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Old November 4th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #1
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Need some ideas...

So, I'm going to India for the month of December. I'll be using a consumer camcorder (DCR-DVD-403) with a ND8 filter and maybe a shotgun mic with a windscreen.

We will be visiting most major tourist spots (Taj Mahal etc.) and even some more lesser known parts. Yes I am aware of the regulations on shooting video in India. I probably won't have a problem but I will ask before I take video of some religious places.

Anyways, I need some ideas on what I can do with all the footage I will be taking. I'm planing on using the video footage to create a little video for a local film festival. I won't need release forms because I won't directly be shooting people, but animals and stuff you don't normally see in Canada.

I'm thinking of maybe a nature video or something, I really don't know. I just plan to shoot whatever is interesting over there and work with it later at home. If anyone have and suggestions I would love to hear them. I'll share the video with you folks afterwards. :)

Justin Tomchuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 5th, 2006, 08:05 PM   #2
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Hi Justin,
I lived in Hyderabad (south India) for about 2 years, and returned shortly for about 2 weeks to Mumbai. On my last trip I was actually living in Osaka, Japan for 18 months and decided to stop in India on the way back to Canada. The Indian consulate in Osaka had documentary filmmaker permit application forms. I'm sure that there are comparable forms in Canada. I filled lots of information about the nature of my project and equipment being brought in. Like you, I'm a one-man show and have prosumer equipment. I think that you might get away with filming without hassle with your small kit (look like a tourist), but I for one feel that it's more comfortable to have yourself legally covered. It would be unfortunate if your project took off but then hit a snag due to legal problems. The application and rules for filmmakers are largely intended for large productions, not small independent ones. You might need location permits when you're actually dealing with people on the ground (i.e. temples, shops,...). I have English,Telugu, Marathi, Hindi, translated location and personal releases if you're interested. You could get away with a lot because you're a foreigner, but also be aware that you and your camera gear will be a source of curiosity. Oh yes, there are foriegner prices for most "attractions" that are several times the local price. Still camera is more expensive, and video camera most. The Indian government, archeological section, is touchy about filming in any protected building and there may be an additional fee. The fee that you pay (ie) at the Taj would be for private/tourist use only. Again, an additional fee would apply.

It might be good to carry your gear inconspicuously in a soft camera bag carried inside anther duffle/shoulder bag or knapsack that doesn't look like it's full of expensive stuff. Be careful of theives in tourist cities. It's not a huge problem, but just be careful. Keep your camera bag with you and have your other bag stowed elsewhere if you're taking a train of a bus. a small length of chain and a combo lock can deter people from taking your pack. If you're on an overnight train, keep the camera bag near your head on the bunk. Baggage being loaded onto a bus often gets tossed around, so again it's better to keep it in your hands. Once you're off the main tourist route, chance of theft decreases dramatically, as well as hassles. Does your camera record directly to DVDs? If so, bring along lots! DV tapes are common in big cities, but I'm not sure about DVDs. Extra batteries, and lens cleaning tissue/brush. Also a bag that will keep the dust/moisture out. Silica gels in the bag will help with the humidity. A power adapter and plug adapter. You might consider something with surge protection so you're electronics don't fry. I bought a collapsable white/gold reflector (about 1m down to 40cm) by Booth for filling in shadows. I bought it at that Carsand-Mosher Photographic in Halifax (Barrington St.). Maybe there's a wide angle adapter that you can fit to your lens. I find it's nice for nature and architecture shots.

You might check out the National Film Board on Spring Garden. I spoke with Patricia-Denise Coughran (Patsy) about doc filmmaking before I left for Japan. She told me about a FAP grant of 5000$ for beginner filmmakers. This was in 2004, so I'm not sure if she's still there. The NFB has FAP info on their website. She was super helpful about the largely legal pre-production questions that I had.

You can also look at It's a travel forum for India and they have old posts you can read through. (thorntree section) also has a forum on India but it seems to be more for tourists. India mike is for people doing othe things.

If you're interested in nature/animals, you pretty much have to concentrate on the south part of the country. In December much of the north is pretty inaccessible due to snow at high altitudes. If you were going in the summer you could enjoy the Valley of Flowers (about 50km from India-Nepal-Tibet border). I did go to a plantation in south Karnataka (greenest place I've been in India) during the end of December. It was by beside Tadiyendamol (1712m) the highest peak in the south and just west of Mysore. Palace Estate was a wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature. It's more off the tourist route. The landscape around Hyerabad, AP was very desert like with lots of boulder strewn landscapes. I've never been on them, but I believe that there are reserves with animals.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 05:42 PM   #3
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Hey Tim thanks for all the great advice! I'll look into the waivers and forms etc. It will be a good thing to have if they're available. Thanks again this info will help me out a lot.

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