I'm really excited to let you know about a new project I've just set up, Manned Camera Limited.
I have been making amateur films for a number of years, and aspire to becoming a professional cinematographer in time. With that in mind, a little while ago I gave up my day job and began making corporate videos (usually about power-kiting in one form or another - one of my other passions).
The corporate work paid a few bills, but the trouble was that I was working in a vacuum, and felt that I never really had many opportunities to gain experience in the areas that really excited me (narrative fiction in particular). Coming to this industry quite late in life, having had another career, I don't really have time to begin as a runner and work upwards from there, so I've been thinking about a way of getting as much experience as I can, as quickly as I can. "Manned Camera" is how I've decided to do it!
I sat down and made a list of the equipment I felt I needed, to make my own films, and then got in touch with my local camera and grip rental company (Decode in SW London), to find out if they would be interested in using my equipment as part of their rental fleet when I wasn't using it.
Just the other day I finally took delivery of everything, including an Arri AMIRA and set of Zeiss Super Speeds (MK2), among other things. Decode will be looking after my equipment when I'm not using it, but when it's with me I'll be using it to make make my own films.
The other thing I'll be doing, and this is what might be of interest to other people, is offering my equipment at significantly reduced rental rates for projects where I can accompany the equipment, and either assist or shadow an experienced DP.
I'm particularly keen to gain experience in lighting for narrative fiction, and so if you have a project for which you need equipment, and you're happy for me to either help out, or shadow your cinematographer, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'd be delighted to hear from you!
Please have a look at my Manned Camera website for details of the equipment I have available, and my personal website to see some of the things I've produced so far (none of it with the AMIRA, as I've only had it a week)!
Wish me luck!