Thread: HELP! Conflict Zone Filming

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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Liam Hall's Avatar
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    My advice; Only take kit you can easily carry yourself, make sure you have completed a hostile environment training course, do an additional first aid course, check your insurance (you won't be covered).
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  2. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Lealos View Post
    I think you Rhode mic is perfect. Put it on a C100 mkII and you are good to go. Bring these lenses: Canon 17-55 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, 50-100 f/1.8. Bring 6 batteries and (2) 64GB SD card per day filming. All of this fits in one backpack. No need for external recorders or TC...audio sounds great straight to camera. Both the Canon lenses have wonderful stabilizers. That was our exact kit for filming this Netflix Series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCQ9y6ivpdQ. We used Red for interviews and B-roll, but the Canons did the documentary work. Maybe bring both???

    BUT, if you are dead set on using just the Red Monstro, then Nick's advice is spot on. Sound Devices Mix Pre 3 mkII is what you want. Your Rhode mic would also be a solid option if you can't afford the Sennheiser 416. This may sound crazy, but I'd definitely bring a trusty Canon 24-105 f/4 with me if you have an EF mount on that Monstro. Its worth it for the stabilizer alone, but its also the perfect lens range for Doc work. The 70-200 f/2.8 would be next on my list. Maybe a monopod? Good luck!!!
    I like the Röde mic´s is it possible to use on DSMC2 without cutting the wire inside. Remember on Epic they did not work until you cut a white cable inside.

    If it was me I would bring my monstro with 2 or three zoom canon zooms or two zooms and a really long lens. Then I would also bring a DJI OSMO and my DJI Mavic 2 and the latest GoPro.

    That would cover all bases, Monstro and drone would do most of the stuff and then use the Osmo, when its simply not suitable to bring a camera and the GoPro is backup / extra sound recording. If you set the new GoPro to record small picture and sound its a really good mic in there and you get B cam.
    Björn Benckert
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  3. #13  
    Something I said to a friend years ago when he told me he was looking for a client to send him into the Middle East for war coverage, “Money is no good to me if I’m not alive to spend it”.

    And as someone with a broadcast/network background, that’s the wrong tool for the job, especially if you’re going into a true war zone. Granted, I have never been into a foreign war zone, but the last thing I want to be doing is swapping/carrying lenses on a camera like that and worrying about off-board/sync sound.

    As much as I hate “handycam” style cameras, look at some of the new professional Sony’s. I’ve heard very good things about some of them. Something else to think about, you may run into the situation where it’s life or death and you need to pull your media and dump the gear and run. I’d rather dump a few thousand dollar handycam than a RED and thousands more worth of glass.
    Last edited by Christopher A. Bell; 10-14-2019 at 08:48 AM.
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  4. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Björn Benckert View Post
    I like the Röde mic´s is it possible to use on DSMC2 without cutting the wire inside. Remember on Epic they did not work until you cut a white cable inside.

    If it was me I would bring my monstro with 2 or three zoom canon zooms or two zooms and a really long lens. Then I would also bring a DJI OSMO and my DJI Mavic 2 and the latest GoPro.

    That would cover all bases, Monstro and drone would do most of the stuff and then use the Osmo, when its simply not suitable to bring a camera and the GoPro is backup / extra sound recording. If you set the new GoPro to record small picture and sound its a really good mic in there and you get B cam.
    actually MavicPro is great idea!!! I have inspire 2 but that's a bit too much for sure! and a GoPro for anything might also come handy.
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  5. #15  
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    I would bring Zaxcom transmitters that also record internally with timecode. Two for lavs and one for a shotgun/boom. With their NeverClip feature it's easy to record good levels with minimum attention. Then either hang a hop receiver on camera (cumbersome trouble in your situation) or just carry their small ERX unit to wirelessly monitor the sound and jam TC to camera. Great sound quality, minimal kit.
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  6. #16  
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Phelan View Post
    Yes, considering the fact that filmmaker Tim Hetherington was killed in a combat zone shortly after shooting Restrepo.
    Yes, a rather sad ending for sure. And that's with knowledge of how to navigate war zones. Can't imagine hauling around gear and not having proper training in those areas. Just too damn scary.
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  7. #17  
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    The legendary Vietnam war filmie Neil Davis shot most of his iconic material on an old lightweight wind-up film camera. He eventually upgraded to a heavier CP16 sound-on-film camera and wrecked his back jumping with it out of a helicopter.

    Bullocking what is essentially a studio camera out and about in a conflict zone is not impossible but not the best way to do things. It may work you to death assuming it does not slow you down and get you targeted.

    Shooting the media has become a modern trend. A kit which instantly identifies you as media may put you in the crosshairs. There is no one hand for yourself and one hand for the camera with the RED. It is hard to be instantly reactive and intuitive with a studio camera.

    A while ago, there was a US Army guy posting on reduser. He took a RED camera into a conflict zone when he was deployed there. How that worked out for him I do not know. He may well be a reader of these comments and have some good advice to give.

    Since RED pioneered 4K 35mm film format electronic motion imaging, there have been a number of compact 4K cameras arrive in the marketplace that are far more agile. When the Canon 7D arrived on the scene it became favoured. It was capable of high quality stills and HD motion imaging, not 4K.

    You now find the Blackmagic 4K and recently 6K cameras in the DSLR style. In the reliability stakes they may leave much to be desired. They are still early on the blocks so time and experience will have to build for their practical worth to become known.

    To be confident, you would need to take two camera bodies with you. Be prepared to take the financial hit of selling those camera bodies and replacing before they have a chance of laying down on you at the worst possible time.

    Do you have a well-known and trustworthy fixer arranged who is not going to sell you to the Talibs or to Daish?


    Finally listen to the advice of people more qualified than I who know their stuff.
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  8. #18  
    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.
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  9. #19  
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    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.
    That's the route I'd go if I felt trained enough to handle a compact cinema camera in those conditions. If I really wanted to be nimble though, I might opt for a GH5 both for small form factor and the IBIS.
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  10. #20  
    Senior Member Mark Phelan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherrick View Post
    That's the route I'd go if I felt trained enough to handle a compact cinema camera in those conditions. If I really wanted to be nimble though, I might opt for a GH5 both for small form factor and the IBIS.
    Or perhaps an Insta360 One X on a tall selfie stick. ;-)
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