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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 11th, 2011, 06:27 PM   #1
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Destination question

Greetings from cold Canada.
I've got a potential client south of the border in Buffalo N.Y.

Have any Canadians gone south of the border and done any shooting??
If so, what are the steps required and pitfalls to avoid when bringing equipment over?
I'll be traveling by road if it's of any importance.

I'd hate to get turned back the night before filming....

Honestly, i'm a bit intimidated going beyond my zone of comfort in Southern Ontario, so if it's going to be too much hassle, i'll refer the clients elsewhere. Otherwise any links or leads would be appreciated.

Thanks so much!!!
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Old February 11th, 2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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Hey Peter,

I'm from Toronto ... I did my first out of country shoot back in late November (los angeles) ... I first tried flying out of Buffalo - I brought ALL my equipment - (lights,steadicams,sliders etc) ... they turned me away.
2nd attempt was out of Pearson International - this time all I brought was my camera/lenses in carry on bag ... they turned me away as well ... in the system it showed that I had perviously tried to enter with camera equipment ... and at this point I was pretty much blacklisted.

So I boxed everything up and had to ship it down to L.A ... they almost never let me on the plane at all ... Just one person's experience with your situation.

Good Luck ... just be prepared for the worst ...
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Old February 11th, 2011, 08:42 PM   #3
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Would it help if you contacted the airline beforehand and let them know you're a photographer/videographer/cinematographer and you'll be traveling with all this gear?
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Old February 11th, 2011, 10:23 PM   #4
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I would ship it on ahead and then back again. No sense in causing more confusion for someone (TSA or Border Patrol) who has no clue to start with. Keep it simple and as "typical" a crossing as possible and you will be ok.
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Old February 12th, 2011, 08:15 AM   #5
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I believe Still-Motion posted on their website/blog recently how they pack everything.
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Old February 12th, 2011, 12:01 PM   #6
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I was told the last time I travelled with just my camera + lenses ... that even if I was taking pictures of my vacation - that it was preventing an american from getting paid to take those same pictures. Its getting absolutely crazy these days.
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Old February 12th, 2011, 05:27 PM   #7
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Professional family vacation pictures...sounds like an untapped market to me!
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Old February 13th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #8
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Peter, I travel across the border ( Pigeon River ) a few times a year. I have had no problems yet with my equipment.(cameras,tripods,dollys...etc...)
When you get to customs you can fill out cards with all the equipment that you bring with serial numbers, to prove that you didnt steal, sell,buy...anything.

also apply for a work visa/permit if not to late.

good luck.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Manojlovic View Post
Have any Canadians gone south of the border and done any shooting??
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't just come into the US and shoot for profit without a work visa. Come to think of it, isn't this true for every country?
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Old February 16th, 2011, 10:12 PM   #10
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NOPE!!! Sort of.

Here's the deal.
After talking to several customs agents, this is what i got..
I can register all my equipment on the Canadian side, and bring it to the US.
But here's the catch.
I can't film for profit (ie wedding), because that takes away American jobs.

Understood..

I don't want to resort to lying, and perhaps there's another way. But i can't believe that there's no room to do this legitimately. I'll gladly pay US taxes to setup temporary shop....But there's no protocol for this...

So much for NAFTA...It doesn't help the little fish i guess...
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