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Win $15,000 From Burn Magazine. Emerging Photographers Apply By May 5th.

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Photo: Matt Lutton/ Pristina, Kosovo


Need a little more change in the pocket (or a lot)? If you’re doing top-notch work, you may be in luck because Burn magazine is giving away $15,000 in grants for three photographers. Called the “Emerging Photographer Fund”, the grants will be awarded in three allotments; one photographer will win $10,000, and two others will get $2,500 a piece.

Initiated by legendary photographer David Alan Harvey in 2008 and awarded by the Magnum Foundation, the site describes the grants as “Designed to support continuation of a photographer’s personal project…[whose]…body of work may be of either a journalistic mission or purely personal artistic imperative. We just want to support committed authored photography of any ilk.”

A maximum of 25 photos may be submitted for a non-refundable submission fee of $25.

Entry deadline is May 5, 2013 at 6pm (EST), and winners will be announced in June 2013. Get on it.

Check out the exact rules and contest description HERE
Or to apply directly for the EPF grant for 2013, click HERE.

Photographing with Remote Helis & World Class Athletes in Crazy Locations — Behind-the-Scenes in Aspen

Using the Force


Remember last year’s Aspen campaign? Well, we’re back at it again this year with even better conditions. We’ve been up before dawn and burning the midnight oil. Out the door right now – but stay tuned via social channels to follow along. In the meantime here’s a gallery of behind-the-scenes photos. Enjoy.

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Photo: Scott Rinckenberger

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Chris Davenport shows Scotty his backyard

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Scott Rinckenberger

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Photo: Jerard

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Photo: Jerard

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Safety first: Davenport digs a pit to check snow stability

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Chris Davenport - Professional at crushing it for the camera.

Holy Sheep – LED Artwork of Sheep Herding [Suspect]

In a virtual world full of fans, circles, followers and friends, today we celebrate the world’s greatest follower: the sheep. Consider: A clever group of Welsh hill farmers dress their flock of unsuspecting sheep up in LED lights and — with the help of some seriously talented/obedient/well-trained border collies — create moving art on a hillside and film it from a distance. Check it out:

Matt Smith, the co-founder of the ad agency The Viral Factory who shot the video for Samsung, interviewed for a Telegraph article not long after the video blew up. He admits to some post-production trickery, but those are real sheep, real dogs and the real Welsh national sheep herding champion Gerry Lewis guiding actual sheep around into position. [The Mona Lisa bit was their wink-wink, nudge-nudge moment, apparently.]

Kudos to Smith.

For a closer look at a master sheep herder at work, check out this video of Brendan Ferris of the Kells Sheep Centre.

How To Prepare for Your Commercial Photo or Video Shoot — 10 Things Clients Expect In Your Production Notebook


One golden rule to a great photoshoot is to start with great production. A smooth production puts everyone and everything in the right place for the shoot to succeed long before the shutter button gets pressed. That said, I have some of the best producers in the biz on staff. And here, Megan outlines one essential to every commercial production – the production notebook. Use this info to help make your next production run smooth like butta’… Take it away, Meg.
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Hello peeps, Megan here, producer for Chase. We’re gearing up for a several big international jobs, so as I’m booking travel and working with a local producer on locations + permits, I’m also putting the Production Book together. This is critical information that all professional production houses put together and it’s something clients and agencies expect from you on any large-scale shoot. Think of it as a one-stop shop for all pertinent details. It can be distributed to all parties via email prior to the shoot, and a printed copy should accompany you to set. Not only does it help make you look super professional, it just might be the most practical thing you carry (aside from your camera, of course).

You don’t need special software; start with a Word or Pages doc. Just keep an eye on formatting. It should be clean, easy to read and align with your brand. Once it’s complete, save a template you can always use to generate this doc for your next shoot, then output a PDF for the production crew and send it out!

