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Old July 7th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #1
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Air mobile! A challenge...

OK, here's the challenge... working on one myself:

Adequate gear for lit sit-down 2-camera interviews and 1-2 nights stay with editing, to fit into two carry-on bags (or fewer).

I keep getting stuck on the tripods, unless I settle on my chincy photo tripod...

Putting one together today from what I have, I'll post back with results...
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Old July 7th, 2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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Re: Air mobile! A challenge...

I bought a plastic travel case for golf clubs to hold my Sachtler DV10 tripod. I wrap the tripod in some bubble wrap to protect it. I can usually put a couple of light stands and some extension cords in itbas well, staying underr the 50 lb. limit for airlines. The case cost was about $75.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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Re: Air mobile! A challenge...

Just re-read your post and realized my reply was no help. Sorry. The carry-on bag limit really limits your choices.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 12:32 AM   #4
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Re: Air mobile! A challenge...

I have been known to rent a tripod and light kit locally. While a rental house is usually a pain for that kind of thing, in the one location where I frequently encounter this problem, I have a relationship with a videographer who lets me rent his gear. Nothing electronic, just sticks, lights, and stands. Really lightens the load on the flight.

I have used cheapo tripods and light stands from Amazon, and had them shipped to my hotel (or to the client) to precede my arrival. However, you look like a phony, using a $5k camera on a $20 tripod. (After the gig, I abandon or donate the gear.) If you go this route, I can get two 500LED panels in a carryon suitcase, with enough room for a couple of extension cords, a clean shirt, and a variety of grip gear. I assume the other carryon is a Pelican 1510 or similar, with the camera and accouterments.

If you check luggage, I also do the golf bag thing, with the tripod in it and a couple of light stands. The only thing to be careful of here is that it can get over 50lbs fast.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 08:39 AM   #5
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Re: Air mobile! A challenge...

You can always drop ship your gear to your location via Fedex or UPS for example.

I usually just drive the needed gear.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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Re: Air mobile! A challenge...

OK, I think I have something. Wish I had a Pelican 1514 (or 2) but only have a photo backpack (Tamrac, model unknown) and standard rolling carry-on suitcase... of course benefit is it's easier to put longer gear diagonal in the suitcase.

BACKPACK
2 bodies (AF100, GH2)
ample batteries for 1 full day operation; small travel chargers
3 lenses (Panasonic 12-35, Leica Summilux-R 35, Sigma 50-150, Speedbooster)
12' XLR cable
ECM-44b wired lav
Azden SGM-PDII
Sony 7506's
Lowel Pro-Light
handful of clothespins
GoPro3 & clampod (why the heck not)
personal doodads (gum, phone charger, earbuds, etc)

SUITCASE
25' XLR cable
10' extension cable & triple tap
2x inline dimmers
4 small Lowel light stands
Matthews Mini Grip Kit
2 Pro-Lights
2 white photo umbrellas
diffusion, ND, CTB gels
3 5-in-1 reflectors
*2 Benro MeFOTO A0350 travel tripods
2 Manfrotto 701HDV heads
2 3lb leg weights
change of clothes, meds, n' stuff.

I'm electing to suck it up and check a tripod case containing a sturdy set of sticks, extra light stand, and a RIFA 55, but I'll have my base requirements met if that happens to get delayed or lost.

* the MeFOTO tripods are somewhat of an unknown quantity, bought 2 (why not). They're small and inexpensive, and seem to be relatively sturdy for their size, aluminum with borderline ridiculous 5-stage legs. They're only suitable for seated interviews, which luckily is exactly what this project is. The included ball head unscrews to a bare 3/8" stud, which suits the 701 heads just fine. The bottom of the extending column has a weight hook, and with enough weight it makes tripod movement while rolling viable (hence the leg weights). It's all a bit small for the AF100, even fully stripped down, so I'll likely use that for my static wide and operate the GH2 for closeup.

I get to do a "test run" with this setup locally on Wednesday, and hopefully it'll serve well over the next 2 months or so.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 07:22 PM   #7
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Re: Air mobile! A challenge...

If you elect to check the bags, make sure you tell the airline that you're traveling as a production company and you would like the "media rate" for your checked bags. I have checked 75lb+ pelican 1650 cases and tuffpak tripod tubes for $50 each flat fee. I'm sick of scratching my head over carry on only gear and the media rates seem reasonable enough for the client to pay for it without issue. I know that Delta, Suncountry and a few others do this. All they require is a printed "credential" of some sort showing your affiliation with a production company.

I made my own...
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