Jump to content


Photo

Shooting in China


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 11 September 2007 - 10:17 PM

It's looking like I'll be shooting for a few days in Shanghai and/or the surrounding countryside in a couple of months. Likely taking the F900 and a basic ARRI kit, an 800w HMI Joker, plus other AKS.

It's my first time traveling (and also shooting of course) in that part of the world. Apart from the power issue, is there anything else that I should "worry" about or something out of the ordinary to be prepared for?

Thank you!
  • 0

#2 Dan Salzmann

Dan Salzmann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Paris, France

Posted 12 September 2007 - 10:52 AM

Hello Brian,

Never turn your back on your gear especially on trains and watch out for pickpockets.
Also trains have 1 fare for locals and another for "foreigners" at the discretion of the ticket agent.
Only bottled water - including teeth brushing.
Bring spare bulbs from home as some things can be hard to source.
They eat some strange things sometimes (dog, snake, etc.) Let your production people advise you!
Have fun!
  • 0

#3 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 September 2007 - 03:50 PM

Dan,
I leave for Hong Kong and Thailand in a week. I'm curious if the bottled water situation is the same in those places as it is in mainland China? I've been reading up as much as I can about what I need to know but haven't seen mention of this. Also, I'm going to bring two still cameras (F1's) and an assortment of lenses. I'm curious whether I'll have any travel delays because of this and also if I should bring film or buy it there? Any idea if they are willing to do hand inspection on still film in those places? Also, I think I'm going to need to buy a phone while I'm there (don't think mine will work). Any ideas?
Sorry to hijack the thread. Hopefully any info will be helpful to Brian as well.
  • 0

#4 Dan Salzmann

Dan Salzmann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Paris, France

Posted 12 September 2007 - 05:13 PM

As far as water is concerned Hong Kong is alright. I don't know about Thailand. If you can photocopy receipts for the cameras and lenses and have them with you that should be OK. Buying film is fine.
What is your worry about buying a phone?
Hand inspection of film is pretty much a coin toss in terms of which customs officer you come across but that's true anywhere.
Why not get your film developed in Hong Kong?
  • 0

#5 adam berk

adam berk
  • Sustaining Members
  • 168 posts
  • Director

Posted 12 September 2007 - 07:00 PM

I was in Hong Kong, Thailand, and China in 1998 and definitely do remember using bottled water to brush my teeth everywhere I went....also keeping water out of my mouth when showering.
  • 0

#6 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 September 2007 - 07:06 PM

What is your worry about buying a phone?
Hand inspection of film is pretty much a coin toss in terms of which customs officer you come across but that's true anywhere.
Why not get your film developed in Hong Kong?

Sorry, I wasn't clear about the phone issue. I just want to make sure I'll be able to buy a "burner" type phone once I get to Hong Kong. I don't want to get there and find out those types of phones don't exist. Just covering all my bases I guess.
I probably will get my film developed either in Hong Kong or Thailand. I know customs is often a crapshoot, but I was curious if you had specific info that they were better or worse than the normal crapshoot.
  • 0

#7 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 September 2007 - 07:07 PM

I was in Hong Kong, Thailand, and China in 1998 and definitely do remember using bottled water to brush my teeth everywhere I went....also keeping water out of my mouth when showering.

Got it. So it's equivalent to the situation in Mexico huh?
Thanks.
  • 0

#8 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 13 September 2007 - 03:21 PM

It's like Mexico, with the added value of a brutal communist regime. I'd watch out for them while in China too :ph34r: Other than that, have fun!
  • 0

#9 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 13 September 2007 - 06:56 PM

This is a total Producer responsibility, but is there value in having the gear shipped (ie. Rocket Cargo) rather than taking it all on the plane with us?

If I can get stuff shipped, it saves me the hassle of dealing with Customs and the labor of the airport. But I could use a really solid reason to justify the added expense to the money people.
  • 0

#10 Rupe Whiteman

Rupe Whiteman
  • Sustaining Members
  • 336 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 14 September 2007 - 08:14 AM

... check out your menus carefully when you eat - bit of dog takes a bit of getting used to... as does the way many people spit on the streets a lot (seriously)!

