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10 Tips for Shooting Video in Sydney

Posted by Alexa Fried on March 25, 2016

Sydney, Australia is an amazing location for filming. The city is home to the world’s largest natural harbor, a plethora of landmarks, as well as gorgeous and unique landscapes from picture perfect to a more nuanced setting. From traffic to landscape to culture, there’s a lot involved with a shoot taking place in Sydney. Before you head to the Land Down Under, check out our top tips for shooting video in Sydney:

10 – In order to be properly prepared for any type of shoot and avoid unnecessary delays, check out the informative www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au. Usually you will not have a problem with permits if you’re filming something low key in the street doing stand-up or shooting b-roll. When you get to the landmarks, national parks, even public transportation, that where things begin to get tricky. As far as drones go, you must be CASA certified to operate a drone for commercial filming.

9 – No matter what the nature of your video is, make sure to know all the legal and ethical protocols when working with Indigenous cultural content. It is highly important to the indigenous people to maintain their integrity throughout the filming process. Also, it would be beneficial to hire an advisor to consult with to make sure the footage being used does not cause issue with the culture and their sacred customs.

8 – Australia offers some of the world’s primary underwater ecological life that people come to see from all over the world. It is fine to film in any of the National Parks, just make sure the filming does not involve killing, injuring, taking or moving a member of a listed threatened species, you will need a permit under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

7 – The Centennial Parklands was actually one out of the twelve filming locations used in the most recent version of the Great Gatsby. The scenes of Gatsby’s estate were shot here for the feature film but the crew was sure to do their part in protecting the natural wildlife. There was one tree in particular they actually built a set around in order to leave it unharmed. Centennial Parklands has been home to many other types of productions, large and small, thanks its picture perfect scenery and historical architecture.

6 – The Sydney Harbour Bridge offers many unique vantage points for those interested in shooting one of the largest steel arch bridges. Known to locals as the ‘Coathanger’ because of its arch shape, this landmark is one of the most predominantly known, visited, and filmed/photographed spots in not just Sydney but all of Australia!

5 – The Royal National Park is known to locals as the ‘Nasho’ or simply ‘the Royal,’ and is the world’s second-oldest national park. The park is only about an hour away from downtown Sydney and offers a unique world filled with opulent greenery and variety of plants including those of a rainforest as well as animals, birds, and even beaches. The park is a great place for shooting some scenic b-roll shots thanks to dense plant life. Just be sure to get your permits in check before heading over! Just be wary there is a filming permit range from $600 – $2700 a day, depending on the type of filming.

4 – “Made by many hands” is the phrase everyone knows when referring to the Rocks. We asked our DPs where there was a place flooding with live music harbor cruises, mouth- watering eats, fabulous views, and even ghost tours, the Rocks really has it all. If your crews are looking for some down time activities, the Rocks is sure to have what they need.

3 – Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead! Did I mention to make sure to plan ahead?! According to www.drive.com.au, Sydney is the ranked the 7th worst city for road congestion, just behind L.A.! Also be sure your crew has more than just quarters ready for parking. Sydney is a very expensive city, so much so that a parking station will cost $AUD 75-90 a day.

2 – Australia is BIG and Sydney is Australia’s largest city with a booming population to show. Located on Australia’s east coast, the vast city neighbors the Blue Mountains, hundreds of beaches, the Harbour Bridge, and a variety of landmarks such as the Opera House and the Royal National Park. The city itself is home to 4.39 million residents according to the 2011 census. Sydney is about 4,775 square miles, to put in perspective that is about the same size as Connecticut! Be sure to put this into your planning for shooting with your crew as it could take hours to go from point A to point B.

1 – The lucky citizens of Sydney enjoy a mostly sunny and warm climate year round consisting of more than 340 sunny days a year according to www.Australia.com. Also be sure to remember that Australia is located in the southern hemisphere meaning summer there is winter here in the United States. Worried about getting rained on your shot? Not a problem! Be sure to just check the local forecast because the spread is pretty even throughout the whole year, no surprises for you around the corner!

So when you are headed to the land down under for one of a kind footage, remember the essentials! Plan ahead for timing and scheduling as well as make sure you have all your permits in check. The vast areas of foliage and open spaces are readily available as well as other natural commodities. When you are finally all wrapped up with shooting, don’t forget to grab a coldie with your crew at the Rocks to get that truly authentic Australian feel. If you’re in need of a video crew in Sydney, click here for a free quote! Also find us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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