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Bonneville Salt Flats


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#1 Adam DeMello

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 04:42 PM

I am gaffing a film that will be filming at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and was wondering if anyone had experience shooting there. Any hints would be a life saver! My plan is using silks and flags for negative fill. But I am unsure about the need for lights to create fill or if it would be necessary.
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#2 Frank Glencairn

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:25 AM

It´s literally hell out there.

You are in the middle of a giant softbox.
The light reflecting from the salt is almost the same intensity as from the sun.
So the last thing you need is more lights, but flags, scrims, bounceboards, blackboards nets andwhatnot

Salt is eating into your equipment, so bring a lot of plastic bags and zip ties.

The flats is one of the rare points on earth, where dehydration and sunburn is REALLY a serious issue.
Make sure you bring enough water, mineral tablets and sun blocker.
Wear something loose of pure cotton or better linen.
Good sunglasses and a wide brim heat of course.
A walky-talky or some sort of radio is important, chances are - depending on where you are - that your cellphone won´t work.
Make sure you got something that creates shadow, like a tent or pavilion.

Edited by Frank Glencairn, 19 March 2012 - 05:25 AM.

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#3 Travis Cline

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:59 PM

Frank is not exaggerating, it is a very rough environment. You'll have more fill light than you know what to do with. You can get sunburnt from above(the sun) and from below(the reflection off the salt). Salt will destroy anything it touches, so keep it clean. The only time you would need lights is if you are shooting around dusk which people often do out there. It's really beautiful out there though at anytime of the day which is great. If you need any crew from Utah let me know, I know some great guys.
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#4 John David Miller

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:01 AM

If you own a truck you may want to sub rent a different trailer. There is no way to get all the salt out from all the hidden places.

If you are going to wear shorts with boxers or no underwear put sunscreen on your 3 piece set...trust me.

You will be at the mercy of the wind so don't get too attached to big overheads...unless you have the budget for it. I'd take a few 12'x ultrabounces and you'll be able to go neg or pos quickly. Have a half grid or 1/2 soft frost for overhead on close-ups. K.I.S.S
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Glidecam

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Tai Audio

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

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