BUSINESS AND MARKETING: Business and Marketing Forum Business and Marketing Articles

Shooting In China, Any Tips?

COW Forums : Business & Marketing

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Chuck PullenShooting In China, Any Tips?
by on Jun 22, 2010 at 1:17:29 pm

Hello All!

I’ve just been recruited to follow an American band around China on a one week tour in the fall and I am hoping to get some information on shooting in that country. My first concern is power, and I am wondering if there is a site that can help me with the video/power standards in China? I am going to be shooting with my own camera, but one of the ideas I had was to bring my Ki Pro and try to hook in if there is IMAG at their shows so I can get more material. I am assuming that they are most likely using PAL, so something like the versatile Ki Pro with the proper power adapter, I should be able to find an input setting that will work?

I also remember hearing during the earthquake coverage that the news organizations had to fill out “requests” with the government and had to have an escort or liaison at all times while shooting. I wasn’t sure if that was a news thing, or anyone shooting video in that country needs to go through this “vetting” process.

Other than that, I will most likely be using a JVC 250with Dionic 90’s which it is my understanding that the batteries should be fine for air travel, also I have read that several people say not to use a Porta Brace while traveling, Can anyone suggest an alternative? Also would it be wise to bring a bunch of Pro Cell AA’s for my wireless with me, or are they readily available there? On that topic can I even use my Sennheiser wireless gear over there?

Thanks so much if you can chime in on any of my questions.

Chuck Pullen


Return to posts index

Patrick OrtmanRe: Shooting In China, Any Tips?
by on Jun 22, 2010 at 6:07:52 pm

I know this is not necessarily helpful advice, but a friend of mine shot a feature film there about 5 years ago and he told me that one thing that did freak him out a bit was that his local prod coordinator hired human beings to act as sandbags in some cases, because it was cheaper and easier than bringing in additional actual bags.

Weird, huh? He told me the prod went off without a hitch, and that seeing things like the Great Wall were truly amazing and life changing.



---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


Return to posts index

walter biscardiRe: Shooting In China, Any Tips?
by on Jun 22, 2010 at 6:21:08 pm

[Chuck Pullen] "
I also remember hearing during the earthquake coverage that the news organizations had to fill out “requests” with the government and had to have an escort or liaison at all times while shooting. I wasn’t sure if that was a news thing, or anyone shooting video in that country needs to go through this “vetting” process."


Yes, you really need to have a handler working with you to ensure smooth videography and passage to all areas of the country. If you are don't go through this process, you could be denied access to areas and have your equipment confiscated.

A client of mine has done multiple documentary and series shoots in China and always has a local handler working with him to ensure there is no difficulty with the local authorities. That handler often starts working months in advance to get all the necessary approvals to shoot where requested and sometimes the requests are simply denied or ignored.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

Blog Twitter Facebook


Return to posts index


Chuck PullenRe: Shooting In China, Any Tips?
by on Jun 22, 2010 at 7:12:33 pm

Thanks for responses guys.

Patrick: That sandbag story is slightly creepy, but I get your point things are A LOT different over there.

Walter: I’m hearing this may be a state (Embassy) sponsored or endorsed tour, so at the very least hopefully they’ll know I’m coming and MAY be more helpful under those circumstances, but I’ll certainly ask about needing a “handler”. I also think a meeting with the local consulate is definitely in order especially to make sure all of my equipment can go over, and I have filled out all of the proper forms so it all makes the return trip with me.

Chuck


Return to posts index

Martin PuglioRe: Shooting In China, Any Tips?
by on Jun 23, 2010 at 3:43:04 am

If you are a journalist (with credentials) you would be required to have a journalist visa. No handler necessary for such insensitive issues a music.

Handlers are only necessary for reporting/filming on sensitive issues. Not musical groups :) If you are only filming a band, and not doing any type of doc work, a handler won’t be necessary.

As videographer, you’ll be required to obtain a work (Z) visa or business (f) visa.

But what you may want is someone called a “fixer”. This person is usually a veteran of productions in China and can help you in many ways. The red tape in China (no pun intended) is vast, and difficult to navigate if it is unknown to you. And it can change at the whim of anybody with even the slightest bit of power.

Because you are coming in to the country with full size professional video camera, better to get your ducks in row and go about the correct procedures.

Other than that, China is pretty cool. The large modern cities are production hotbeds, with solid crews and no hassles save for the initial paperwork. In smaller cities (and by small I mean 3 to 7 million people… China has 200 cities with over 1million!!) you’ll be more noticeable and might draw the attention of the police. They are very cool, polite, and professional – have your permit. Yes I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories but given the amount of people in the country, horror stories are the smallest fraction of reality!

