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Matthew Kane

Shooting in the tropics; clothing, culture, etc

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TL;DR--the right clothing for a job. Sorry for the long post.

 

I may be shooting a film in Thailand sometime in the next year (the producer is a good friend with a great track record, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up--funding for indie features being what it is).

 

Pretty much the entire shoot will take place in a rice paddy with ankle deep water (a group of refugees are trapped in a mine field for much of the film). The producer knows the terrain, and says it'll be very hot and humid (I trust we'll be scheduling around the monsoon season, but I'm including quality rain gear in my must have list).

 

Most tourist guides assume I'll be shopping on main street, not climbing around a rice paddy.

 

We likely will not shoot during the hottest 3-4 hours in the middle of the day, but still--this is the tropics, probably during early Fall.

 

So I'm looking for clothes to protect from sun, rain, insects, and water, and hold up under a lot of physical work. Hats and footwear are of special concern. I've found some hiking guides that help, but I'm looking for specific recommendations on hats, waterproof footwear, shirts, pants, etc. Also, any helpful items I'm missing.

 

The part of the country we'd be visiting is fairly old fashioned. I've read that most Thai are pretty easygoing but I want to put my best foot forward. I've read shorts are considered sort of tacky (they denote physical laborers) but since I'll be doing physical labor, maybe that's not a problem? I'll have light, conservative clothes for city shooting and off days. My colleagues who grew up there will keep me from looking like a fool, but I'd like a non-local visitor's viewpoint as well.

 

My girlfriend thinks this hat is stupid:

http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/mens/mens-outerwear/mens-hats-mens-gloves/64108.aspx

 

I could be away for as long as two months, so anything I bring has to be durable and washable.

 

I don't want to look like an ignorant tourist, or a rich jerk. Simple is best.

 

Other advice on working in this environment is welcome. Aside from learning a bit of the language, I need to:

-look up proper vaccinations

-get prescription sunglasses, ha

-find a lightweight belt or harness to keep tools, lenses, and media out of the muck (I'll have an AC, but anything we can do to make our production lighter and easier to move about is a good thing--I'm sure we'll be hiking to some locations where carts will be impractical.

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I've done a shoot in Guam where weather condition are very alike. The sun blocker hat will definitely help.

 

I found myself shooting with tank tops and shorts. When we were in the humid jungles and grimy swamps, I just my trust waterproof Columbia hiking boots.

 

In most humid condition especially near water means heavy in Mosquitos, plan for that. Mosquitos in Guam was a hit or miss, but I never took any chances. After boxes of mosquito coils, I found that air softener worked like a charm. Rub on clothes and skin.

 

I also found myself ordering a portable hand fan that spritz water. That helped with the 91degree weather with an average of 60-90% humidity.

 

Hope this helps and hope your AC isn't lugging ATA cases up those rice pads.

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Thanks Tony.

 

Do you mean fabric softener? Now that I think of it, there's some superpowered bug juice a friend of mine got in the military, I should get some of that.

 

re: lugging cases... no, right now I think we'll be outfitted more like photojournalists. The monopod will be my friend.

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