Thread: HELP! Conflict Zone Filming

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  1. #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve G View Post
    I've done a lot of conflict zone stuff in the past. Iraq 1990 and 2003, Kosovo 1999, Libya 2013, Gaza Strip 2003, 2007, 2009 . Would say that a red or arri is the wrong camera to take into a proper conflict zone. Something small, like a C300, EVA1, or Fs7 with canon stills zooms is the way to go. You want sometime that you are happy to leave behind if things get really crazy. In Iraq in 2003, I was doing a doc for the BBC called "Fighting The War" I had a digi beta with me, but for all the stuff in proper combat was shot on a Sony PD150, which at the time was the "best" small camera. You really want something small and foolproof. Mucking about with separate sound recorders is going to be a real pain and distract you from looking after yourself. DSLR's are also used a lot by BBC crews in conflict zones.

    If you go down the red route, dealing with the data in the field is going to be tricky, to say the least. Shooting with a C300 or Eva1 means you can use pretty cheap CF cards or SD cards, and have a pile of them for downloading when you can.


    Maybe not the same thing but lot of people shot pictures and filmed during 9:11. However a friends friend of mine was doing a large format fashion shoot in newyork that day. He still lives on those pictures that he shot that day... in his large penthouse in NewYork.

    So yes sure easier to just bring a smartphone and not risk any gear but sadly if you get high quality footage you can pull good stills from then you are in a completly different category and migh bank from it decades foward.
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  2. #22  
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Phelan View Post
    Or perhaps an Insta360 One X on a tall selfie stick. ;-)
    Ha!
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  3. #23  
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    Thanks for all this recommendations, I think I need to get a lot of things in order also locally before I go to something like this. But I think I will be really stubborn and take my red camera.

    I found a really good sound recorder small enough to carry it around with a 32bit capacity (no clipping).

    I think the biggest issue I'm finding at this moment is mostly battery and how you charge them, I heard there isn't a lot of options out there when it comes for electricity.
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  4. #24  
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    I wish you the very best in your endeavours. If you come out of the far end of your adventure, life, limbs and most of all your mentality intact, that will be good. If you have worthwhile images to show for it, that will be a bonus. If you bring your camera back in one piece instead of giving away a bucketful of broken pieces to the urchins in the country you visit, that will be even better.

    People in the past have documented conflict zones with older generations of heavy and bulky gear. It will however be a pyrrhic victory if for want of something like a Sony A7II or better, you missed those iconic shots you wanted but could not get to or set up for in the available time.

    There was a remarkable Italian-Australian documentary filmmaker who covered the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He was using a film camera which was probably in the ballpark of your RED in bulk, weight and demand for attention. He was covering from the mujahadin side. Apparently he became too fixated whilst filming a captured Soviet tank driving past, was run down and died.

    His wife dyed her two young girls' blond hair dark and bravely went there with them undercover to seek closure because his death had been sudden but also a mystery. Is that something you really want for your nearest and dearest? How differently things might have turned out if he had a DSLR in his hand and an LCD screen to look at. - One hand for the camera, one hand for yourself. That goes for eyes too.
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  5. #25  
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    People with experience have told you that a RED camera is the wrong kit for this job. I've made films in 4 conflict zones and agree with them. You will be a dumb guy if you take your RED. Just considering the abilty to charge batteries is a reason not to do this. You have to charge not one but two pieces of kit, one of which battery life is not great.

    If you make it out unhurt, and given your stubborness I doubt this or even if you get the proper training, you will regret all those amazing shots you missed because the RED was starting up or you had no power... and not just for one day filming, two maybe three when you can't charge for days on end.
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  6. #26  
    Senior Member Mark Phelan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodrigo Violante View Post
    Thanks for all this recommendations, I think I need to get a lot of things in order also locally before I go to something like this. But I think I will be really stubborn and take my red camera.

    I found a really good sound recorder small enough to carry it around with a 32bit capacity (no clipping).

