While much of the United States' east and west coasts are getting rain this week, videographers everywhere are gearing up to keep cameras dry for the winter. Certainly, waterproofing has its applications year round, but now's a fine time to address it. The first item to cover rarely makes it to a pre-shoot check list – yourself. A windbreaker doesn't make the cut in this case. A good-size jacket is best to keep you dry; after all, if you are wet, your camera will get wet.
Even consider a couple extra towels (you brought some for your talent right?) for absorbing any water that does get through or to dry your hands for camera operation. Should water penetrate the insides of the camera, moving parts are likely to suffer and the life of your camera will be reduced. Professionals can get their arms around rain jackets specifically designed for camera use, but a homemade option is just as viable, especially if the rain is unexpected or forecast for just one day of shooting.
A typical one gallon plastic bag with a lens-sized hole cut on one side will cover many camcorders. Attach the bag to the lens with a rubber band with a little overhang for security. Of course, if you've gotten this far you either don't have an extra person to hold an umbrella or you don't trust them. When it comes to gathering audio, a lavalier mic is best since it can hide within raincoats.
If you must use a shotgun or standard cardioid mic, try rubber-banding a balloon around it – if there's too much rustling with the balloon, then maybe an umbrella is the best solution. For your other gear, a case or bag is a must. Backpacks and bags have varying degrees of water resistance, meaning, don't leave them anywhere uncovered, where they will be soaked through. While hard cases are often waterproof, their cost is generallygreater.
So if a rainy day turns into a movie night, remember the preparation that goes into shooting in the rain. Then, enjoy the rewards of catching the shots for those dark and stormy nights.