Shooting on Rivers

If dealing with transportable boats, choose as few and as convenient locations as possible that can satisfy the script. Location moves take a lot of time and if one location can look different by changing camera position and treatment stay where you are. Recycling rafts will get faster. Consider multiple matching boats and recycle only talent, but not boats in one-way situations, such as around rapids.

I have found rafting companies very helpful and often provided able talent when Hollywood actors didn't do very well at handling the rafts.

For shooting hand held I used the Horse Collar described elsewhere from a larger raft if the talent raft was smaller. If a matching color larger raft is available it can make it easier for in-the-raft shots.

Cameras on poles and lines can get passes under camera. Poles can allow tilts. A 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" pipe inside a 2"IPS aluminum pipe is very stable. Mount the camera center of gravity. Attach the camera to the inner pipe with a lever to tilt the camera. A camera on a line can be tilted with a lightweight pole such as a pole vault pole. A trolley shot on a line could be interesting.

Things to think about. Wet suits if water is cold. Many rivers warm by afternoon. Sun burn protection. Bridges, hand ropes/rails, ramps, etc. to make recycling boats and talent easier. Towing a raft upstream is hard. Check lighting in canyons. Have sun program, map and compass. Explain to your local contact what you need and be prepared to flow with actual conditions if they are not exactly what you envisioned. Know what local regulations and customs are and respect them. Other shooters will follow you. Long ladders can be helpful in very steep areas. We have shot off Dexter track hung over cliffs. Don't cantilever too much from an extension ladder. Keep operator and camera close to the ladder.

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