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Old May 25th, 2017, 03:18 PM   #1
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Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Hey fellow DVInfo-ers. I've been lucky enough to get an awesome gig teaching video production in Kigali, Rwanda for the African School Of Digital Media (Africa Digital Media Academy). It's an awesome school that provides free education for adults in areas like Character Modeling & 3D Animation, Photoshop, and Film production. It has one of the highest success rates in all of Eastern Africa for the success of it's students after graduating. Anyway, I've been asked to come over as a Visiting Instructor for 4 months initially to teach their first Advanced Cinematography course. Then I can go from there for a longer program if so inspired. I'm excited.

One of the only limitations I'm running into however is related to gear. The school has a fair amount of gear including 10 Cameras (two Sony F3s, two Sony F700s, three Canon 5Ds and 4-5 XF-105s) that they purchased when they opened up shop 5 years ago and we're given a budget, also a stedicam, a myriad of tripods, etc.. but they have a policy where the gear can't be loaned out to students before or after class for further exploration without an instructor present. For me personally I think 3 days a week over the course of 9 hours isn't enough time for students to get their hands on cameras, learn and make mistakes, and it also dramatically limits their creative potential for them filming people and places in their own lives and relating the skills that they are learning in artistic as well as utilitarian ways.

To get around that, I want to have a system where students can check out cameras, maybe some kind of support system like handheld rigs, (and audio equipment) from me directly. However, I have to think of that gear as essentially safe to have lost, broken, just plain over used, or stolen while students use it out in the field. On a personal level I'm a Panasonic GH user so my primary cameras are a GH4 and a GH3 with two GH2's left over. One of those I use for the occasional 3 camera conference setup but that means I have a GH2 that I can completely spare that honestly is just collecting dust anyway. So this is an awesome scenario for me to find a place where it can be used and useful still. I also have an old Sony V1U but that's too old to teach students who for all intents and purposes never need to hear the word HDV or DV Tape, ha ha. And I don't want to teach them other old useless info that's extinct already.

So I'm curious if any other shooters out there have one of those cameras or pieces of gear laying around that isn't antiquated but you just don't use it anymore and you're not sure what to do with it but you know in the right place it could still be useful. If I can get to the point of having 5 or 6 loaner cameras I think it could be WAY more empowering for my students. What do folks think?

p.s. Sorry for how long this post is!
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Old May 25th, 2017, 03:47 PM   #2
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Josh

just because HDV and tape are old in the right hands they still do a great job I have had a few card based camcorders EX1, 3, pmw320 to name a few but to be honest there is not that much difference and jo public will never notice, Tape is still plentiful and you would be surprised how many are still using it, Its not just about picture quality its about content a camera is just a tool.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 03:56 PM   #3
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

I agree for the most part, but since this isn't a Film Production 101 class where it's like just look through a lens, experiment with framing, getting focus, and learn the basics I want to them to be trained on gear they're more likely to be using in the future, and the workflow a future boss might expect and be used to as well. But good point.
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Old May 26th, 2017, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Unfortunately I don't have any gear. I still use an FX-7 with an Atomos for long format stuff, but I do wish you all the best. Sounds like a great adventure. Cheers!
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Old May 26th, 2017, 11:02 AM   #5
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

I have to question the aims of the organisers. Clearly, out of class access to equipment is essential, and I cannot see the point in training people at a highish level, on good equipment but not trusting them, or the situations they might get into. If they truly understand education then they also need to understand the needs of the students and having to rely on charity donations for equipment when they've spent loads on flash gear is awkward. Most UK colleges and universities make sure there is a range of equipment, not just pro level gear which is rarely appreciated by the beginners, or dare I say it, needed!
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Old May 27th, 2017, 10:51 AM   #6
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Hi Dave, thanks, I appreciate it! It's going to be quite an adventure and I'm looking forward to it!

Paul: I hear you. Challenges are quite a bit different in Africa than the general western world though, so comparison aren't apt, nor are they relying (or even know) that I'm asking for "charity donations". They train a lot of students, and a lot of that training is prepping people for in-studio work since that happens to be most in demand in Kigali, and a bootstrapped org can't afford to lose cameras when they have a minimal supply.
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Old May 27th, 2017, 04:47 PM   #7
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

