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


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Old October 6th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #1
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shipping equipment for destination wedding

Anyone here ship video gear when shooting a destination wedding? I'm looking to ship tripods and light stands... What type of container do you ship them in? Can you typically ship it to the hotel you're staying at? What shipping companies work best? Any ideas on pricing? Thanks!
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Old October 6th, 2009, 01:52 PM   #2
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I wouldn't do it with any critical gear, unless you have a number of days to play with. I would take everything as excess baggage. Domestically, i.e. Hawaii or Puerto Rico, you could FedEx the gear, but internationally, your gear could easily end up in a customs warehouse for a long few days unless you take it with you.

Excess baggage can get expensive, but you will be close to your gear and can deal with any complications. If you have a whole lot of gear, and some extra time, using airline cargo (whoever flies directly to your destination) is a possible way to do it cheaper, but you have to factor in a day or two more than they promise, or more if shipping over a weekend. The airlines can usually pick up at your place and deliver to your hotel, but it depends on the destination.

Happy shooting!
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Old October 6th, 2009, 02:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bill Engeler View Post

Excess baggage can get expensive, but you will be close to your gear and can deal with any complications.
Happy shooting!
I 2nd this. Please always consider Murphy's law. I shipped a bunch of audio gear to Alberta from Toronto, I gave it 3 weeks allowance, shipping company told me it will be there in 2 weeks), I asked the Hotel if it's okay to be 1 week early ahead of the conference. Fine. Then it happened Canada Rail went on strike, the gear was stuck somewhere inside one of their trains and will not arrive until the strike is over. We ended up having one of our techs fly with the gear to save the day.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #4
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Keep in mind the carrier as well - if flying on small commuter lines, your excess baggage MAY be the lowest priority items on board and MAY not arrive with you, due to weight and balance. As well, if the plane is sold to capacity (REGARDLESS of airline and equipment) it is POSSIBLE that your items will be bumped. Excess is ALWAYS the lowest priority.

This comes from living with a 10 year airline customer service agent for 2.5 years. We "argue" all the time about pro gear and other job related tools. I'd rather you leave my clothing off the plane than my gear! Chances are good I can buy clothing at the other end, not so sure about gear...

Priority as I understand it is:
FUEL
Passengers (passengers WILL be bumped to accommodate fuel if necessary!)
Carry on luggage
Valeted luggage
Checked luggage (many airlines make you itemize ONE piece as priority if you are allowed more than one item checked - not sure where in the list non-priority fits)
Freight
Excess luggage
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Old October 6th, 2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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Also check your gear as soon as you land. I have heard stories of people's tripods that have been broken but they didn't notice until they unpacked it for the shoot the next day. Most airlines have time limits on the damaged baggage claim (I seem to remember 4 hours.) So check it when you get it.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 03:56 PM   #6
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If I were you, I'd try to get everything in your checked baggage and carry-ons. I recently traveled to a job with two cameras, tripods, LED lights and lots more and managed to do it in three bags within the weight limits (a checked bag, a laptop case and a carry-on bag.) I simply packed light as far as personal items were concerned and used my clothing to protect the equipment.

Can you rent bulky items at (or near) the destination? Stuff like lights, tripods, etc. can be rented cheaply.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #7
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I've taken everything with me before for a wedding in Virginia earlier this year.. it was way too much work to haul everything to the airport and check it in.. The clients would pay for all travel expenses, so I just want to do film the gig with as little work as possible. UPS a big hunting rifle case with my tripod + light stands inside?
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Old October 6th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #8
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UPS delivers to me on-time about 95% of the time. I'd sure hate to have this delivery be one of the 5%. I assume if you paid for next day or second day delivery your odds would be much better.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yang Wen View Post
Anyone here ship video gear when shooting a destination wedding? I'm looking to ship tripods and light stands... What type of container do you ship them in? Can you typically ship it to the hotel you're staying at? What shipping companies work best? Any ideas on pricing? Thanks!
Depending on how out of the way the destination is, maybe you can arrange with a production company there to rent whatever gear you need that will be hard to take with you. You'd be surprised who might be willing to help if you do some asking around.

For shipping tripods you might want to consider a hard case like this:
Nalpak | TP-0942 9.0" Tuffpak Series Hard Tripod | TP0942
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Old October 7th, 2009, 08:20 AM   #10
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Wedding is in Galveston, TX end of January. Any decent rental places in Houston that you guys know of?
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Old October 7th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #11
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I don't know of any off hand, but Houston, there's bound to be something around there. Maybe you can post something up in the "helping hands" section about what you're looking for, I know there are some Houston guys around. Be sure to include the name Houston in the title somewhere, can't hurt. Might even be worth your time posting it as a separate thread in the wedding forum as well if that's not against some double posting laws. Not everyone who comes here looks around the "helping hands" section.

Good luck.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Yang Wen View Post
Wedding is in Galveston, TX end of January. Any decent rental places in Houston that you guys know of?
Contact Mario Londona at VID. Tel: 713-339-4600. They are a full lline rental service. tell him Tom with Blue Star sent you.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #13
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Tom! Thank you sir! I've actually ordered from VID Inc before and I totally forgot that they're based in Houston.. I just looked at their website and they have everything I need!
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