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Amazon Tale

Video Projects in the Wild - Planning and More Planning By Miles Weston
Smooth Sailing - Every day, local Peruvians such as Joseph fish in the muddy Amazon River to feed their families.  It's not exactly the best for drinking or bathing.  

Filmmaker Cirina Catania loves a challenge but her recent project of filming survival training videos in the wilds of the Peruvian Amazon added a new chapter to her 30 years of experience. Temperatures hovered close to 100 degrees and the humidity was 87 percent.  

In addition, she faced severe equipment and weight restrictions in capturing the action in the jungle and on the river.  

Light, Tight - Filmmakers have to be extremely conservative with what they pack for shooting in the field.  It's even more critical in the middle of the jungle.  Catania inventoried her gear in her Lima hotel before heading down river.  Her packing included a minimum of clothing and accessories that were stuffed into an Explorer Case with her "less precious" gear while cameras, lenses and stories went in her carry-on backpack.  

For capture, she used a water-resistant Sony NX70, Sony A7r and two GoPros. Solar power was used to charge her cameras, sound equipment and storage devices, with cameras and sound equipment having the highest priority. 
Her MacBook Pro (in a water-resistant Explorer case) was limited to media management so a single charge would last as long as possible. 

To protect the beautiful scenes she was capturing, she saved it on several OWC 480GB Envoy Pro EX SSD drives. Never relying on just one copy, she also backed up the irreplaceable content on a 1TB NEXTODi which held a charge for a long time and required only occasional recharging when "spare" solar power was available.  

Backup - After every day's shooting, Catania stored the content on an OWC Envoy Pro and then backed it up with a NEXTODI unit packed in a sealed, waterproof bag.  

She noted that both storage devices are "screaming fast," which conserved precious battery power. Periodically, she would transfer the verified media from the Envoy Pro through the laptop to yet a third drive for more permanent storage ... just in case. 

"In wild and remote environments, filmmakers have to be very concerned about weight and reliability," she emphasized. "In addition, equipment has to be compact, lightweight and able to withstand unpredictable and rapid weather changes. "

"Then you can focus 100 percent of your attention on shooting the best story possible." she concluded.

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Undercover author Miles Weston has spent more than 30 years in the storage, software and video industry, indulging in, among other things, marketing activities in promoting PC, CE, communications, content technology and their applications . Contact Miles through his editor by clicking here.

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