Film School Friday – Should I rent my camera gear to other filmmakers?

Should I Rent My Camera Gear Episode Summary

In this weeks episode of Film School Friday, Corey and Bill are talking about if you should rent camera gear out to others.

Should I Rent My Camera Gear Episode Notes

In this weeks episode of Film School Friday, Corey and Bill are talking about the risk and reward of renting your filmmaking gear out to others.

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Should I Rent My Camera Gear Transcript

Corey Allen  00:04

Welcome to film school Friday. I’m Corey,

Bill Cornelius  00:07

I’m Bill.

Corey Allen  00:08

And together,

Bill Cornelius  00:09

we host the infocus podcast.

Corey Allen  00:12

Film School Friday is our special weekly episode where we try to pass along a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of experience, whatever that might be.

Bill Cornelius  00:21

We’re generous guys.

Corey Allen  00:23

We try to be Yeah, we are giving whether you do anything with it.

Bill Cornelius  00:27

That’s totally up to you. Yeah. So Corey, I, I’ve thought about, you know, I’ve amassed some gear over my time working in this industry. And I thought, you know, if I’m not having a gig, it’s just kind of sitting around, and I thought maybe I should rent some gear. Should people rent gear? If they have a good gear closet going?

Corey Allen  00:50

Yes. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

Bill Cornelius  00:56

So talk about that a little bit. I know when we did your episode, you spoke about it. A great length. I know, that’s a big part of what you do.

Corey Allen  01:04

Yeah, I think, you know, gear rental, as the owner has a lot of risk, but also a lot of reward. Depending on where you’re at in the country, depending on your city, you know, there may be plenty of rental houses in and around town that obviously you would potentially be competing with. But I think at the same time, there’s certainly room for anyone and everyone to make the market competitive.

You know, I initially started using a service called share grid, where you can rent out and rent as the owner or the operator. Everyone’s gear who is comfortable putting it on that service thing, you know, share grade is a great option if you are comfortable lending your gear out to others, but maybe still have a little bit of apprehension that you know, the great thing about share grade is they perform background checks on everyone before they rent.

They also provide insurance coverage on your equipment for that renter for that time period, it’s also highly encourage that you insure your gear outside of that one individual time. You know, one of the things that no rental insurance covers as the like as a one off is what’s called voluntary parking. So me as the equipment owner, I have to hold my own insurance policy that covers when I use my own equipment when I rent others equipment, but also covers the voluntary parking coverage for my own equipment.

And what that means basically is it is kind of a kind of risky scenario to talk about. So I might even edit this out. But let’s say I were to rent you some lights for a shoot. Yes. And you ran through share grid. And you like the lights so much like you know what? I’m not giving these back to you.

Bill Cornelius  03:08

dick move?

Corey Allen  03:09

Yes, that is that’s also not theft. Interestingly enough, because I’ve voluntary parted with the items and gave them to you interesting. It’s it’s actually a civil issue, not a criminal issue. So I could I could call the police and try to file a police report, once they get all the details. Any, anyone that is half educated on theft would tell you like, well, that sucks to be you, but you did give it to them.

And that’s where voluntary parking insurance comes into play. So definitely something to keep in mind. I will say I have rented a considerable amount of gear over the last four, four or five years and have never had a bad experience. Knock on wood through schagrin.

Bill Cornelius  04:04

Well, and you got to think too, that the reason for that is probably because the people that are renting your gear are professionals who know how to if they know how to use this gear and they have the money to rent it. They’re professionals. They’re not going to you know, run away with your stuff.

Corey Allen  04:20

Yeah. Yeah, I don’t want to oversell the clientele on schagrin. Because I’ve definitely rented to not a professional. But you know, individuals that are just getting into it. Yeah, right. They can’t afford to own all of this equipment. Yeah, but they also need access to it if they want to build the skill and build their own portfolio.

So I have also ran into very large production houses to very well known directors and DPS that come into town for projects. So it’s all over the board. But I think the other great benefit of renting your equipment out is The network opportunity that it creates for you. Yeah, like there are so many connections that I have made through both through share grid and through my one off rentals, which I definitely rent primarily through share grid, but I also will rent direct to a director or to a dp it if I know them, or if it’s through like a personal referral. Yeah. So don’t add me with a rental request.

