Why Red Finch Rental has the Best-Maintained Cameras and Why There is so Much Bling in Hollywood

Posted by Mark Hedengren on

Why Red Finch Rental has the Best-Maintained Cameras
•    We use our gear for stock- Because Red Finch employees actively shoot stock footage with our equipment, we are continually maintaining and are familiar with our equipment.
•    Red Finch Rental owned one of the first 100 RED Cameras in the world. No one has more experience with digital cinema cameras in the state.
•    As the only RED Authorized Rental House in the Mountain Time Zone, we have access to parts, repairs, and support that no else has. 
•    Our staff works full-time, so we have more staff hours to check and fix equipment
•    Our expert camera prep technicians all have over 10-years of set experience with Alexa and RED cameras. 
•    Because we own fifteen Canon cameras, we have access to repair and support that others do not have.
Why There is so Much Bling in LA (AKA Hollywood Film Industry)
I’m sure you’ve noticed that LA is the land of bling and posturing. The director I used to work for, Lauren Greenfield, recently released a movie for Amazon Prime called Generation Wealthabout it. It’s good, especially since it has to do with her own personal journey in the arts. Anyone working in film would find Generation Wealthinteresting.
I have a theory why so much money is on display (and so little in the bank) in LA and in the film business in general. For contrast let me tell a brief story. A friend of mine, who was an economics professor at a local university, invited me to see him present his research. On this Saturday morning, I looked around the room and there were five professors. All in running shoes (clearly no one had done anything athletic in a while) and generally shabbily dressed. I realized the reason why this was the case is that everyone in the room was aware of everyone else’s publication and accomplishments in the field, so there was no need to communicate any authoritative clothing, car ,or attitude. It is a small field, and so you can be aware of everyone’s experience. And also, in economics, if you don’t know what it means to publish an article in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, you probably aren’t worth trying to impress.
So, film industry is the opposite of that situation. The core group of people it takes to make a movie are a film writer, Director of Photography, Director, Gaffer, Production Sound, Actor, Producer. None of these positions can genuinely know if the other one is good at their job. So, people have to make choices of hiring or working with someone despite the fact they don’t know if the other one is any good. They know their field well, but they don’t know other areas, such as sound or acting, nearly as well. So, that’s where the posturing comes in. A way of posturing is to be incredibly rude. I’ve always found this a funny way of doing it because in any other field this behavior would never work and would get you fired. But it film it works to be rude to people because for some reason people think, “Wow, this guy must be good or else why would he be so rude?” It’s weird, but I think that’s the thought. Honestly, I’ve found that rude people are generally just trying to cover up something and are deeply unhappy about their failure in the field and so, in fact, it's a sign they aren't good at what they do. So, that’s why they are rude, don’t mistake it for knowledge. Also, it’s no fun to work with people like that so I would write them off. Meanness hurts the whole production. If you hire a mean gaffer and you think, “Well, he’s not mean to me because I’m the producer.” The mean gaffer is hurting your ability to hire good PAs and grips. They won’t want to work on your sets and those PAs and Grips are your future gaffers that you, as a producer, need. Also, in this post-Harvey-Weinstein-world, do you want a mean older man/women being rude to young men and women on your set? Do you want a lawsuit?
I think that’s another reason some department heads are incredibly rude. They want people to drop out of their field so there is less competition. Meanness has been very effective in small markets like Utah. That’s why a 30 to 40-year-old gaffer is super rare in the state. Most everywhere else in the world, 50% of working gaffers are in their 30s or 40s. But, of course, as Utah film grows, these anti-competitive tactics become less effective. Red Finch Rental is part of that. We do not price fix. I can’t tell you how many times I have had competitors try to get me to price fix or have yelled at me because of my prices. 
Now, to the money. The one thing that all of those fields (action/writing/camera/sets/acting etc.) all understand is money. So, if you show that you have cash (fancy car/house/clothes) people will assume you must be good at what you do. This isn’t always true, but because people in LA work from job to job and have zero security, they spend a lot of time showing the money. This creates a culture where there are a lot of broke people, such as Nicolas Cage, Lindsey Lohan, and Johnny Depp
The short of it is, take the time to try to learn other fields in film. That way, you can be sure you are working with who know what they are doing rather than judging them by things that don’t matter.
Best of Luck
Mark Hedengren

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