Tom, Thank you for all of



Thank you for all of the valuable information and advice; we are getting extremely excited about our documentary and experience in Africa.

Warmest regards,


Tom Scratch Wrote:


UV filters for lenses to protect from elements. Plenty of tape and pre-charged batteries.

Research well in advance the health hazards, take seriously, and take action to protect your health. E.g., likely that you will be in malaria country. Take every precaution against dysentery (I have rinsed my toothbrush with beer on more than one occasion.) Be not tempted by local water or ice cubes, whether from hotel faucets, rivers populated by hippos, or served as ice cubes in your Coke at local restaurants. You can take every precaution against dysentery, and still get it; have an antidote for that. (Got my share of the big D in New Dehli and Bangkok, separate trips. Was hospitalized for this for two days in Bangkok with an IV in my arm. A sister even made a special shirt for me inspired by the experience; she is such a sweetie; shirt sez I Was Dehydrated in Bangkok.)

Security can be not up to par in third world hotels, esp if you are in bargain hotels. In third world cities, be acutely aware of the potential for theft. A child’s smile can hide the intent of a professional thief. If you can’t carry your camera(s) on your person at all times, take whatever precautions you can. I’m not generally the paranoid type (even after being assaulted in DC two blocks from the White House (Charge: Assault with Intent to Murder; Sentence, 7 years), so this is just an idle thought for consideration: Your chief asset, after your own person of course, will be the hours and hours of tape that you shoot. It will be a tragedy if you drop your cam off the chopper into the rain forest, but not as bad as if you lose your tape. If you do not have your hours and hours of precious documentary footage/tape on your person at all times, make sure that it is in a safe place.

Enjoy the trip. You will probably need a vacation when it is over. In spite of what I have said, I would trade places with you in a flash.


Best Products

The best lights for video production — 2021

Lighting needs run the gamut, from huge budget productions to small, DIY vloggers, and there’s something for every niche. This article will explain what to think about before buying lights and provide a list of the best video lights currently on the market.