Getting your project greenlit is not the end of a stressful process, it’s merely the beginning of what could be a much more stressful one. Finding a film equipment rental house that understands the unique needs and demands of your production can be a daunting task, even for producers and filmmakers with several credits on their résumé. The rental house you choose to furnish your film equipment rental package is as important as the contents of that package. So here are 12 tips to help you make the right choice:
Regardless of how well you prepare in pre-production, something will go wrong during production. If something relates to your film equipment rental, you want to choose a rental house that will be available to help you through the problem. Whether that means replacing a malfunctioning piece of equipment, or advising how best to operate it, accessibility to their rental technicians is vital. If they do not answer the phone at midnight, they’re not the house for you.
The deal is only as good as the dealer. The best of them not only know how to operate the equipment in their inventory, but they’ve also used it themselves. If your film equipment rental agent doesn’t know the ins and outs of every item in your package, you can’t rely on them to troubleshoot when and if things go wrong.
3) QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
The size of a rental house’s inventory is nowhere near as important as its content. Whatever type of production you’re planning, you’ll want to use the latest and greatest film rental equipment to pull it off. If they can’t offer you that, go with someone who can.
4) Q & A
You may know how to use the gear in your film equipment rental package, but odds are you’ll have questions or want advice about its utility or operation. Your rental house should be able to give you both without a manual or a delay.
5) TALKING THE TALK
If you’re trying to talk tech with regards to specific items in a film equipment rental package and the house can only discuss them in broad or vague terms, it’s likely they don’t know anything about it other than the cost to rent it.
A trustworthy house wants to provide you with the best film equipment rental to meet the needs of your production. An untrustworthy one will try to upsell you at every turn for nothing more than their bottom line.
7) CAMERA CHECKS
Before loading your rental equipment into a production vehicle, you’ll want to ensure all the gear is fully operable by doing a camera check at the rental facility in a proper camera checkout bay. If you’re considering a rental house that doesn’t offer this, stop. Look elsewhere.
8) LITTLE THINGS
Film equipment rentals are made up of many things besides cameras and lighting kits. You’ll want to go with a house that stocks production supplies, such as popup tents, traffic cones, coolers, and wardrobe steamers.
If you need two grips or an entire crew, your rental house should be able to arrange for whoever you need to get the job done.
Maybe you need props for your shoot. Perhaps you can’t find a location to shoot a pivotal scene. Whichever the case, you want a rental house that can reliably recommend both.
Wherever you’re shooting in South Florida, you’ll probably need permits. Innovative rental companies should be able to facilitate the process of obtaining them or, at the very least, point you in the right direction to get them.
Whatever comprises your film equipment rental, you’ll need insurance to indemnify it. You’ll also need different kinds of insurance to shoot in South Florida. Look for a rental house that can advise you as to the exact types you’ll need and why you’ll need them, as well as a referral to a reputable insurance broker.
The team at Moving Picture Rental is available to our customers 24/7. We regularly use our equipment and always stock the latest gear. Everyone on staff can answer any of your questions and discuss all the film gear as if they wrote the operations manuals. We do camera checkouts, even on weekends, and have all the extras you’ll need on-set. Plus, we maintain a database of experienced crews and can reliably recommend prop houses and locations as well as advise on permit and insurance requirements.