Leading film and broadcast industry people share their knowledge and experience.

Handling Film in Cold Weather

Film shoots happen everywhere, and different areas have their own inimitable problems. If you happen to be filming in an extremely cold locale, here are some things you should remember:

  • Great care should be used in handling film in sub-zero weather. The edges of cold, brittle film are extremely sharp; believe it or not, unless caution is exercised they can cut your fingers severely.

  • As long as the film is in it's original packing you're covered against moisture loss, but it is important that the film be loaded and exposed promptly after removal from the original packing.

  • Do not leave the film in the camera for long periods of time. If it stays in the camera even for a couple of days it may dry out and break where the loop is formed when the camera is started again.

  • When loading the camera, make sure the film and the camera are at the same temperature. In fact, always load indoors if it is possible.

  • If you're using short ends, always be sure that every can (of film) is tested. Static markings can happen if moisture does get in. This will cause the film to have markings resembling lightning, tree branches or fuzzy spots.

Last of all, try to stay warm yourself!


Alex Andres
Pittsburgh Film Corp.
Pittsburgh, PA


Resources Index
Video to Film Transfer
Your Visual Resume
Film in Cold Weather
Shooting a Music Video
Cover Your Bases

Link to Film & TV Connection


Video Clips

"Mike Croos has been hired on to do Sound for our upcoming feature film projects. He is the second Film & TV Connection student to be trained and successfully employed here."
-- Dwight Adair,
Granite House,
Austin, TX