Monday, June 3, 2013

Going Global: Shooting in Hong Kong and Shanghai

I'm working on a new documentary with director Leslie Iwerks and it brought us to Hong Kong and Shanghai last month.

I had never traveled to the East so I was excited to see these regions of the world. Hong Kong is a very vibrant, international city. The downtown area is like New York's Times Square with all the neon ads and throngs of people. The weather was probably the most challenging part of the shoot. It was very muggy and rainy. One second the sun would be out and the next second, it would be pouring rain and we would be running for shelter as we tried to keep our equipment dry.


Hong Kong Store


Harbor in Hong Kong

Temple in Hong Kong

Rain Clouds in Hong Kong

Hong Kong at Night

Shooting Broll in Hong Kong
Hong Kong at Night

Pad Thai in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Street Vendors

Hong Kong Street Vendors
Hong Kong Street

Berries from the U.S. in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Shop 


View of Hong Kong from Ferry
Me in Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shooting Pics of Hong Kong

View from Restaurant

Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong at Night
The best part of the Hong Kong adventure was working with the amazing team in Hong Kong. They were incredibly organized and supportive, which is important when you are flying thousands of miles to shoot and only have a small timeframe to get everything you need.

At the end of the shoot, I shipped the camera equipment back to the States because we wouldn't need it in Shanghai. Talk about adventure! I had no idea how tricky it would be ship batteries - especially the larger Anton Bauer batteries we like to use with our camera. DHL won't even ship batteries. And lithium batteries over a certain size are very difficult to ship. So we rented Nickel-based batteries (which are deemed safer for air travel). Even still, we had to ship the camera equipment DHL but the batteries via Fed Ex.

Why two different carriers? Well, DHL was about half the cost and since they wouldn't take the batteries, we had to split the shipments. Doesn't sound like a big deal right? Well for production, it took us a while to figure all of this out and come up with this plan, fill out all the paperwork, and get the equipment to the right carriers. It doesn't end with the shipping. The camera equipment got stuck in customs in LA for about a week and two of the batteries went missing for a few days. They surfaced after our camera house called and forced an investigation. That's just a little insight into what may seem minor but can mean multiple man hours figuring out.

Following our week in Hong Kong, we flew north to Shanghai and had immediate relief with the weather. It was cool and dry in the 70s. Like Hong Kong, Shanghai is also bustling. They have over 20 million people as compared to Los Angeles with its 4 million. A bit of a difference. We had a great time touring Shanghai and meeting with possible interviewees. One of my favorite places is an area called the French Concession. It consists of street vendors, bars and eateries.


Water Town Shanghai
Water Town Shanghai
Water Town Shanghai
Water Town Shanghai
French Concession Shanghai
French Concession Shanghai
French Concession Shanghai
Shanghai


The Bund, Shanghai
The Bund, Shanghai
The Team in Shangahi


We go back to Shanghai again soon. Prep begins in about a week. I hear the weather will be hot and muggy when we go back. Thank goodness for Columbia and North Face outdoor gear! I stocked up this past weekend. I think I'm ready!

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