- May 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm
I’m a DP based out of New York, and a small production company I do work for are in the process of putting together a commercial shoot down in Grenada. It will be a 3-4 day shoot on a college campus, and I’m tasked with putting together a budget for equipment, but I’m running into a problem of whether I should rent the equipment up here and bring it down when we go, or rent it down there. The main gear, like camera and its accessories, I will get up here regardless, but getting all the equipment up here and traveling with it seems like a bad idea with regard to expense and possible damage to the equipment. I would love to be able to rent all the lights, dollies, and grip equipment on location, but I can’t seem to locate any rental houses down there. Does anyone have any advice?
Thanks in advance for any help you could provide
- May 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm
What are you looking for? A RED shoot has different requirements than a DSLR shoot. You might be able to find a decent tripod for a small camera locally, but if you’re accustomed to shooting with a Sachtler Caddy or big O’Conner – then that’s probably going to be much more difficult to locate on site.
Same with lighting. Are you more comfortable with tungsten or do you want Kino’s? Are you comfortable working with LEDs? Will shore power be readily available at your locations?
Tell us what you’re shooting and what you need – and I suspect folks here who’ve traveled with or shot that class of gear will be much better able help you.
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- May 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm
First off, thanks for the advice.
We are going to try and keep the production fairly small so it won’t be on a RED. Currently the thinking is the BMCC, with a 5D or c100 as a backup. As far as power, we are shooting mostly on a college campus so that hopefully won’t be a concern indoors. For lights I was thinking one or maybe two 4 bank kinos, with a few smaller lights for spotting. I was originally thinking LEDs but I’m worried about them not being strong enough to work with any areas of bright sunlight. I have not seen the location yet, so I’m just speculating right now. For the outdoor scenes, I’m thinking just some bounce boards, scrims, flags, etc.. that sort of thing. We also need a simple dolly rig with about 12 feet of track. The camera, tripod, matte box, follow focus, batteries, and drives will come with me on the plane. Just need the lighting and support rig stuff. Depending on whats available I can scale things down, but currently I have no idea what is available there.
- May 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm
Let me start by saying it’s been 25 years since I worked in the Caribbean so, that said, I obviously have very little in the way of contemporary knowledge. With that caveat let me make a few suggestions.
First, when shooting in the Caribbean it’s best to lower your expectations and/or plan on bringing whatever you’re going to need with you. The chances of finding anything on Grenada are minimal at best. The closest large city (well kind of large) is Port of Spain, Trinidad. The next closest city is Caracas, Venezuela. Since it’s unlikely that you’ll find much by Googling ‘Video or Film Equipment Rental’ you might want to start by calling the TV stations in the area and see if they can recommend any sources — potentially including themselves — for the gear you’ll want. But don’t be surprised if all you’re able to source is C-stands.
Considerably up island is San Juan, Puerto Rico. You may have some luck there, but the shipping charges are going to be higher because of the distance. Back in the day the source for almost all serious film and video rental for the Caribbean was out of Miami. That may still be the case, but I don’t claim to know.
Getting back to bringing your own, if you want a dolly consider bringing one of the smaller/simpler ones. For example we have a Losmandy Spider Dolly that I’ve shipped to several locations domestically. The flex track and dolly weigh something around 45 pounds so the FedEx cost is quite manageable. Of course shipping internationally adds a whole new level of cost and paperwork so you may be better off paying excess baggage fees and clearing your stuff through customs yourself. Speaking of which be sure to obtain the necessary carnet paperwork to facilitate taking gear out of the country and back.
Best of luck and hope some of the above helps.
- May 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm
Great, thanks for the advice Nick. It sounds like traveling down with all the gear might have to be the way to go. I’ll check the local tv station there and see what they have, anything I could get would be less I have to bring, so I’ll take whatever I can get.
- May 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm
I’d rather go prepared. If you don’t know the place you are going, you would be risking the entire job.
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- July 2, 2013 at 12:23 am
It appears most Caribbean countries are not Carnet participants. I’m planning a shoot down yonder also though a different island.
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