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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 20th, 2005, 02:15 AM   #1
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Recommended gear for combat filming

Hey everyone. Well long story short, I'm moving to Northen Ireland in a year or so to live with my girlfriend (her home town). I understand that most of the fighting in Ireland is no longer existent, yet there are still street clashes (riots mostly) happening...things that I'd like to film.
I've had this huge interest with filming live action ever since I filmed a multitude of fights at school and on the streets...heck it was even a paying job at one point....hmm so much for long story short.

Anyhoo, what type of gear do you think I should have if I was to ever document a street fight?

NOTE: I'll probably be taking an XL2 with me to Ireland.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 08:10 AM   #2
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I'd recommend a good projective body armor vest. If firearms are generally not used then the stab and punch resistent vests are good. I have worn both in my line of work and it is a small price to pay to help enhance your safety. Some are lightweight and can be worn under at coat. See

http://galls.com/style.html?style=TE386&assort=general_catalog


Don't know if there are any restrictions on taking this item into Ireland.

Regards,

Mark
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Old February 20th, 2005, 09:13 PM   #3
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Helmet (Rugby. Motorcycle, or military).

smaller camera, think 1 chipper that you will not miss if the police or rioters smash it. Also small is easier to hide under your coat or in a pocket while going thru police checkpoints or running.

Helmet cam, so you can keep DV Cam in pocket and cam lens (like a tiny net camera?) will tape whatever you are looking at.

Parabolic directional microphone for spying on conversations far away.

gas mask.

eye wash in case you get dosed with pepper spray.

Press credentials.

Phone number of a good attorney that you have already given a retainer to.

orange jacket (or is it green??) :)
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Old February 21st, 2005, 04:45 AM   #4
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john, have u been out in the trenches mate?? seems liek youve dne this before?? hehehehe

in all honesty, i think a helmet cam wired to a camcorder in a backpack would be far more efficient in this sense, and u can run without the fear or dropping or losing anything.. johns on the money here
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Old February 21st, 2005, 08:14 AM   #5
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I and a lot of my 'friends' bought gear at the USCavalry store over the years before going 'downrange'.

http://www.uscav.com
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Old February 21st, 2005, 08:15 AM   #6
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Just thought I'd state that it's not really the type of situation where I'd be attacked for filming...most of the fighting there is to get media attention anyhoo ;)

Just thinking, like what type of lens, asscesories and bollocks like that.

Safety equipment is something I've already got worked out btw :)
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 09:04 AM   #7
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Northern Ireland is not a town and Northern Ireland is not Ireland. But you are not alone in being ignorant of that fact. On a recent trip to Belfast George Bush's press corps had badges with "President's Party - Belfast, Ireland".

Your camera will be stolen the first time you take it anywhere near a "street riot". Make sure your insurance does not exclude coverage for "riots and civil disturbance".
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 10:08 AM   #8
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And don't forget to have your head examined.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 02:47 AM   #9
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Having covered numerous street riots as a still photographer since the mid 80's for a major news agency...

all I can really offer as advice... unless you really need to be there don't go.. these are not fun situations... and your chances of getting your head kicked in are high... media are legit targets today.. forewarned is forearmed. Tear gas is not nice stuff either.. so take a hankerchief or mask...

Don't get isolated... never end up alone... always keep your back to a wall so you can't get approached from behind... you'll need eyes everywhere... strength lies in unity, a group is far less likely to get hit than an individual... To go out alone is asking for a good kicking and as they guy said you'll lose your gear for sure...

Finally this sort of footage is banal these days and never makes the main news or papers, unless a big deal goes down.. If you ain't got an assignment... it's just not worth the risk.... avoid the dangerous areas...

Good luck... you must be mad..

Cheers
Gareth
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Old February 24th, 2005, 09:02 AM   #10
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I wouldn't overdramatize the situation. The bottom line is they will probably not hurt him more than they have to in order to get the camera.

I think you will find that as soon as the lads get wind of the fact that some American kid wants to film a street riot with a 5K camera, they will be happy to oblige.

If Elliot does get badly hurt then a major police enquiry will ensue, but when his camera gets stolen even the folks at the US embassy will have a good laugh at his naievity.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 06:11 PM   #11
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Doug:

1: Elliot is not from the US (unless I am mistaken.. his sig says Austrailia)

2: Where did the ignorance about Northern Ireland not being a city come from Elliot never mentioned that he was moving to a City called northern ireland, just that he was moving to his girlfriends hometown??


matt rickman
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Old February 25th, 2005, 06:23 PM   #12
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Sorry I don't know Elliot - but I don't think being from Australia would make that much difference. Ireland and Northern Ireland are not part of the same country. That is what a lot of the fighting is about. Many Americans (and I guess Australians) seem insensitive to this fact. Could get you in to trouble even without waving a $5000 camera around. But of course he is quite free to ignore my advice.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #13
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I've worked for 3 yrs in war enviroment, so i guess i have lots of expirience on that. Anyway, i would never go into that again. But there is alwys folks arround ready to go in that kind of situations and believe me, i understand them. OK.
From my expirience top things for that kind of filming are:
- buletproof west with photo vest over it with lots of pockets for tapes, batteries...etc - no handheld bags!
- any cheaper 3CCD would do, my favour was TRV900 with wide angle lens on it.
-great phisycal condition.

AFAIK fortunately Northern Ireland is not so extrimly hostile as my enviroment was, so try to find orange west with PRESS sign. That can help a lot with army/police - in most cases they don't tend to make troubles for press people. If anybody asks you for whom are you working, you can say that you are independent filmmaker. You can also stick to professional TV crews which are always around. NEVER go alone and NEVER play a hero. There is no such material which worth your life or health.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #14
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Tips:

1: Every control you can set before shooting, do so. This goes double for any of the small controls for audio near the XLR jacks (At least, for the PD-170 -- assume the XL-2 is similar.) Then cover them over with tape -- duct tape works well. Nothing is more aggravating than realizing that you jostled a control while moving and have lost all audio.
2: Make sure you have at least two points of contact with the camera -- both a neck/shoulder strap and a hand strap, if possible. Make sure the neck strap is slung cross-body, which gives you more support for the camera and makes it harder to lose the camera/have it taken from you. (It won't last THAT long if you're jumped, though.)
3: Experiment with various shooting positions; try and get as steady as comfortable. A tripod is NOT something you can work with. Unless you have a support rig of some sort, keep standing shots as short as you can. Try and tuck your elbows in as close as possible. You're going to get a lot more stability if you kneel and use your knee as a shoulder support. Or if you go prone and put your elbows on the ground. (This also makes you a smaller target.)

I'd also like to second Darko -- don't go out alone. And don't go out without making sure someone knows where you're going and when you plan to be back.

Hope this helps,
--CW
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