Away from the comforts of a studio set, Evan Luzi provides 10 tips for filming in the dusty hot desert.

photo credit: spaceodissey

There’s nothing easy in a desert — food, water, shelter… filmmaking.
Recently I had a reader named David email me saying, “I am doing a shoot abroad in the desert with the Arri Alexa and was wondering if you knew of any tips to keep it safe from the elements, particularly with the sand and dust floating about.”

Sand and dust, while obviously expected, aren’t the only elements you have to worry about — there’s also incredible heat.

Shooting a movie in a desert means not only protecting the camera from all this, but also yourself and the rest of the equipment.

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We shot a short film for 3 days in the Coachella Valley this past summer with the Red One. Most of the days were in the high 90’s and our 1st AC did a great job with the space blanket. I also had a PA wrangle a large patio umbrella over the camera whenever possible. We also dumped the data frequently.

For the crew we bought “French Legion” type hats with flaps that covered their necks. Lots of cold water everywhere and we were lucky enough to borrow a motorhome for the location. It was challenging but I think the cast and crew recognized that we took their comfort and health very seriously and they worked their tails off.

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