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Filming in Senegal


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#1 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 07:53 PM

Hello all. It looks like I might be in Senegal early next year (January it seems) and was wondering what anyone can tell me about the country?
I know I'll need ATA Carnets, and I have informed production on all of that. We'll be there for under 90 days, so I'm pretty sure we meet the Visa requirements, and I know I need a Yellow Fever vaccine.
Other than that. . what can anyone say?
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#2 Ira Ratner

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 06:53 PM

It's like 95% Muslim, and the religious authorities yield enormous power in the politics and regulations of the country.
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 08:16 PM

Yeah, from what I hear we'll be in a very religious area. . . so no smoking and lots and lots of respect from me.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:00 PM

Yeah, from what I hear we'll be in a very religious area. . . so no smoking and lots and lots of respect from me.


Good call. The couple of time I have worked in foreign countries, I was actually embarrassed by the behavior of some of my traveling companions. No wonder America isn't thought well of in many places.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:04 PM

Thank god for my 1/2 Brit accent.
I'm really looking forward to the trip, minus the flight as last time i was airborne, i got food poisoning.
By the by, anyone know the Power system there? 50Hz I take it? We'll be on video, So I should be able to see any flicker issues. . . one hopes.
Also, anyone know about vaccination verification forms? Is there something I should bring to my Doctor? It's been awhile since I've gotten my shots. . .
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#6 Tim Terner

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:41 PM

Good guide here Adrian, also shows plugs used around the world http://kropla.com/electric2.htm
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:48 PM

Awesome Tim, I had been looking for something like that. Thanks.
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#8 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 11:00 PM

You may not be able to do much about the flickering unless you can control ALL the practical lights or your camera does 50 hz. I have seen some docs, Born Into Brothels comes to mind, with lots of night shooting and flicker galore.

What camera are you using, your EX1? The camera shoots 50i and 25p, but does that mean that you will be getting flicker in a 50hz power country? I think you will be OK if you use the EX1.
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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:14 AM

Yep Saul, I'm thinking the EX1. Also I was going to check into whether or not I can do 24p with a 172.8 shutter. I'm not 100% if that's on the EX, and it being 107 here in Philadelphia, with all kinda of craziness outside (Phillies going to world series...) I'm not going to pull it out.
I am expecting that most of our shooting will be during the day, so I'll utilize, as best one can, window-light. Else wise, I suppose we'll see what we see. Now I'm just praying production gets all their ducks in a row for air-fare and the like. I'm doing this documentary on the cheap (told the guy, just give me enough to cover my rent, a ticket, and a spot somewhere to lay down at night and I'm all yours. So long as I break even I'm happy just for the experience on this one).
I'll keep posting in here as stuff develops and my many more questions pop up (as they always do).

My Best, Always
~Adrian
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#10 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:18 AM

Adrian:

Yeah, that will be an awesome experience, I am sure!

Good luck and keep us posted!

S
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:31 AM

I shall. Thanks as always for the luck wishes!
Posting 1)
I couldn't resist opening up the camera, and lo and behold, no 172.8 shutter under the angle menu, but there is a 1/50th under the speed. So I'll experiment with that once I land in Senegal with 1/50 24 and 25 as well as other settings to get the best out of the little camera.
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 10:03 AM

