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Joker Bug in the UK


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#1 Marc Galerne

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 05:37 AM

Dear All,
The reason I post this mesage is that we have been existing for 15 years now, came up with innovative products such as the Joker Bug system, softube, Black Jack and now Alpha 4K and Alpha 18K. We are exhibiting at all the major international trade shows (NAB, IBC, Cinec, Camerimage, Cinegear...)
We have made many attempts with different UK based dealers. We have participated to a few BSC shows, Videoforum and placed adds in British Cinematographer. And yet, results are disappointing. I know that Arri has a strong hand on the world market but still we sell more units in Germany than we do in the UK !!! European operations are in France and from there we service and provide equipment that we do stock at all times.
All K5600 employees are english speaking and the ballasts we used for our kits in Europe are British made (Powergems)...
Any suggestions?

Best regards
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#2 banba ban

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 05:11 PM

I can't offer any insight but I can say that I've been using the smaller Joker Bug units for many years and found them to be an excellent fixture. Lightweight, reliable, etc...
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#3 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 05:39 PM

Hi,

are you asking fellow UK members here for product feedback, R&D input for your product development, or a sort of "contextualisation" why we think your sales figures in the generally smaller UK market (esp. in comparison to the hetergeneous German media market) are underperforming so visibly?

Cheers (and just remarked your new banner ad on the right hand side of ciny.com :-) )

-Michael
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#4 Marc Galerne

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 06:30 AM

Hi Michael,
Thank you very much for the banner.
My concern is more to understand the UK market and what members do read, visit (shows), use.
We are supplying a few rental companies eventhough there are less of them but they are much more Film oriented. What we are after is the free lancers market.
Obviously feed back on equipment is always welcome.
Meeting people is the most important thing but where? BSC show is mostly for Film DPs which are more interested in cameras than in lights. And Video Forum was very "amateur" and lacked of pros.
Are there any associations and publications we should look into?
We are definitly considering promoting and selling directly into the UK as we, so far, found it was the best way. we're not so far and can ship overnight.
Thanks for your time and congratulation on your forum. I am always connected into the lighting section.
Have a good week end
Marc
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#5 Marc Galerne

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 06:35 AM

I can't offer any insight but I can say that I've been using the smaller Joker Bug units for many years and found them to be an excellent fixture. Lightweight, reliable, etc...


Thank you very much for your comments. Always good to know when people like the gear. Did you buy or do you rent?
Thanks and regards
Marc
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#6 Ed Moore

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 03:21 PM

Hi Marc,

I think to a certain extent freelancers in the UK tend not to own HMIs as they are seen as being expensive. I have a Dedolight D400 which I love but it was pretty pricey and I've not come across anyone else who owns something like that other than rental houses.

I have always wanted to try one of your Joker Bug / Source 4 profile combinations. If you wanted to send me a UK pricelist, you can get my email at www.emoore.co.uk - will probably be in the market for more lighting early next year.

Ed
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#7 Ed Moore

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 03:38 PM

PS If you haven't, I highly recommend talking to Phil Baxter at www.creativevideo.co.uk to see if you can get your kit listed there. It's absolutely the best production equipment website going, and Phil is a fantastic guy.
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#8 Marc Galerne

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:37 AM

Hi Marc,

I think to a certain extent freelancers in the UK tend not to own HMIs as they are seen as being expensive. I have a Dedolight D400 which I love but it was pretty pricey and I've not come across anyone else who owns something like that other than rental houses.


Hi Ed,
I guess only the US is a Free Lancer market. I need to make sure that the rental houses have our equipment and more over that it is requested.
Thank you very much for the infos
Marc
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#9 John Holland

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 12:19 PM

Marc we dont have any big British lighting rental companys here we have been taken over by America and Germany , Joker bug is a great light , i wish you well .
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#10 Marc Galerne

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 03:18 AM

Marc we dont have any big British lighting rental companys here we have been taken over by America and Germany , Joker bug is a great light , i wish you well .


Hi John,
Thank you very much for your appreciation.
I know the big British rental companies are either Panavision or Arri, but there will always be smaller, more service oriented little companies and these are the ones I would like to work with.
Big rental houses doing big US features will order the equipment when it's requested (after trying to offer whatever they have in stock in replacement).
Thanks
Marc
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#11 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 11:17 AM

Well, I am currently in LA (first time for me) and hence pretty much off this forum for the next weeks, but I start to realise the perspective on the indy and small-outlet market that many people here in the US have and that really cannot be found in the UK - yeah, I can even see Phil Rhodes points of contention (insider joke). I am afraid the the UK market does not have this richness or proliferation of small rentals even for no-budget student etudes as material there is supplied from the big ones by grant of good will. And the broadcasting industry has its traditional suppliers. That is what I also meant with me remark about the German market, which is actually oriented in strucuture closer to the US than the UK.
Why don't you try to get in touch with the Widescreen Centre off Baker Street in London. They serve a fair share of low-budget 16 and 8mm work, and although they do not rent out on a big scale, the Ashbury brothers there might be enticed to put Joker Bugs into their sortiment. Sorry for not being more helpful here - should I come across something once back in LDN, I will post it here, of course.
Cheers, -Michael