    I think the biggest issue I'm finding at this moment is mostly battery and how you charge them, I heard there isn't a lot of options out there when it comes for electricity.
    You know, the military have a phrase, "that guy". You are free to do what you want, up to, and including getting yourself killed. Don't be that guy. Are you seriously willing to risk your LIFE for a camera? There are all sorts of people killing themselves every day for the ultimate selfie. Then there are folks on a mission, like these two, Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, trying to prove something, only to become Darwin Award specks on the road of life. https://www.funker530.com/millenial-...-killed-prove/ It's your choice, but if you want to schlep an elephant while people are literally trying to kill you, nobody is stopping you. And they WILL be trying to kill YOU. You'll be that guy with a giant RED bullseye. And don't ask for a second take.
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  7. #27  
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    I been doing extreme sports all my life, and been in really crazy situations, might not be in a conflict zone yet, but like anything that is high risk, preparation is key, while I see all arguments and pro of having smaller camera, the sense of operating a RED camera doesn't distract me at all and doesn't distract my focus.

    The biggest issue of course is weight and getting battery charged, once I know all more details I can make a proper decision, of course if there is no charging but only through solar panels, then for sure the red won't be the best option.

    Again I came here to get feedback and tips and I think I have gotten a lot of useful information that can help me take a proper decision, if I endeavor to do something like this most likely it will take me at least year of preparing everything.

    And don't get me wrong I do agree that having smaller rig is always easier to move and all the advantages that it has. But well I'm sure as I prepare more Ill find what works for me.
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  8. #28  
    Senior Member Daniel Pearson's Avatar
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    Out of curiously what are you actually intending on doing in the conflict zone: what is your objective? Are you making a documentary, gathering stock vision to sell, just doing it for fun? What is your intended deliverable?
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  9. #29  
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    A little bit of Documentary, try to tell a story, also you could say "fun" into it. I'm looking intro 3 options.

    1.- Go with a ONG.
    2.- Go with Military (I think this is the most complicated one to get permissions etc)
    3.- Go with a Fixer (this might be the most risky one)
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  10. #30  
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    I understand, Rodrigo. I brought a monochrome+color helium 8K into eastern DRC in 2018 (first time using these cameras btw...what was I thinking). I recently did another 8K trip to DRC in a less "hot" zone. Both times my itineraries were carved out and I did everything possible, following all advice and rules, to not draw attention. Sounds like you will be trying to actually get footage of some "action" which is 100% the opposite of what I try to do when abroad.

    Do not go alone or without someone local who you trust. And by trust I don't mean just exchange emails and promise renumeration- I mean someone who speaks your language and the local language and has something at stake in your success otherwise when things get hot they will leave you.

    Also, why monstro? With all of its capabilities that camera becomes a massive gold watch in a situation where you should leave it behind. It is far more dangerous to you when you bring it as a camera but cannot part with it because of its economic value when the situation calls for it. Also, it likely will not be insured so you're bringing at-risk. Also, few long lens options, no stabilization...

    Having gone the amateur "I got an 8K camera let's go somewhere fun!" route, I will say that the challenge was worth it however everything went perfectly. And by perfectly I mean never getting stopped by police, having help with equipment moving and vehicles, and having native language speakers around me at all times. I prefer jungles to deserts because you can hide in jungles and get water if necessary. You will have great difficulty staying hidden in a desert environment and drawing attention will draw you trouble. Traveling by car and even having a camera visible in a seat will be your undoing as it only takes one person to shout "camera!" and if you stop for anyone reason around people you will lose control of what happens next.

    If you're asking questions about what batteries to bring, I'd put that far down on the list as to why you're going and why monstro-but since you're asking I'd say bring 45kWh mini batteries that you can stash anywhere and keep your rig light. You can also throw them at people in self defense in a pinch.

    So while I "get it", I will say that your experience doing sports has absolutely no relevance unless it means you can run faster than everyone around you. They're just not the same. So with no disrespect intended I would side with the don't go voices on this board. I had connections who I trusted that preceded my trips without whom it would have been extremely ill-advised to go into such difficult places.

    I am a red fanboy. They're great. But for all the skull and crossbones and weapons they brandish (which I cover with gaffer tape), they have not yet made the camera that people like you and I would truly be able to exploit in difficult places- light, high frame rate, inconspicuous, and in-body stabilized 6k+ for cropping or further stabilization in post. If you run solo in hot zones unfortunately Red hasn't made that camera yet. Perhaps Komodo will be the ultimate stealth weapon, we'll see. But perhaps you dry run this in a friendlier place where politically the conditions won't be as treacherous. Trying to tackle desert+conflict zone+language barrier+monstro at the same time won't win you any awards...except perhaps Darwin.
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