Shooting abroad for the first time can be a little tricky.
Im writing this for any DSLR shooters and anyone thinking to make the jump to RED, or any other camera in this form or size, whom might be traveling soon on work related shoots.
As most people know, lugging gear around shoots locally is still a pain in the ass. So the added stress of Airport travel is always tricky with camera gear let alone lugging gear around New York, LA or where ever it is your shoot is schedule for.
My first shoot abroad was in Spain, which opened my eyes a bit. Back then it was with 2 DSLR cameras. A 5DMKII and the 1DMKIV…but I still had lights, sliders, glidecam etc.
Another annoying problem with airlines/airports is…they are all different and have different regulations. So planning gets tricky because you can never really nail down a routine with your luggage and fees haha
On shoots while your away, you’ll start to notice what the photographers are using and carrying around. You’ll think they are using a ’Canon 5DMKII’ with a bag of lenses. I thought, ”wonder if I should go back to the ease of that”.
They literally have it strapped to them and roll their bag of lenses…done. All day so easy haha
But I would still use sliders, glidecams, jibs etc so…to me the size, weight of the camera doesn’t really matter anymore. Unless I shot handheld and lets be honest.. there is enough wobble cam out there.
As you can see in this pics above:
I brought my slider, glidecam vest and arm, tripod, and bag of lenses, filters etc etc.
So why would the small factor of the 5D help me haha.
Now this brings me to me other dilemma,.
Bringing all this gear to airports causes so many problems. Check in takes forever and more money for extra weight and extra bags. Sometimes its cheaper to bring an assistant with you as their flight can also be used to split luggage with no extra fees. So you can get more bags/gear over for the price of another ticket rather then pay more for just your gear….Plus the extra help and company is a big plus on shoots. When your alone and you have to wait for flights, sometimes 9hr waiting times….its not much fun alone…just look below haha:
So why bring my own gear and not hire while Im in other countries?
At the moment, depsite the travel fees for extra baggage. I found it cheaper to bring my own as the amount I would leave behind, the amount adds up in hire fees. Plus some shoots you dont have much time, so picking up the gear, making sure it runs just like your gear, dropping it back can maybe be a bit more difficult.
Sometimes having your gear so make things easier.
One more bad thing about bringing all your gear over no matter how tiddy and nice you pack your gear, you are constantly on the move, gear gets knocked about, scratched and well… bolts from your glidecam vest go missing. So make sure your gear is insured. Maybe a reason why hiring might be a better option for some (also no reason to knock around gear that isn’t yours though)
Luggage wise I use the awesome Think Tank Airport Security V2.0, sometimes airlines do ask questions but it does fit their regulations. Its usually the weight of everything in the case that I have to pay extra for.
Regarding the V-Mount batteries. I usually put them on the plane not as carry on as that causes more issues.
As for dealing with footage…I dont use anything besides G Drives (G-Technology) never fails and always reliable. The portable sized ones are great but a bit more pricy
Now for the awkward part is filming, especially in the US.
While in New York, LA. You need a film permit to film, but weekends and holidays your not allowed to film at all.
Obviously not every location…just important areas, near landmarks, over populated areas etc. So do think that through while planning shots with clients
Now back to RED.
I never regretted taking my baby and so far it has never let me down and I love the images.
Yes its heavy and the only thing that matches it image wise is the Black Magic Camera, which isnt that much lighter and no slowmo.
The Canon 1DC is nice and more dslr like in a 4K image. But for the price I’d rather buy RED since there isn’t much difference in price. RED isn’t for everyone but it is for me 😉
Here are some of the pieces I shot. directed. edited abroad:
The Opportunity To Play (by James Miller 2nd op Daniel Peters)
HYPE – NYC Lookbook
HYPE – Only The Strong Survive
HYPE – LA lookbook
HYPE – LA Re:Visited
HYPE – Bright Berlin XIX