Here’s a basic list of things to include (as applicable):

1. cover sheet: a nicely laid out page that identifies the client, the production company and/or the photographer
_client + photographer logos
_name of job

2. contact info: detail the names, titles, phone numbers + email address of all associated parties
_client
_agency
_crew

3. shot list / creative: detailed shot list and/or photo references
_wardrobe/prop specs
_art direction

4. travel itineraries: who’s going where and when?
_flights
_confirmation numbers

5. accommodations: where is everyone staying? 
_address
_contact
_check in/out dates
_directions to/from airport
_meeting room location + details

6. location info: every shoot happens somewhere, whether it’s at your studio or the Mojave desert
_address
_contact info (i.e. site rep)
_map
_directions
_photos
_certificates of insurance for each
_releases
_permit info
_copy of permits
_contact info for city or governing agency (i.e. FilmLA)

7. talent: actors, models, friends, guy you scouted on the subway
_contact info
_agency info
_call times
_locations
_photos
_releases

8. vendors: a list of any and all 3rd party resources involved in the shoot
_visa/Carnet confirmations
_caterers
_shipping
_equipment rentals
_ground transpo

9. shooting schedule: what does each day look like?
_call times
_wrap times
_travel to/from locations
_HMU + wardrobe prep
_lunch + breaks
_shot breakdown

10. production calendar: all pertinent deadlines should be identified here
_pre-production hot items (i.e. location + talent selection due dates, permit approval process, etc.)
_shooting window
_post-production requirements (i.e. number of rounds to client, amount of time allotted for feedback, proofing, due date of final images, etc.)

There you have it! Start with these categories as a template, and add or subtract as needed. May seem kind of tedious as you’re doing it, but I promise you, it’s so worth it. Until next time! Stay tuned for some behind-the-scenes goodness from our shoots, trips, and travels! -Megan the Producer

SPIKE – the Robotic Phantom Camera – Shoots Better Than You

Across the pond from me in Germany there is some stunning work getting kicked out of a little boutique firm called The Marmalade that you should know about.

I’m drawn to more than just the final result…I love HOW they’re acheiving it too… Behind the scenes thinking and such below. Have a great Monday.

CASTING CALL — Need LARGE Family for Commercial Photo Shoot Next Week. Good $$$

chase jarvis nyc casting

Hi friends! Quick favor to ask here – would LOVE your help if you’re interested or know a family who meets the requirements below. I’ve turned to you guys before for stuff like this and it’s been fun and good for us all. As such, this could be a really fun experience and provide some really solid money for the holidays… In short, we’re looking for a large 20 – 30 person, multi-generational family for a commercial shoot NEXT WEEK in/around NYC. Please read below for details and follow ALL instructions if you’re able to help.

I am looking for a REAL family to be photographed for an upcoming commercial photoshoot – approximately 20-30 people on December 2nd (3rd in a huge pinch) in the NYC area. This will be a large group portrait with everyone looking at the camera used for advertising purposes. The pay is commensurate with experience, and is in the neighborhood of $20,000 for the family.

TO QUALIFY YOUR FAMILY MUST:
1) Include at least 3 generations of a REAL family – uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, siblings, kids, even great-grandparents.
2) Have at least 20-30+ people
3) Live in the NYC / tristate area (no transportation paid)
4) Have guaranteed availability Sunday Dec. 2 (preferred) or Monday Dec 3 (in a pinch)
5) Lastly, a preference… ‘the more people you have –ie the higher end of the range we mentioned — the more likely you will be chosen’

okay then if you’re still with me….

IF YOU DO QUALIFY and are SERIOUSLY INTERESTED, please send an email to [production@chasejarvis.com] with the following…
1) a simple note of confirmation in writing that you meet the above criteria
2) photos of the nuclear family, and as many family members or extended family members as possible.
3) a list of your relatives names, their relationship to you, their age and their contact information.
4) If possible we would also love to see a brief video of your family. This can be taken with your phone. People can say hi to the camera, can talk about the last family gathering, tell funny stories or just interact with others. We’re looking to see some personality and the relationships between family members.

If you send in an email with all of the above information as requested YOU WILL GET AN EMAIL BACK from us saying we’ve received your submission. We will then forward your info to our NYC casting agent who will take it from there. You will be contacted by us or our agent if we need anything from you. No follow up emails means that we found our match, so being speedy helps!

