Media Allowance for Heavy Camera Gear

Old Oct 13, 10, 11:47 am
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Media Allowance for Heavy Camera Gear

Greetings intrepid travelers!

Is anyone aware of an extra weight allowance for working media? I cringe at the thought of checking expensive camera gear (two camera bodies plus 5-6 lenses) so I always carry it on. I have heard heresay that there is an allowance but I can't find it detailed anywhere.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 13, 10, 12:37 pm
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Most DOPs bring their Betacams on board and usually have one other case (often soft sided but padded) for lenses and batteries. The rest goes in the belly in aluminum cases which have fan cut out linings. I've never needed special dispensation to take this much on board when my crews have flown domestic of international on most carriers, either cabin. But we do all board when elites are called if we're in the back.
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Old Oct 13, 10, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by AgonyWagon View Post
Greetings intrepid travelers!

Is anyone aware of an extra weight allowance for working media? I cringe at the thought of checking expensive camera gear (two camera bodies plus 5-6 lenses) so I always carry it on. I have heard heresay that there is an allowance but I can't find it detailed anywhere.

Thanks!
They won't insure it for full value in the hold so they're ultimately pretty lenient. Grip gear and sticks in pelicans/tuffpaks in the hold. Cameras and glass in the cabin in the smallest case you can find that'll fit. Bring your VISA if you've got a lighting kit etc as well.

Just don't do like the moron I saw on my way back from GVA a few months ago... Brand new HDCAM camera, complete w/sungun and shotgun w/windsock, anton bauer bla bla bla. just tossed in the overhead w/o case.

Takeoff roll... *Thud* above my head. Guh. Donation to Canon/Fuji's realignment svcs dept? :P

Oh, and I don't know how far you're going but check import laws etc. at your destination. Its not always as simple as walking though.
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Old Oct 13, 10, 3:19 pm
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I've flown with an SNG Satellite terminal as my luggage (not fun, I don't recommend it).

If you're flying with any of this kind of gear internationally, I strongly recommend that you get a Carnet for it. This is basically like a passport for your gear.

When you leave Canada, you have to go and find the Canada customs at the airport as you leave, have them sign and stamp the paperwork. When you arrive at your destination, the country of import as a sheet they stamp and sign. When you leave to return to Canada, you then get a third sheet stamped on re-exportation, and finally, a fourth sheet gets stamped as you re-enter into Canada. A real pain in the arse, but worth every penny when you're in this biz.

Info on Carnets is here: http://www.chamber.ca/index.php/en/c...certification/

They're sticklers for having every paper stamped (this can become more important if you travel to officious countries like India) so make sure you go through the entire procedure every single time.
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Old Oct 14, 10, 5:12 pm
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Thanks all for the replies.

So far I have been traveling with two cameras and 4-6 lenses. I have the ThinkTank Airport Acceleration which is a great carry-on legal bag, but heavy with everything in it. I have been questioned a couple of times about the weight at security but have never had to check it at the gate. I now travel with a Pelican case which is also carryon size, just in case they make me check it.

A carnet sounds interesting. At what $ threshold do you think it is worthwhile? I usually travel with $20K worth of stuff, and it raised a few eyebrows last time I cleared US Customs at YYC.
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Old Oct 14, 10, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by AgonyWagon View Post
Thanks all for the replies.

So far I have been traveling with two cameras and 4-6 lenses. I have the ThinkTank Airport Acceleration which is a great carry-on legal bag, but heavy with everything in it. I have been questioned a couple of times about the weight at security but have never had to check it at the gate. I now travel with a Pelican case which is also carryon size, just in case they make me check it.

A carnet sounds interesting. At what $ threshold do you think it is worthwhile? I usually travel with $20K worth of stuff, and it raised a few eyebrows last time I cleared US Customs at YYC.
You're lucky you got away with it for this long. I carried a $60k Frame Synchronizer from the US into Ottawa (YOW is the WORST for this stuff) and if I hadn't been able to tell the crusty customs agent I'd worked on some of her favourite shows at SRC I'd have been screwed

Carnets are the answer but are laborious and expensive. Like insurance, you only need it when you need it. And when you need it, you need it bad.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 12:00 am
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i remember a CBC guy having to PAY overweight baggage charges at AC 2 years ago. It was Camera equipment.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 12:42 am
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Originally Posted by why fly View Post
i remember a CBC guy having to PAY overweight baggage charges at AC 2 years ago. It was Camera equipment.
That's why I only hire DOPs who are also at least Elites, so we get at least 6 checked bags...5 are his, 1 is mine! Pretty much covers sticks and lights and sound and tapes (in those linear days). And the Carnet is essential for any out of country shooting.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by why fly View Post
i remember a CBC guy having to PAY overweight baggage charges at AC 2 years ago. It was Camera equipment.
Of course he did. Why would we be exempt? I know people who drop more $$$ in extra "bags" then on the airfare itself. C'est la vie.

FedEx etc are not an option - they break stuff more often than airlines.
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