Topics

Production in Elbrus Russia

jonas@...
 

We are planning a production at Elbrus Russia. Is it anyone here at the CML who has been there for production? Any suggestions for local production company? We know it's a unstable and unsafe area, what do you think about the safety aspects when it comes to do a production at the location?

Thanks, Jonas Nystrom

www.eaofilms.com jonas@... +46 702604210
Skytteskogsgatan 10, 41476 Göteborg, Sweden 

jonas@...
 

…and no response. Has not anyone been on Elbrus and filmed? Strange, as it seems you travel a lot here on the CML.
 
Well, another questions for you then:
 
1. You who have filmed in Russia and brought your equipment - have you had legal permit for do production in Russia? Some say you need it, others say you can go on a regular tourist visa. Did you travel with the carnet on the equipment?
 
2. We have had difficulty finding insurance companies that want to insure the equipment, because of the altitude for the production (3500 meters above sea level) and the fact that the Swedish Foreign Office advises against travel in the area. Do you have any tips on insurance companies that may be interested in insuring projects with (slightly) higher risk?
 
Thanks, 

Jonas Nyström

EACH AND OTHER LOGO.png

www.eaofilms.com jonas@... +46 702604210
Skytteskogsgatan 10, 41476 Göteborg, Sweden 

Alex Metcalfe DoP
 

You who have filmed in Russia and brought your equipment

I have filmed in Russia. We traveled from the UK with a RED kit.

Production dealt with the paperwork but we definitely had work visas and permits and came in with a Carnet. The Carnet was difficult as we flew first to Moscow and then took a connecting flight to Siberia. The equipment went straight from one flight to another and so the first time we saw the equipment was in Siberia. When we landed in Siberia we were told that the Carnet needed to be signed at Moscow as this was the first point of entry. It took a great deal of persuasion and about 8 hours to get the Carnet signed in Siberia and to be honest I think we were very lucky with the officer we dealt with. So my advice would be to get clear guidance from the Russian embassy about how to deal with point of entry for kit  or to have an overnight in the city that you first touch down in to deal with the Carnet.

We never got the Carnet signed on exit which I believe caused some issues for production down the line. There was no one available to deal with the export when we left so always best to check what opening hours the local customs have before booking your flights. In our case the customs was only open for about 2 hours a day and anyway we probably would have problems with definitions of point of exit.

Production dealt with Insurance so can't help you there.

Alex Metcalfe

DoP UK/Europe

www.alexmetcalfedop.co.uk



On 10/04/2018 19:11, jonasfilm@... wrote:
…and no response. Has not anyone been on Elbrus and filmed? Strange, as it seems you travel a lot here on the CML.
 
Well, another questions for you then:
 
1. You who have filmed in Russia and brought your equipment - have you had legal permit for do production in Russia? Some say you need it, others say you can go on a regular tourist visa. Did you travel with the carnet on the equipment?
 
2. We have had difficulty finding insurance companies that want to insure the equipment, because of the altitude for the production (3500 meters above sea level) and the fact that the Swedish Foreign Office advises against travel in the area. Do you have any tips on insurance companies that may be interested in insuring projects with (slightly) higher risk?
 
Thanks, 

Jonas Nyström

EACH AND OTHER LOGO.png

www.eaofilms.com jonas@... +46 702604210
Skytteskogsgatan 10, 41476 Göteborg, Sweden 

-- 
Alex Metcalfe DoP
00 44 (0) 7785 557611
www.alexmetcalfedop.co.uk

Bruce Alan Greene
 

I’ve traveled a few times to Russia with camera equipment and Carnet. Previously I went with a tourist visa and it was not a problem. But, production did hire a customs “fixer” who has “relationships” with some customs officers. These days, I’ve rented the equipment in Russia as it has become more difficult for me to fly with the Carnet from California on an airline that has a “media” rate for the excess baggage… In addition, today I would be concerned about arriving in Russia with camera equipment and a tourist visa. It could possibly cause some complications. Because you have a Carnet, you will deal with customs officers who may well inspect your passport. If it’s a small package, in regular suitcases, it might be best to skip the carnet, and just pretend you are a tourist. If a bigger package, you might need to see about a work visa before you travel. It would really help to work with a Russian producer who has experience with foreign crew and equipment. But of course, they may try to milk you dry of money if you don’t know them...

