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Old May 31st, 2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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Anyone shot in Ghana or Nigeria

I leave this week for about 2 weeks in Ghana and then Nigeria. Anyone shot there? Any experiences that would be helpful? I've done a good amount of shooting overseas (including a good deal in East Africa) so I am not as interested in the what to take / what not the take info - I pretty much have that covered. More things like how people reacted to cameras / experiences in airports / a particular meal that I need to try -- that kind of stuff. I am really interested if anyone has had any experience with the Lagos airport. Fortunately we'll only be flying through it on the way home. It doesn't quite have the best reputation, although my understanding is that things have gotten a lot better over the past decade.

Thanks!!
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Old June 1st, 2009, 06:29 AM   #2
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Hi Nate.

I was in Lagos last December, as I had supplied all of the video equipment for filming the "experience", Africa's biggest annual music event (300,000 people).

I only have 2 tips.

Try the snacks sold at the roadside (especially the spicy chips), delicious and dirt cheap.

Coming back through the airport at Lagos.
Watch out for airport staff who purposefully obscure their id tags.
They are all too eager to help getting your bags through check in and then expect something in return.

One guy thought the little help he gave me was worth a 100.00 tip !
I just gave him 3 and walked off through departures.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 11:09 AM   #3
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You probably already know but Nigeria is about a half step backwards from East Africa when it comes to safety and theft. At least where my experiences are concerned. That in mind there are some truly wonderful people there. What are you shooting?
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Old June 1st, 2009, 01:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

I am shooting 2 short documentaries. The one in Ghana is about the prosperity gospel and the one in Nigeria is about the conflict between Christians and Muslims in Jos.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 08:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Clarke View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I am shooting 2 short documentaries. The one in Ghana is about the prosperity gospel and the one in Nigeria is about the conflict between Christians and Muslims in Jos.
I was filming in Nigeria about 2.5 years ago and will probably go back in November.

Jos was really nice, tough the problems between Christians and Muslims have gotten worse lately.

Lagos is just plain nuts!!! Craziest place in Africa. Get to the airport early!!! I got there 4 hours before my flight and needed all of it to make my plane on time. (Long story).

Make sure you have someone to get you around. I wouldn't suggest driving in Nigeria. Car accidents are the leading cause of death in Nigeria.

Careful filming in public. All you have to do is get one person upset with you filming and you will suddenly have a mob surrounding you.

I agree about the road side stands. The Yuca chips are wonderful, though I found the salsa a little hot to my taste. Also try the deep fried bean curd that they sell as well. Fun to watch them make and even more so to eat. I like it wrapped in the white bread that you will find every where. It is a custom to bring a loaf of white bread when you visit someone, thus you will find people on the side of the road with several hundred loaves of white bread for sale!!

Ghana is very nice and the totally different from Nigeria. Probably more like what you would get in Kenya.

I will say that despite all the challenges in Nigeria I loved it there. Some of the most intelligent people you will ever find.

Have fun!!!

Daniel Weber
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 12:07 PM   #6
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Update

I am now done with my travel. In case someone does a search on these countries, I figured I would update based on my experience.

We had zero issues with customs. We didn't have bags that screamed video production so that probably helped.

Ghana was a breeze - a great experience. Relative to other African shooting experiences I would say that the one thing that stood out was the cost. It was higher than I expected - the hotel, the food, the car. Not more than I would pay in the States, but more than I expected.

Both Nigerian airports (Abuja and Lagos) were also easy. No issues. In fact I had a great experience when I asked a Virgin Nigerian staff for some help regarding a taxi at the Lagos airport.
The biggest issue with Nigeria was actually power. We only had a couple of hours of power off the grid each night. We had a generator, but we didn't want to ask the host to run that all night to charge batteries. Fortunately we were OK, but this could be an issue in some situations and it certainly meant that we often couldn't run our tungsten lights. I had two Litepanels MicroPro LED lights which made things easier and for the most part we were able to do outdoor interviews in the shade. But my DP would have definitely liked to use the tungstens on several occasions.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 04:21 PM   #7
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Glad you're back safe. Love to see some clips when and if you have them.
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