Quick Tips on How to Block Out Windows When Filming
Blocking out windows when filming on location is something that an amateur filmmaker may not immediately think about. But this does not mean it’s not important! Figuring out how to block out windows when filming is important for continuity purposes. But also to ensure that you can maximize use of the lighting you bring onto your set. Blocking the windows may also provide limited reduction of outside noise. While eliminating outdoor distractions if you’re filming on location. These quick tips on how to block out windows when filming will make your life on set slightly better and, your editor will thank you – you’re welcome!
Depending on the size of the windows that you are trying to block and what the property owner will allow. It might be harder than you think to block windows on location.
Property owners will generally frown at the idea of any fixed item. Such as a curtain rod or hanger which means you’re going to need to resort to something a bit more innovative. Check out these different tips on how to block out windows when filming.
Cardboard or Foam Board
Cardboard and foam board can be used to block out windows. Depending on the size, shape and structure of the window. It’s generally easiest to cut the board to size. So that it fits the entire window all the way to the frame.
Apply gaff tape around the edges unless it’s a painted wall. In which case painter’s tape should be used to avoid peeling the paint or varnish off.
Many window frames are metal. Allowing for the cardboard to be placed up against the frame and tape placed on the cardboard and the metal. This would also be an acceptable way of blocking the light from the window.
Blackout curtains may be used to block the light from windows. Especially if there are already curtain rods in place to affix the curtains to. If using a curtain, such as a blackout curtain to block out windows when filming?
It’s important to check that all light is blocked and that the camera does not “see” the curtain. If the camera can see the curtain, even tiny adjustments or movements to the curtain could cause continuity issues later on. Keep this in mind if curtains are used to block windows.
Black Trash Bags
If you’re an independent filmmaker that is interested in saving money, you might be able to use black contractor style trash bags to block out windows when filming. Tape the trash bags directly to the window using double sided tape or painter’s tape.
If the window is affixed within a stone wall, gaff tape might be just as effective. Just make sure you test the area that you intend to tape so as not to peel up any of the paint when you’re done.
Another option when it comes to figuring out how to block out windows when filming is the use of floppies. A floppy is a flag that includes Velcro tabs which are attached to the flag so that it can easily roll when not in use.
Use the floppy, a 4×4 will be large enough for many windows, on a light stand with a lazy leg. This way you can lean the unit against the wall keeping the flag in place to block off all the light. For larger windows, use a larger flag.