Mother Nature being the uncooperative bitch that she is, never creates rain when we really need it. Hence the contraptions on the right of the photo – they’re called either rain bars or rain towers, and they’re set up, hooked up to a water truck and they make very realistic-looking rain.
Someone once told me that in the old-fashioned black and white movies, they mixed the rain water with non-fat dry milk to make it show up. We don’t do that anymore, if it was ever done (and if you know for sure, please do let me know).
The key to really nice-looking rain is backlight. Always backlight or sidelight your rain, and then it stands out and looks really pretty on film, and you get the nice shine on the wet ground and buildings.
If you light rain from the front, it will look like crap. You’ve been warned.
My unemployment interview was, thankfully, a non-event because I got lucky and got a lady who understood film workers. Sometimes it can take some explaining, but she got it right away and told me to just update my ‘resume’ on the job site so I’d show as active and make the computer happy. Or something.