10 things I’ve learnt from 10 years of Media Production in Palau

Media Production Palau

I’ve been a Media Producer in various guises in Palau for 10 years now, initially as an underwater cameraman with a little bit of topside work thrown in, then diversifying into Time-lapse, run n’ gun, aerials (drone and aircraft), interviews etc.

Palau has changed a lot in those 10 years and this has made me change with it.

Here are 10 things (actually 11) I’ve learned about Media Production in that time:

So many cameras
  1. Now more than ever people have cameras, as a dedicated cameraman I’m being squeezed by the ready availability of cameras. Everyone over the age of 5 seems to have one (gross over generalization, I know). So now more than ever I have to be inventive with my imaging, flexibility and the old cliche of thinking outside the box are more important than ever before. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques, think about a sequence or image you want to acquire, no matter how crazy or impossible it first appears to be, then work out how to do it. Dare to be different.
aerial media production palau
Go Pro sticky pads are very sticky….I’m in the cabin with a WiFi feed to my iPad directing the pilot for good framing…..
Underwater Time-lapse. Underwater camera, underwater media production, underwater photography.
Underwater Time-lapse of Coral Bleaching using a firmware hack to provide my Canon with an intervalometer, repeat visits over a 4 month period.

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Fixer services for international productions in Palau.

As international media productions go, the first Survivor Palau was big. It needed location scouts, fixer services, permits, talent, crew, camera assets, camera rentals, customs clearence, vehicles and accommodations. All things the production team needed to know about BEFORE they got off the plane for the production shoot.

Even small scale productions need these things so it’s important to not underestimate the value of a local fixer.

Ocean Warriors Palau production required considerable preproduction and fixer services
Lightning Strike Productions provided in country support throughout the Animal Planet shoot for Ocean Warriors

This is where having an experienced and well connected local crew can save you time and money. We can ensure you get what you need to deliver your project on budget and on time.

Remove the stress of production

A location shoot doesn’t have to be stressful. It shouldn’t be stressful with research and finding the right guys on the ground to get things done for you. If things for whatever reason don’t pan out, and sometimes no amount of research will stop it, it’s good to have people there that are focused and can still deliver.

Assistant cameraman and safety diver prepare for an underwater shoot in Palau
Safety diver and assistant cameraman discussing lighting and camera positions.

Pooling your resources is important. Having what you need a phone call away is something that only a well connected and experienced fixer can provide. After all, it’s not what you know it’s who you know. No amount of years filming  will enable you to get an interview with the President at short notice or find you the village elder that can deliver the story clinching quotes.

Get the best fixer services with the Lightning Strike Team in Palau

Lightning Strike Media Productions has at it’s disposal an accumilation of decades of media production, journalism and living in Palau experience. If you are a Producer, DP, camaraman or one man production unit, you should let us help you realise your production goals. We work closely with the Government and NGOs on a variety of projects so have great contacts and experience where it matters. No other company can provide the same level of fixer services in Palau. See this post for more information, or see out webpage here.

Our clients have included Discovery Channel, ABC Australia, CNN, Arte, ZDF, Al Jazeera, Economist magazine and the BBC along with numerous ad agencies and independant producers.

Contact us to discuss your project.