Filming Abroad

Shooting abroad for the first time can be a little tricky.

As most people know, lugging gear around just 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 any new location you are travelling to.

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 abroad, if you use Bigger cameras like RED, Blackmagic etc

you will start to notice what the photographers are using or notice what other filmmakers are carrying around.

You’ll think…hey they are using a ’Canon 5DMKII’, A7SII with a bag of lenses and then think… ”wonder if I should go back to the ease of that”.

They literally have it strapped to them and roll a bag of their 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.

Plus if the client hired you for RED and you show up with a small 5 axis camera with single gimbal, shoot may not end up very well due to their mindset, haha

This was my set up awhile back:



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.

Of course you can have cameras now with 5 axis in camera and single gimbals

but what if you are a RED shooter or F55 or you want to start shooting on these cameras and travel?!

This brings us to another dilemma,.

Bringing all this gear to airports causes so many problems.

Check in takes forever and more money for extra weight and extra bags.

So there is a few ways to cut the cost

Sometimes its cheaper to bring an assistant with you as their flight can also be used to split luggage with no extra fees.

This way 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….it’s not much fun

…just look below as this is all I saw for 9 hours once waiting in an airport alone haha:


So why bring my own gear and not hire while Im in other countries?

At the moment, despite the travel fees for extra baggage.

I found it cheaper to bring my own gear as the amount I would leave behind to save luggage costs, the amount adds up in hire fees.

Plus some shoots you don’t 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 & time consuming.

Sometimes having your own gear with you makes things easier.

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One bad thing about bringing all your gear over no matter how tidy and nice you pack

you are constantly on the move, gear gets knocked about, scratched…bolts from your glidecam vest can go missing.

So make sure your gear is insured.

Maybe a reason why hiring might be a better option for some if they don’t have insurance yet

Luggage wise… I like the Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 or the Tenba Roadie II

They are both great bags to use for airlines

But also ask questions or search online for airline info, as the baggage size and weight regulations vary from airline to airline.


Regarding V-Mount batteries or lithiom batteries..

I usually put them on the plane, not as carry on as that causes more issues.

But Always, Always bring your camera & lenses on the plane!

As for dealing with footage…

I don’t use anything besides G Drives (G-Technology)

they never fail on me and always reliable.

The portable sized ones are great but a bit more expensive



Now 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 you are 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

Regarding drones, check the area you want to film and see what the regulations are.

Most of the time the normal rules apply…

no flying in National Parks, near airports etc

so just learn whats allowed when purchasing your drone.


Getting around once you arrive

If you can drive, I definitely recommend hiring a car…

that way you know you can scope out locations before filming & you know you can always get your gear to location with no issues.

I hope this helps some people out

My Gear!

My Main Camera (Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6K)

B Camera (Panasonic GH5)

C Camera (Sony A6500) –

Favorite Lens (Sigma art 18-35mm 1.8) –

2nd Favorite Lens (Sigma art 50mm 1.4) –

Gimbal (Beholder/Ikan MS1) –

Lav Mic Kit (Sennheiser EW100 G3) –

Boom Mic (Sennheiser MKH 416) –

Camera Slider (Kessler Crane Stealth) –

Tripod (Sachtler ACEL) –

Lighting (Rayzr 300B) –

Lighting (F&V LED K4000B) –

Filters (Formatt Hi-tech IRND) –

Storage / Hardrives (G-Technology)  –

Editing Software (Adobe Premiere Pro CC) –

My Computer (Apple iMac 27inch 2010) –


Music –