That said, if you arrive in Moscow with your equipment, you should have photographs of each packed case (as packed) and a photograph of the contents of each case spread on the ground with corresponding serial numbers. This makes it much easier for the customs officer to inspect the equipment, compare it to the list on the carnet, and stamp your Carnet. Sometimes they don’t look carefully, but sometimes they do. If you need to arrive in Moscow and transfer to a domestic flight, make sure that you go through immigration and customs with your equipment in Moscow (or where you land on your international flight) and leave lots of time to get the carnet stamped before your domestic flight. It’s possible that getting the Carnet stamped will take the better part of a day. Or it could be fast, or, you may need to take all your equipment to a completely different terminal for the carnet stamp. You get the idea.

As for insurance, my insurance company covers my equipment internationally, but they don’t cover it if it is seized by customs. Or for war or terrorism.

There is a lot of camera equipment available for rent in Moscow or St. Petersburg. In the end, you might find that easier, but they will insist on supplying you with a camera mechanic whom you will need to pay. They don’t trust insurance, so the mechanic is the insurance.

Hope this helps a little! Have a great adventure!!!!

Bruce Alan Greene
DP Los Angeles/Moscow :)

Luis Gomes
 

Well? I spent three weeks at Elbrus mountain in Georgia and that was way back in the nineties. We had our own equipment with us at all times. Hand luggage. That was the age of “bribes”. Hassle happened all the time, including having a local mayor that insisted on having a Mamiya RZ67 with lens or he would shut down the production. The production company had influence in Moscow so we sorted that out. We had an excellent guide “mogamed” that I am afraid is probably dead now and a Russian guide all the time with us ( was an nice guy but probably reported everything we did. When I say we had “everything” with us. I mean everything including toilet paper and booze. 
I am afraid my info is terribly outdate but on a practical side I can tell you that the Ski lifts are dangerous, the mountain is radioactive, one wrong turn going down ( we had skis) and your body will never be recovered and if you do climb over 4500 meters it’s a good thing to know that Elbrus is also a volcano that emits poisonous gas (depending on the wind directions) so having a oxygen tank may be a good choice. 
We had state of the art skis (even though that was in another “age”) but I saw Czech tourist with “shorts” and t shirts climbing all the way to the top. I interviewed two of those crazy dudes and they told me that this was their second climb in the day. 
But be warned. Since it’s a “winter” mountain weather will change from nice and sunny to Everest survival mode. 
It’s not fun if carrying heavy equipment. Go light :-)

Luís. 
Finland
Camera and post. 

Ps. One of ours helicopters crashed in the mountain killing everybody ( luckily I went in the next one), the second one failed on landing in a remote area and everybody had to walk back to camp and it was an uncharted area. So compasses (analog) and a “old school map” also a great idea. 
And by the way. It’s snow leopard area. Our second cameraman had a encounter with one of these magnificent cats. It was really close he said. 
He survived as well. 
And the UV will burn you Heavily. :-)
--
Gomes.luis@...
http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/luis-gomes/20/11b/335/
Freelancer video Professional. 
Finland. 

Luis Gomes
 

Oh my. Your question brings back memories. 
One last thing. Backpacks. Pro mountain ones. Keep both of your hands free all the time. 
If you hire a local guide (highly recommended) keep in mind that “locals” are hardcore and extremely fit, so if they say they know a good location with great shots? Be warned that it may include having a life threatening “fun time”. 
But it’s beautiful. Truly beautiful place. But hardcore. The French would love it. 

Luís. Over and out. 
--
Gomes.luis@...
http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/luis-gomes/20/11b/335/
Freelancer video Professional. 
Finland.