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Lenses and Cameras to Rent for Indie Film? Help

Len Lenses Camera Rent Help Question

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#1 Cameron Gallagher

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 08:16 PM

So I am trying to look into Renting equipment for 14 Days for an Indie Film. The issue is we only have about 6K to spend for a FULL Camera Kit and Lenses. Mind you I have a good tripod, but obviously need all the working parts. 

 

Im really contemplating a Canon C300 MKII for 4K C-Log, with either a Zeiss CP2 Kit (which is much cheaper, under budget it seems) or a Set of Cooke S4 Primes which puts us right on target, maybe a hair expensive.

I'm a stickler for quality and this film is really in need of that "David Fincher" Style usually locked off on a tripod, so no need for handheld rigs, but needs to have a very "anamorphic" look and almost like 35mm Film Stock! Im not a Cinematography Pro, I just really need something that does well in low light, doesnt need to be like an A7s, but that NAILS Color and the overall feel of things.

 

Hope someone has some ideas! Thanks!


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#2 Miguel Angel

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 08:24 PM

Hi!

I would say that your budget is more than enough to cover a good camera package with all the accesories and lenses through any of the major Camera Rental Houses in the US for that period of time.

Either you or your cinematographer should get in touch with your local Panavision rental house and let them know your budget and the days you will need the camera package for and I'm very sure that they will give you a good deal.

Have a lovely day!
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:32 PM

I agree with MIguel; Hell for that money you could possibly even get an Alexa which I would say certainly will outperform the Canons. Or you could go full Fincher and look at the red systems, though I am a bit ambivalent about them personally.


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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:39 PM

I agree with MIguel; Hell for that money you could possibly even get an Alexa which I would say certainly will outperform the Canons

 

I don't know of anywhere in LA that would do a full Alexa package for $6k. Even for only 14 days you'd be looking at more like $10k, and that's a rock bottom rate. Forget Panavision. I doubt New York is cheaper.


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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:42 PM

Brainbox in Marina, the mid level package is about $3k

http://brainboxcamer...uct/arri-alexa/


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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:46 PM

Those guys are cutting their own throats, but even so, $3k a week works out at $9k for 14 days.


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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:49 PM

I am pretty sure they do a "week" as 7 days, so assuming a 14 day straight shoot I'm sure they could get it in for 6K. Not to mention they have even cheaper packages than that-- and in truth; who ever pays list price?


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#8 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:52 PM

 who ever pays list price?

 

I'd be amazed if they were giving discounts on those rates.


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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:57 PM

I got one when I pulled an Alexa and Kowas from them; but I suppose it depends. That was at least a year and a half ago though.


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#10 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 11:18 PM

Wow. No wonder no-one's making any money.


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#11 Miguel Angel

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 05:59 AM

Stuart, I am sorry to disagree with you but if I were going to start a movie today anywhere in the world for 14 days and the production had $6000 for a camera package, I assure you that my camera would come from Panavision.

 

Again, that might be because I have worked with them for the last 11 years :) but I'm sure that if somebody goes to Panavision and explains what the project is, the money that they have and Panavision knows the cinematographer, they wouldn't have any problems at all. 

 

Have a good day! 


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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 07:10 AM

I wouldn't even expect Panavision to pick up the phone at that level!

 

You must know those guys very well.


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#13 Miguel Angel

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 07:25 AM

Phil, that's a bad assumption!

Camera rental houses are there to provide equipment and the big ones are really happy to help if they see that the people behind the project are honest, humble and trustworthy.

At the end of the day.. if you are a cinematographer, Camera Rental Houses want to establish a relationship with you because there is a chance that if they help you through the years, if you become successful, you are going to remember that they have been helping you during your whole career so you will ask Production to rent the equipment from them in your next big thing and so on.

Also, what Camera Rental House wouldn't want to get $6000 for 14 days for an old Alexa or an Epic Dragon that nobody is using anymore?

Have a lovely day!
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#14 Jay Young

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 07:49 AM

I wanted to rent a Panavision 2-perf setup for a one day shoot with TWO Super Baltars (Not the full set), and a very drastically reduced kit list (No cinetape, minimal video tap, no extra crap), and it was more than $3000.  Secondly, Arri never called me back, I'm still waiting on a quote.   Furthermore, I didn't even want the super cool latest XL2 - I just wanted a 35mm old school Gold 2-perf camera.  

 

Maybe I would have better luck if I visited in person, but the nearest rental house is 5 hours away, and that's a whole day trip for me.

 

I'm glad Miguel, that you have excellent rental prices; I for one, do not.  So I understand these other comments about not being able to rent for 14 days. 

Maybe I'm just not talking to the right people?


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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 08:20 AM

Eh. Maybe it's personal, maybe they just don't like me!


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#16 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 10:04 AM

 if I were going to start a movie today anywhere in the world for 14 days and the production had $6000 for a camera package, I assure you that my camera would come from Panavision.

 

 

 

My experience of the 5 or 6 times they've been asked to quote for an Alexa package on movies I'm shooting is that they are significantly more expensive than anyone else. In some cases, more than 50% more expensive. An Alexa package with super speeds, batteries, support and sticks rents for around $3500 a week AFTER discount, unless you can find an owner/operator deal, or an outfit like Adrian mentioned. A 14 day show is going to spread over 3 weeks, so you're looking at $10,500 for the show. If they really want your business, or if you have a good relationship with them, the rental house might shave a little off that to make the numbers work, but that's not a deal they are offering to everyone.

My experience with Panavision is that their rates are generally higher than anyone else's, and their discounts smaller, mostly because there are usually too busy to be giving stuff away.


