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Rob Guerrero

Who else has difficulty finding a rental house with a good selection of analog movie cameras these days?

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I actually own two 35mm movie cameras and I have to rent them out to other indie filmmakers /cinematographers who have trouble finding analog gear. Any places in the Hollywood area thats rents analog movie cameras anymore? Most every rental house I have checked in the LA area that used to carry analog movie cameras have either gone out of business  or they have a very spare selection of analog film cameras maybe a ARRICAM and thats it. Or the rental won't rent to you unless you have the backing of a major movie studio. Any rental houses with a good selection of analog gear out there still friendly to indie / low budget filmmakers? There used to be quite a few ... now hardly any, almost every rental house is  98% digital.

I know there are still filmmakers shooting film because I just saw Star Wars!

Purchasing movie cameras is a different story though!! Plenty of places I found selling vintage 35mm and 16mm analog film cameras!! Maybe that is the only option these days.

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We rented Arricams for "The Love Witch" from Otto Nemenz Cameras. On "Westworld", we rented Arricams from Kelsow Camera -- we had almost seven bodies on the show at some point because we were shooting both 3-perf spherical and 4-perf anamorphic on season 2 of "Westworld".  But "The Love Witch" was a very low-budget movie. Besides those two companies, there is Panavision of course.

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The Camera Division has Arricam Studios and LTs, as well as 435s. I think most rental houses probably have film cameras sitting on the shelf, they just don’t really bother to advertise them these days.

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I have a small fleet of film cameras of varying formats and I have lived off the income for a while. Most of the time it's my XTR Prod that sees the most work, but sometimes I also get some Bolex and 35III work as well. 

Here in LA, there are a few companies, namely Panavision, Otto, Camtec and Keslow. There are some smaller mom and pop shops that are great as well, but they're far in between. I'd say we have a pretty decent supply of cameras, even though most of the rental houses have gotten rid of theirs. 

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Thank's guys, great responses!! David I will check with Otto it sounds like they are the more indie filmmaker friendly of the two. Keslow does have a great selection of ARRI 35mm cameras for rent but the last time I tried to rent from Keslow they seemed to prefer a major movie studio like Warner Bros. backing the DP. Rental houses like AbelCine do not even rent / sell analog film movie camera anything anymore. And yes there is always Panavision.

Stuart, Tyler I will check with Camera Division and Camtech. I never tried either of those rental houses.

There used to be a great place called Old School Cameras in Burbank that was in business for a few years but they downsized and moved to Oceanside, CA. Some of the gear in Burbank was sold or rented through Alan Gordon in Hollywood, and indeed Alan Gordon now does have a great selection of 16mm analog gear for rent...including one Bolex movie camera! Not too much 35mm anymore for rent but the best selection of 35mm movie cameras for sale anywhere in California that I have found!

Still it would be great to see a traditional walk in old school rental house again with vintage analog movie camera gear in LA with Aaton, Eclair, Bolex, Cinema Products  ...ect. movie cameras. But those days I am afraid are long gone. Clairmont Camera used to have the best selection of 35mm / 16mm movie cameras for rent IMO but those great vintage movie cameras were long sold, from what I heard, most went for sale at auction, then to Alan Gordon and Keslow after Clairmont went out of business.

For the 2020s, although online rental and not a traditional "walk in" rental house, it looks like the "new" old school vintage movie rental house will be Sharegrid ! Wow some great vintage movie cameras are on that site including those rare vintage French movie cameras (Aaton / Eclair).

Edited by Rob Guerrero

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Maintenance especially on sound cameras is very important. 

A good shop like Keslow, Ottos or Panavision can be a big asset even if you can rent cheaper.

Panavision has a long history of supporting young film makers that don't have a big budget. . . maybe give them a chance to help. 

Thanks for keeping film alive!

Neal Norton
DP

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2 hours ago, Rob Guerrero said:

Still it would be great to see a traditional walk in old school rental house again with vintage analog movie camera gear in LA with Aaton, Eclair, Bolex, Cinema Products  ...ect. movie cameras.

Yea sadly everyone focuses on digital these days. The "FILM" cameras aren't really a priority, they keep them around because they make money. For me, my film cameras are my life so you'll only get that from me when you want to rent a camera. 🙂

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