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    F3 heading to Mexico any tips?
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    So I'm heading to Puebla Mexico on Monday as part of a crew doing a doc. The A cam is a Sony f900 and I'll be the b cam taking my f3 with the Sony stock primes and a red 50-150 lens. I will mostly be getting b roll an beauty shots of the city it's people and surrounding areas. I have never shot outside the us before so if any one has any tips or thing I should b awar that would b much appreciated, also any tips on getting a good image while shooting with only natural or existing light woul also be helpful.

    Thanks in advance
    Mike Jeffs
    Video Production Coordinator
    BYU-Idaho


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    #2
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    Feb 2011
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    Take proof of purchase with you to prove you did not buy the equipment in Mexico. Otherwise you might have to pay duty on the equipment when you return to the US.


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    #3
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    Carnet. Carnet. Carnet. I have not experienced it but once heard a story of Mexican customs demanding large deposit.


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    #4
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    Looking forward to seeing the F900 and F3 footage side by side. My money is on the F3.


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    #5
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    I've filmed in Mexico several times and have had nothing but trouble. They don't recognise the Carnet systems and if they are in the mood, they will sieze your gear for days while they "arrange documentation". On a three day shoot they seized our gear, even though we had a Carnet, any returned it to us just as our plane was leaving three days later. Despite completely the shoot with locally hired gear, they made us sign the import documentation allowing us to import our cameras. As the plane was pulling back, they left the rear staircase down and it was scraping on the ground. We still took off but that's another story. I've always had better luck wit the land border crossings from the US, but the airports are troublesome.
    Peter Corbett
    php.com.au


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    #6
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    I've shot in Mexico quite a few times without any issues. Here's my advice:

    As mentioned, a carnet is always your best bet, but they are somewhat expensive and the process of getting one is a bit cumbersome. If you're working on a legit production with a real budget, a carnet should be provided to you by the production company. An lesser alternative is filling out a "certificate of registration" form that can be found on the US customs website. It's free. You fill out a complete list of your gear...everything...with and without serial numbers. When you have that filled out, you take it (along with all the gear that appears on the list) to your local customs office and have an agent compare the list to the actual equipment sitting there and then stamp the form. Do this a day or two before you travel. I've never driven across the border so my experience is only with air travel.

    Anyway, those two options can help protect you from trouble as you re-enter the US with your equipment. You have to remember to tell US customs you have a carnet or a certificate as you clear customs on your return to get the list stamped again.

    What can happen south of the border is another matter. Like I said, I've had good luck dealing with Mexican officials, but I have had issues in 3rd world countries. My advice if you run into trouble: It never hurts to have a few hundred dollars of cash in your wallet in case any unexpected "fees" pop up. Never lose your cool or argue with officials. Be patient and friendly...even if there's trouble you will get through, but you may have to play a waiting game as these people justify their existence. And never, ever offer money as a bribe...they always prefer to make bribes look like official fees. Keep you mouth shut and go with the flow.

    Lastly, and more importantly, experienced production managers know it's always a great idea to hire a local "fixer" with production experience to not only help you navigate the country while shooting, but good fixers always meet you at the airport or border to help "translate" as you deal with local officials. An experienced production fixer can be worth their weight in gold.

    Happy travels!
    ___________________________________________

    J.Cummings-Lighting Cameraman
    www.cameralogictv.com


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    #7
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    Oh, and by the way, if there's any trouble, make sure you make it clear you're in the country to shoot a news documentary...not a feature. I have heard that Mexico is very protective of their local production industry and can make your life hell if you don't have permits. Documentaries should have no such issues, theoretically. A fixer you have hired down there will have addressed these issues well before you even pack your gear...
    ___________________________________________

    J.Cummings-Lighting Cameraman
    www.cameralogictv.com


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    #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Kist View Post
    Looking forward to seeing the F900 and F3 footage side by side. My money is on the F3.

    We did some side by side test shoots the other day to prepare. And yes I would say I like the f3 better, but the shoot is more comfortable with the 900.
    Mike Jeffs
    Video Production Coordinator
    BYU-Idaho


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    #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCummings View Post
    Oh, and by the way, if there's any trouble, make sure you make it clear you're in the country to shoot a news documentary...not a feature. I have heard that Mexico is very protective of their local production industry and can make your life hell if you don't have permits. Documentaries should have no such issues, theoretically. A fixer you have hired down there will have addressed these issues well before you even pack your gear...

    Gret advice thank you all. We do have a "fixer" of sorts he is a local mexician citizen and a campus administrator. He has primarily been working with government officials to set up a online college program, which is what we are going shoot. So hopefully we don't run into too much trouble . Also yes we do have some "fee" money set aside just in case. We have also hired a local taxi for the week to travel us around, a alumi of the school, at a fixed rate.


    Any thoughts on stay safe and protected while doing run and gun b roll of local public parks building ect?
    Mike Jeffs
    Video Production Coordinator
    BYU-Idaho


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    #10
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    Mexico is now a carnet country. Do it right, as others have said, get a carnet, and you won't have an issue whatsoever.


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