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ACQUISITION LIFE THROUGH A HIRE LENS Neville Fuller There are loads of differences in the requirements for say news, sport or live entertainment events, and it’s digging a little deeper into those differences that ultimately, well, makes the difference in what cameras and lenses we hire out to customers. Senior Hire Desk Coordinator, Presteigne Broadcast Hire. It’s a bit of a cliché, but what customers want is not always what they need. Add to that all the parameters of the ancillary technologies they need (such as….) and there is a lot to consider. It’s not just order taking and shipping, it’s having the stock – more on that later – ensuring it is serviced and ready to go 24 hours a day, and planning for the future, which has become a tricky game in its own right in recent years. For now, though, let’s stick with camera and lens requirements. WE’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR 25-PLUS YEARS. We have a huge range of equipment at Presteigne Broadcast Hire. We want to and, what’s more, we have to. We do have basic camera kits that includes lenses, tripods, etc for the OB, news, and event markets, which had tended to be our bread and butter in terms of camera hire. However, we also have an RF Department which has shown substantial increases in business as customers have become aware of the improvements and creative possibilities of RF-based camera and associated transmitter kit. As a result, the hire of wireless camera kit is proving to be a significant growth area. We do quite a large variety of work here, which means there’s a large variety of existing cameras, transmitters and ancillary kit to stay 62 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 118 OCTOBER 2016 across as well as new technologies that come onto the market that need to be evaluated and tested to ensure we’re providing the very best technology for a certain application. However, the very latest technology may not always be the best for a particular task at hand, as some have found to their cost. It’s our job to ensure that the right kit goes out the door at the right time, which is why we typically ask a lot of questions to be sure every consideration is addressed, which can save a lot of grief for everyone involved. Each job, and each type of equipment, has its own set of questions to be asked when you’re taking a booking. For example, when we hire out a camcorder that is going to be used for a big box lens, in order to put the box lens on the camera you have to remove the two-inch monocular viewfinder from the camera and use a side mount plate so the cameraman can monitor the camera. If he doesn’t get that, he can’t use the camera. It’s that simple. Sometimes and order comes in when the question of the use of a box lens is not asked and we end up having to send viewfinders, side mount plates, and other bits and pieces out in super-quick time. It’s no good having the correct equipment if a tiny bit of the equation is missing, rendering it unusable for some silly little oversight. Again, that’s why we ask so many questions up front. Fortunately, we’ve been doing this for 25-plus years, so we know what questions to ask. Sometimes we just get told what to ship. It’s those where we can soon expect questions coming back the other way.