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Shooting for cruise ship

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Greg Ball
Shooting for cruise ship
on Mar 30, 2016 at 8:04:26 pm

Has anyone here ever shot for multiple days on a cruise ship? I'm working on a proposal and I'd love to pick your brains.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Shooting for cruise ship
on Mar 30, 2016 at 8:15:59 pm

I just returned from a cruise. Took my GH4 and an iOgrapher along. Shot about 5 hours of footage total over 7 days. Not for a job, all for my own B-Roll use.

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

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Greg Ball
Re: Shooting for cruise ship
on Mar 30, 2016 at 9:06:05 pm

Thanks Walter, but I'm looking for someone who did an actual gig on a cruise ship.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Shooting for cruise ship
on Mar 30, 2016 at 9:31:28 pm

If you're doing a paid gig, it has to have full clearance from the cruise line. There is generally a specific interface at each cruise line, such as Public Relations or Communications dept.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
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walter biscardi
Re: Shooting for cruise ship
on Mar 30, 2016 at 9:35:03 pm

You can also try reaching out to the CLIA, Cruse Line Industry Association. Nice folks. I'm developing a series around cruising and have found them very approachable.

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

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Greg Ball
Re: Shooting for cruise ship
on Mar 30, 2016 at 10:00:59 pm

Thanks Walter. This is a project for a major cruise company. We'd be hired by their communications department. I'm looking for helpful tips on shooting with gear, and also handling customs for cruises that take us out of the country.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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grinner hester
Re: Shooting for cruise ship
on Mar 31, 2016 at 10:12:38 am

Howdy, Greg. I always keep my sea legs ready and will be happy to answer any questions



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Greg Ball
Re: Shooting for cruise ship
on Mar 31, 2016 at 4:38:01 pm

Hi Grinner,

Have you done this before? Can you email me at granball@msn.com? Maybe we can set up a call.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Ned Miller
Re: Shooting for cruise ship
on Apr 1, 2016 at 3:44:05 am
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Apr 1, 2016 at 4:25:42 am

Yes, I have shot many cruises, what we call "candids", a fun time was had by all videos, usually incentive rewards vacations for the top producers and salesmen. If they met or exceeded their goals they and their spouse got to go on incredibly lavish trips. My videos were used to create buzz and incentive for the next year's contest. Bali, Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Europe, etc. GoPros will be very valuable, cruises mean water. Unfortunately it's salt water. Ports often have sight seeing helicopters and I would rent a hour to film the ship (never call it a boat to their face) but I suppose now a drone can do that. Time is of the essence and the big problem is when a ship comes into port there's a dozen or more activities called Excursions and you have to figure out how you can cover a few, so you often have to hire a local jeep and driver, never drive yourself! Depending which country and continent there's often Banditos in the hills. Duty free shopping is a BIG deal with the cruise ship crowd. Your cell phone may not work there so perhaps bring Old School walkie talkies.

Many ships are too large to dock so they will have small boats called tenders which ferry passengers back and forth and they will have a schedule or run every hour etc. That will be extremely important for you since you will be going back and forth a lot. You need to pare down your package so you can jump in one of these little boats and that's why I say a couple of water proof backpacks, monopod and camera. Billy Goat shooting, lots of walking, hiking, leap frogging the group. You may want to start working out now to get ready. Fortunately you're at sea level!

I consider these kind of gigs to be "backpack jobs", go monopod instead of big heavy tripod. Ships are painted white so in bright daylight it's as if everyone is being bounced. Yet they will all be in hats and sunglasses so it's hard to see faces on deck. Your radio mic frequencies may be the same as the host country's Secret Service so you better research open freqs before you go.