I’ve been here for five years and have never had a problem.

Beijing, Shanghai, (and maybe Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao,) you’ll have no problem. I film with a full DSLR type setup around Shanghai all the time sans permit, and I’ve been fine.

Tips? Expected the unexpected...times 10!


Return to posts index

Chuck PullenRe: Shooting In China, Any Tips?
by on Jun 23, 2010 at 1:39:31 pm

Thanks for the detailed answer Martin, you have certainly put my mind at ease about being a Westerner filming in the seemingly hostile Far East country. Since I will be with an American muscial group, I am assuming we will be more welcome by local authories so as long as I 'Mind my "P's & Q's" I don't think I'll have any issues. This is my first overseas trip, and if I forget something I am guessing I can't just run out to a "Radio Shack" or "Wal-mart" to find what I need the way I can in America.


Return to posts index


Bob ColeRe: Shooting In China, Any Tips?
by on Jun 24, 2010 at 10:17:07 am

[Chuck Pullen] "I can't just run out to a "Radio Shack" or "Wal-mart" to find what I need the way I can in America."

Of that's true, it is sort of ironic, considering that most of the actual contents of a Radio Shack or Wal-mart are made in China....


Return to posts index

Ned MillerRe: Shooting In China, Any Tips?
by on Jun 26, 2010 at 12:26:02 am

Get your visa first before you put in any more pre-pro. They wouldn't give me a visa! And I was doing a feature length documentary for PBS sanctioned by Major League Baseball. They are allergic to "documentary" crews (Borat II?). Seems they prefer MSM crews (Main Stream Media). So, make sure you can even get in...

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
http://www.bizvideo.com


Return to posts index

Chris DolanRe: Shooting In China, Any Tips?
by on Jul 5, 2010 at 1:51:01 pm

[Chuck Pullen] "I can't just run out to a "Radio Shack" or "Wal-mart" to find what I need the way I can in America."

Actually- you can... Run into Wal-mart that is, depending on where you'll be shooting. Beijing has a Wal-mart, Sam's Club, Ikea, more Starbucks than I can count and the only Apple store in China. I'm not sure about the other cities, but I imagine the larger cities here are similar.

Man, I could probably spend all night responding with tips for a foreigner in China but I'll try to keep it brief...

So far the only thing hostile about this country seems to be the way people drive. Drivers here are among the worst I've seen...and I'm from Massachusetts. ;-) Prepare yourself for some pretty hair-raising cab rides. Live here for a while and you too will adopt the 'me first' attitude everyone seems to have. It will offend you and piss you off for the first few months but then you'll get used to it.

Get accustomed to the notion of everyone looking at you. You'll feel like a celebrity, especially if you'll be lugging around a big honkin' pro camera. Even with my 'little' Sony EX1, people stare and start standing around, wondering what sort of movie I'm shooting. Some people here lack a bit of the western and European civilities to which we are accustomed. It's not considered rude to be walking along the street and stare directly at someone and continue staring as you walk past him for 20 or 30 feet. It's surprising, actually, that more people don't walk into sign posts or something while doing that.

Westerners are very often granted much more leeway than Chinese. If you want to enter a building, just do it as if you're supposed to be there and walk with a purpose while saying 'sorry- I don't speak Chinese'...unless of course the building is guarded by guys wearing green military uniforms. :-) Lots of people here think because you're a westerner they can't tell you what to do. Even the police have stopped me for an infraction while driving and just let me go because I have a western face.

As far as shooting is concerned, you should definitely look into finding local help...at least a Production Assistant. Unless you're conversational in Chinese, you're going have difficulty communicating with the locals. I've been studying Chinese for a while and still have a hard time explaining to someone that I'm shooting a documentary. I don't know if this forum has a private messaging feature but if you want to talk, I'll provide my local Beijing cell number for you to call. I sent you a 'friend' request here...maybe that will work. I can look into local assistance for you if you'd like. There are a few production houses in Beijing which provide assistance to foreign filmmakers. They have a fee, of course.

Anyway- hope that was somewhat helpful. Let's see if we can connect offline and I'll try to help you more.

Chris Dolan


Return to posts index


Joshua YeattsRe: Shooting In China, Any Tips?
by on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:39:45 pm

Chris,

I was reading your reply. I am in the research phase to shoot a promotional video in Shanghai. I am interested to know if you have any videographers or production companies in that region. thanks,

Josh


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]