DEFINITION April 2022 - Newsletter


TOM JAY SMITH Chief sales officer, Dynamic Rentals

JESSICA LOLLIOT Commercial director, Pro Motion Hire

MATT BEARD Sales director, Hireacamera

After a decade at Video Europe, Smith moved to Dynamic Rentals in 2019 and helped pioneer the company’s unique, long-term rental programme.

Having worked in the industry for ten years, Lolliot ensures Pro Motion Hire’s clients get the best advice and equipment.

Starting in key accounts at Canon in 2007, Beard has a wealth of industry and business development experience that he brings to Hireacamera.

ANDREW PRIOR Head of camera technology and development UK, Arri Rental

DANA HARRISON Director of UK operations, Arri Rental

MATT MARNER Director, Video Europe

Harrison helps identify gaps in business processes and provide leadership within operational teams, to determine appropriate business re-engineering to close the gaps.

Founded in 1973, Marner saw a niche in the sub-rental market to deliver the high-quality equipment and support that DOPs expect, exclusively to other rental houses.

Arri Rental is built on a bedrock of knowledge, dating back more than a century – and Prior has been integral to expanding on that since 2004.

I n part one of this two-part series, the experts behind the industry’s most esteemed equipment rental companies tell us how they found their niche in a highly competitive market; what the launch of new cameras – like the Sony Venice 2, Arri 4K S35 and Red Raptor XL – means for business; and how the pandemic transformed (and decimated) some operations. Despite so much change, their outlook remains largely positive. Last time we caught up with equipment rental companies, we were in the throes of a global pandemic and the filmmaking landscape looked quite different. How did it affect business for you? Did it transform the way you work? And are there lessons learnt from it that you still carry out today? TOM JAY SMITH: Arguably the pandemic was the best thing that ever happened to us, being such a young company and expanding so fast. We suddenly had to stop and review. From the first week of lockdown, we met daily as a team on Zoom, and those down months allowed

us to refine processes, unite our global team and develop a new sales model driven by long-term rental (LTR). We are a much stronger company post-pandemic. JESSICA LOLLIOT: The year 2020 got off to a great start, but the pandemic effectively stopped the majority of production for a period of time. We continued to operate throughout with a small team, and supported various unique documentary projects that happened while many productions were halted. It was a big blow, as it was for businesses across our sector and so many others. Being a forward-thinking company, our IT systems were already VoIP and cloud-based prior to the pandemic, so the transition to working from home was straightforward, with no issues for our bookings team and zero interruption for clients. Operationally, we were a small crew for the majority of 2020, so were able to adhere to strict rules to ensure staff and clients remained safe. Duncan Martin, Alain Lolliot and I worked across all aspects of bookings,

prep and delivery, as we transitioned through the pandemic. We were conscious that this was a uniquely quiet period, and tried to make the best out of it by focusing on positive change. We brought in a new route optimisation software for deliveries and collections, and centralised our booking system across the north and south. We streamlined the business for staff and clients alike, really thinking about what we do best – high- end complex projects, with high levels of technical skill and customer service. “We took the opportunity to refresh and refine our website by adding more content, detail and functionality. We also worked through our stock portfolio”


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