F11 Rentals out at Gibson

Our gear made it out to Beverly Hills last week for a shoot at the Gibson Brands Showroom.

Safety First

Today I want to talk about safety on set. It's a boring topic, one that nobody cares about until the day your camera is on fire, your first AD is in a coma and a state of emergency has been declared around your set.  

This is an exaggeration of course, but there is nothing worse and nothing more frustrating than dealing with an accident on set.

Now the number one thing you can do is make sure you express to your crew that safety is the number one priority. On small crews with a limited number of people where everyone is doing two or three jobs here are the quickest fixes that will prevent most problems. 


Throw some dirt on it. 

If it's a stand holding anything whatsoever it should have a sandbag holding it down. Which means when you rent a light kit with six lights you need to remember to rent six sand bags. Stands are heavy and hard and once they tip over the only thing you can do is pray no one gets hit and nothing gets broke. Bags are cheap, make sure to have plenty of them.


Gaff tape is cheaper than a lawsuit.

Cable management is the other big one. You run a power cord and figure people will be able to avoid just one extension cord. Then you run a pigtail back for audio, audio figures that everyone can avoid just one cable. Then you run some BNC to get a monitor up, surely no one will trip on it, then some timecode goes down, let's run a second monitor, hey; let's audition a special on that painting in the corner, while we're at it let run the camera on AC to save batteries for later. Just like that you have a spaghetti circus on your hands. Tape down all your cables, it not only makes your set look nice but also makes it much safer. (Bonus tip don't run your audio lines next to your power, it can cause interference.)

If all else fails sweep it under the rug.

Rubber mats are a shortcut to the cable game. Run all your cables, nice and messy (the fun way) then just throw a mat over it to make it safe. . .Safe-ish  


Sound Devices 664

We now have for your production pleasure the Sound Devices 664 6-channel portable mixer and recorder. If you want truly professional audio on your next project the 664 will be able to handle whatever you can throw at it.

Green Screen - Perfect for Corporate Video Production #greenscreen #videoproduction

St Patrick's Day, almost over, but I thought it might be a good time to talk about green screen.  The video equivalent of a blank slate oozing with imaginative possibilities.  Appropriate?  When most people think of green screens, they think of big budget movies where the actors are flying around, destroying things or doing unbelievable super acts in fantasy worlds.  They're used for that but they are used far more often in corporate video production and corporate storytelling than most people realize.  We do a good amount of corporate video production and there aren't too many weeks that go by where we aren't either shooting with a green screen or sending out an estimate for green screen production.
In Las Vegas, there are so many conventions coming through town and it's a great place for corporations to either show off products, grab customer testimonials or gather together executives to speak on camera.  Instead of using a boring convention room with blah coloring and no dimension, a green screen offers so many more options, it's tough to pass up.  We key out the green and boom, you're creativity runs wild but mostly simple wild, nothing crazy.  We have a few on hand from a simple pop out 6x6 to a paper roll 10 foot wide to a full on 10x20 wraparound fabric.  These can all be taken on location and built to whatever specs the client is looking for.  It's an effective and creative solution.

Green screen is not out of anyone's budget.  That's another misnomer that people tend to have.  It's an additional cost for sure but the quality and flexibility of post production because of it is far more valuable than saving a few dollars.  If for your next production you haven't thought about it, ask us about green screen and you'll be glad you have fun options to play with down the line.  If all else fails, you can always put the CEO talking about EBITDA in the middle of a corn field.

Now, in honor of St. Patrick's Day I leave you with one of my favorite themed commercials, even though it's a couple years old.

Saying Goodbye to the HDX 900 & HVX 200 #panasonic #cameras

We're saying good bye over here to a couple of our old workhorses.  Just sold a Panasonic  HDX 900 and a Panasonic HVX 200 and we'll be sending them off this week.  It's tough to see those two cameras go, we haven't had much call for them recently but they both made some incredible pictures and captured hours of great video.
The HDX 900 is still in use in many television productions as some old companies still prefer tape based archiving.  It's much more difficult to erase a tape they say.....I agree if you have no idea how to use a computer.  But that's for another conversation.  I understand it's a great camera but I think the time to upgrade to some of the more technologically superior formats.  We held onto it as long as we were getting calls but that time seems to be over.

The HVX 200 was a game changer when it came out.  It held up all these years and is still in use for indie productions all over the world.  We haven't had the calls for it due to upgrading our camera gear to the Panasonic HPX 500, Sony PMW 300 and Canon C300.  However, it was a valuable piece of equipment and no doubt has been for countless other individuals and companies.

So, thank you to Panasonic for these two great cameras and we're looking forward to more in the future.  They are going to good homes too!

PMW-300 Battery Update

It looks like Sony's has limited the use of third party batteries in their new PMW-300 camera.  The DC input has been limited to 12v which means if you are trying to power the camera using the switronics series 7 or the ikan'sIBS-U65, you will get a high voltage error in the camera.
Hope fully Sony comes out with a firmware upgrade to address this issue. The camera can handle 11-17vso there is no reason the DC input is limited to 12v.




New Equipment

Stands Stands

F11 Rentals recently added some new equipment to their grip and lighting arsenal in order to better serve clients and enhance the already impressive offering from Las Vegas' premiere, full service production company.