local camera operator
Shangri-La, Yunnan, Oct 2018
Hire local cameraman & rent gear for your documentary in Shangri-La, Yunnan
One of our best project for 2018; spending two weeks on top of the world shooting everything about wine production around Shangri-La valley. This is our second trip for such subject as client was very happy with our first visit in 2015. This time, it was not for an advertising but shooting a TV documentary. The subject is still the same but the way to produce a TV documentary differ. The TV crew also decided to rent the shooting gear directly to us. We provided a full package including a English/french/mandarin local camera operator and all shooting gear at once in Shangri-La. Below are more details about our adventure there.
It was right after a rainy September month, so Shangri-La’s lac flooded the surroundings.
Aerial video support
In such location, going without a drone will be a clear mistake as landscapes are just gorgeous. Every mountain is out of scale. In 2015, a DJI Inspire one was provided, but as technology evolved, a Mavic Pro 2 was the perfect match for this TV documentary. Flight range was always limited and dramatic weather or wind avoided. October is the best period to shoot in Shangri-la; the weather is nice and still warm to bring smart amount of clothes. This way, a local camera operator with a limited bag can take care of all needs. Our drone setup was a Mavic Pro version 2, plenty of ND filters as you an imagine. A package of 5 batteries and cards. As footage safety is always our concern. We changed card for every flight we performed. The altitude was not so much a trouble for this little bird, but attention to all electric cables should be paid.
We used the ClearSky monitor/controller with a specific 3D printed support. This way, it let the operator hand still able to control the touch screen in a very small form factor. The same charger can be used with the monitor and the drone, reducing also the total weight. Asking us about our shooting gear rental options is a great way to reduce potential mistakes. We have been there since 2005 and know the place pretty well!
Drone flying at Shangri-la
The surrounding of this city are now a no flight zone, so we stays on tripod for the temple.
But despite this limited area, the Shangri-La, Yunan, landscape seems infinite and our little bird manage quite a lot there. It was the best way to spot vineyard as they are spread around the valley with no other access than the air. Looking at this picture, you can see the tiny green trees alignment on the left side.
I was a bit worry about the lack of air and the need for specific propellers, but we actually always stayed above 3,000m so I did not feel that the Mavic pro 2 was not up to the task. The crystalSky monitor is a great addition and feels way more reliable than a phone. Battery wise, it can let you flight a full days with about 4 hours at full brightness!
Filming at high altitude
Shooting around 4,000 meters altitude could be way more tiring than you think. Every movement with an heavy bag start to be way more complicated. We usually suggest to arrive there at least one day prior to your shooting to acclimate a bit. Few people can feel very dizzy. Shangri-La, Yunan is not consider as high altitude, but within one hour drive, you will reach 4,000 m high road where all change suddenly.
We love our job and get prepare for such. Experience matters and we can help you planing such trip there too.
The beauty of each landscape is breath taking and living nature is right around the corner. We will not hesitate to get the best of it for you.
We select our outfit as our camera to not be catch by sudden rain or windy conditions. On top of the world, everything can change very quickly. Hiring the shooting gear from us ensure a that we know how to use it there. IT’s mandatory to bring ND Filters and rain cover ! It’s honestly a remote province in China and even simple AAA battery is not easy to find.
Raw nature videography
Even if we are more often shooting office interviews in Hong Kong or Shanghai, we love going out and this video filming in Shangri-La was a real pleasure to meet local people and herd. This footage will perfectly illustrate local life there. Milking cow, harvesting vine; plenty of colorful picture that you will see on your TV soon.
Even with limited filming equipment, all on a shoulder, you can get quickly ready to face whatever activity you will find around you. This Sony FS7 ENG specifically designed rig was perfect, you can rent it from us if you like. It uses a large camera battery with extra Dtap output to power a Zacuto EVF. The shoulder pad and arm extension, also from Zacuto helps to work perfectly stable. You can notice my elbow is static on my legs. The hand firmly controls the camera, the viewfinder is locked with my head. The shot is terrific and completely stable. We added a specific double plate on the top to add the Lavalier receivers to get as compact as possible.
Getting the right camera operator means someone who know the danger of nature, slippery terrain or wet stones. We will never take too much risks. This is another great shot from the white foamy river that I got for this TV documentary.
With such a light shooting setup, it was easy to walk around and get plenty of natural landscape and details. I’m clearly found of this Sony lens for such adventure. As we where shooting full HD, the center scan feature was also a great way to add some zoom range.
We recorded time-lapse video using the the internal time-lapse recording option of our FS7 to capture breathtaking footage. A small Sony DSLR body was also there to add more options on the editing.
Right before the sunrise… Early wake-ups are part of the work.
The 3 first minutes are available here. In French for sure!
Beautiful aerial to start with.
For this shooting, we provided a local camera operator, speaking French and English and basic Mandarin. The spoken language here being more the Tibetan dialect. The shooting gear was a kit of 2 FS7 4K Sony camera, zoom lenses and Sound lavalier microphone. For the aerial part, a DJI Mavic pro 2 was with us.
Hire our local camera operator and rent the shooting gear for your TV documentary in Shangri-La,Yunnan by following this link (contact us!)