While filmmaking is a wonderful fulfilling endeavor, it can also be anxiety-inducing. We understand how incredibly difficult the creative process can be. Our mission is to ensure your rental process goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
With that in mind, we put together a list of rental hacks - drawn from our experiences - to ensure you have the smoothest rental experience!
1. Plan Transportation Ahead of Time
We tried fitting the 48x48 flag into a trunk ourselves. It doesn't work :/
Over the years, we’ve seen countless configurations of film equipment fit into car trunks. While orienting gear with Tetris-like precision is an impressive skill, planning ahead on how you’d like to transport your rentals can prevent these problems all together! Depending on the needs of your set, it might be helpful to either rent a larger vehicle or even swap a specific piece of equipment out entirely! A particularly infamous offender is our 48x48 floppy flag. A stubborn frame, the 48x48 floppy flag refuses to fit into sedans or mini-vans alike - not even diagonally! However, with the proper vehicle or the right-sized equipment, your gear will fit faster and you’ll become a Tetris master!
2. Schedule a Training Session for the Gimbals
DJI Ronin 2 & the RED Dragon 1 are an amazing stabilization pair with just a bit of practice.
At Camera Ambassador, we have a large selection of gimbals - anywhere from the handheld stabilizer for GoPro cameras to the larger bulkier 2 3-axis gimbals. While they may seem simple to operate, gimbals take a lot of time and effort goes towards fully understanding how to operate them. Furthermore, it’s important to fully understand the various unique features and attributes that make each gimbal distinct from one another.
While using the gimbals might seem daunting, don’t worry! Just call up one of our wonderful techs and ask to prep / be trained on this piece of gear. With our help, we can guarantee smooth sailing (or, filming?) from here on out!
3. Tell Us More About Your Gear
Somethings are perfect matches, like EF Lenses & RED cameras or dogs and camera gear.
Oftentimes, pieces of equipment in a build can have compatibility issues. These problems can cost you time on the day of your prep. So, when you’re giving your rental house a gear list, it never hurts to mention what camera and lenses you’re using. Through the collaboration of both our Rentals Manager and Technicians, our expert gear gurus can avoid compatibility issues and provide you with the best match for your equipment. Furthermore, with enough attention and time, we are even able to help organize a sub-rental to find compatible gear for you ahead of time! Sit back and relax as our wonderful team plays matchmaker for you and your equipment!
4. Consider Other Options for Insurance
Jason Packham is our Wonderful Insurance Agent.
Here are some more insider tips/tricks for insurance that we’ve learned while working with clients! If you’re a freelancer planning on working multiple shoots throughout the year, consider choosing more long-term annual insurance options over short-term policies since the longer the policy, the more cost-effective it’ll be. Furthermore, previous clients have also pooled together to buy an insurance policy together and split the cost. From the rental side, we often encounter insurance policies with multiple names in it and it hasn’t been an issue. So, going in on insurance policies with a friend is another great money-saving measure!
If you're interested in learning more about insurance, visit our Insurance Webpage!
5. Learn How to Secure Ratchet Straps
Be kind. Re-Ratchet.
Renting out our grip trucks anytime soon? While seemingly niche, learning how to tighten ratchet straps is actually a really helpful skill! Avoid damaging equipment in the truck by fastening the strap to the carts - that way, you can feel confident and focused when driving the truck. With the help of a quick YouTube video, you’ll be securing like a pro!
Tutorial on Securing Ratchet Straps.
BONUS TIP: Buy Tape and Other Items In-House!
Coffee, gaff tap, rolling papers? We got your expendable needs covered at our front desk!
Missing gaff tape? On the hunt for Teradek mounts? Searching for a quick caffeine fix?
We also sell expendables! While waiting on your order, be sure to come check out the front desk for various film-related products. Our goal is for Camera Ambassador to become a one-stop-shop for your film shoot and we hope that these expendables are especially useful!