years old, could have helped..
About the monitor- if you have a LCD, be sure that it is warm. Cover it well (make sure you still see the image :)) and handwarmer is a good idea to through in there too. If the monitor is not warm enough you will get a huge lag up to 1sec. As we know, even 2-3 frames of a lag (delay) will diminish the chance to operate properly, so 0,5.1 sec of a lag will make the monitor kind of useless.
Green screen monitors works like a charm though- had no problem with it.
And you probably need just one runner for only delivering/charging the batteries. Probably you gonna change them at every 10-20 mins.

For the clothes- try to get yourself not too puffy, because puffy clothes will affect operating too. You don't feel your own body so well anymore, and the puffy clothes will obstruct your joints moving ideally for you.

And don't forget to drink water!

My 2 cents.
Ants Martin
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#15 RonBaldwin

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 01:30 PM

keeping my body warm has never been a problem with all the Irish whiskey running through my veins, but my feet are another story. What footwear/sock combo are you guys wearing that keeps the piggies warm and won't turn you into Frankenstein?

rb
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