***serious queries only please. If you aren’t selected, it was nothing personal. Our preferences are for the above list, size, quality and speed of response

***Side note and a plus. We are currently scouting for houses to use as a location but if you have a home that could hold a family gathering of this size please include photos for consideration. If we choose your home then you will be paid an additional location fee.

Huge thanks for the short notice help. I hope you or someone you know can help us and get paid well for it. I am very grateful for any effort!

EXTRAS Needed for Photoshoot — Monday Nov 5th in Seattle

Hi friends! Quick favor to ask here – would LOVE your help if you’re interested. I need 10 extras to be in the background of an photoshoot TOMORROW – that’s MONDAY NOVEMBER 5TH in SEATTLE, from 1-5pm.

The criteria… You must be:

_ a nice person who enjoys visiting with others
_ 100% guaranteed available in Seattle on MONDAY NOV 5 (that’s tomorrow!) from 1-5pm perhaps a little longer
_ 21 years old or older with valid ID
_ a US citizen
_ able to get yourself to a particular location/address in Seattle on time
_ able to dress the “look”. casual. extras are for background at a cafe/coffee shop, so whatever you’d wear to hang, chill, study, work, meet friends at a coffee shop. you will get no further instructions on this.
_ willing and able to sign a model release
_ mellow. sadly there will be no time for Q&A / education / hangout time… I will be working, so won’t be able to answer any questions about what I’m doing, why, etc. You’ll be working too, on a specific task – being an extra and following instructions…like working on a laptop or drinking coffee or reading. Hard stuff like that.
_ also, we will not be able to provide any shots for you, for your portfolio, etc. you’ll actually probably be out of focus in the background. If you want to be selected, you’ll be doing it for the fun, the money, or the experience, etc.

The pay is $100. If you meet the above criteria and want to be considered, here’s the process that you must follow to the letter…

1. Send an email now to [production at chasejarvis.com] with the following info:
2. Include a simple note of confirmation in writing that you meet all the above criteria
3. Include ad headshot or ANY photo of you like you look now (not in 1997…). Do NOT send some crazy fancy shot of yourself. Just send a snap of yourself – iphone, laptop, facebook profile shot, etc. Simple. We’re especially NOT looking for supermodels. We want everyday peeps.
4. IF YOU ARE SELECTED (primarily based on response time ) YOU WILL GET AN EMAIL BACK TONIGHT by 8pm PST with confirmation and further instructions. No return email means we are all set.
5. If you aren’t selected, don’t sweat it. This is meant to be fun – we’ll try again another time.

Huge thanks for the short notice help. I am very grateful!

[and one last important thing...only if you meet 100% of the above criteria should you proceed, there are no exceptions, sorry. As in ZERO exceptions. If you fib to our producers, you'll be wasting everyone's time and I'll tell your mom. And my mom for that matter...]

Become An Email Ninja — 6 Tips For Cutting Through the Noise

chasejarvis_how to becomeAnEmailNinja

Hey everybody, Kate here from Chase’s Production crew. Just like many of you, I use email as a daily communication tool in my job. A flood of incoming emails to address and a long list of outgoing messagesis usually on my daily list of “to dos”. Wrangling this beast of inbound and outbound communication is a necessary evil. As such, I have been working hard at becoming an Email Ninja.

I especially love this article from Tim Ferriss’ blog: 10 Steps to Become an Email Ninja. The art of being an Ninja is a great model — highly skilled, incredibly efficient, supremely effective and elusive as needed. These tips are excellent for helping manage the fire hose of INBOUND messages headed for your inbox. But it is not enough to stop there. Developing your ninja skills for the outbound messages – throwing “ninja stars” [emails] as I call them – will help you be more efficient in your work day. No matter what your profession.

