Please welcome our most recent sponsor: PhotoCineRent in Paris. This is a rapidly growing camera rental and sales company in Paris, headed by Albrecht Gerlach. In the year since I first met Albrecht last year at cinec, the company has grown incredibly fast. They have 4 Alexas and 4 more on order, 50 Canon HDSLRs, Sony F3, Red, Angenieux, Cooke, Fujinon, Zeiss lenses (and 4 sets of Leica Summilux-C lenses and more REDs on order) and much more. Is this a new kind of rental house – without any legacy film or 2/3″ equipment?
Actually, Albrecht didn’t begin PhotoCineRent out of thin air. He was an accomplished still photographer, doing fashion, sports, and photo journalism in Brazil for many years. He visited Paris in 2007, fell in love with his now-fiancé Tatiana Pereira, and continued in stills for 4 years, and worked as unit photographer on a feature. “That was like film school for me,” Albrecht said. They started a small production company. “But I was always an equipment junkie, and starting a rental company was the best way to support that habit.” Now, two years later, PhotoCineRent has 9 people on staff and continues growing.
Albrecht was born in East Berlin. He was 14 when the wall came down. His first job, as a kid, was selling bits of the Berlin Wall to tourists. He began freelancing as a photographer for magazines at an early age. During high school, he was an exchange student in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Next stops: the UK, Sao Paolo, Rio, Paris. Albrecht is the equipment hound; Tatiana is the brains behind logistics. She worked in film production, and when they started their own production company, they quickly found that they needed to rent out their gear in between jobs. “Owning equipment only works if it shoots all the time,” Albrecht said. So, they shared with friends and colleagues. Soon, they were spending all their time just renting equipment. What started in accessories and things like P+S Technik Pro35 Adaptors quickly grew into high-end rentals housed in a large space in downtown Paris – about 40 blocks north of Notre Dame Cathedral.
PhotoCineRent also sells. They are ZEISS, Canon, and Denz resellers. I asked whether this dual role in sales and rental could be perceived as a conflict of interest. Albrecht said, “Often our customers need to mix and match. They often rent what they can’t afford at the moment, or aren’t sure of buying for a particular job. I think they feel comfortable getting it all from one place – especially since productions often happen at the last minute and it’s hard to plan ahead sometimes.”