Hi, If you bring all the



If you bring all the stuff that ralck is writing about, you will look like the next installment of Animal House Vacations to the Rare African Tribe. Do you see these hilarious films in your neck of the woods about what can happen to virgin travelers?

Unless you have your own team of carriers or your own air conditioned bus, you will travel light or wish you had. Everything described here can go into one medium sized back pack. (Assuming that you will be washing your second pair of undies every day in the river with the hippos and crocs.)

Ive shot in exotic locations before and have attended workshops on this subject. Professional filmmakers who dont normally do jungle shoots have been known to characterize them as being hellish (i.e., fun remembering and telling stories about; not so much fun experiencing). (Doesnt apply if you are a Tarzan type). Protecting your equipment (and yourself) from the environment can be key to having a successful shoot.

If you are able to pick up a PD-170, the on camera mike is pretty darn good. Same with the VX-2100. Take time to figure out the manual audio controls and use them.

Consider getting a basic portable digital audio recorder with an on-board mic plus a simple lavaliere with cable setup. Odds are better of getting a decent trip ready used audio recorder than problem free used camcorder.

Bring extra uv filters to protect your lens against bugs and dust. Several extra

Speaking of bugs, you will get bit. Do not wait an instant in going to the doc and seeing what pills and shots you need. Protect yourself against malaria.

Id suggest the larger resealable plastic bags to protect your cam between shots.

Within your tight budget, consider spending more on batteries for your cam, than on a fancy audio setup. You may find yourself in a location where you are not able to recharge. If away from civilization for 3 or more days, Id plan on having a minimum of 5 hours per day battery power in your pack. Even if you are only shooting 2 hours of footage per day, the 5 hours is not overkill. By the 3rd day you will know more about what you are doing and want to shoot; and you will want to have the battery power left to do it. If you will have access to electricity, make sure you have the right converters.

If something unexpected happens when you are rolling (e.g., a leopard jumps out of a tree 20 feet in front of you (happened to me); or a large snake falls on your buddy up ahead), keep it rolling. This is called an opportunity and could get your doc into some high profile film fests later.

Come back and tell us about it!


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