As everyone becomes more and more savvy with regards to managing their inboxes and better at saying no, you must find ways to cut through the noise and get your message across and get them to say yes. It is harder and harder to cut through the chatter, so be disciplined. Simplify if you wish to be heard. Fight fire with fire…

6 Tips for Throwing Ninja Stars with Accuracy:

_use descriptive subject lines. Help the reader quickly identify the purpose of your email. And think ahead, think like a ninja: make it easy to search for your email later.

_what’s the purpose? If it is not totally clear from your subject line, make sure that you make your point and make it fast. Really busy people often decide if an email is important/relevant from the preview window.

_keep it short + concise: People do not have time to sort through a long email. It likely won’t happen. Respect their time and they will have more respect for you. Check out these tips. While this is presented as a way to save time as you triage your inbox, it is also a smart technique to challenge yourself to be concise.

_do you need action? Don’t bury your request. Make it clear what the reader of the email needs to do.

_help them help you. Other ninjas process quickly, so don’t make them work too hard to get you what you need. Do you need a meeting? Propose 3 possible times so they can just pick one and be done. Do you need a form signed? Attach the form. Are you sharing information? Format the email so that it is easy to read and organized so they can find and reference the information they need.

_be nice, polite and grateful. This is just because you should. And you’ll be surprised how often this gets missed. It really goes a long, long way to spend the extra ten seconds to include some short + sweet social graces. Ps + Qs!

Remember – the email ninja is: highly skilled, incredibly efficient, supremely effective and elusive as needed. Oh, and polite.

____________
As a bonus, and since we all love ninjas, here’s a video of a photo shoot we did a few years back featuring…you guessed it: Email Ninjas.

Deliver with Style — 6 Tips for Delivering Files to Clients

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Hi folks, Megan here again, Producer at CJ Inc. We recently delivered a couple of big jobs to clients, and it got me thinking about file management, tracking + job wrap-up. As the producer, I’m responsible for creating + managing the post production schedule, sending files to clients for approval, then delivering final images once all files have been been given the thumbs up. I work closely with Chase and the digital artist to ensure that we’re delivering exactly what the client has asked for, which means cross-checking each image with both the creative brief AND the contract to ensure that our bases are covered.

Here are some things to keep in mind prior to arriving on set.

_File size:
What are the images going to be used for? A billboard or in-store signage? A web banner or e-brochure? Usage is usually defined at the contract stage, so it should be well documented and understood prior to shoot day. This will perhaps inform which camera you opt to shoot with and image resolution.

_File format:
TIFFs? Layered PSDs? JPGs? RAWs?

_Orientation:
Is shot #4 a horizontal or vertical? Be sure to have the creative brief handy if there’s no Art Director on set to advise.

_Naming convention + folder structure:
Has your client provided you with a specific naming convention or preferred folder structure? This is especially common on retail and catalog jobs, where each shot usually coincides with a garment SKU.
[If not, you may want to decide upon an agreeable solution before you start shooting.]

_Delivery:
How many files are you providing? Are you able to upload to an FTP fairly quickly? Or will you need to send a hard drive to your client?
[If you are sending a hard drive, be sure to label it with your name + contact info so it’s easily identifiable.]

_Description of files + thumbnails:
Along with the hard drive, we like to include a memo (or cover letter, of sorts) outlining the project name, shoot description, deliverables + usage terms. All of the pertinent info relating to the files is concisely captured in 1 document for the client’s reference.

I also include a page (or more, depending on how many images are being delivered) of thumbnails, so the client knows what he or she is getting at a glance. A copy of each of these documents gets saved in the project folder on the server so if there’s ever any question about what was delivered and when, it’s easily trackable. File delivery is usually the last step of a job, with the exception of final billing, and can leave a lasting impression on your client. You really want to nail it.

Feel like I’ve missed something important? Have anything to add? Feel free to leave comments below.

+++++++++
(Disclaimer: I’m no Digital Asset Manager, so if you want additional info on any of the items above, check out the Complete Workflow and Backup for Photo + Video here.)

Aspen Photo Shoot: chasejarvis RAW Behind-the-Scenes Video

Real heli’s and remote octo-copters. Flying cameras and world-class athletes. Lots of hard work and a great campaign for one legendary resort.

