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Old February 6th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Fleet, England
Posts: 63
Single Man Bag Solution Help?

Hi there

I am starting a new project which is going to invlove various locations around the UK, as well as a few in the US and around Europe. Its a single man shoot, and the subject is fairly easy to film. The UK part is easy with a large bookt, but for the rest I have to think about storage and luggage! On previous projects involving air travel, I have packed by Kata Backpack, lights tripod etc in a suitcase to go in the hold and carried my camera in my hand luggage. I then put it all together at the other end, but still had a few bits that had to be carried loosely. However, there isnt enough storage space for everything needed on this project, and I need to more on these trips. In breif, this is what i need to take

HMC151 Camera - plus chargers, batteres, headphones, wireless and cabled mic
2 x dedolight heads, plus power units, stands, 4 way lead
15.6" Laptop plus cable
7" LCD monitor
2nd small consumer video camera

So, my questions is, what does anyone suggest i use?! I need to get the gear on the plane safely, and then move it around easily on my own for the shoots themselves. I had been looking at the Kata OMB-75 one man band bags, but I cant find a case big enough to pack this in, and I dont think it will squash at all (can anyone confirm). This could have taken EVERYTHING, with the tripod on top. Sadly, this case isnt suitable for airtravel in the hold (can anyone confirm?). So, any ideas would be very welcome! (I cant send the gear ahead of time, or practically hire anything locally)

Thanks for any help!
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Old February 6th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #2
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Re: Single Man Bag Solution Help?

I think I MAY have found a solution. I think this may do the job.
Borderline Massive XXL 40 Inch Wheeled Holdall Bag | All Wheeled Holdalls | Wheeled Holdalls | Karabars

It would carry the Kata OMB-75 bag, plug a few bits of my own luggage. Even if I have to buy 1 every couple of trips (not sure its that hard-wearing) I think it might do the job. Any thoughts?
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Old February 6th, 2012, 11:24 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Miami, FL USA
Posts: 1,475
Re: Single Man Bag Solution Help?

FWIW, my former company bought a hard-shell golf bag case, remarkably capacious for carrying a tripod and head, light stands (not Century stands, of course) and in our case, also a complete Lowell lighting kit (in its own soft case) within.

Good points: the case was way cheaper than a "photo" case, although as well made; it does not scream "photo equipment" to sticky-fingered people (well, it sort of screams golf clubs, but still...) It has wheels. It is air-shippable. And lockable.

I don't know what sources may be on your side of the pond, and this was sevreal years ago so the specifics are hazy, but there are a number of web sites that seem to specialize in these very bags. For carrying other gear we bought the larger Pelican cases.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #4
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Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,139
Re: Single Man Bag Solution Help?

I'm concerned that the XXL hold-all will be oversize baggage on most airlines. In some cases, that's a mandatory $100 USD charge. If it's loaded over 75 lbs., which is easily done with a large case, some airlines won't take it at all, at least here in the U.S.

Although a hard-shell golf club case may also be oversize, airlines know what it is and how to deal with it. If you call, or go online, you'll get good information on charges, and whether it will fit in the cargo on a small plane.

I'd approach the problem differently, though. Compact and lightweight equipment is the way to go, in my opinion. I designed my own light kit to fit in a medium-sized suitcase, and was able to get in a medium-small tripod as well, all for under 75 lbs with minimal power distribution and grip.

At locations, the tripod came out, the head went on, and it traveled separately. The suitcase was not great for working out of, but was OK. Camera package traveled as carry-on.

I was able to get the following equipment in a medium suitcase for just under 75 lbs:
2 Lowel Rifa LC-55, a 24"x24" softbox with light source, plus their cables.
2 light stands, smallish.
1 Lowel Pro, small light backlight for one person.
Misc hangers and clamps, using local resources to make a third light stand.
CTB in various grades, to better take advantage of existing windows for fill.
2 15' extension cords.
1 Manfrotto tripod, aluminum sticks/spreader with a 503 head (since replaced with carbon-fiber sticks)

These particular shoots I had an audio recordist, who was responsible for his own equipment, but I had basic interview capabilities by with a couple wired lavs & cables.

When I needed a second cam, I rented locally.

Lots of people see this smaller Lowel lighting gear as not fully pro, not standing up in rental use, etc. For an owner-operator with a sensitive camera it is durable enough, and very light, very compact, very fast!
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
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