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Advice for shooting in France

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    Advice for shooting in France

    U.S. client wants me to shoot promos in Cannes next month.
    I'll be shooting with my U.S. 5D MKII at 24p.

    Our only light source will be a LitePanel LED.
    Any concerns about strobing from b/g practical lighting or TV monitors due to 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second?

    Audio will be wired into a Zoom H4N. Would a Senheisser G3 wireless system work okay?
    Any advice on plug adapters for laptop and camera batt's etc?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by bill totolo; 05-22-2011, 11:36 AM.
    Bill Totolo

    You must shoot at 1/50 or 1/30 in Europe because of the cycles anytime you have an electrical light source.
    No problem with the Sennheisers as long as they are running off of batteries.

    You will need standard continental 2 prong adapters with THIN prongs. The thicker ones have an earthed female recepter as opposed to the US 3rd male prong. I say THIN because it is an older non earthed standard that you often find in older buildings and the thick plug versions wont fit without an adapter. Try googling images of these plugs to understand what I am talking about.


      Thanks Yoclay,

      Sounds like shutter speed pretty much stays the same as most of us already shoot at 1/50 since it's as close as we can get to 1/48.

      Thanks for the tip on the adapters.
      Bill Totolo


        When are carnets required?
        Bill Totolo


          You should be OK in France I've only had to get one for Swiss



            Carnet for what? Everybody is carrying EOS-5D or better cameras around nowadays.

            Why not shoot 25p, no flicker problems. Confirm the footage to 24p and nobody will notice it is running 4% slow.



              I'm bringing a Vinten tripod, RedRock EyeSpye, Zoom, Two bodies, lenses, wireless audio, laptops, monitors, hard drives, etc, etc.
              If Philip Bloom can travel around the world, I'm assuming I shouldn't have a problem, but I hate assuming anything.
              Bill Totolo



                Sorry if I offended, I was thinking just 5D & zoom.

                But, the gear list does not look all that big, fairly standard pro gear people lug around, should not raise any eyebrows on western borders. If there are more than one person in your party, split the gear between you a bit.


                  Offended, geez no! I have to learn to soften my me replies.

                  I appreciate the feedback, I'm looking to learn from other people's experiences.
                  Been shooting for over 15 years but have never traveled to Europe.

                  As it stands this gig is still tentative, they're weighing the benefits of sending a staffer vs. a freelancer.
                  Unfortunately the staffer's are usually underpaid and budget is a factor.

                  Thanks again!
                  Bill Totolo



                    Usually, you do not need the Carnet for going INTO Europe.

                    You need it for U.S. Customs coming BACK.

                    Ask me how I know.
                    Matt Gottshalk
                    Director of Production


                      Don't trust the women.

                      They are man-eaters.

                      If cinematography wasn't infinite, I'm sure I would have found the end by now.


                        Carnets are never required. They are an option however all countries require some type of documentation for commercial goods/equipment being imported (temporarily or otherwise) into their country. You can use the carnet for both importing into another country and re-importing into the U.S. Or you can use the CBP4455 for the US and whatever each foreign country requires. One advantage to the carnet is that it is a uniform international customs document for 71 countries.


                          And I'll add my 2 cents since I just got back from London and Paris (in that order) with 9 bags loaded with gear that I used over the course of a week:

                          I sent one case back (packed with audio gear) with the producer who returned home (to the US) before I did and he said all he got were a few questions from customs.

                          I returned with 8 pieces of luggage/cases and got one or two questions about what I (and a 2nd crew member) were doing abroad and we were through customs in about 2 minutes, if that.

                          I attempted to get a carnet before leaving the US but the dimwits I applied to ( could not reach me for whatever reason, so we saved almost 400 bucks because the transaction was never finalized.
                          Last edited by Chris Santucci; 06-07-2012, 06:20 AM. Reason: Paris for France
                          Indie Film Technique


                            The French are very easy with incoming Americans. In twenty years of coming and going I have never had a problem.
                            The British are a whole other story. They are much more fearful of people working on their soil and will not hesitate to grill folks in an equal opportunity manner.