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Pilot for rent, how much should I charge?


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#1 Alan Rencher

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 01:41 PM

I have a Steadicam Pilot that I would like to rent out to other operators. I'm pretty new to the Steadicam community, and I'm not sure what a fair price would be for it. Also, could anyone give me pointers for renting it out (ie contracts, do's and don'ts, etc)?

I don't have a follow focus or any other accessories. On that note, does anyone rent out their follow focus kits, or should I just go to a rental house?

Thanks - Alan Rencher
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#2 Bryant Swanstrom

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:43 PM

All I know is that Samy's Camera rents out Pilots for 250 a day...
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#3 Brian Freesh

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 04:02 PM

Basically, you are now a rental house, treat yourself like one.

Check out Pilot/Flyer rental prices from rental houses, see what is included in their package, and base your rental on that. Samy's is overly expensive (though I hope that comes with excellent service, I wouldn't know). You can rent a Flyer elsewhere for $250/day. It's okay to go lower, but I don't recommend going undercutting crazy. If Samy's is $250 and a lesser quality place is $150, maybe you feel okay at $200 (just an example, not gonna be upset if you don't). $100 on the other hand may get your gear rented more often (but is it more than twice as often?) but it will also give you a bad reputation, both among colleagues, and as "the cheap guy" so it'll be difficult to raise your prices later.

You should absolutely have a contract. Go to a rental house and ask for their terms and conditions. That's what yours should look like. Anything else I could specify will be covered in that. (hint: insurance)

If your follow focus concern is for rentals: It might be simpler to just not offer it. If someone asks, you can refer them to your favorite rental house/person who rents one.

If it is for yourself: Find what you like and what works for you. Maybe a rental house, maybe a friend, maybe someone on the forum. What about wireless video? Otherwise you'll have to be tethered. Maybe you need to rent/buy a solution for that as well. Etc...

Remember that people do not treat rented equipment like their own.
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#4 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 06:09 PM

You can rent a Flyer elsewhere for $250/day

whoah... What the?
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#5 Brian Freesh

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 06:56 PM

You can rent a Flyer elsewhere for $250/day

whoah... What the?


How very vague!

Surprised? Did you expect that to be higher or lower? Or do you just want to know where? :)

Birns and Sawyer rents theirs for $250/day (12v, SD monitor), they have a Pilot too, $175/day

HD Camera rentals rents a Flyer F24 with an HD monitor for $245/day.

Those are the 2 I was referring to, out of curiosity, I checked Indie Rentals, thought they had a Pilot or Flyer. They have a Merlin w/ Arm/Vest for $150/day and a Glidecam V-16 for the same.

Free research for ya Alan, though if I was you I wouldn't trust me. :)
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#6 Alan Rencher

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 06:58 PM

Basically, you are now a rental house, treat yourself like one.

Check out Pilot/Flyer rental prices from rental houses, see what is included in their package, and base your rental on that. Samy's is overly expensive (though I hope that comes with excellent service, I wouldn't know). You can rent a Flyer elsewhere for $250/day. It's okay to go lower, but I don't recommend going undercutting crazy. If Samy's is $250 and a lesser quality place is $150, maybe you feel okay at $200 (just an example, not gonna be upset if you don't). $100 on the other hand may get your gear rented more often (but is it more than twice as often?) but it will also give you a bad reputation, both among colleagues, and as "the cheap guy" so it'll be difficult to raise your prices later.

You should absolutely have a contract. Go to a rental house and ask for their terms and conditions. That's what yours should look like. Anything else I could specify will be covered in that. (hint: insurance)

If your follow focus concern is for rentals: It might be simpler to just not offer it. If someone asks, you can refer them to your favorite rental house/person who rents one.

If it is for yourself: Find what you like and what works for you. Maybe a rental house, maybe a friend, maybe someone on the forum. What about wireless video? Otherwise you'll have to be tethered. Maybe you need to rent/buy a solution for that as well. Etc...

Remember that people do not treat rented equipment like their own.


Thanks Brian, that helps me a lot. I really appreciate the advice I've gotten from you and the Steadicam community on this board. Keep it up guys! I look forward to joining your ranks!
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#7 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:13 PM

How very vague!


That's how I roll, unfortunately my keyboard is incapable of creating a smiley thingy, otherwise I would totally insert one here for emotional emphasis and whatnot. Anyhoo, yes, that is low... Talk about devaluation, was where I was going with all of this until I got sidetracked by the other nonsense
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#8 Brian Freesh

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:58 PM

$250 is just the rig and batteries, nothing else, at least from Birns. I assume the one from HD Camera Rentals includes batteries!

I don't see that as being low for a rig with a max payload of 15 lbs (okay, we'll stretch that to 20, I can't be the only one who has) and nothing else. Add in a BFD, transmitter, receiver, maybe a down converter, yeah, package price will be higher. Birns and HD Camera Rentals have had those prices for at least 3 years since I first called them to find out, so it's not like they've lowered it over time.
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