View Poll Results: For a full 7 Day Rental

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  • I charge 3 Day Week, 1 Day Weekend for a full 7 Day Rental

    8 61.54%
  • I charge 3 Day Week for a full 7 Day Rental

    5 38.46%
  • I am Crazy Gideon and will undercut all of you!

    0 0%

Thread: Gear Rental Question/Poll - How many days do you charge?

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  1. #1 Gear Rental Question/Poll - How many days do you charge? 
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Had a bit of a shocker with a producer recently.

    For about 15+ years now I've been charging 3/day weeks and 1/day weekends for equipment rental.

    Not talking prep/checkout Monday, return/confirm Monday, but actual 7-day rental on gear. Shooting Monday-Monday basically.


    Curious what everybody else in the world is doing. I've polled Facebook friends and even some local rental houses here in LA and there's a pretty broad variety actually!

    I certainly understand deals are made for longer term productions and what not, but just curious what everybody is doing for standard gigs in the 2020s. Seems like the landscape is indeed mixed.

    Thanks!
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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  2. #2 Progress! Progress :( 
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Like Phil, I've been doing 3 day weeks and 1 day weekends for years. That said, it seems like more rental houses are going to 2 day weeks - presumably to drive out the owner/ops and small fry. They still make a buck on glass/support/AKS and it fosters repeat business. The other downward pressure I see on gear rental rates is the overall camera marketplace. Technology once reserved for the higher end gear has migrated down to the under $5,000 USD segment where the own vs rent equation tips toward buying your own rig. The last 15 years there's been a lot of content shot on the Canon 5D and its ilk, but few producers would hang a decently budgeted project on one. Nowadays, there are many more options in between.

    Many of us on this board want more then just "good enough" (or we'd be doing something else with our time ;-)), but as the real world quality/features delta between the high end and lower end shrinks - more production companies will either negotiate better rates at the rental house or buy their own cameras.

    Cheers - #19
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member steve green's Avatar
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    I as well have kept my rentals, mostly commercials and corporate films to a 3-day week. Sometimes even sticking with the three days even if the schedule is extended a day or two because of scheduling or travel. Producers appreciate the flexibility of having a weekly rental number to work with in the working budget. Oftentimes my regular people will offer more revenue, without me asking, when their budget allows, always a nice touch, and adds to the "give and take" of the relationship. I find that negotiating a package price and keeping it clean and simple makes things easier and comfortable for both me and my clients. After all, as an owner/operator we're on set, traveling, and dining with these folks for the duration project. Trying to make a few extra dollars never seemed worthwhile to me. Generally speaking, IMO, we make a good return on our gear.
    Last edited by steve green; 03-08-2020 at 11:35 AM.
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  4. #4  
    The "film/narrative/commercial world" cracks me up. I'm not a rental house. A day for a day... If you tell McDonald's that you'll eat lunch there Monday through Sunday, do they stop charging you after Wednesday and let you eat Thursday through Sunday for free? This 3-for-7 type shit makes no sense. I've even heard talk of some of the long term episodic stuff working out to 1-for-7(or less).
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher A. Bell View Post
    The "film/narrative/commercial world" cracks me up. I'm not a rental house. A day for a day... If you tell McDonald's that you'll eat lunch there Monday through Sunday, do they stop charging you after Wednesday and let you eat Thursday through Sunday for free? This 3-for-7 type shit makes no sense. I've even heard talk of some of the long term episodic stuff working out to 1-for-7(or less).
    Yes, but that's how it's done in those worlds and has been for a long time. Doesn't mean you have to adhere to it, depending on your projects, relationships, etc. but if you are in a major rental market and clients are shopping around for the best deal, the rental companies are quite often going to give them things like a 3 day week (maybe a 2 day week if slow) and definitely an even better deal on long term projects. So, if you are trying to compete against that, doing a 7 day week, you'll get knocked off pretty quickly unless the client really insists on going with you. And, the other thing that rental houses have going for them is the support and the ability to come to the rescue if something breaks or malfunctions, which is always tougher for owner/operators.

    So like anything else in this industry, YMMV, but I think you will find it rather common for 2-3 day weeks.
    Steve Sherrick
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    Also, keep in mind, traditional rental houses are also now competing against places like lensrentals.com, borrowlenses.com, etc. So they have to make some compromises to compete against places like that too. They may try things to sweeten the deal.
    Steve Sherrick
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  7. #7  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Expanding on this a bit. Discounts are common. Like nearly every rental/job/project common. Big houses certainly are nice to returning studios and producers. But more-so is the relevance of how long a rental might be. There's a few moments where cameras are rented for say several months or *gasp* even a year, which usually inspires some creative bidding.

    It's nearly impossible to get full boat rental on a project of decent duration. Which is why commercials are so lucrative for the industry as a whole. It's rare even to find two week long commercial shoots. Most are 1-3 days that I've seen in the couple decades unless it's fairly ambitious, then the sky is the limit.

    It's not an easy discussion really. With the online rental services, numerous rental houses in peak markets, and a large population of owner/operators (which really didn't exist until late 2000s) it's become a rather competitive market heightened by the occasional rogue agent who is undercutting by 50% or less that has a worse impact on things.

    Personal and professional advice, particularly if renting to a client on a project. They can and will turn the screws on you for sure, but sometimes and often projects are ambitious in budget towards equipment desires. Find ways where you can adapt and prosper, but don't chop off your leg and get into a pattern of doing so. You only have so many limbs before people start harvesting appendages from others.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
    ________________________________
    phfx.com IMDB
    PHFX | tools

    2X RED Monstro 8K VV Bodies and a lot of things to use with them.

    Data Sheets and Notes:
    Red Weapon/DSMC2
    Red Dragon
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