"Filming 'Cucumber' in Manchester on a night shoot, we created an overhead rain rig for huge rain effects in a city street."
The rain rig consisted of 2 sections of aluminum lighting truss put together to make a mounting platform. The rig itself was made up of 4 lengths of 2 inch barrel pipe with a 2 inch tee between each section fitted with a rain jet. At each end of the rain bar we fitted fire hose connectors enabling us to 'double feed' the pipe with water for an even spread.
Once the hoses were attached and secured, the whole rig was affixed onto the basket of a huge crane, enabling us to lift the rig up and over a tight back street with 4 story buildings either side. The rain rig was fed from a fire engine water bowser with 15000 litre capacity and the flow rate controlled from the pump on the fire appliance. At a height of around 40 metres, around 4 bar of water pressure gave a good rain effect. Additional rain stands on the ground were also used.
In terms of problems, getting the rig in the right place is the main one. Telephone wires, positioning of the crane base, the spill of rain onto people's property, high winds, flooding neighboring buildings, etc are all issues. This rain job is a minimum 4 man plus bowser operative.