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Old June 2nd, 2009, 05:46 PM   #1
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Equipment Sharing Idea-Comments Please

As I am evolving in the video field, I find that my time is split almost equally between shooting and editing. As many shooters do, I have made the investment in certain equipment, rather than rely on renting, so that I have better access for shooting on my own to develop my skills and capabilities. So, having a financial investment in the equipment needed for both those activities, it often strikes me that at all times, half of my business assets are not working for me. Thinking of ways to solve this problem have lead me to an idea about which I was hoping to get some feedback here in the forum by well informed professionals - that would be you!

Recently I had the opportunity to shoot with a jib for the first time so I thought I'd use this as an example. I love well-done motion shots and so would love to have a jib at my disposal. But rental of a jib set-up can be relatively expensive (compared to the price of purchase) or even impossible. And significantly, that means getting my hands on one to "practice" is equally difficult and discourages that approach.

What if I formed an "equipment co-op" with a handful of relatively local, like-minded professionals to purchase a jib system and share it. I have thought through the detailed logistics, which I won't bore you with here, but suffice to say there would be a system of administering a fair sharing arrangement involving an ongoing monthly fee rather than putting cash up front, a system to reserve, check out and check in, and written provisions for joining, opting out and potentially adding additional equipment.

The short question is, if you could get access to a "portfolio" of valuable but less frequently used equipment, like a jib, dolly, 2K lights, or whatever, and that you had a voice in selecting, AT A COST THAT IS MUCH LESS THAN STANDARD RENTAL, would that be appealing? Why or why not? I am not asking for participants here, just testing the mood for whether it is an appealing model.

And, thanks in advance for your thoughts, input and opinions,

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Old June 2nd, 2009, 07:38 PM   #2
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I might be a little biased in this regard (full-disclosure, I'm the President of the Bay Area Professional Videographer's Association: BAPVA), but you might consider joining your local PVA and networking with like minded folks. Many of our members have excellent equipment, or specialized talents that make them invaluable to everyone of us in the group. Meeting and getting to know these people personally has expanded my resources and references greatly. I know members who have jibs and would give me great rate on renting it. Better yet, I often hire the talent along with their equipment so that I can concentrate on my areas of expertise. Its a win-win.

This holds true for other aspects of production. One of our esteemed members owns a duplication facility, another is a certified color calibration technician. The larger the group, the greater chances that you can find what you need from within.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 01:53 AM   #3
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What about those of us who live in areas where there are other videographers, but no PVA? For instance, I don't consider myself close enough to the Bay Area or even Sacramento to be considered part of networking for sharing of equipment or even production availability. I like the idea of a co-op for people like myself.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 04:45 AM   #4
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I came up with a 'system' for a small group of shooters but never put it into effect - doesn't mean it can't work though.

Each of us has similar kit but you'll find some difference as well (I have a DV multirig Pro and my mate has a wally dolly)

if he needs my rig for a paying job - he rents it for the going rate, if he's doing a freebie or short film etc, he rents it but pays via a credit note. When I want to use the dolly for a non paying job I can use those credits to 'rent' the item.

It's just a way of getting past the reticence of some people to borrow or to lend gear - it only works with people you trust and deal with but it's worth a thought.
Cheers - Paul M. :
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