Bill Cornelius  05:30

If if you’re a stranger, if you don’t know. Yeah.

Corey Allen  05:33

Or even if you know me. Sure, share grid is still a great option. I prefer that in most cases for a lot of different reasons. And if we initially meet on share grid, you will likely rent from me through share grid forever, just because part of it is you monopolized

Bill Cornelius  05:55

shirt right?

Corey Allen  05:57

That that too, but I also like I want to respect share grid’s business model. And if I if I gained a customer or a client through share grid, I just I will continue to keep them there. So if you’re a share grid renter, and you’re like, Oh, your rent direct, like, forget that. You’re still on share grade.

Bill Cornelius  06:17

That’s great. That’s good. Stay

Corey Allen  06:18

stay in your lane.

Bill Cornelius  06:20

Yeah, yeah. So Mike, I have a question is, you mentioned rental houses, like bigger rental houses, and a lot of cities, like Nashville and larger, have rental houses? What does it look like when it comes to the price comparison and the accessibility compared to something like share grid or individual rentals? Yeah,

Corey Allen  06:41

it’s a unique situation? And it’s a great question, because depending on the city, prices can be all over the board. And one of the things I’ve learned through just through friends and acquaintances and other renters is, when you look at the pricing model, like if we just use our city within Nashville as an example.

There are because of the laws of supply and demand. Oftentimes, rental prices here, whether that’s through share grid or through a rental house, are oftentimes, I don’t want to say a lot higher, but they can be noticeably higher than if you were to go to like Los Angeles or Atlanta, and try to rent something similarly, because those markets are so saturated, the pricing is so competitive.

Yeah, that I’ve had on multiple occasions, I’ve had renters who fly into town for a project, and they’ll comment on the price disparity that exists between where they’re coming from and where they are. And that for me, I have taken that as an opportunity to be more price competitive. Like, if I know that there are circles of shooters in LA that are coming to Nashville regularly.

I would rather earn their business in price to the model they’re accustomed to, then to be like, at parity with some of the local rental houses, and that probably makes some of those people upset. But my volume of rental is so much lower than theirs. I’m not taking business away from them in most cases.

Bill Cornelius  08:21

Yeah. And you don’t have like grip trucks and things. No, I No, not yet. No,

Corey Allen  08:26

I am really close to a one ton grip truck worth of equipment. Yeah. But I don’t own the actual truck and probably never will.

Bill Cornelius  08:36

That’s a whole nother lift.

Corey Allen  08:38

Yeah. Yeah, for sure.

Bill Cornelius  08:41

Excellent. Well, I think I think you’ve convinced me

Corey Allen  08:44

you’re gonna rent your gear out.

Bill Cornelius  08:45

I think I might rent some gear out.

Corey Allen  08:48

Just don’t rent anything that I also own. I don’t Well, I need to be with you. At eight to have to come kneecap

Bill Cornelius  08:58

I’ll just rent my fingernails.

Corey Allen  09:00

Yeah, there you know on share grid. There are not many tungsten lights available. He might really Oh yeah. Man. led all the way.

Bill Cornelius  09:11

Walked rusting. Welcome to 2021 Hey, nation

Corey Allen  09:15

I’m not knocking on I’m not knocking on hot lights. They they still absolutely have a place. Yes. Just not on my set.

Bill Cornelius  09:24

I prefer a mixture. Yeah, that’s possible, too. And you know what, when for those days when you’re on a really cold shoot, you’re gonna appreciate a tungsten. That’s true. Awesome. Yeah.

Corey Allen  09:39

Oh, glad I could. Glad I can make you a renter. Yeah. Best of luck to you.

Bill Cornelius  09:44

Thank you. I might even eat with you.

Corey Allen  09:45

I might even have a share grid referral code. I’ll have to check. If I do. I’ll put that in the show notes. Do it. Yeah, that’d be cool. Awesome.

Bill Cornelius  09:55

Well, thanks for asking. Hey, you’re welcome.

Corey Allen  09:57

Yeah. And for our listeners, make sure you check us out on Instagram at @infocuspod or online at and if you liked what you heard today, go ahead and subscribe. Hit that like button hit the bell. I don’t know where you’re listening. But if there’s like a button or anything that would make you a fan. Hit that one. Hit that one and until next time,

Bill Cornelius  10:21

Feed your crew something amazing. Treat them