For the past few years I've been sending my obsolete cameras and asscessories as well as a laptop to a guy in Uganda who tracked me down on facebook because I call myself a cameraman and so does he. After a while I determined he was legit and not somebody running a scam so I mailed him some stuff i think a tablet and a couple of point and shoots and other things like sd cards and whatnot, then a while later some more stuff and he uses the gear to work and feed his family.
Shipping costs are a bit high and I wish there was a way to reduce that cost because more guys like me could send stuff we absolutley don't need or use directly to individual people/cameramen in developing lands who find it to be an absolute windfall which changes their lives
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Old May 29th, 2017, 02:03 PM   #8
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Please - I'm not trying to in anyway weaken the wonderful thing you're doing, but in the Western World - we're constantly complaining about the numbers of media students we train who cannot get jobs. Is there a thriving well paid and funded media industry in Africa? Surely in a cash strapped country, expensive cameras are very odd things to train people on? You should be proud to be involved. (you probably are!)
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Old May 29th, 2017, 07:12 PM   #9
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Bruce, that's awesome! Yeah it's funny how something that can be totally outdated in one place can be integral to someone getting some help and a leg up. That's badass.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 07:18 PM   #10
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Hi Paul, it's a good question, and didn't think you were. Yeah it's a little different over there but mostly just because my "boss" are the Rwandan Ministry of Education and Employment so there's actually and ability to help place people in employment a little bit more and the graduation job success rate is super high. The main reason at least in this early stage is that they're simply not enough people yet at all (even remotely) to flood the market. So if the school releases 20-40 graduates every 2 years and they work in a variety of industries (a lot of animation related stuff), across not just Rwanda there's still demand. Add to that the fact that there's a ton of NGOs out there who hire the school itself for work on philanthropic projects so the school hires graduated students, and trains current students so that helps. The parent company that runs the school also runs one of the largest live streaming event platforms in the worlds (olympics, political conventions, etc...) so that helps also.

I know what you mean though. Of my class of a few hundred at SFSU I only know of 4 or 5 us that work in "the industry" at all. Though of course I didn't know my whole class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Please - I'm not trying to in anyway weaken the wonderful thing you're doing, but in the Western World - we're constantly complaining about the numbers of media students we train who cannot get jobs. Is there a thriving well paid and funded media industry in Africa? Surely in a cash strapped country, expensive cameras are very odd things to train people on? You should be proud to be involved. (you probably are!)
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Old May 30th, 2017, 01:54 AM   #11
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Sounds like a damn good project then! I suppose that 'developing countries' probably need to develop into what we have now, rather than what we had fifty years ago, so I can see the need for 'proper' media. Hope it goes well for you!
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Old May 30th, 2017, 07:21 PM   #12
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Hi Paul. I'm pretty excited about it also I have to admit. After being a camera op for 11 years, the opportunity to teach in Africa and share what I've learned, mistakes I've made, etc... to hopefully help empower folks to create their own media, share their own culture and ideas, etc... Far too much of what comes out in video and Cinema about Africa isn't from African's and is largely centered around tragedy (obviously Rwanda the 1994 Genocide is no exception). Hoping this Advanced Cinematography course I've been allowed to design might be a step in the right direction.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 07:47 AM   #13
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Kudos and Props aplenty Josh
I'm wondering how I can get my self taught guy (on a zenit) who lives with his wife and 3 daughters in a downscale suburb of Kampala, Uganda into the school you're going to. I have a HDR HC1 or maybe a cx 550v I could send him. If you pick up any info on how he could pull this off, It would be mightily appreciated.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 08:06 AM   #14
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Great project. Thanks for sharing. Keep us updated. I've been in Austin, Texas for almost 20 years and the media programs in this city graduate 1000+ students a year and they all want to work right here in central Texas.Telling high school students they will become filmmakers is like telling high school students they will become professional athletes. Right? Maybe so, maybe not. There are many ways to use the moving image and many careers that make use of these skills full time or part time. Rock stars with day jobs! Side hustle! Diversified happiness portfolio! Video production is, more broadly, communication, story telling and writing. Who doesn't need to develop these skills? School is hard and it's hard to find ways of learning and knowing. Production programs are great. I posted a couple weeks ago to this form on a search for middle and high school video teachers. I'd like to know what works and doesn't. Maybe there will be an education thread in this forum some day.

I was at a high school career day last spring and a guy from an unnamed newspaper was telling students he knows someone who gets paid 5 grand a day shooting video on his iPhone. Seemed attention getting and out of the ordinary. Not sure if this is helpful or not.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 09:29 PM   #15
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Re: Your old camera gear for Rwanda?

Hi Bruce obviously it would mean him traveling to a different country since the school is in Kigali, Rwanda, but I asked the school and they said the easiest way is to read about it and apply on the website still. Here's a direct link that you could pass on to him, it looks like with previous experience he already has a leg up according to the Application Page: Application ? Africa Digital Media Academy

p.s. what's a Zenit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Dempsey View Post
Kudos and Props aplenty Josh
I'm wondering how I can get my self taught guy (on a zenit) who lives with his wife and 3 daughters in a downscale suburb of Kampala, Uganda into the school you're going to. I have a HDR HC1 or maybe a cx 550v I could send him. If you pick up any info on how he could pull this off, It would be mightily appreciated.
Bruce
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