Jimm is a great guy, level-headed and low-key. You could always rely on his word.
The rain was serendipitous - though I doubt anyone thought so while they were standing in it - and Jimm added more visible rain in post. That landscape was great, though.
The Kongo reveal was what we called the "Planet Of The Apes" shot. We loved that a lot, too.
One thing we talked a lot about while cooking up the story was "what kind of stuff might they have shown on TOS that they didn't, and that we can without violating the spirit of the thing (Jimm and Josh not being big fans of much Trek after the original)." Having a ship jettison and crash the saucer came out of that.