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I Have All of the Cameras

October 3, 2017

...by renting them.

 It'd be great to have a RED Helium 8K at my immediate disposal. Or an Alexa XT. Or a Phantom Flex4K. It'd be better if I could have all of them. And not have to pay the price of owning and maintaining them. And that's what renting does for me.


There is no "best camera." There is no "one camera that does it all." That's why I own just enough gear to get me by. Cuz, more often than not, I'm renting the gear that fits the project in as many aspects as possible.

 Same goes for lighting and grip gear. Again, I have enough to limp me through an interview and some basic b-roll shooting. But I have no plans of owning high-powered lights, large flags and silks, roller stands, and lots of camera motion gear. There are just too many options out there today! It's overwhelming enough thinking through what's available and what best matches my need. I can't imagine owning a few more lights, only to wish that I owned a few different ones based on a new need that presents itself. Still boggles my mind that I can rent a grip truck that has so many great tools, along with the ability to carry so many more toys, for less than $500/day. Why would I ever buy one?

Which brings me to my next point: customer service. Rental houses have production people on staff that know what they have. They know what it does and doesn't do. They know how to operate and use the gear. I'm more likely to chat with the rental house associates to talk through what I'm trying to accomplish, and they can make suggestions about gear that I didn't even know they had! More than once I've walked in to my local rental house to pick up some items, only to walk out with gear that better suits my needs, just because I brought it up. 


Seems that there is a trend running amok where production houses desire to own gear so they can market that they own gear. Clients should find that insulting. These guys are counting on clients being ignorant of the current line-up of production gear and their availability to anyone who can find a rental house. I'd rather focus my efforts on marketing my abilities than to prove how well I can maintain overhead. 


There is certainly a case for owning some gear. Or even finding yourself a niche or specialty, and opting to own that gear tailored to that special market. High-payload drones, for instance. Or motion control rigs, underwater gear, etc. But, by owning a high-end cinema camera, you're not going to be able to market yourself as a cinema specialist when local rental houses have them readily available.


In Central Ohio, we're lucky to have two great rental facilities that offer everything from odd-job grip tools, to the best cameras and lenses available, and all the way to crew and even studios! Get to know your local facilities and investigate how adopting a gear-renting model could work for you.

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275 Mt Zion Rd NW
Lancaster, Ohio 43130

614 371 4448

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