The thought of shooting abroad can cause a mixture of emotions for any video production company, photographer or videographer. The change of scenery along with the glamour of being able to tell people you’re ‘working over-seas’ makes it all rather exciting, yet the thought of getting all of your expensive kit there in one piece can fill you with stomach churning dread. At Crosscut, we’ve seen a sharp increase in jobs abroad over the past 12 months, with regular trips to Europe for various reasons. Here’s our 10 top tips for making sure your trip goes without a hitch.
Number 1. Insurance
Insurance is essential for any business to protect both yourselves and your equipment. It’s important to check the details of your policy – is your kit covered for going abroad and if so are there any restrictions? Many policies will cover you for up to a certain amount of time overseas. If you’re exceeding this, make sure to let them know or else if something happens to your equipment, it’s bye-bye bank balance as you fork out for a new one.
Number 2. Get the right bags
Your pride and joy is your new 4K camera which cost you literally thousands of pounds, not to mention the lenses that go with it. After such a big investment, it can often feel like you don’t want to stretch that little bit more to buy a decent case, but that case can be the difference between a broken camera, an unhappy client and a hysterical you, or an in-tact camera, a happy client and a happy you. Do not scrimp on your cases! For our latest camera, the Canon C200, we invested in a PortaBrace rucksack specifically designed for that camera. If fits the camera, lenses, batteries, an iPad, a laptop and the chargers, AND it fits in a standard budget airline carry-on allowance (just…) which brings us to our next point…
Number 3. Carry-on or hold?
This seems like a pretty simple point, but make sure your really expensive, crucial stuff is with you at all times. Even if your kit doesn’t get broken in the hold, it may get lost. We tend to carry on 2 cameras, laptops, lenses and then put our heavy duty Vinten tripods in the hold. These babies are near indestructible, just remember to take the heads off and wrap them up well as they’re the most vulnerable. We have also packed some simple red head tungsten lights into the hold before with success, but we always send bulbs ahead (or order them in the country your going to online before you leave).
Number 4. Permits
Always check what permits are required for filming in different countries. As a general rule, most of Europe is absolutely fine, however filming in places like the middle east, USA etc will often require permits which are both expensive and involve long winded processes to acquire. It is often worth your time, money and sanity to bring a ‘fixer’ onto your production if you’re travelling further afield. Fixers are generally local and their sole job is to help you to acquire permits, advise you on locations and point you in the direction of local hire companies should you wish to hire kit when you arrive. They may also go as far as organising accommodation and travel. We’d recommend NeedAFixer for this service.
Number 5. Carnets
Similar to the above, depending on where you’re off to, a carnet maybe required. This is essentially a passport for your kit allowing you to move kit between countries without having to pay import/export duties. Advice on carnets for each country can be found here. It’s very easy to get caught up in the world of carnets, we have never had any problems within Europe however if in doubt, it’s always worth checking on the ATA Carnet contact us page.
So there you have it, 5 simple tips to help ensure your over-seas shoot goes smoothly. We travel worldwide producing content for our clients. If you’d like to find out more, feel free to contact us today!