Renting Equipment & Hiring Crew in India
Here is the information you need to know before renting equipment and crew in India. Whether you are an aspiring filmmaker or a seasoned professional, one of the crucial aspects of a successful film production is accessing high-quality equipment and assembling a competent crew. We have some important tips on the benefits and considerations of renting film equipment and hiring a crew in India, empowering you to make informed decisions for your next project.
You can source almost anything you would expect to find in your home country if you look hard enough. We often have to use multiple suppliers to source all the specific, branded, international standard, gear listed by an incoming Director of Photography but we usually find everything. Rental houses carry gear from Arri, RED, Sony, Dji, Aputure, and many more.
Indian crew can be amazingly hard working, helpful, and they are used to the climate and environment. This shouldn't be underestimated as foreign crews can take a while to adjust to the hot climate and chaotic environment.
Renting Film Equipment in India:
Wide Range of Equipment Choices
Renting film equipment in India offers a vast array of choices to cater to different project requirements and budget constraints. From state-of-the-art cameras, lenses, lighting kits, and sound equipment to specialized rigs and props, you can find almost anything you need.
Is it Cost-Effective?
The answer is, 'well it depends'. Whenever you rent film equipment in India it comes with obligatory crew members. They are often referred to as 'Attendants' in the camera department and 'Lightboys' in the electrical department. You will not be able to avoid some obligatory crew and your Line Producer in India can negotiate with suppliers to keep the numbers in check. It's not uncommon for a lighting rental company to insist on one 'lightboy' for each light so you will definitely need to negotiate.
If you are shooting in a city with film infrastructure such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, or Hyderabad the extra crew members can be good value for money. Their wages are negligible and having the extra bodies saves a lot of time. They become more of a financial burden if you need to transport your rental equipment long distances, to a location without film infrastructure, as you will need to cover all associated travel, board, and lodging expenses along with a per diem for each crew member.
On small documentary shoots it makes more sense to bring your equipment with you and avoid escalating crew numbers and the larger footprint they create.
***Important information*** It is a serious offence for a foreigner to bring a drone into India. If caught by customs expect them to take it very seriously.
Luckily you can easily hire drones of all shapes and sizes in India. However, if your production company, insurance provider, or broadcaster want you to use a properly licensed pilot, with a registered drone, and proper third party insurance your choices will be limited to the handful of pilots who can currently fulfil that criteria.
***Important information*** It is a serious offence for anyone to bring a satellite phone into India. If caught by customs, or other authorities outside the airport, expect them to take it very seriously. Their use within the country is limited to the military and a few licensed private security providers.
Hiring Crew in India:
Abundance of Talent
India's rich cultural heritage has nurtured a pool of exceptionally talented professionals across various film production domains. From directors, cinematographers, and production designers to editors, sound engineers, and costume designers, you can find skilled individuals for every role. Engaging local talent not only brings their expertise but also provides a nuanced understanding of Indian storytelling and aesthetics.
Hiring crew members in India often proves to be more cost-effective compared to some other film production hubs. This affordability does not compromise the quality of work, as the industry boasts experienced professionals who have worked on national and international projects. Collaborating with local crew members helps to optimize your budget and maintain a high production value.
Seamless Coordination and Cultural Understanding
When working in a foreign country, having a crew with local knowledge becomes invaluable. Indian crews are well-versed in the intricacies of navigating the local landscape, obtaining permits, accessing shooting locations, and managing logistics efficiently. Their cultural understanding and language proficiency facilitate seamless coordination with local authorities, talent, and vendors, ensuring a smooth production process.
Renting film equipment and hiring a competent crew in India can significantly enhance the success of your film production. The wide range of equipment choices, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility offered by rental houses allow you to access top-notch gear while optimizing your budget. Similarly, the abundance of talented professionals, cost-effective expertise, and cultural understanding of Indian crews streamline the production process and ensure a high-quality final product.
As you embark on your next film project in India, consider the benefits of renting film equipment and hiring local crew members. By leveraging the resources and talent available in the country, you can bring your creative vision to life while maximizing the potential of your film.