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View Full Version : Documentary Production in Outer Mongolia



Johnnyfive
03-20-2006, 05:58 PM
Hello!
I mgiht be visiting rural Outer Mongolia some time this year. I was wondering if anyone had any experience shooting over there? Do's and Don'ts, Permits, and any advice what so ever? Thanks!

versioncity1
03-22-2006, 05:41 AM
never shot in Mongolia itself but have shot in the northern deserts of China, Afghanistan & Tajekistan
Off the top of my head....

technically-
Take a second camera
A water/sand proof housing is essential
lots of stock and back up batteries
A couple of battery operated lights.

Logistically-
If your going with a crew (and look like a crew) then get permissions
Notify your embassy
Find some fixers before you get there if possible
Don't underestimate how slow travel can be in these regions.
Unless the content of your programme is controversial, don't bullshit the authorities. if you have to lie then be really careful and make sure you have a good cover story.

I did some filming in North west China, had several meetings with chinese embassy before I went and still ended up getting arrested and thrown in prison for 4 days. Believe me I've shot in lots of dodgy countries and Chinese authority is something else; no joking I found the Taliban easier to deal with.

Make sure you have plenty of hard cash, if your going anywhere remote then cards etc are useless.

Have you any specific concerns?

Johnnyfive
03-22-2006, 11:37 AM
My concerns were mostly technical and about permits. I might be going with someone who knows the country and language to get me around. Power might be a concern, Ill definitely stock up on batteries etc... but have you used/know about any of those solar chargers out in the market... Any other suggestions in general. Thanks!

pmark23
03-22-2006, 07:04 PM
I shoot in this region (Central Asia).

Permits may be important, but may cause you problems as well. May be better to pretend to be an enthusiastic tourist. If worse comes to worse, you can "buy" permits on the spot (ie bribe). Your guide will know best.

Bring several batteries, but don't weigh yourself down with them. I go through one battery per day, so two or three are enough for me. I haven't had problems finding power. A 12V power inverter will be more useful that solar, though you'll find that even most Yurts have power running to them.

People here are very politically sensitive. Don't piss anyone off or you'll find yourself quickly deported! Better not to do anything of a political nature unless you've got friends in high places within the local government. Your Embassy will be almost powerless to help you once you get in trouble.

mmf1pitt
11-29-2006, 09:59 AM
Did you ever make it over to Mongolia? I'm heading over there from May-August 2007 to do a doc on the Tsan herders and Khazaks in the western region. My main concern is power supply for batteries.

Any problems with authorities while you were there?

Thanks,

Manny

IanBJohnson
12-22-2006, 08:29 AM
Did you ever make it over to Mongolia? I'm heading over there from May-August 2007 to do a doc on the Tsan herders and Khazaks in the western region. My main concern is power supply for batteries.

Any problems with authorities while you were there?

Thanks,

Manny
Have you looked into any Global Solar solutions? I know Mongolia isn't the sunniest of places, but it may do the trick.