Tell me what you need to know, there's a zillion issues. You need a very wide lens! Outlets are scarce so go battery powered LED. Interior areas are dark, dark, dark. The room they will give you as a vendor is incredibly small. The latitudes that cruise ships like to troll tend to rain a LOT. Rain gear and trash can liners for when it pours. Bring more batteries and back up gear than you usually do. You'll need a gimble for boat-to-ship shooting. Some lines are party boats and are going 24/7. Don't wear leather shoes of any kind, go with Keen type sandals so you can walk through (not on) water. Gamblers don't like to be shot. Don't aim your cameras at women in bathing suits. If it's choppy seas your efficiency will go down 70% from sea sickness, we found patches don't work. Some guys are not with their wives and will threaten to punch you out if you aim your camera at them. Great food though. I can go on and on. You can PM me if you'd like but I am busy this Sat-Wed so do it tomorrow. Since you will be working for the line you have to be more circumspect than I was, since I was always surrounded by happy people on vacation, usually drunk.

However, I have done similar work for many resorts and what I would do so I would not impinge on the paying customers, many of whom do NOT want to be shot, is I'd find out the day off schedule of the (attractive) employees for my slice of life scenes, such as holding hands at sunset, dining, dancing, lounging by the pool, etc. This is very important to stack the deck in your favor because the average person on an expensive vacation does not want to help you, and may have a very hairy back. I would pay them something. The problem you face is that the employees like to time their days off with the port landing so they can enjoy the local scene.

Unlike doing corporate videos, when a ship heads out all the staff are extremely busy, stressed and it is very hard to find someone. There are a few folks in very small offices like the pursor but most are running around a humongous ship of many levels. THAT'S WHY YOU SHOULD BRING PRO LEVEL WALKIE TALKIES. You will definitely be getting a work out, lots of stairs or what they call gangways. If possible, if you are going to hire some crew to go with you, get strong young kids. But it's imperative that every person on your crew is able to SHOOT.

As to paperwork I'd need to know what countries you're going to and what main camera you're using. Often the excursions are to national parks, historic sites, etc., so if you can strip it down so you look like a wealthy tourist you're better off. Permission takes forever and many places you're expected to bribe the guard, so just walk in whistling as a tourist. Every time you get off the ship in a different country you're in the middle of a crowd so your gear should not stick out.

There's a very good chance that your insurance policy does not cover loss in water. That's usually a rider for more money. After all, a cameraman needing a new camera would simply throw his rig overboard. So check that. In fact, you may not even be covered for out of the US! Check that with your agent and you may need a rider. Many ports that the lines go to are surrounded by poor areas, such as Belize City. Although the cops come down draconian style on local thieves because they will hurt the tourist business, you need to beware of snatch and grabs ALL the time. They know you're not coming back for a trial. Plus, your insurance won't kick in if you don't get a local police report and you probably won't have time for that. So do some crime research before you go. Extreme poverty and video gear don't mix.

As to coming back into the US, what I have always done is several days before I leave I go to the US Customs at the O'Hare office at the airport with every piece of expensive electronic gear and register the serial numbers with them. They keep a copy and give me one with their stamp. If they hassle you upon return, as in you're trying to sneak in video gear without paying a duty, you show them your form and there's no problem. I don't think you need a Carnet for this. Since you're working for the cruise line, especially if they have one of their "shore people" with you, ESPECIALLY if they'd give you a laminated lanyard from their company to wear around your neck, you're golden. The local ports LOVE the business the cruise lines bring and they will kiss your hand if they think you're making them look good.



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


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Bob Cole
Re: Shooting for cruise ship
on Apr 4, 2016 at 7:05:16 pm

[Ned Miller] "If possible, if you are going to hire some crew to go with you, get strong young kids."

All great advice, but I'm not so sure about equating strong and young. I suspect that a lot of older people on this forum have outrun a lot of young people on shoots.

Bob C


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Douglas Spotted Eagle
Re: Shooting for cruise ship
on Apr 6, 2016 at 3:23:07 am

Greg, I've flown a 3DR Solo for a fantail concert gig on a cruise ship that was at port. Happy to help if I can.

Douglas Spotted Eagle
Sundance Media Group
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