OH! just one more option…
So in my last posting asking for feedback on potential purchases, I forgot to include a BIG one…..
I should get a small “Toy Hauler” towable camper. This has been on my mind since the first feature on which I served as DIT back in 2010, in the heat and humidity of the elements of coastal southern Georgia. It makes sense to operate my DIT cart in a climate-controlled environment. It also makes sense that it would be portable, and be easy to roll my cart in and out for stage work. And I KNOW that all the DP’s I work with will LOVE being able to come crash for a power nap or just get away from set for a few moments.
In addition to being my on-set working space, It would also serve double duty as my lodging, and I would potentially SAVE money as I could cook most of my meals in the kitchen, as most hotels I end up staying in don’t have anything more than a Microwave. I could competitively price the camper vs. the housing that is being brokered for crew AND the fact that it’s a stable place to work on location, garnering additional potential rental income. I would obviously have to negotiate services common to the other production “MoHo’s,” like hooking me up to base camp/set power, refueling my on-board generator, and emptying and supplying the fluid tanks. Hell I could even potentially have Transpo haul it around… but we’ll see about that.
Biggest bonus? No more porta-johns. I’ll always have my own private toilet.
Obstacles… Biggest one is the initial investment. Even getting a used one, I’ll spend $10k easy, and I have to have a vehicle to tow it, as my minivan isn’t up to the task, so a ‘beater’ pickup capable of towing it but being reliable enough to do so on long trips adds another $2-$5k. I certainly could get rid of my Van at that point, but I wouldn’t break even.
Then there’s the political pressure. Call me crazy but I actually LIKE to negotiate my own terms and rates when I’m working, which is among the reasons I like independent films, and I don’t know how IATSE 600 would look upon me operating like this, and what the Teamsters would have to say either if they’re hauling it around and setting it up at base camp during production. To be honest, I could really care less. More than likely I wouldn’t be “ALLOWED” to operate this thing as I’m envisioning it under a union contract. Especially when, since it’s my living space, I could operate as a local anywhere I could tow it.
This would be an investment that I would obviously operate for YEARS. Additionally this could be built as a ‘take-it-to-you’ coloring room, as I envision moving out of set operations, and offering independent film final color grading, but in a mobile setup. I could certainly be my office at home when I’m not working on the road as well, and even be uses as *GASP* a camper that I’d use for family trips!
I honestly don’t know how to estimate any ROI on this one. I know my buddy Jochen has talked about doing the same thing with a step van, but a tow-plant would be more advantageous in my opinion.
- 1 year ago
Potential new gear purchases ~ please advise!
Need some feedback regarding some potential DIT/work-related purchases. All would improve productivity, only some could bring additional compensation, what do you think?
- Indie FIlm “Video Village.” This would be a portable cart setup with two calibrated 21-inch 1080pHD LCD monitors with hoods, dedicated and color coded video and power cabling, battery/inverter powered, and also serve as a charging station for camera department batteries. Capital outlay: $8k-$11k. Additional RENTAL INCOME POTENTIAL: $150-$200/DAY
- HONDA EU2000i “put-put” 2000 watt generator. This 50 lb. portable generator is quiet, and is a much sought-after piece of equipment on film sets because of that and it’s stable power delivery. I’ve been issued one several times to power my DIT cart in remote locations, or when the plant Genny is shut down and I need to finish up the day. Capital outlay: $1200. Additional RENTAL INCOME POTENTIAL: $30-$50/DAY
- “HacPro” PC running OSX. I have more than already reached the expandability options of my current MacPro-based DIT system, with it’s limiting factor of only 4 PCIe expansion slots. A “HacPro” running dual i7 processors with 7 PCIe slots would allow me to run the hardware I need without having to constantly swap out cards, plus give me better performance at a lower price. Could sell the MacPro once it’s up and running and stable. Capital outlay: $2k - $3k. Additional RENTAL INCOME POTENTIAL: $0 - $150
- Sennheiser 2000 series wireless audio transmitter & receiver. Not having audio files sent to digital cameras all the time adds a HUGE amount of work for me to create dailies, and timecode can and always does have drift issues from time to time. As long as I can get reliable scratch audio to the camera files with this HIGH POWER solution, it’ll make that part of my job MUCH easier. Capital outlay: $1800. Additional RENTAL INCOME POTENTIAL: $10-20/DAY?
- Tangent Element Color control surface. I want to start moving towards post and final color correction using DaVinci Resolve, and the Tangent Element modular control surface has caught my eye, will allow me to work faster and develop muscle memory to grade on set in my DIT realm, but also directly carry over to post work. The main issue is which of the modular panels to purchase - all four for a savings of hundreds of dollars vs. each individual panel, or initially just the “TK” panel containing the primary color ball/wheels? Capital outlay: $1200 - $4000. Additional RENTAL INCOME POTENTIAL: $25 - 50/DAY?
- BlackMagic Cinema Camera. I have been contemplating jumping back into the “camera” side of things lately, it’s crazy that my old DVX-100 cost more than this 2.5k RAW camera a decade ago. I would potentially use this for my own smaller productions and documentary work, but could also rent it out to indie features as their “ENG” package for behind-the-scenes production. It comes with the full version of DaVinci Resolve as well, a purchase I was planning to make separately anyway. Bad news is even though it’s cheap, I still have to rig it out with lenses and AKS, adding additional thousands to the investment. Capital outlay: $4000 - $10,000. Additional RENTAL INCOME POTENTIAL: $100 - 200/DAY?
- 1 year ago