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Rentals and Learning Curves

Sebastian Haff · 1 · 924

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Sebastian Haff

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on: February 23, 2004, 08:18:29 PM
This spring / summer, I'm going to start shooting interviews for my first feature - a documentary.

As is usually the case, the project is self-funded, and on a zero budget.

I'm going to be doing a week's worth of interviews on my first batch, and then probably another week's worth several months later.

My initial thoughts are that I would rent an XL-1, tripod, 2 or 3 very small tota lites and a wireless microphone setup to shoot things.

I'm pretty decent with catching on to things, so an hour with an XL-1 manual should get me started pretty well.

My question is this...

In your experience in renting gear, do you ever find your lack of familiarity with the gear to be a hindrance?

The reason I ask is because I also have another option - one of "afro-engineering" a small $500 palmcorder to a pro DV deck via firewire, and purchasing some Rat Shack wireless lapel microphones. This arrangement would work, but I don't like the idea of having to "rig" something. Plus, the image quality probably wouldn't compare.

I'd rather do it right the first time, which is why I'm leaning toward renting the equipment. However, since it's a rental, I'll have ZERO experimentation time. It'll be "plug in and shoot".

What do you consider the best plan in this situation?