... Amazing place though...
  • 0

#11 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 September 2007 - 05:21 PM

This is a total Producer responsibility, but is there value in having the gear shipped (ie. Rocket Cargo) rather than taking it all on the plane with us?

I think it would be a huge advantage to ship the gear. If you bring it on the plane I think you have to have special paperwork and documentation (can't remember the name right now) and even then from what I hear there is still often a lot of hassle doing it that way....not specifically in China, but third world countries in general, especially those with a high incidence of corruption. If you have it shipped they'll deal with all of that for you. I guess a big factor would be how much gear you're bringing. It would seem like the more gear you have, the more problems that might arise.
  • 0

#12 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 14 September 2007 - 05:28 PM

It's like Mexico, with the added value of a brutal communist regime. I'd watch out for them while in China too :ph34r: Other than that, have fun!


Actually China is a great deal more globalised that other Communist nations, such as Russia or Cuba. How do you think it has become fourth richest country on the planet (soon to supercede Germany). It relies on the rest of the world for it's vast prosperity. The Chinese have even struck deals with The Ivory Coast for raw minerals. There is no Iron Curtain like there was in the case of Soviet Russia. Sure, some very dark things most go on behind closed doors, several people even being excecuted for extreme cases of fraud in recent years. But the point I'm making is there is a lot more to China than there was to Soviet Russia. Concrete, Communism, Cyrillic, etc. You get the idea. China has some amazing scenery, architecture and wildlife. Strip back the cold, hard Communist veneer and there really is some amazing stuff to behold.
  • 0

#13 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 14 September 2007 - 07:32 PM

Maybe you weren't born yet, so I'll assume this is genuine ignorance, but Russia actually freed itself from the noose of communism in 1991, although it still "enjoys" some vestiges of the system, due much to the Presidency of a former head of the KGB, Vladimir Putin.

Have you ever BEEN to China?
  • 0

#14 oscar jimenez

oscar jimenez
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 317 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • PANAMA, REPUBLIC OF PANAMA

Posted 14 September 2007 - 08:45 PM

Hi, I just came back from China ( spent two months working on a shoot over there ) so I'll share my facts:
1. Take your power inverters with you, the more, the better. You'll not find 120v I guess anywhere.
2. Take your spare bulbs,many as you want. Any way, there are production companies and rentals, specially if you are going to Shangai, it is very civilized and modern, Iron Courtain and Communism are dead, China is one of the most capitalist countries I have ever seen, just dont talk about politics, regime or straight capitalism to anybody.
3. Tips are offensive to locals
4. Theres not such thing as robbery or burglars, but yet, better keep an eye on your stuff, but laws and penalties are so severe, guess why I didnt see any burglars or muggers.
5. Drink only bottled water, on all hotels there are water boilers, I had noodle soup made with water from the faucet of the hotel, never got sick, neither died, I did wash my teeth wtth water from the faucet, man, I did even ate scorpions and silk worms cocoons, still alive ( actually, I did enjoy scorpions )
6. Phones or cell phones are not an issue, If you want a phone, or need one,China is the paradise of cell phones, trust me.
7. for image making, there is a strong laws on censorship, be sure to have your permits from authorities.
Any other thing, here to help.
\All best
Oscar
  • 0

#15 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 15 September 2007 - 03:20 AM

Maybe you weren't born yet, so I'll assume this is genuine ignorance, but Russia actually freed itself from the noose of communism in 1991, although it still "enjoys" some vestiges of the system, due much to the Presidency of a former head of the KGB, Vladimir Putin.

Have you ever BEEN to China?


Yes, I knew that, I think everyone does. And no, I haven't been to China, but I do know that is absolutely depends on global commerce. Have you ever seen the mountian ranges in China in documentaries before? Or The Great Wall of China? Or some of those old temples? It truly is a magic country. And I wasn't trying to patronise.
  • 0


The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

CineTape

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Tai Audio

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc