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SHooting in Dubai


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#1 Yuka Eto

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 08:23 AM

Does anyone have any experience shooting film in Dubai?
I will be 1stACing a music video next week and renting a 435 package equipment there. Apparently 2 loaders have been hired and the production says they speak English but so far judging from the vague information they have supplied me with, I can't be assured anything. Is the equipment reliable? Are the assistants experienced enough? Is there anything I should be careful with? As for the film, we plan to develop it at Kodak Dubai and take it back with us to Japan, would there be any problems with telecine or extra steps I should take beforehand? Any info would help-thanks!
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 08:30 AM

I've only shot video (F900) in Dubai, so I can't speak to the specific film aspects.

However, after traveling through Europe, I have to say that the safest I felt anywhere was in Dubai. We were actually able to leave some gear in our van without concern, which is something I wouldn't have dreamed about doing anywhere else.

The language is not a problem either. A very small percentage of residents there are native Arabs and from my experience, ALL of them spoke flawless English. You'll also find a very large population of British, some Australian, some Philippine, some Indian, and a few from the Americas.

They have McDonald's, KFC, Cinnabon plus a lot of other very Western food choices. Plus the biggest mall I've ever seen, The Mall of the Emirates which has an indoor ski slope.

Point being, this is a very Westernized country and very friendly. You'll see a lot of signs in Arabic, but just about everything has English too because of the population and its history. They are trying very hard to attract international investors and money seems to be no object.
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#3 Jon Kukla

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 11:50 AM

Which company are you going through? I only have some limited Dubai experience, but I know that FilmQuip and FilmWorks (they used to be the same company; the head guys of each are brothers) have solid crews - so no worries if you're working with them.
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#4 Yuka Eto

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 11:10 PM

Thanks for the responses, the production is gathering equipment from several rental houses (names not given) but I feel much better knowing the place is westernized! :)
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 12:00 AM

Thanks for the responses, the production is gathering equipment from several rental houses (names not given) but I feel much better knowing the place is westernized! :)


It's a lot like Vegas, only without the gambling. It has Los Angeles-like traffic, smoggy days, and tall skyscrapers. I didn't get the chance, but evidently they have excellent golf courses so take your clubs if you can.

Be aware that their postal service is not the best. If you need to mail anything internationally, DHL is the company of choice for Dubai. FedEx will deliver, but it took far longer than the DHL.

Also, check the weather before you go. It gets up to 120 F in the Summer! That's HOT!
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#6 Larry Nielsen

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 10:11 PM

I worked in Abu Dahbi in UAE on the "Kingdom", production crews came out of Dubia. Great people and a great crew for my c camera. Ant Smyth was our C Camera Operator, South African. He and his brother are film works. My C 1st was an Italian, the 2nd German, and my additional loader was Pakistani. I can send you later the names If I can find a crew list. The place is very westernised, alcohol only allowed in Hotels though. Slow internet and its that way for a reason, but other than that the people are in fact very friendly and not what you would expect to find Via the media.
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#7 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 11:04 PM

Oh yeah, I forgot about the internet thing. You can't use SKYPE there. You end up with one of the "blocked" messages which I am attaching. It's funny because reading the message, it looks like they are blocking SKYPE for "moral" reasons. :)

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Edited by Brian Dzyak, 21 September 2007 - 11:06 PM.

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