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Shooting in Uganda - Any advice?


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#1 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 03:39 PM

Hey guys,

I've been asked to go to Uganda to shoot for a foundation that was started by some friends of mine (the foundation) There is not really a budget, so It's pretty much just what I own, or can beg/borrow.

So I have a few questions.

1. Anyone have experience shooting in Uganda, specifically Jinja? A map, because I didn't know where it was My friends have been there often, (adopted 6 Ugandan kids) and have given good advice. Other experiences will probably help me prepare.

2. I own a 5D mk2, and an HVX200. I'm not sure what to shoot on. The footage is for promo pieces that will be shown on their website, and benefits. Here's a quick pros/cons for the two formats I have access too. (yes, I realize that the 5d is mainly a still camera, not a video camera. But the DOF look might help..as long as I can keep things in focus... heh)

5D advantages
  • smaller than HVX
  • better lenses than HVX (kinda) focal length is 22-300 on 5d (over a few lenses)
  • low light sensivity
  • Doesn't look like a video camera

5d dis-advantages
  • rolling shutter
  • hard to handhold, and control focus / exposure
  • H.264
  • no zoom control
  • minijack audio inputs

HVX advantages
  • Easier to operate than 5d
  • better data rate for video (DVCPRO HD vs H.264)
  • Zoom control
  • XLR inputs
  • Mattebox for filters

HVX disadvantages
  • Larger than 5d (but not by much)
  • Looks like video camera
  • Doesnt' do as well in low light
  • not the coveted 35mm DOF look

3. Either way, I was considering some sort of shoulder mount to help with shooting all day, in weird, unpredictable conditions. I don't really want it to look like...well, any kind of weapon. I was told that we are not in a dangerous town, and Jinja is a "tourist" town, so they are used to yanks with electronics. But that said, I think the "gun stock" mount is right out.

Any shoulder mount experience?

Thanks guys.
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#2 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:11 PM

Monopods are great too!
a few other things I learned while in Nairobi...

baby wipes (GOLD to arse)
Malaria shoots
Yellow Fever tabs
in congested traffic areas (i.e. grid locked), do not hold your cellphone nor camera near an open window, you may become a snatch and run victim...
defiantly take expensive stuff like iPhones and iPad that you want to sell off with an unbelievable markup Posted Image
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#3 Andrew Stone

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 06:43 PM

Don't forget about a Carnet assuming you are taking enough gear to warrant it. You taking your Steadicam? That might dictate which camera to use.

-Andrew

Edited by Andrew Stone, 21 May 2010 - 06:43 PM.

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#4 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 03:00 PM

3. Either way, I was considering some sort of shoulder mount to help with shooting all day, in weird, unpredictable conditions. I don't really want it to look like...well, any kind of weapon. I was told that we are not in a dangerous town, and Jinja is a "tourist" town, so they are used to yanks with electronics. But that said, I think the "gun stock" mount is right out.

Any shoulder mount experience?

Thanks guys.


This was my favorite run-and-gun shoulder mount that I've used with the HVX200.

Mighty Wonder Cam
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#5 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:02 AM

Thanks for the reply.

Alfeo. Good idea with a monopod. I probably could use that 755 of the time, and have a club for ...when I get hungry.
We're flying into.. Entebbe? then going to Jinja. The people i'm going with said selling stuff might not work, but I could try if I wanted.

Andrew. No steadicam. I'm just taking what gear I can carry with me during the day, so sticks and camera. I still don't know how run'n'gun it will be. It might be real laid back, and I have time to compose shots. I'm not familiar with Carnet. I'll look it up.

Thanks Mike for the link. I'll check it out.

Bfo

And if anyone's feeling generous, click here
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#6 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:28 AM

I'm not familiar with Carnet.

Its a list that has all of your items inventoried for customs.

btw, on the way to Dubai, I saw a docu called "War Dance" which blew me away... I think it was filmed in Uganda. Highly recommended.
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#7 Mikael Kern

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 01:51 PM

I was in Jinja 3 years ago. Nice place and touristy. But check with news agencies, BBC, CNN etc.
If I were going back I would:
- get reliable local fixer and driver
- expect power to go on and off anytime, so charge batteries every time you see a socket. But dont leave it out of sight!
- bring extra batteries
- dont leave anything out of sight/behind
- expect the schedule to be changing all the time, have plenty of plan B. And C, D , E...
- dont think of selling or buying anything important but water and food
- wear a hat, bring an extra for backup, cover your ears as well
- have backup phone

And you will probably have a great time with no probs :-)

Raft the Nile! Is great fun.

- Mikael Kern
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