When taking on a new filming project, you must take into consideration the location of the project, the time frame the project will take place in, and the abilities of the crew and equipment you are going to use during the project. During the filming of the 20th season of "Hier Gaan Ons Alweer", a television show airing on DSTV, we were met with harsh conditions for the camera crew as well as the camera equipment. When taking on this project we had to take the following into consideration;
1. The "Crew"
The first stretch of the 20th season of "Hier Gaan Ons Alweer" took place alongside multiple freshwater dams and rivers in the Freestate, North West and Gauteng provinces in South Africa.
The crew consisted out of 4 anglers, 4 helping hands and 3 camera operators.
2. Camera Equipment
Each one of us had an HD camera with a high-quality microphone on a shoulder mount as well as a Go-Pro camera.
Due to the nature of the program, the camera equipment had to have some sort of protection against the elements and for that reason, the equipment used are all water and dust resistant, with the Go-Pro being able to be submerged underwater.
For lighting for the evening shots, we used two Godox LEDP260c lights with a FlexoPower battery pack. This ensured that we got beautiful scenery shots we used the DJI Mavic 2 Pro with a set of ND Filters. https://www.outdoorphoto.co.za/godox-ledp260?tracking=610d442f1baa8
3. Sleeping Arrangments
We, the camera crew, were instructed to capture: the talent, the fishing crew, catching fish; the talent explaining the lure they were using; beauty shots of the location, close-up shots of the fishing equipment and drone footage of the locations.
Each one of us had our own tent, self-inflatable camping mattress and two sleeping bags. We pitched our tents next to each other behind the talent to ensure that our camp would not show up on any of the camera angles, but still close enough to the talent so that we can hear them if filming is required.
4. Camera and Battery management
The show got a sponsor from Conqueror to use a few caravans and accessories during filming to review. This came in handy for us as we could use one of the side panels of the caravan as a charging station. This helped keep the batteries and cameras out of the dust, water and the sun.
With the locations being very remote, we had to use Solar Panels in conjunction with a FlexoPower Lithium444 Power Pack to charge all the batteries for the cameras, drone, and filming lights. With good management and readily available sunshine, we had fully charged batteries for all filming equipment throughout the project.
5. Food and snacks
Being part of the camera crew, you are on your feet 80% of the time with the added weight of the camera and accessories on your shoulders. Due to the nature of the type of show we were filming, we were in the sun for most of the day and we were running around like headless chickens.
With that in mind, being hydrated and well-nourished was a big concern. During the day, we were drinking filtered water which we bought between stops and electrolyte drinks. We had a bunch of protein bars to keep our energy levels up and some nuts and raisins to eat in between filming sessions. Getting liquids and protein in our bodies during the day helped a lot with fatigue and the prevention of heat stroke.
For the storyline of the program, it was important we get footage of the talent preparing and cooking their dinner each evening. Each evening the talent was cooking meat and side dishes on an open fire. This made it easy for us to put a few pork chops or boerewors on the grill as well as heat up some ready-made meals with them.
A result of this is, we could enjoy dinner with everyone else, pack away the camera gear and get a well deserved night of sleep.
While travelling in South Africa for the first leg of the tour, the sleeping and eating arrangements and the charging setup was all the same between all the different locations. For the second part of the tour, we travelled to the beautiful country of Namibia, to the remote destination of the Kunene River Mouth. We will go into detail in the next article of the series.