There are more motion picture rental companies in Paris than almost anywhere else. That makes sense, since France is the number 3 feature-producing country on the planet, and Paris is the epicenter. A century of cinema culture and the fact that most French families go to the cinema every week help. Box office last year was huge. The French CNC helps to fund films and support the technical support ecosystem, collecting a 1 Euro tax on each ticket sold. This stimulates production and investment in new equipment. It’s a dynamic system that could be a model even among tea partiers in the US.
One of the most vibrant new Parisian companies is PhotoCineRent. In the past two years, what began with a couple of Canon 5D cameras that still photographer Albrecht Gerlach rented to his friends between jobs has grown into a major rental, sales and support company. It reminds me of an early AbelCine — in France. With a staff of 16 (not counting Howard Preston, visiting, above) they are dealers for Sony F65, Canon C300, Zeiss, ARRI accessories and lights, and more. On the day we visited last week, three new Sony F65 cameras were being prepped and a UPS deliveryman was walking in the door with the first Canon C300. A few minutes later Fujinon’s rep delivered a new Fujinon Premier 24-180 T2.6 zoom to complete their inventory of the entire line of Premiers: 14.5-45 T2.0, 18-85 T2.0, 75-400 T2.8-3.8.
PhotoCineRent has a growing inventory of Sony F65 cameras, ARRI Alexas, and I think I heard something about 35 Canon C300 cameras coming in. Their vaults contained ZEISS Primes, Angenieux Optimos, Cookes, and space for 6 sets of Leica Summilux-C.
Above: Managing Directors Albrecht Gerlach (who bubbles with ideas at 96 fps) and Tatiana Pereira (the business brains of the establishment)–hiding their apprehension as Geek the feral PhotoCineRent Dog ran amok among almost a million dollars worth of new equipment.