DEFINITION May 2022 - Web


work quicker, smarter and more cost- effectively. These customers aren’t so hooked on a brand, but are focused on what the equipment will deliver. Take lighting, for example. This has seen a major increase in demand, as people seek compact, affordable solutions that can be operated remotely by the recipient, with set-up via Zoom. Brands like Aputure have moved quickly to capitalise, offering reliable and affordable solutions. The same can be said for remote monitoring, with Hollyland emerging. Or with lenses, as brands like DZO go first to market with affordable cine zooms for Sony E-mount. DANA HARRISON: Arri has made a commitment to be at the forefront of the possibilities through virtual production, including the opening of a mixed reality/virtual production stage here at our facilities in Uxbridge – but the technology is still emerging. From a rental inventory perspective, current cinema cameras and lenses integrate into virtual production set-ups, so Arri Rental is able to complement the stage here at Uxbridge by supporting it with existing inventory. When it comes to specialist gear like camera tracking, Arri has partnerships with other companies, but we’ll continue to monitor the market and see how this develops. We will keep an eye on those trends and the requirements driven by the needs of virtual production, but we are not currently looking at changing our stock. MARNER: As a B2B company, we will always stock what our customer needs. If you don’t adapt with the times, you simply get left behind! Is there anything else that needs talking about, in terms of being a rental house in the video production industry? SMITH: I don’t think there has ever been a more difficult time to be a rental house. Competition is as high as it has ever been, there are more products, crew are buying more kit than ever before, while lenders are cautious. What you spend money on in the next few years is going to be crucial. As we all learnt from lockdowns, it doesn’t matter how much kit you own, if nobody is actually using it. Being a profitable business and making smart decisions is the key to longevity – the simple

accumulation mentality is no longer sustainable with the amount of products on the market. LOLLIOT: Sustainability is a key area that rental houses are discussing and continuing to work on together, putting it at the core of our businesses. It is vital the whole industry is talking about this. Both production and rental houses are looking to find new solutions for single-use items, plastic or otherwise. It is important that manufacturers are on board with this drive, creating upgrade paths, access to spares, while also looking at how equipment is transported. This issue needs the whole chain to be involved and proactive. Also, regarding general sustainability, the camera tech apprentice scheme was launched in 2021,

that people regularly need, as well as gambling on some of the newer options. Hopefully our bets will pay off. How have emerging technologies, such as virtual production, increased the demand for specialist gear. Are you looking at changing your stock? SMITH: Not really. However, we’ve been told FF/LF is very good for virtual background capture, because of the quick focus fall-off. LOLLIOT: It is exciting to see VP and LED volumes have moved into the mainstream, not just the high-end feature films. We work closely with a robotics company for motion control tracking, which is an excellent pairing with LED. Never before have we been so concerned with sensor readout times! We have already invested in LED panels and processing, and will continue to support projects. Demand for all sorts of specialist kit has increased over the past few years, with a growth in expedition and natural-history clients. We have worked on innovative ways for camera movement and protection, investing in new grip and systems – as productions challenge us to find ways of enhancing their creative vision. The past year has seen us replace the majority of our Tungsten lighting with LED, as it is more environmentally friendly, sustainable, and has come on leaps and bounds – it’s an exciting space to be investing in. BEARD: We’re always looking at current trends and solutions, considering ourselves as early adopters of new brands and technologies. The industry, broadly speaking, falls into two camps: established users who stick with tried-and-tested brands and technology, and those seeking ways to

“Sustainability is a key area that rental houses are discussing and continuing to work on together, putting it at the core of our businesses. It is vital the whole industry is talking about this”


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