Earlier this year in March you may have tuned into my live-updates while shooting the 2012-2013 campaign for Aspen/Snowmass resort. Amidst our 20 hour days we were able to kick out behind the scenes photos, some daily blog posts and a few other things highlighting our work (thanks to Aspen for being incredibly cool, most clients don’t let you do this…) But I also promised a behind-the-scenes vid… So here ’tis. 6 months after the actual shoot, but before anybody else gets to see it – we’re dropping it here today…timed with the launch of the campaign – and sharing several of the final ads before they land in magazines / billboards worldwide.

The focus for this work was to re-create and share the real Aspen experience, so we lived it. Shooting on location in the mountains comes with the usual crazy challenges. Cold weather, crazy wind, even colder hands and feet, scorching sun, altitude issues, running around above 12,000 feet… and in my case, a badly sunburned nose. While some of my BTS videos show that part of it, we wanted the focus of this video to be more on the ways we captured the photos, the people, the athletes, and the action. We skied, hiked, choppered, ate, drank and danced our way through this job – a helluva a lot work, but even more fun. Hope you enjoy.

Some nuts and bolts from the shoot not obvious from the BTS vid, but that you might be interested to know:
// I shot Nikon D3s + Canon 5d (remote from Octocopter) for stills and Nikon D7000 + Canon 7D for the Behind-the-scenes
// We strapped GoPros to my head, my leg, to an octo-copter, to myriad body parts on pro-rippers
// We used 2 real helicopters and 1 remote octo-copter
// Among the many shredders we worked with is legendary Chris Davenport. Literally one of the best pro skiers of all time. Chris has climbed and skied all 50+ 14,000 peaks in Colorado in one year and recently skied off Everest. Follow him here @steepskiing. Total badass. Consummate pro.
// We shot the entire campaign and video in 6 days
// We had a 6-person photo crew (2 producers, myself + 3 film/photo crew) + 25 others (agency, client, talent)
// We hiked + heli’ed to the top of Highland Bowl in pre-dawn hours and watched the sunrise above 12,000 feet.
// No animals were harmed in the production of this video – just a lot of brain cells

ChaseJarvis_aspen_2012 ad campaign

ChaseJarvis_aspen_2012 ad campaign2

And I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE the music track behind this video. HUGE thanks to one of my favorite bands, The Glitch Mob for working with us to incorporate this song. In between playing amazing live music, getting brought onboard soundtracks for movies like TRON and Spiderman, they managed to squeeze us in. The video wouldn’t be the same without this music. Follow them here @TheGlitchMob and buy their albums here on iTunes.

Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots — 8 Mission Critical Tips for being on the Road [Part 4 of 4]

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So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. This is part 4 of 4: You’ve made it! So now what? Let’s dance!

Part 4: 8 Mission Critical Tips for Being on the Road

1. Kick Jet Lag’s Ass. If you are traveling a long way, start sleeping at the right times for your destination during your flight. If you can land late afternoon or evening, that will help you stay up until bedtime. If you land early, getting some fresh air and exercise during the day really helps. There are over the counter, naturopathic remedies that help with the adjustment or your doctor may prescribe something.

2 $$$$$$. Make sure to have some cash with you in the LOCAL currency and know how, where and when to get more. Know the exchange rate. Keep in mind that your credit card company may charge a transaction fee for each and every international charge – there are cards that do not charge international fees that may be worth it for your trip. Plan ahead if you will need to pay contractors.

3.Be smart + be aware. Tourists and people with gear can be targets for crime. Travel low profile.  Avoid opening up all of your gear in public. Take official taxis. Don’t carry too much cash on you. Don’t leave your bags unattended. 

4. Contacts. Keep phone numbers of local contacts and important numbers with you.

5. Keep your receipts and make more notes than usual. When you return, your credit card statement will list your charges in your home currency and may be in a different language. This can be very difficult to reconcile with your statement later – trust me!!! There are websites that allow you to compute historical exchange rates that can help with this process as well. On our last trip, I used this site: www.oanda.com/currency/converter

6. Valuables. Lock essentials in the security boxes in your hotel.

7. Be a good ambassador. Remember that when you are traveling, you are a representative of your country and a guest in the country where you are visitor. Be kind and respectful, hire locally, buy a souvenir from a local artist, give back whenever you have the opportunity and make attempts to speak the local language (even a few words like please and thank you go a long way).