P.S.: as your subsidiary is basd in France, how is the French market actually comparing to DE and UK
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#12 Freya Black

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:03 PM

Well, I am currently in LA (first time for me) and hence pretty much off this forum for the next weeks, but I start to realise the perspective on the indy and small-outlet market that many people here in the US have and that really cannot be found in the UK - yeah, I can even see Phil Rhodes points of contention (insider joke). I am afraid the the UK market does not have this richness or proliferation of small rentals even for no-budget student etudes as material there is supplied from the big ones by grant of good will. And the broadcasting industry has its traditional suppliers. That is what I also meant with me remark about the German market, which is actually oriented in strucuture closer to the US than the UK.
Why don't you try to get in touch with the Widescreen Centre off Baker Street in London. They serve a fair share of low-budget 16 and 8mm work, and although they do not rent out on a big scale, the Ashbury brothers there might be enticed to put Joker Bugs into their sortiment. Sorry for not being more helpful here - should I come across something once back in LDN, I will post it here, of course.
Cheers, -Michael

P.S.: as your subsidiary is basd in France, how is the French market actually comparing to DE and UK



In the U.K. there is a void between the little people (Yay that's me!) at one end of the market and the broadcasters and film companies at the other end. Everything is very locked down in that the major broadcasters largely control production. Outside of that there is Ch4 which in theory commisions from indies but in practice it now only commisions from the super indies or companies like Thames which are of course a part of the traditional industry. Theres nothing in between the two extremes. Just void.

Someone commented rather insightfully that nobody seemed very intrested in the red camera at a recent trade show and that there was instead a lot of excitement for the Sony EX1. This is basically because nobody can afford the Red, it's actually too expensive for the low end here! Of course the high end people are shooting on high end cameras, HD-Cam and Digibeta etc.

At the low end it's cheap video cameras and the occasional little film thing. I expect a lot of people would actually struggle to afford the EX1 but they are excited by it because it seems sort of almost in reach.

It's actually a bit more extreme than that but that kind of sums it up.

love

Freya
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#13 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 01:20 PM

I totally agree with you Freya. That's what I was on about. The variety here in the US is pretty much amazing.

Greetings to you in LDN :)

-Michael
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#14 Dave Green

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 07:37 AM

Outside of that there is Ch4 which in theory commisions from indies but in practice it now only commisions from the super indies or companies like Thames which are of course a part of the traditional industry. Theres nothing in between the two extremes. Just void.


Unless I've misunderstood you, I have to say that's not true. Last year I worked on a 5 part drama series made for C4, and I've just finished a two part 'film' for C4, too. Both of these projects were produced by a small indie.
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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 08:18 AM

Unless I've misunderstood you, I have to say that's not true. Last year I worked on a 5 part drama series made for C4, and I've just finished a two part 'film' for C4, too. Both of these projects were produced by a small indie.


I think you've probably misunderstood me.
I'm not sure what you mean by a small indie but it probably isn't the same thing that I'm talking about! ;) When channel 4 first started they would commision from really small companies, sometimes even outside of London. I see very little of this now.

Also I'm sure there are smaller companies that do produce for channel 4 but they are very much the exception rather than the rule. The situation is even worse with the other independant tv channels but I was just reading an article in Broadcast where Michael Grade claims it is all the fault of PACT. Not sure how true that is or how convinced I feel, but there we go.

All the same I'm very impressed that you got to work on a small 5 part drama series! That sounds very unusual. Channel 4 isn't much into commisioning drama series at all from small indies (most of it seems imported from America), and 5 parts sounds quite strange and potentially a hard sell I would have thought. I'm guessing it must have been something intresting and unusual and I would suggest you were extremely lucky to have worked on such a thing! Congratulations! :)

love

Freya
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#16 Marc Galerne

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 05:30 AM

P.S.: as your subsidiary is basd in France, how is the French market actually comparing to DE and UK


The French market has been slow in Jan and Feb, excellent in April, May, June, fair in July and bad in August (what else is new). The major problem we have is with the announce of the President Sarkozy to stop commercials on public TV (that's 4 major channels and 3 minor ones). As a result, all projects involving these channels have been either cancelled or delayed until further notice. It is a total of over 70 feature length fictions which were not shot in the first semester.

The US market is very different. News for example are a real show with commercials breaks. There is money there. When we did our first NAB in 1993, freelancers were laughing at us about the price of kits then. They had very little experienced with HMIs and could not understand how we could offer a 200W for over 2.000 $ when they could buy a 800 redhead for 250 $.

It took some time and a few guys to change this state of mind. Free lancers there can deduct their investements from their revenues. Once they understood that return on investment on Hmi's was far quicker (50 to 70 days rental) than with cameras, things started to change. Also, a light with a Chimera and no color correction gel looks much nicer when you shooting celebrity in his home or a politician in his office. Chances are, there will be 10 Amps available and daylight will be flooding through the windows. So HMIs makes some sense then.
Enjoy the weather Michael: it's awful here

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