The film industry is ever—expanding and with that expansion, more opportunities have arisen for ordinary people to try their hand at movie production. More amateur movie-makers than ever before are attempting to enter the arena, directing and producing their own short films which they submit to film festivals, distribute online or even showcase themselves.
Part of movie making involves working on set but a large part of it also involves working on location. Is means that even amateur film makers need to know how best to travel with their film equipment safely.
Whether taking the equipment by car, by train, by bus or by airplane, having the right approach to transporting this expensive gear is important to ensure that it stays safe and well-protected in transit. While luggage brands like Samsonite and Pierre Cardin may be leading names of the industry, their products are no good for ensuring your precious equipment stays unbroken on the road. So here is the latest advice for amateurs to heed.
The very first thing that anyone making a film should consider is obtaining an adequate insurance policy. Regardless of how careful a film maker is with their equipment, inevitably there will be an occasion accident from time to time. This is one of the reasons why it’s vital to take out some suitable insurance cover before even beginning to move equipment from A to B. While film production cover isn’t cheap, it’s definitely worth the investment just in case the worst should happen while in transit.
Forming An Inventory
Before any film maker starts moving their equipment, they need to ensure that they have put together a comprehensive inventory of all the items that are being taken on location together with the reasons for requiring them and their value in monetary terms. In the event that an insurance claim needs to be filed at a later time, all the information will be right there to hand.
Film makers must be well-prepared for all eventualities, however there’s no need to overpack equipment while preparing to go to a shoot on location. If film makers only take the absolute essentials, they’ll limit their risks and have less chance of damaging vital gear.
Expert Packing Tips
While having insurance and an inventory in place is very important, it’s also essential to take considerable care with the way in which the equipment is packed. It goes without saying that no film maker should simply throw their valuable gear into a suitcase along with clothing and toiletries! It’s important to have a dedicated equipment bag or, preferably, hard-bodied case which has been filled with cushioned foam inserts. This will ensure adequate protection for breakable and fragile items such as lenses which could easily be damaged in transit. When foam is used to fill additional space inside the case, there will be no chance of any items moving around and getting broken.
When choosing a case in which to carry film equipment, it’s important to go for a model which is high quality and designed to take a considerable among of wear and tear. Once a suitable case has been selected, it’s then important to measure the equipment and the case itself properly so that foam pieces can be properly cut to the correct size so that no gaps will be left. Every piece in the set should be given a minimum of 2” of foam to protect it adequately. Once the foam has been inserted into the case, it needs to be checked to ensure nothing will be able to move around in the slightest.
Getting Precleared At Customs
One further measure which many film makers, both amateur and professional, now take when traveling with their film equipment on location is to get preclearance from customs. Obviously, this only applies when taking film equipment overseas. Getting the gear precleared means that there will be no undue hold ups at border control. All countries have specific regulations and rules relating to different scenarios, therefore no film maker can assume that they know the procedure for preclearing their equipment. It’s therefore important to do all the necessary research online to find out which documents will be necessary when going across international borders. If the correct documentation isn’t in place, delays at customs are inevitable and, potentially, the worst case scenario could happen which is that the equipment will not be permitted into the country straight away, or even at all. This could put a serious crimp in the filming schedule and could even bring it to a halt altogether.
Filming these days is becoming more advanced, and while the equipment required to shoot movies on location is much smaller than at any other time, it is still onerous to take between locations. Following these tips will ensure that all the essential gear gets to the right place at the right time in the safest possible way.