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Raindrops Keep Falling

Kathleen De Vere | 8 Nov 2012 16:00
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Rapidfire will likely be a new medium to fans who haven't delved into our back-catalog. For more information on these fast-paced micro-sketches, check out this week's LoadingReadyRun blog post, and check out the previous two series. You'll probably recognize Gabrielle - and Paul's put-upon peasant - from previous video Duty Calls. Rapidfire can act as outlet for previous characters who we feel have more life in them, but perhaps not a whole video's worth. Other notable returns new to Rapidifre are the Sigma Theta Delta girls and Kane & Crowthorne of Mercenary Solutions.

Fun fact: The summer of 2012 was one of the driest ever recorded in Victoria B.C. According to the University of Victoria's weather tracking service, we had more than 30 days without rain at one point, and it rained less than five times during all of August, September and early October. During this hot, but incredibly pleasant summer, we almost did no filming outside. Of course, immediately after we started planning for RapidFire (with its many, many outdoor shoots) the streak finally broke. So, it didn't come as much of a surprise to us when we got rained out the first time we tried to shoot the Gabrielle bits for this week's episode of Rapidfire.

The interesting thing about rain is that it doesn't actually show up all that well on film. This is why movies and TV shows need to bring in gigantic industrial showers to simulate rain. Unless you're getting absolutely drenched, rain is basically invisible. Armed with this knowledge, we tried to shoot through the rain, hiding under a tree when the precipitation was at its worst. The situation might have even been manageable if not for this simple fact: even if you can't see rain, you can sure as hell hear it. After losing hours to heavy rain, and many takes to the constant pitter patter of raindrops, we realized that it was going to get dark before we finished shooting. With half the pieces we needed shot, we realized we needed to give up and try again the next day, which meant re-filming everything, for consistency.

Sometimes you really do suffer for your art. Luckily, we had other scenes to shoot at the location. You'll see them later.

Trivia:

  • Raindrops fall at about 20 miles per hour. That's pretty fast and explains why even a few raindrops can be quite loud.
  • We had it pretty bad during our aborted shoot, but not as bad as the residents of Unionville, Maryland had it on July 4, 1956. The town recorded 1.23 inches of rainfall in a single minute on that day, setting a world record and presumably ruining the Unionville Fourth of July parade. The worst.
  • At least rain falls from fluffy white clouds right? Not so fluffy. Because clouds are made of water vapour, they're actually quite heavy. According to the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research, the average cumulus cloud weighs 550 tons!
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