- Make sure, as in 100% sure, you have everything insured!
- If you don't have them, buy durable, long lasting, water proof hard cases for your gear
- Research any health and safety issues like jabs and vaccinations if applicable and get them
- Take batteries, loads of them, buy as many as you think you could possibly use, then buy more
- Insure yourself!
- Quadruple check everything, pack as little as possible, travel light and get written confirmation of any help you have been offered
- Take a first aid kit and make sure someone in your crew is a qualified first aider
- Take local currency, travellers cheques and credit cards
- Take any available spares of anything you can't live without
- Take superglue
What equipment to use?
I shot a rather impressive sequence of scenes for a "dream sequence" type thing for the film at Pinewood Studios early this year using a camera which cost £100,000 in a custom built housing with three crew and the total cost of probably an hours shoot would have been about half a million quid. Yes it looks amazing but you don't need that sort of cash to get stunning results.
I made a promise from day one that I would use only equipment that is accessible to pretty much anybody with average financial means. Of course there are a great many people who can't afford the absolute essentials in life so to some these things are out of reach, however, to the everyday Joe on the street in full time employment, they are easily available and affordable, more affordable to some than others but still, the importance that broadcast quality can be achieved with stuff you can get your hands on pretty easily.
This is the video diary where I talk about the gear we used to shoot the film so have a look at that, below is also a breakdown of the gear.
We used two Canon 7D cameras as the main shooting cameras and a Canon 550D for stuff on the boat and when the two 7D's were in their housings. Both cameras shoot full HD 1080p to a broadcast standard in different frame rates, 24fps, 25fps and 30fps in 1080p with the additional option of HD 720p which will shoot up to 50fps, ideal for slow mo footage. Bear in mind in the edit, you will need to resize your 720p footage to match the 1080p shots.
We also used one of these believe it or not, the Canon Ixus 100. Small enough to fit inside a fag packet (handy if you're in a bit of a moody neighbourhood at night) but it shoots 720p HD video! It is a ridiculous camera, purely because the quality to price ratio is so good, I can't help but think canon are having us over about something. If you signed up to the mailing list and received the private promo teaser today, there is a shot in there filmed on this camera, I challenge you to tell me which it is.
We also used a Go Pro for some pretty cool stuff. Go Pro cameras seem to be taking over the world at the moment and I'll be honest, I fell in love a little bit. They shoot HD with an ultra wide angle and they're tiny, I strapped one to my underwater rig so I was able to film my reactions and also what was going on behind me, put one on my chest for the dives when I had to pass my camera to Hamish and take a pole for a POV shot of what I was seeing and also, they went on the wrist of a feeder, you won't get a closer view of an enormous Bull Shark milliseconds before it bites, anywhere else. As I don't have a Go Pro, I borrowed Mike's (thanks again Mike!) so if anyone from Go Pro is reading, I will not complain if you send me one with the attachments, I will happily make it a staple of my kit!