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What equipment should buy and what equipment should rent?

Equipment Buy or Rent Arri Alexa Lenses

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#1 Leon Breckenridge

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:34 PM

I was wondering what equipment I should buy or rent for people paying for my services? For example if I am shooting a commercial for a mural being made do I rent the necessary equipment so I can get reimbursed? Or should I buy a camera and rent the lenses that is necessary for the shoot? I really like the Arri Alexa right now. 

 

Also what equipment I should have on me at all times if I just filming a shoot with me and one other person? Should I have the best boy kit on me like having gaffer tape? Here is a list of things I think I should buy. 

 

 


CTB Gels- The most common uses are to convert the color temperature of tungsten light toward daylight. Correcting tungsten to match daylight.

CTO Gels- Match the color of the Tungsten Lights to the Color of the Environment(Daylight) Correcting daylight to match tungsten.

Natural Density Gels- Cutting Light Levels Without Diffusing The Light or changing the light tempature. To Fight Over Exposure without sacrificing light.

Diffusion (Frost) Gels-  Diffusion Gel is available in various densities from nearly clear to a dense milky white that diffuses the light without changing the color temperature. There is a loss of output as the density (thickness) increases. Adding diffusion makes the light softer as it makes the size of the light source larger. Diffusion= softening light.

 

Lowel Tota-Flector - 8 x 12"- ReFlecting off shiny objects.

Litepanels Traveler Trio Package - contains: (2) 1X1 MONO Flood Daylight; (1) 1X1 MONO Spot Daylight; (3) 3-Riser Fold up Stand; (1) 4-Lite Rolling Case

 

 

 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:10 PM

Any major purchases should pay for themselves within a few years of purchase, so you don't want to first spend a lot of money and then figure out how to earn money back on the investment.  Instead, you should have a good idea of the amount of work you'll get over the next few years based on factors like previous experience and then calculate whether your investment will pay for itself before it is obsoleted.

 

This is one reason why it is safer to invest in things like tripod heads, filters, and even lenses more than a digital camera that will be obsolete in a few years.  On the other hand, it doesn't matter if it becomes obsolete if it paid for itself before that happened.

 

So you need a business plan.

 

As for being a two-man crew, yes, you should build a toolkit of expendables and tools.

 

I think as you shoot more, maybe renting at first, you will get a better idea of what you can buy that will get used enough to pay for itself.  Perhaps you'll find that you don't get enough high-paying work to justify owning an Alexa but maybe a Canon C100 would be OK for the jobs you are doing, who knows.


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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:18 PM

I'll certainly second the idea that owning support gear and accessories is generally a more useful investment. A particular problem right now is that producers who want an all-in package (which is frankly a low-end thing but the reality for most of us) are often extremely specific about which camera they want, even if they aren't very clear on why. This means that you could go out and spend a lot of money on an one setup, then discover that all your clients want something else which is of similar financial value and similar capability - but they just aren't interested.

 

The problem with owning accessories is that it can be very hard to get any sort of fee for them. If you go out and spend £10,000 on camera support, filters, even lenses, nobody will expect to pay you for it. If you go and spend £5000 on a basic camera, suddenly everyone understand it's worth money...

 

World not make sense. Me not like.

 

P


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#4 Leon Breckenridge

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:12 AM

Thanks for the heads up on the C100. It looks great. As for the business plan aspect, should I say that the organization/ person that is paying for my services would pay for anything that they want me to rent? And what is some start up lenses? 


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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:39 AM

Until you have some experience shooting and knowing the amount of work that will typically come in over the year and what type of equipment will be used, and how much the client will pay for all of this, including your typical rate... you can't really develop a business plan to know what to invest in.  We can't answer those questions for you.  You should already know what lens you typically need and use -- we don't know what that is, maybe you shoot a lot of handheld but need an ENG-style zoom, maybe you are fine with three primes, maybe you can own some and rent the others.

 

Basically start small and rent what you need until you figure out what pieces of gear you use the most often.

 

It sounds to me like you are first trying to own the gear and then trying to start a career rather than the other way around. If you are just starting out, the only equipment you need to own is whatever you need to educate yourself with and shoot little personal stuff for practice, and for your reel.


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#6 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 03:57 AM

I was wondering what equipment I should buy or rent for people paying for my services? For example if I am shooting a commercial for a mural being made do I rent the necessary equipment so I can get reimbursed? Or should I buy a camera and rent the lenses that is necessary for the shoot? I really like the Arri Alexa right now. 

 

Also what equipment I should have on me at all times if I just filming a shoot with me and one other person? Should I have the best boy kit on me like having gaffer tape? Here is a list of things I think I should buy. 

 

 


CTB Gels- The most common uses are to convert the color temperature of tungsten light toward daylight. Correcting tungsten to match daylight.

CTO Gels- Match the color of the Tungsten Lights to the Color of the Environment(Daylight) Correcting daylight to match tungsten.

Natural Density Gels- Cutting Light Levels Without Diffusing The Light or changing the light tempature. To Fight Over Exposure without sacrificing light.

Diffusion (Frost) Gels-  Diffusion Gel is available in various densities from nearly clear to a dense milky white that diffuses the light without changing the color temperature. There is a loss of output as the density (thickness) increases. Adding diffusion makes the light softer as it makes the size of the light source larger. Diffusion= softening light.

 

Lowel Tota-Flector - 8 x 12"- ReFlecting off shiny objects.

Litepanels Traveler Trio Package - contains: (2) 1X1 MONO Flood Daylight; (1) 1X1 MONO Spot Daylight; (3) 3-Riser Fold up Stand; (1) 4-Lite Rolling Case

 

 

 

We are in the mist of a digital maelstrom, many platforms, systems fighting it out. Don't stake a claim in that fight by buying a camera. Have some distance, some perspective.

 

You could have bought a Arriflex SR1 in 1975. You could have professionally used that camera for thirty years and then sold it for a grand or two-  think about that.


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Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

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Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC