A Dream Assignment For A Camcorder Professional
How would you like to spend two weeks shooting in Greece, Israel, and Egypt?"
It's the kind of phone call we all dream about getting. Travel to exotic lands, working in some of the most famously historic and photogenic locations on Earth ... who could resist? While my steady diet of corporate and industrial videos and multimedia keeps me challenged and interested, there could only be one answer.
My client, John Barber of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, had been working for over two years to bring this project to life. Two years earlier, we had shot the pilot for the program, called "Mr. Whistle's Thistle," a Christian-educational program for children. After years of hard work, John had finally put all of the pieces together necessary to produce a full series, and we began preparing to make the trip.
Our itinerary would include many of the famous locations in the region, the Acropolis, the pyramids at Giza, and numerous locations throughout Israel, including Jerusalem, The Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea.
The first item on my preparations list was procuring a camcorder for the trip. My own Sony broadcast camera would have to stay behind to work on other projects, so I arranged for the rental of a Sony BVW-600 package from Location Camera Services in Milwaukee. The BVW-600 is the hands-down favorite for high-end broadcast work, never failing to please me with the images it records. I looked forward with great anticipation toward traveling and working with the Sony for two weeks.
But then the project hit a snag. Our research into customs and location requirements revealed some unanticipated expenses. The three different countries would require three different sets of fees for bonding the equipment through customs. Those fees would add more than a thousand dollars to the travel budget. And then there were location fees and permits. A permit for the Parthenon alone would cost $1,000 per day. Permits for other locations, such as the Old City of Jerusalem, would create incredible tangles of red tape.
While "tight budget" is generally a redundant phrase in the production business, these expenses (not to mention …