Jump to content


Photo

Advice for shooting in Africa


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Patrick Jordan

Patrick Jordan

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 26 December 2006 - 03:12 PM

Im shooting part of a documentary in Western Africa for 3 weeks in January. Filmstock is 7245 (Kodak 50D). Ive never shot film outside of Ireland, where the temperature is pretty moderate and Ive always been able to store film in the correct manner. I would like to ask members if they have any advice for storing film while were on the road in Africa before and after its exposed. Ive been told it needs to be kept at about 15 degrees celcius, but don?t know if that?s just being pedantic. For example, somebody mentioned using cool boxes? We do not have a huge budget but any advice would be really appreciated. Also, any other tips for shooting S16mm in africa, would be very welcome. Many thanks and hope you all have a good New Year.

Paddy
  • 0

#2 Bob Hayes

Bob Hayes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1087 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Culver City, California

Posted 30 December 2006 - 02:49 PM

I find portable coolers like you would store cold beer in are fine. I?d get space blankets and make small covers for the camera silver side out. I often just keep a white towel draped over the camera. The tough part will probably be acclimating your cold weather self to the African environment.

Where are you going I West Africa?
  • 0

#3 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 30 December 2006 - 04:00 PM

The good news is that your choice of stock ('45) is the most impervious to temperature extremes. You don't really need to keep the stock chilled, just try to avoid extended periods in direct sunlight or extreme heat.
  • 0

#4 Frank DiBugnara

Frank DiBugnara
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 168 posts

Posted 30 December 2006 - 05:13 PM

I know someone who spent several months shooting in Africa. I can give you his phone number if you would like to call him....please email me for it frank@filmblu.com

Also, why did you choose '45?
  • 0

#5 Isaac Chung

Isaac Chung
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Director

Posted 31 December 2006 - 04:56 AM

I spent July and August shooting a feature narrative film in Eastern Africa. you can contact me for any other specific advice if you'd like.

I used 250D Fuji Eterna and stored the film in my living quarters without any problems. Inside, the temperature remained fairly cool, although outside, it would usually be in the mid 80s.

My biggest challenge involved transporting the film stock in and out of the country; i ordered stock from south africa to be delivered, and it was almost lost. later, i went through a lot of trouble to get the film out of the country without any x-rays to Technicolor London.

it's different with every country in Africa, but i found that managing bureaucracy was one of the other problems in shooting; i'd suggest working with locals experienced in film production for that. In rwanda, at least, everyone believed that filmmakers are loaded, and it's hard to get things done (permits, etc) when that's the case.
  • 0

#6 Patrick Jordan

Patrick Jordan

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 01 January 2007 - 03:43 PM

Thanks for all your replies! Im going to Mali where I'm shooting 'beauty' shots and an intro sequence for a doc on Malian music. The body of the film has already been shot on video over the last couple of years. Really looking forward to it, but kind of unprepared because Ive been quite busy!

In terms of stock I'm shooting 7245 because I like the richness of the blacks and because i like to shoot with as little depth of field as possible and the slow speed will hopefully help to keep aperature open early mornings and evenings, thats the plan anyway! Because I'll be pulling focus myself, prefer not to have to use NDs as much as possible. Also, Ill be shooting some 8mm for that grainy look...

Your advice on storage was very helpful. I am a bit concerned about X-Rays. Like the temperature issue, I know that 50D is the most resistant but... Will be flying Dublin - Paris - Bamako, anybody got any thoughts on the best way to handle this?

Frank and Isaac, thanks for the offer of specific advice, if I think of anything in particular I'll certainly be in touch.

Paddy
  • 0

#7 Frank DiBugnara

Frank DiBugnara
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 168 posts

Posted 01 January 2007 - 10:47 PM

Patrick,

I asked about your choice of stock to see if you had considered 7201. I've had great experiences with it----While its feel is different than that of '45, it seems more versatile and can take more abuse when photographing in low budget and difficult circumstances. Its improved performance in shadow and lower-light areas alone makes it a great choice.

Some others have gone into a more in-depth comparison of the two stocks in the archives.
  • 0

#8 Isaac Chung

Isaac Chung
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Director

Posted 02 January 2007 - 05:33 AM

I found that the airport was easier to maneuver by having the original box for the film cans. Not just the cans--the box that houses them. Depending on the number you are taking, you might consider taking the boxes too.
I was able to talk my way through African airports by talking to the managers. Also, a French expat working one of the planes was very helpful.
I hate to tell you, but it can be quite stressful with African security. They like saying "no."
  • 0

#9 David Mun

David Mun
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 January 2007 - 08:39 PM

How about the safty factor while traveling? I am debating on going to Nigeria and Sierra Leone to shoot a doc. I have been reading about safty issues on the state dept. websites as well as a few others and it doesn't seem like a good idea, but I haven't been there to know what to expect.

What has your expierences been like?

Dave
  • 0

#10 Isaac Chung

Isaac Chung
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Director

Posted 30 January 2007 - 03:19 PM

I assume it always differs according to the area. I've traveled in many places where the State Department warns against but had no problems. But still, humility and calmness were important to have.

A good friend of mine was in Sierra Leone for the entire summer for government work and didn't indicate any problems with personal safety. in Nigeria, you have a lot of violence on the coast b/c of the fight against the oil industry. a lot of places around the world are film/video camera averse (especially Africa), so shooting a documentary in places w/o permission in advance might get you into trouble.

How about the safty factor while traveling? I am debating on going to Nigeria and Sierra Leone to shoot a doc. I have been reading about safty issues on the state dept. websites as well as a few others and it doesn't seem like a good idea, but I haven't been there to know what to expect.

What has your expierences been like?

Dave


  • 0


Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Opal

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Visual Products

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets