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Investing for Rental


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#1 wesd164

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 06:24 PM

Hi. I'm a film student looking to buy a light I could use for myself, but mainly to rent out to other productions around town. I'd like to invest in just one to start out with, and hopefully purchase others later on.

I was looking at maybe buying an LTM 1200 HMI, since it seems like that one has been a useful, and desired light on other projects I've worked on. Also, I've heard that the Jokerbug K5600's are in demand, along with Kino Flo's (4 foot 4 bank, and Diva).

Does anyone have any advice? Thanks

-Wes
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#2 Tim J Durham

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 08:03 PM

Hi.  I'm a film student looking to buy a light I could use for myself, but mainly to rent out to other productions around town.  I'd like to invest in just one to start out with, and hopefully purchase others later on.

I was looking at maybe buying an LTM 1200 HMI, since it seems like that one has been a useful, and desired light on other projects I've worked on.  Also, I've heard that the Jokerbug K5600's are in demand, along with Kino Flo's (4 foot 4 bank, and Diva).

Does anyone have any advice?  Thanks

-Wes

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's never that easy. You'd also have to stock a full line of accoutrements for the lights you buy.
Gels, softboxes, silk frames, stands, dollys, rigging, etc. Otherwise, everybody would just go to
the companies that stock a full range of gear.

Maybe you could rent out a nicely equiped field kit like an Arri 4-head with all the bells and whistles, but those run $3K+ fully stocked and you can get about $75-100 a day for it. Then, if they also need some specialized lights like a couple Kinos or an HMI (both expensive), you have to have all that stuff too. Or once again, they'll go to where they can get everything.

You could apply for a small business loan and get stocked, but you'd need proof that you have business lined up and a well diagrammed business plan, not to mention 20% upfront.

You'd still have a tough time competing on price with the big rental houses. You're better off renting yourself AND your lights out as a gaffer to small indie productions. Even then, I think you'd need quite alot of gear, like car mounts and dolly track but ask around and see what people want when they're doing that sort of thing.

For the price of a new 1200 HMI, you can buy a Steadicam Flyer rig ($5.7K) and/or a doggie-cam rig ($XK) and rent yourself out as an owner/operator. If I were starting over, I'd sure give that some thought. Good Steadicam guys make a nice wage.
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#3 timHealy

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 09:54 PM

Don't buy anything unless you are sure you can rent it, whether it be an AC or DP with a camera, a DP or Gaffer with lights, a grip with a dolly or truck, or like Tim said an operator with a steadicam rig. You will always get chewed down because you may be dealing with production managers who will do anything for a cheaper price and rental companies that may give a 1.5 day rentals for the week.

And if you buy something anyway, think about getting something that no one has yet. That's a great way of making extra cash.

Tim
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