With the previous chat on kits I felt I had bring this us: The Kit Rental... seems to be a dying breed. Now, I'm referring to "kits" as opposed to full on packages owned by Key Grips. With budgets getting smaller and producers wanting to squeeze more blood from our bones, I'm seeing a trend where kit rentals are being reduced to nothing.
My job is that of Dolly Grip - not Pencil Pusher. I deal in wedges, track and dollies. Most of my kit is stuff that makes my job easier. Lazers to help with marks, on board monitors to help with actors who can't hit marks, Cardellini Headlocks to help with that last second switch over in heads and speed wheels to help with the crappy track the rental houses have in their inventory.
I know that I'm not going to get rich off this stuff. It berely buys beer for the truck at the end of the week, but it makes my day go smoother. Would production be able to find most of this stuff at a rental house? I doubt it. I've always tried to stay of their toes and that way we're not having to do the "cheaper quote dance".
But now it's getting to the point of where producers don't want to pay focus pullers for their remote focus units (Preston, BFD, etc) - a huge time saver and a big investment. I've been trying to pull the cash together to purchase GI track, and I don't see a return on my investment especially based on the way the economy is going and with the studios producing less and less each year.
A lot of this comes from producers getting boned by guys who showed up with a wrench in their pocket and demanded a kit rental, then forcing production rent other kit related tools and ending up paying twice for the same kit.
How do you get around it?