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FAST 8 in Havana, Cuba


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#1 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 06:20 AM

Hi all,
I have just returned back to the USA from one of the most memorable experiences in my film career. We just completed filming our first 3 weeks of FAST 8 in Havana, Cuba. This is the first ever Hollywood film to be shot on the communist island. Words can't describe what I saw and witnessed. The poverty is incredible but the people... They are amazing. Their kind spirit and warmth towards us will never be forgotten. It humbled us all. Our Cuban camera crew was fantastic! They had never seen such a massive production of course but that didn't stop them from fully engaging. They were awesome.

We had so many firsts but we did have one particularly historic moment. We flew the very first American helicopter for our aerial unit over Cuban airspace. Thousands of Cuban citizens lined the streets, balconies and rooftops watching our camera ship not only fly over their city but also over their country's Capitol building. They had never seen a non military helicopter before I was told. Amazing. These are images I will never forget.

G

image.jpeg

Hundreds of locals looking at our Edge Arm.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 09:11 AM

Sounds like an awesome experience.
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#3 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 10:47 AM

Must have been one hell of an experience. Can't wait to see what insanity you lot come up with this time! :)


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#4 Shawn Sagady

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 07:06 PM

Sounds amazing!

 

I am actually incredibly curious about the logistics of the shoot.  Obviously you could not rent locally, so what kind of transportation/shipping was in place to get everything out to the island?  I imagine you guys were showing the locals some vehicles and equipment they have never seen like you mentioned for the Helicopter. 


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#5 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 09:29 PM

Sounds amazing!
 
I am actually incredibly curious about the logistics of the shoot.  Obviously you could not rent locally, so what kind of transportation/shipping was in place to get everything out to the island?  I imagine you guys were showing the locals some vehicles and equipment they have never seen like you mentioned for the Helicopter.


You're right. There's no infrastructure in Havana thus we had to bring everything! Our production office had been open since December of last year planning for a 3 week shoot in April/May. In order to temporarily import technology and consumables, our production had to work closely for months with the Departments of State, Treasury and Commerce in order to obtain all of the legal licenses to ship all we would need to Cuba and more importantly, get it all back. Then we chartered a dual level cargo ship and loaded everything from all of our picture cars, work trucks and trailers to construction equipment, mechanic bays, the caterer and god knows what else. I had two 10 ton camera trucks that were loaded with all of our camera gear (19 cameras) in Atlanta, then driven by our teamsters to the port of Miami where they were loaded onto the ship. A few days later, they were driven off of the ship and onto the streets of Havana ready to go. That was true for all of the departments whether grip, lighting, wardrobe, props, etc. it was a monolithic effort to pull this off and we did it very successfully.

G
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#6 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:07 AM

Wow, what a trip. Sounds like a blast to do!


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#7 Miguel Angel

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 03:21 AM

That sounds like fun!!!!

I hope you all liked Cuba! When I was studying there 11 years ago it was a very different place than it is nowadays!

The photo looks great!!

Have a good day!!
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#8 Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 03:29 AM

Miguel Angel, did the accent annoy you?


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