How To Easily Solve Your Pre-Production Problems

Most film equipment rental houses only rent equipment, and call it a day. But when it comes to film pre-production, there’s a myriad of things from location scouting to crew sourcing that can create problems and add to your load. Especially if you’re taking your production to another state, where you aren’t familiar with the ropes… all of a sudden everything seems more complicated.

Luckily, there’s a new model of film equipment rental house: the rental house that solves your problems by going above and beyond regular duties.

Emerging from producer’s needs for more, this kind of “zebra” rental house aims to solve your pre-production problems and make your job easier. Of course, all while still renting you out that Arri Alexa Mini that you needed!

How to recognize this new kind of rental house?

In most states finding a rental house that operates this way is very rare.

However, you can spot this kind of “zebra” rental house because they’ll find a way to solve your production challenges. In the words of  Yifat Oron from Entrepreneur Magazine:

Zebra companies are characterized by doing real business.

These “partners in the field” will, not only, rent you the film equipment but also help you with location scouting,  local permits, sourcing local crew, handling payroll, and making your shoot happen no matter the challenge you bring to the table.

After years of listening to producer’s needs, here at Moving Picture Rental, we became the “zebra” of rental houses. By actively going above and beyond to solve producer’s challenges and lighten their load.

So you can get an idea, of how this type of rental house operates and what it can do for you, take a look at the recent problems we solved for producers working in tv commercials, reality shows, national morning shows…

The Magic of Solving Problems

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

The challenge
The Daily Show team needed footage of Trevor Noah in the intra-coastal directly behind Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.

What big problem did we solve?
Working in shallow water with moving tides and currents behind the Southern White House is a definite challenge. So is finding multiple base camps to deploy Trevor Noah and his crew. We’ve now worked with The Daily Show team on 16 shoot days and we have their trust.

For this production, we handled marine logistics and crew.  We scouted the location weeks in advance and assembled a unit with a marine coordinator and boats that would operate best in these water conditions. Our marine unit consisted of a support boat, a camera boat, and a picture boat. MPR also provided a wide variety of production services and shared plenty of our local knowledge. We sourced the Director Of Photography, Sound, Production Manager, gaffers, and Grip & Lighting. And, we handled workman’s comp and payroll. We lucked out with fantastic weather, nobody got hurt, and we shared lots of laughs. Plus we got the shot!


Something Else

The challenge: Orlando production company Something Else needed a last-minute TV commercial shot.

What big problem did we solve?
In less than 48 hours notice we assembled an experienced crew, provided locations, offsite parking, grip & lighting, and a camera package that turned into an excellent production service experience for our client Something Else!

They needed a great Director of Photography, first assistant cameraman, and a full crew quickly. We provided $2 million in general liability insurance to pull a permit as they’d had issues with their insurance agent getting a COI to secure the location. We provided workman’s comp insurance and dealt with all payroll, freeing them up to focus on their tight production and post-production deadline.

All of this cost less than $15,000 for the day for a full crew, grip truck, grip and lighting, camera package, wireless video, and more. It all came together with great weather and a smooth shoot day!


Undisclosed International Reality Show

The challenge: an undisclosed major international reality show filming in South Florida needed a large Arri Amira camera checkout and integration with a smaller rigged camera.

What big problem did we solve?
The camera package consisted of a total of 8 cameras and camera integration was needed for the motorhome (picture vehicle).

We provided MPR’s facility to perform all the motorhome camera integration including rigging and integration of multiple camera setups (Panasonic DC-GH5S) with a Convergence Design Apollo 4 channel recorder.

We provided two full Arri -Amira camera packages, each with wireless video to dual handheld director’s monitors receiving from a Teradek 3000 video transmitter. Plus any needed grip and lighting.

Wrapping it up

Searching for a rental house that will go above and beyond the line of duty isn’t a simple task, but it’s well worth it! So if you’d like to make your life easier do a little more research to find that “zebra” rental house that will become your partner in the field.