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Kevin Herrin
Traveling
on Nov 3, 2005 at 4:48:14 pm

Hi all. I will be traveling for the first time to do a shoot. I have read the past posts on traveling and found some great suggestions. I have a few questions, do you pack everything into one case or do you seperate lights, sticks, and camera? What suggestions do you have as to what to bring, ie. full light kit or just a few lights. I will be doing interviews and broll video.
Thanks
Kevin


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john sharaf
Re: Traveling
on Nov 3, 2005 at 5:31:49 pm

Kevin,

Travelling in this post 9/11 era is even more daunting than before. The ploriferation of Betacam shooters in all markets large and small, the expense of shipping excess baggage and many other reasons have limited such excursions.

When traveling on airplanes (I presume) you must know the weight limits involved (they differ slightly by carrier) to avoid even higher charges. You must pack your cases so the the TSA inspecors can open and close them with out everything falling out. You cannot lock them, but I usuall tape some zip-ties to the case and ask the inspectors to seal them that way after inspection, because I can't tell you how easily they can open and spill in transit.

It's also common for some cases to go missing or be delayed, so I often split critical things like batteries and tapes into seperate cases to minimize partial loss problems.

As far as lighting equipment, it's important to try and plan what type of situations you'll encounter and pack appropraitely. Myself, I consider HMI's to be the most useful, because of their efficiency, small profile and daylight color balance (which can easily be converted to tungsten with gel), but because of the reliability factor, I always pack HMI's like Noah's Arc - two at a time. This way I'll most likely have at least one that works. Special care should be taken to bubble wrap for rough airport handleing.

There is some disput about the best way to carry the camera; some prefer to carry it in a soft case as hand carry and stash in the overhead, but some commuter planes are two small for this. The alternative is to use the full on shipping case and put it in the cargo hold. The issue here is what do you do with the large case once on location. If it's in your rental car/van it takes up valuable space. sometimes you can leave it in your hotel room if you're overnighting.

I'll always bring the soft case for the camera too, to protect and carry the camera on location. I'll often pack tape stock inside while it's in shipment or hand carry it with other fragiles like my wide angle lens.

Like all things production related, you'll descover overtime and with various experiences, your own methods and habits regarding travel, which usually will continue to evolve as changes in your kit, job requirements and airline regulations do too.

JS



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Kevin Herrin
Re: Traveling
on Nov 3, 2005 at 6:22:35 pm

Thanks for your input, I am a little nervous about all that could go wrong. I am trying to plan ahead to keep that murhpy's law at bay.
Kevin


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Bob Cole
Re: Traveling
on Nov 7, 2005 at 10:28:53 pm

Even on non-stop flights, it is not unusual to have your checked luggage arrive after you do -- sometimes the next day.

To AVOID that, arrive at your departure airport very very early. Our equipment tends to throw some inspectors for a loop; they feel no compunction about putting weird cases on a later flight if they can't resolve their confusion in time.

To DEAL with that, I always hand-carry a bare-bones kit (camera, tape, lav mic, and sometimes monitor) and hope for the best.

John is too right about the airport luggage handling; it is brutal. I think there was an old commercial for Samsonite showing monkeys throwing suitcases around. Keep that firmly in mind as you pack your delicate stuff.

Finally, do as I suspect John does; have someone else drive your 4-ton truck full of gear, and fly with a toothbrush and a paperback book.

-- BC


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john sharaf
Re: Traveling
on Nov 8, 2005 at 8:14:58 pm

Bob,

I wish I had the luxory of a chauffeur for my grip truck, but alas, I must be the truck driver as well as the cameraman, secretary and bookeeper of my small company. In fact I just got back from a grouling road trip to San Diego for GMA where we did the first multicamera live HD news remote yet at Sea World with Shamu and Baby Shamu.

After working all night (10:30 pm call) we packed the truck and left San Diego about 7am this morning and I'm just filling out the expense forms, time cards and invoices now, about fifteen hours later. Very glamorous!

Regards,

JS


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Bob Cole
Disillusionment sets in...
on Nov 9, 2005 at 7:54:32 pm

[john sharaf] "I must be the truck driver"

Darn; now I'm disillusioned. I thought that there was at least one of us who had a nicer time travelling....

-- B


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donatello
Re: Traveling
on Nov 14, 2005 at 6:28:15 am

IMO if it's only you then only travel with what one person can handle/carry .. I only travel with camera, mic's, laptop ( dv rack)= total 2 bags ( including cloths) ... rent everything else at at location city ....


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Traveling
on Nov 18, 2005 at 5:16:37 pm

I mis-packed a case over the 80 pound limit and it cost me $300 to get it on the plane! Dag, that's a profit eater! I'm with donatello, If I can't carry it, rent it. In other cases, when I have the time, I've shipped my stuff UPS to the venue and picked up local crew. It's nice to make the extra bucks with our own gear, but generally not worth the hassle - as long as I get my day rate I'm happy. Steve


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Bob Cole
Re: Traveling
on Nov 21, 2005 at 3:32:19 am

[donatello] "rent everything else at at location city"

-- right, and if you can, hire a local grip who has the stuff. Sometimes the rental equipment doesn't show up on time.


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