Well it's been awhile since I posted to this, but it certainly looks like the trip to Senegal is a go. I'll be flying out on Jan 8th and I'll be back in the US sometime around Jan 24th. Production is even paying for the vaccines we need to get (Yellow Fever and Malaria Pills).
I'm still trying to figure out power issues as well as getting gear through the TSA. I'm a bit worried they might hijack my batteries from me-- though honestly I don't think the tiny Sony batts for the EX1 violate any rules. I'm bringing the camera proper in my petrol bag as a carry-on, with 1 battery in it in case they ask me to power it up, as well as my laptop- which I'll need in the field for card dumps. The rest of the stuff is going to get checked. I am also going to work on getting a "private" inspection well before boarding time up at JFK, but until I get my tickets from the producer I'm holding off on scheduling anything. Hopefully we'll be getting a direct flight, else wise, I'll also have the joy of customs in the EU (probably Spain/Portugal? Last time I was in Porto I was so confused at security I left my wallet behind!).
I also know they're bringing a Sony Z1U for backup, just incase anything happens with the XDCam as well as for some B-Roll footage. Makes sense, of course, to have something which is "assured," as a camera and I like the Z1U personally, but I want to keep that just for emergencies and/or lots of B-Roll stuff. I'll use the XDCam as the primary interview camera as well as shooting on and off while I'm there, and probably take walks with the Z1U during downtime and just shoot whatever I find interesting.
I'm going to keep the camera (XDCam) in 24 mode most of the time, unless we're under 50hz lighting as a primary source when I'll pop it over to 25P. I figured I can always shoot it out to 24P through compressor later on. Anyone have thoughts on that?
As for data-archival, supposedly we'll have some form of internet-hook up while we're there at least in Dakar. I am going to set up a network hard-drive here at the house with remote access, and thus be able to upload from Dakar back here to the US while we have some time off. Otherwise, I've told production to bring along dual 1TB drives, and I'm also bringing "field drives," of as large a capacity as I can get-- they power off of the laptop and while they're slow at 5400rpm and only USB2.0 the fact that i don't need anything more than a lap-top charge is a damned good thing. I figure double redundancy in the field, and then double redundancy at base camp should be sufficient for the data-centric work-flow. I had also toyed with the idea of getting 2X 16gb SxS cards, but I don't know if I can afford them just yet. It'd be nice, of course, to have approx 2hr run time on the XDCam per load; but then again, I am still unsure if I ought have so many eggs in on card, if you know what I mean.
So, yes, here's hoping all goes well and I don't get struck with some odd tropical sickness while I'm there, and/or any inordinate hassles at any airport or customs (production is also getting carnets). I'll post more when I know more, and I'll try to keep online while I'm over there.
~Adrian
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#13 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 07:58 PM

Slight Update: Jan 9th 5pm I fly out from JFK and I'll be back on Jan 23rd.
I have insurance from production for all the kit I'm bringing and I'm making sure we get ATA Carnets as well. Vaccinations will be after the New Year. I'm still worried (from watching too much House on FOX) that I'm going to die of some strange tropical sickness 4 months after I get back :/ But, it's what we do I suppose.
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#14 Ira Ratner

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 08:03 PM

HAH!!!

Don't worry--it's going to be FINE!

However, flying into and out of JFK is a DIFFERENT story!

I grew up 5 miles from there--Canarsie, Brooklyn--and I could hear the cries of frustrated travelers every night.
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#15 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 08:05 PM

Production is planning on having us get to the airport at least 4 hours a head of time. I have the feeling I'll get there MUCH sooner with the camera package and the like. ;)
So far I haven't had any real issues at any U.S. Airport. Now Fumaccino in Rome and trying to get there at 4 am... different story. I'm just glad I'm not at Newark again, IIRC the International Terminal there is atrocious, mine had just one little kiosk selling really bad coffee and hard danish.
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#16 Ira Ratner

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:30 PM

If you have any problems, tell them:

"Damn! We had to drive in through Brooklyn, and went through Canarsie to pick up the Belt Parkway at exit 13 to make it here to JFK! That was HORRIBLE!"

They'll sympathize and tell you to drop dead--but you can still tell them.
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#17 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:31 PM

Ha!
I was hoping to just use my inherent wit, charm, and patience ;).
Ira, by the bye, what ever happened with those holograms you were working on?
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#18 Ira Ratner

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:33 PM

Or you can tell them that you had to walk all the way from Fairmount Park to Seaview Park in Canarsie.

Now Fairmount--THAT'S a park! Used to ride horses there in the 70s, and spent some time in Germantown.
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#19 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:39 PM

They still have the trails down there in Fairmount, and re-did Boat House Row Quite beautiful says me. Too cold to enjoy it right the now; but I really want to sneak in there to shoot some stuff once the Wissahickon freezes over and you get those bigicicles on the rocky-outcrops.
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#20 Ira Ratner

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:39 PM

I've had my camera since July, and since then, all I've done is buy stuff (tons of lenses) and build rigs. Haven't shot a single FRAME yet.

But I'm ready now, and after the holidays, I start. I respect the high cost of film to give it all of the time and procrastination it deserves!

Gotta hit WalMart now for last minute shopping--including the iTouch for my wife. She bought ME one too, so this whole thing doesn't make sense. We're totally balanced and neutral in the spending department, so what's the point? Doesn't seem like the real spirit of Christmas to me at all.

I want to get more than I give.
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