The camera/gear rental house Revolution Cinema Rentals (formerly Hurlbut Visuals DSLR Cinema Rentals) recently held its Holiday Educational & Demonstration Festival at the company’s facility in San Fernando, Calif. The event featured two keynote speakers: Cinematographers Shane Hurlbut, ASC, who discussed methodology and his latest film Need for Speed (starring Aaron Paul), and Timothy Kang, who led the session “Digital Imaging Fundamentals: How to Shoot Digital like Film, and Practical Solutions for Set and Post.”
Kang focused on the core concepts of digital cinematography and how a shooter can achieve the best possible image and not be slave to the unknown. He noted how some cinematographers overlook digital because of its complications, which is a common fear among many filmmakers. “There has to be that cowboy spirit of facing the fear and pushing it aside and saying, ‘I’m going to grab every piece of understanding I can and go forth,”’ said the DP. Kang also discussed the need for cinematographers to understand each process that takes place under the hood in production and post, so they can effectively communicate with colorists and editors on the final look of a project.
The Festival prided itself on being interactive, as attendees were given hands-on experience with the latest gear from leading companies like Canon, MoVI, Codex Digital, Fujifilm and Redrock Micro. Revolution Cinema Rentals (RCR) showcased its growing camera inventory, postproduction workflow and customized support gear. “We have specifically carved out a niche,” said “Q” Edwards, RCR’s senior VP of marketing and operations. “Our niche is that we work with anybody and everybody that we can who wants to work with us. We focus on facilitating the ease of use of whatever system they they have to use. If you have a [Canon] 5D Mark III and you want to shoot a feature with it, come here are we’ll supply the rest of the support. That’s what really makes us extremely unique and versatile.”
RCR Co-Owner and Cameraman Michael Svitak met Hurlbut on the film Semi-Pro. They also worked together on Act of Valor, a film forwhichthey started using Canon DSLRs. Having purchased a bunch of cameras for the shoot, along with various lenses and accessories, they created a rental company to put the equipment in the hands of filmmakers. “We wanted to create a company that uses and rents equipment that actually works on set,” said Svitak. “Everything we rent at Revolution Rentals Shane and I have battle-tested. We’ve taken it out on real shooting environments. We’ve been in below-20-degree weather in the snow fields of Canada and in over-100-degree heat down in Mexicali. We know how far we can push the equipment. Those are the kinds of products we rent here. We want to put the cameras and equipment that we believe in and like in other people’s hands.”
Revolution Cinema Rentals was conceived to be more of a boutique shop. They will help filmmakers at their facility or directly on set. “We really want our customers to feel like they are being taken care of,” said Svitak. “This rental house is here to facilitate your needs and enhance your vision. That’s our number-one priority.” That dedication is taken a step further: At least four times a year, Revolution hosts an educational training seminar comprised of multiple vendors that educate the public about various products and services. The seminar is set up from a practical-use perspective, and not for sales and marketing. This is just another way in which Revolution is helping filmmakers to deliver their best work.