8. HAVE FUN! Sometimes travel can be tiring and even stressful, but what an amazing opportunity… Don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

Baie dankie and happy trails, Kate
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Check out the last three posts in this series:
10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo and Video Travel – getting there
12 Mission Critical Tips for Pre-Production – tips BEFORE traveling
12 Tips for Travel Packing – tips on what to take

Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots — 12 Mission Critical Tips for Travel Packing

Pack it up!


So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. This is part 3 of 4 on how to pack like a boss. Check out the last two posts in this series:

10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo and Video Travel – getting there
12 Mission Critical Tips for Pre-Production – tips BEFORE traveling

Now it is time to hit the road… to bring or not to bring? That is the question. More is certainly not better, but you have to have everything you need… so where is the magic line?

12 Tips for Travel Packing

1. Make sure you have your ID and all necessary documents!

2.Pack early. This will give you time to think about what you may have forgotten and purchase anything needed. Keep a packing list by your stuff so you can keep adding to it and check off packed items.

3. Limit what you bring. Bring the essentials and backups of those essentials. Leave those fancy shoes and other not-so-useful stuff at home.

4. Carry on ALL mission critical items. No exceptions. When you pack a bag to check, pretend you may never see it again. You should have a working photography kit to get you through in a pinch as well as one spare outfit, your technology, any medications, extra pair of prescription glasses/contacts lenses and anything. Wear your heaviest pair of shoes while you travel… just make sure they are easy to remove for airport checkpoints.

5. Follow the rules when you are flying. Check with your airline and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines for packing your baggage. You don’t want to be stuck with extra charges or overweight bags. Carry-ons have lots of limitations including pocket knives and liquids (3-ounce bottles only in a quart size zip top bag).

6. Clothing essentials. Pack appropriately for the local weather and bring layers. Some essential items to consider are wrinkle-resistant, comfortable clothes, comfortable shoes, versatile pieces that can cover a range – totally caj~ to fancy, and a coat.

7. Your gear. Check out this video all about packing photography gear:

8. Carnet for your gear? If you are traveling internationally with lots of gear, you may need to go through an expeditor and get a carnet (passport for your gear – try www.atacarnet.com).

9. Bring backups for critical gear items. You may have to leave your underwear to bring an extra battery charger.

10. Charge everything before you leave. That means your computer, your phone, your camera batteries. Confirm you have all of your chargers and extra batteries for when you arrive.

11. Electrical. If you are traveling internationally, bring the correct power adapter. Each country has its own unique plug configuration, so be sure to read the label for a list of where the power adapter will work. Apple makes a World Traveler Adapter Kit for an Apple products, which is convenient. http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB974ZM/B/apple-world-travel-adapter-kit
Secret tip: we like to bring a power strip that we can plug into a transformer with the local plug so you can have many open outlets… this can save on space.
CAUTION: Be VERY careful about voltage so you don’t fry your gear or your self. Read the small print on power strips to make sure they can handle the voltage.

12. Take a production kit with you. There are some essentials that can be a pain to try to track down. Depending on where you go and what you are doing the kit varies, but here are some of my favorite go-to items:
_Mobile Wi-Fi. I fell in love on our latest trip to Cape Town! Up to 5 devices can remotely connect the internet?!?! Heaven: http://bit.ly/JZVID4
_a local phone + number
_cash… yes, people still use it. and it can often unlock doors or “make it rain” when in a pinch.
_a tiny printer + ink http://bit.ly/Ogv3Bj
_a tiny scanner http://bit.ly/LBkacJ
_hard copies of your lists, call sheets, paperwork, etc in a production notebook
_sharpies and pens
_sunscreen
_talent releases
_some way of organizing your receipts
_travel book/language guide
_power strip

I’d love to know what goes in your location production kit or in your bags! Leave your ideas below.

