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Old November 11th, 2011, 11:21 PM   #1
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Renting my equipment?

I've spent many years reading things about film making, cameras, and equipment. I've finally invested a "pro" level camera, and am picking up support gear, that matches at a similar high level. The camera and all this gear is for my personel use (wanna be indie film maker). I have a day job, that isn't in the video/film making world, although Id like to turn my hobby into more at some point. I've read, in different post, and on different blogs and sites across the net, about renting ones equipment out, to help recoup some of the costs. I was wondering if anyone does this, and how they go about doig this? I figure at some point I'll be building a website/blog, about the things I'm doing, and to post my work. I thought at that time, I could add rental information on there.

Besides my camera (Sony fs100), I'll be adding to my gear a Kessler 8/12 for crane, and dolly system, vinten fluid head tripod, shoulder mount system, steady cam, and over time a host of support lens. I've talk to my insurance company about covering my camera (for personel use), but if I can wrap my head around the rental thing, I will definitely talk to them about insuring for business.

Any advice?

Thanks as always,
Jeff
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Old November 12th, 2011, 02:03 AM   #2
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Re: Renting my equipment?

Adding renting out cover to the insurance adds to the premium costs. The camera rental companies' insurance usually doesn't cover the gear when it's hired out, that becomes the responsibility of the hirer. It's one of the items on production insurance and hired in equipment can also be part of the cover on professional film & TV equipment insurance.

Rental companies usually want to see your insurance before they hire out to you.

You may have to go to a specialist film & TV insurance company if you do want to add the rental cover.
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Old November 12th, 2011, 03:15 PM   #3
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Re: Renting my equipment?

Consider finding a local freelancer whom you trust that you can send out with the gear. In fact, find two or more so you can have options if your first choice is already tied up on another job. Your "team" should be skilled on the equipment and be able to do various jobs on set. They will ensure that your equipment is treated well, is all accounted for, and comes back on time.

Let's say a freelancer normally works for $300/day. You can charge your client $300 a day for the freelancer and put $50 - $100 in your pocket. The reason is that the freelancer normally has to spend time and money promoting themselves and looking for jobs. With equipment rentals, you are now handling the marketing side, and your freelancer gets jobs from you just by waiting for the phone to ring. Essentially, you would be getting a commission on finding the guy/gal some work.

To be fair, give the freelancer a nice commission when he/she brings clients to you.

Definitely consider your marketing costs. There's Angies List, Yellow Pages, your own website, a logo to be developed, an 800 number to consider, etc.
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Old November 12th, 2011, 03:21 PM   #4
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Re: Renting my equipment?

i think renting equipment if you want to make films doesnt make sense.
seems counterproductive to actually ever making a film.
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Old November 12th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #5
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Re: Renting my equipment?

In the professional world, renting out gear one of increasing your income from your investment. Not all camera people do it, but quite a few do, it depends on the nature of their business.

Making the films are another matter, the time involved in shooting a film is only a small part in actaully making a film. The research, the development and writing, plus the post production usually takes a lot longer than the filming with a camera.
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Old November 12th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #6
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Re: Renting my equipment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Threat View Post
i think renting equipment if you want to make films doesnt make sense.
seems counterproductive to actually ever making a film.
I have obligations, and as much as I would love to earn my living making films, and that is a goal in my life. But until that happens, I have the "day job". So if i can supplement my income, then it's an option I'm willing to consider. I am however leaning against renting my camera. I've worked hard to earn the money to buy a $5k camera, and I'd like to take good care of it. I am getting a 12 foot Kessler crane (with possibly the 18 foot upgrade), and I've been told that might fetch a few pennies on the rental scene in my area.

Someday I hope to eat, sleep, and make a living at this hobby of mine, but until then, I'll do what I have to do.
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Old November 12th, 2011, 06:48 PM   #7
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Re: Renting my equipment?

If the renting business doesn't take away too much time and energy, it can help finance buying yet more gear and can help make connections with people who do all aspects of video production. After all, filmmaking is a team sport.
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Old November 12th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #8
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Re: Renting my equipment?

I'm fairly gear heavy and have been approached many times about renting it out. Difference for me is I make a living shooting and editing. If I rent out a critical piece of gear then need to go on a shoot for a big client, I'm screwed. I tell anyone who asks, "Sure I'll rent it out and it comes with me to operate it! Here's the rate"
It's actually hooked a few gigs as I explain to them I know my gear better than anyone you could bring in. Want an expert or the college student you found on CL?
If you aren't locked into satisfying client's schedule demands and have the gear sitting around, go for it!
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Old November 12th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #9
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Re: Renting my equipment?

Hey Robert, I grew up in east Mesa (brown and higley area). I've check out your website before. Thanks everyone for the feedback.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 10:07 AM   #10
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Re: Renting my equipment?

Jeff, I started out where you are and now own an indie rental house.
Here's a few thoughts.
* Prepared to be laughed at by a few insurance places when you mention renting gear. :)
* If you are emotionaly attached to your gear, don't do it. If you care about cosmetics, don't do it. Your stuff will get beaten on, mostly by accident or by people who don't know what they are doing.
* While half my time IS spent on a hot tub on a yacht with supermodels... the other half is spent tracking down missing gear, replacing broken gear, and otherwise pulling hair out.


Jon F
The model of sending out an operator with the camera doesn't work in this bracket. If someone is renting an FS100, its because they are looking to self operate. Otherwise they'd just hire an op with the camera they want in the first place.

John T
If you think renting equipment instead of owning doesn't make sense, fire your accountant right now. If you make any money off anything, renting is essentialy free.
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