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AUTHOR SUBJECT: Question about owning a studio or stage for film r
ErikYH
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Posted: 10/24/2016 10:07:00 AM
 A buddy of mine has the idea of renting a warehouse or some other space and making it available for film rental. He thinks it may be possible to partner with a grip or equipment service and add some kind of revenue stream from there.

I don't know anything about the studio rental business myself, so I was wondering what the particulars were. The usual stuff: profit/expense, marketing, time to profit, startup costs, etc. 

This is in Los Angeles, and he's insisting that he's seen bare-bones spaces making money. For him it's just a matter of startup costs. For myself, I've never seen anything happen so easily and I'm curious for information from anyone who might know the business.

Does anyone have any input? Thank you in advance!

Erik

REPLIES:   4
Sv Bell | Black Flag Pictures
Sv+Bell
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Posted: 10/24/2016 12:13:53 PM
Not sure what's the market like in LA, but to stand out of the other rental facilities, you'd need to have something other folks don't offer. But having all the equipment and gear in house is definitively a must. Greenscreen cyclorama is also important.

Maybe Vince Rocca will kick in and tell us more about this!

s

Sv Bell | Black Flag Pictures
Sv+Bell
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Posted: 10/24/2016 12:18:17 PM
Also, since more and more filmmakers are coming back to film stock instead of digital, that could be interesting to offer a basic darkroom section for film loading/processing. To start you only need to have running water, be light tight, and have a dryer room. You'll see if you have enough demand for it, and if you do, you can always expand and set it up more professional.
ErikYH
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Posted: 10/25/2016 7:38:58 AM
I've been asking around and here's a list of what seems to be needed:

Costs:
Rental Space
Insurance
Security (if the place is large enough)
Cyclotron construction
Darkroom construction
Utilities (electricity, running water)
Equipment (although my friend will argue this)
Marketing

The differentiating hook (offering something others don't) is more of an intangible. I don't know what exactly my friend has in mind. He hasn't done much competition research yet, although he wants me to look at a list of other studio spaces as proof that the startup is easy and the time-to-profit is fast. I'm suspicious of this, especially in a place like Los Angeles.

MotionCity
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Posted: 10/30/2016 8:51:56 PM
Well, Los Angeles needs stages. Now that some of the out-of-state tax incentives are gone or reduced, production has been returning to LA. Also, new networks have entered the game, producing their own content. Amazon, Hulu, YouTube and Netflix are all producing quality shows now.

I would say an approach would be to try and track down and quiz UPMs, Production Managers, Location managers and Producers about wht they need. I know certain "standing sets" in LA are very popular. In the valley there are a couple places that offer pre-built courtrooms, airline interiors, and kitchen sets that manage to keep pretty busy.

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