In the next post of this series, I’ll have some tips for your arrival. Stay tuned.
Best, Kate

Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots — 12 Mission Critical Tips for Pre-Production


So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. This is part 2 of 4 on how to make it happen. In my last post, I shared 10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo and Video Travel, which focused on getting you there. Now it’s time to dive in to your production.

12 tips for your Destination Production

1. Plan early! I am a firm believer that, with time, you can solve most production challenges. So, do yourself an enormous favor and allow yourself as much time as possible. Here are some of your very first to do items when you pull the trigger on traveling.

2. Do your homework. Educate yourself about where you are going. The more you know, the better off you will be. Read, talk to people, get recommendations, look at maps. Cast the net wide and gather information about the city, getting around, the lay of the land, time change, phone and internet, the kinds of electrical plugs needed, language, currency, local customs.
Great sources of info:
_US Department of State Travel Site: http://1.usa.gov/d3pk4n
_local film commission where you are headed. They promote and regulate filming in their area and can provide info on services, permit process, locations.
_www.productionhub.com a production directory & guide

3.Budget to Build in some Contingency Funds. Whether you are working for a client or doing personal travel or work, you should make a budget and try to stick to it BUT also allow for a buffer. When you are on the road, opportunities come up, problems need to be solved and things will change. It’s best to plan on it and know how much wiggle room you have.

4. Get in with the locals. Local production companies are the bomb!!! A local production company can give you access to knowledge and resources that would take literally years to accumulate. These folks are solid GOLD and can help you create amazing work and save tons of money and work!!! Two of my favorite international production companies with which I’ve had the pleasure to work are:
_One League in South Africa. Celeste and Marli are the best! www.oneleague.co.za
_The Search in New Zealand. Phil rocks! www.thesearch.co.nz

5. Production Details. Whether you are working with a local production company or you are on your own, there are a number of shoot logistics to consider early on. If it is possible, a scouting trip in advance is a great way to recon a new city. You can meet people in person, start building relationships, check out locations and really dig into the local specifics. Here are some to do items that you or the production company may be tackling:
_visas
_crew bookings
_casting
_talent bookings
_location sourcing
_film office communications
_permits
_dining/catering
_daily schedules
_ground transportation

6. Keep your options open. If our team has a hard decisionchoices on any matter, for example 2 different locations or 2 different talent, I always try to reserve or hold both and cancel one later. It’s a much smarter option than being stuck with no options. Sometimes, to keep an option, you may need to pay a ‘kill fee’ or cancellation fee to be able to hold the dates as you get closer to the shoot. Balance that benefit against your budget.

7. Make up your mind. This is the polar opposite to the above, but when you can, don’t waste your time, money and energy. Just make sure that you have buy off from the client to lock in the details.

8. Be a stickler for the details. When filling out any official forms, spend the extra time up to do it correctly the first time (it may be your only chance!). The most common reasons for delays on location permits, visas and other official paperwork have to do with missing information or lack of organization. Read and reread ALL directions. Call and ask questions. Browse the website for additional information. Proofread your application. Have someone else proofread it too.

9. Make sure people know how to reach you. An auto responder for your email and/or a custom voice mail while you are gone are both great ways to keep people informed. When you are not available, it is best to be able to provide a backup contact. Let people know the preferred way to reach you while you are gone: email, call, text, hotel.

10. Phone/Internet. Talk to your provider to see about plans that will cover international travel for calling, texting and data. You may even want to buy a local rechargeable phone/sim card and even a mobile wifi device like this one: http://bit.ly/JZVID4.

11. Back yourself up… just in case.
_Leave copies of your itinerary, passport and visas with family or friends.
_Locate the closest gear rental company and retailer before you travel.

12. Be flexible. As you are scheduling your activities, allow enough space in your plans to allow for organic opportunities to emerge.

In the next post of this series, I’ll have some packing specific tips for packing, for yourself and for your gear. Stay tuned. Until then, be well! Kate

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