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#17 Miguel Angel

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 02:11 PM

I wanted to rent a Panavision 2-perf setup for a one day shoot with TWO Super Baltars (Not the full set), and a very drastically reduced kit list (No cinetape, minimal video tap, no extra crap), and it was more than $3000.  Secondly, Arri never called me back, I'm still waiting on a quote.   Furthermore, I didn't even want the super cool latest XL2 - I just wanted a 35mm old school Gold 2-perf camera.  

 

Maybe I would have better luck if I visited in person, but the nearest rental house is 5 hours away, and that's a whole day trip for me.

 

I'm glad Miguel, that you have excellent rental prices; I for one, do not.  So I understand these other comments about not being able to rent for 14 days. 

Maybe I'm just not talking to the right people?

 

 

 

 

My experience of the 5 or 6 times they've been asked to quote for an Alexa package on movies I'm shooting is that they are significantly more expensive than anyone else. In some cases, more than 50% more expensive. An Alexa package with super speeds, batteries, support and sticks rents for around $3500 a week AFTER discount, unless you can find an owner/operator deal, or an outfit like Adrian mentioned. A 14 day show is going to spread over 3 weeks, so you're looking at $10,500 for the show. If they really want your business, or if you have a good relationship with them, the rental house might shave a little off that to make the numbers work, but that's not a deal they are offering to everyone.

My experience with Panavision is that their rates are generally higher than anyone else's, and their discounts smaller, mostly because there are usually too busy to be giving stuff away.

 

 

I do understand Jay and Phil as well as I understand your point too.

 

We do have Camera Rental Houses in Spain which don't care about anything, just money and they don't move their prices a tad even if your surname is Storaro.

I do think that as a cinematographer it is good to have a good relationship with the right Camera Rental House so you can lean towards that place when you shoot something.

 

In my case (and I'm just at the beginning of my career as a cinematographer) it happens to be Panavision, mainly because I have worked with them and I have talked to many of the technicians and directors of the Panavision branches for so long that they know me and they know the kind of productions I have been involved with so maybe that's the point? I wouldn't know! maybe they are nicer in Europe and SA? :D :P 

 

By the way, I don't talk to them about money ever, I just suggest to the production department that I would like to get the camera package from Panavision. 

 

Maybe somebody else has that kind of relationship with Arri or Movietech! 

 

Anyways, coming back to the original post, my suggestion is, Cameron, go to your local Panavision with your cinematographer and ask for a meeting with one of the representatives over there, bring your dossiers, talk to them about the movie and let them know that you have X money for a camera package and if they think that they could work with you.. and hopefully you will get a deal! :) 

Have a lovely day!


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#18 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:55 PM

Cameron,

 

Without knowing the specifics of the script and your shoot it's hard to suggest a package.  Cameras all have their ups and downs.  Factors such as your crew size, shooting schedule, locations and weather conditions etc. all play roles in this.  Perhaps you already weighed all this and that's how you settled on the C300.  

 

If you were to look through issues of American Cinematographer magazine you'd see articles where DP's pick this camera over that camera for reasons that have less to do with camera specs and more to do with the overall production details.

 

So if you haven't already, I'd make a list your productions characteristics.  How much handheld, are the locations really tight  spaces?  Is there lots of camera movement? How big is your crew?  Do you need a B-cam or 2nd Unit? etc. and decide on a package based on those things.  Maybe look at films that resemble your production and figure out what they were shot on and why the filmmakers picked those packages.

 

Just a thought.  Are you shooting the film yourself?  If you're directing and DP'ing, I would strongly recommend hiring an operator and including them in the conversation.  A career operator will have a lot of knowledge on the pros and cons of each package from an onset workflow perspective.  


Edited by Michael LaVoie, 04 April 2016 - 05:58 PM.

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#19 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 06:47 AM

I wanted to rent a Panavision 2-perf setup for a one day shoot with TWO Super Baltars (Not the full set), and a very drastically reduced kit list (No cinetape, minimal video tap, no extra crap), and it was more than $3000.  

 

Two lenses out of a set makes the whole set unrentable, so it was probably the rental cost of a full kit. Certain lenses might be single rental items - zooms, macros, telephotos or odd focal lengths - but something like a Super Baltar is definitely part of a set.

 

The rental houses I've worked for over the years will do deals and like to help budget filmmakers if they can, but for the larger houses there is a certain margin that needs to be made, otherwise the whole business model is unworkable. The more established houses have their own service departments, and provide better back-up and tech support, which is why you might pay more. A lot of smaller places can do better deals but probably won't have everything that a production might need and can't replace something pronto if it goes down on set. Sometimes they can't even do simple collimation or flange depth checks during prep. Depending on the production, this might not be a issue relative to the cost saving.

 

I think it's always worth making the effort to form relationships with rental houses, and even if it's a bit of a hike, dropping in to discuss the production requirements and budget. Sometimes there are viable options that you may not have thought of. 


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#20 Jay Young

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 08:19 AM

 

Two lenses out of a set makes the whole set unrentable, so it was probably the rental cost of a full kit. Certain lenses might be single rental items - zooms, macros, telephotos or odd focal lengths - but something like a Super Baltar is definitely part of a set.

 

 

Dom, I totally agree.  I had been emailing my Panavision Rep for some time for a one day shoot, and they just assume I needed a truck load of equipment.  They were excellent in cutting down the price, and I believe they split up the Super Baltar set if needed, as that was reflected in the price quote.

 

We went with that because Anamorphic options are so hot right now they could not guarantee the availability of any lenses except on the day of pickup - which I find a bit odd - but they had no problem guaranteeing the availability of the Super Baltar set.  

 

On a further note, Arri still hasn't called or emailed me back, which I'm a bit bummed about - but I guess that means we'll just deal with Panavision from now on unless I just happen to be in Germany... 


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