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Traveling to Cambodia next month for a gig...


Scott Baker
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Phnom Penh? Siem Reap? I would have a little different advice for different regions. Drink bottled water, and eat the little yogurts they sell everywhere to keep your insides functioning so that you can. Bring gear for both heat and rain. Keep some bills on you for bribes (it's pretty commonplace over there, don't be afraid to offer to get where you need to be). Try to have backups of absolutely everything you'll need for the shoot. There isn't much supply available geared toward our industry, and ordering replacements shipped in is next to impossible. You can order, but good luck receiving anything. I have heard that things are a little better now, but last operating there almost 4 years ago, the closest production center with any gear to speak of was neighboring Thailand.

 

Aside from that, I've found the Khmer generally to be some of the nicest, most generous people I've ever met. It is a gorgeous country like no other. Try to avoid getting stuck solely in the more touristy parts, get out and explore, and eat as the locals do.

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Yes, Cambodia is amazing and it changed my whole life after a 6 month stay there on a jungle /period movie. That's why I ended up in Thailand for 14 years now :).

Prepare to sweat buckets! While working, sleeping, walking. This can give problems with rash under armpits, buttocks, etc.

Always wear shoes, no slippers. I know the locals can do that but one little thorn cut, which WILL infect, can take you out. Be careful with street-food. Go only where other people are walking. There are still areas with mines... specially around remote temples.

Cambodia has a young population, due to the Khmer Rouge era, so its relatively easy to connect to the locals but be aware.

A lot of guys ended up staying in Cambodia after that shoot....

 

All the best,

 

Rob van Gelder

@

Lighthouse Film Service, Bangkok

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Phnom Penh? Siem Reap? I would have a little different advice for different regions. Drink bottled water, and eat the little yogurts they sell everywhere to keep your insides functioning so that you can. Bring gear for both heat and rain. Keep some bills on you for bribes (it's pretty commonplace over there, don't be afraid to offer to get where you need to be). Try to have backups of absolutely everything you'll need for the shoot. There isn't much supply available geared toward our industry, and ordering replacements shipped in is next to impossible. You can order, but good luck receiving anything. I have heard that things are a little better now, but last operating there almost 4 years ago, the closest production center with any gear to speak of was neighboring Thailand.

 

Aside from that, I've found the Khmer generally to be some of the nicest, most generous people I've ever met. It is a gorgeous country like no other. Try to avoid getting stuck solely in the more touristy parts, get out and explore, and eat as the locals do.

We're shooting in the coastal town of Sihanoukville.

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Just an update...things are going great in Cambodia so far. It's hot, humid and the production has been having a hell of a time dealing with the local beauracracy but we're having a blast and making an incredible film. The people here are so kind and I wish the gig wasn't ending so soon so I could stay longer.

Thanks again for the advice.

Fly safe y'all!

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