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But we never, ever, say “Told you so.” That’s not good for anybody’s business, but more importantly, we’ve made a reputation out of removing occasional bullets from misplaced feet, and we take pride in it. And then of course there’s just, you know, times when someone calls and says, “I want a box lens” and we say “Well, we have an 86 to 1 or a 95 to 1 or 100 to 1. We need to know specifically what type of lens you’re looking for.” As for cameras, first and foremost, we need to explore exactly how they plan to use them and then work out precisely what they need from there. A number of people ring up to book cameras and don’t necessarily know what they really need, or sometimes don’t know what to ask for, but again that’s where our experience comes into play. They’ve often been told to “get this” without really knowing what “this” is or why it’s needed, but it’s our job to talk them through that process. Asking deeper questions is especially important when it comes to wireless RF camera equipment. In addition to the technical requirements, we need to know precisely what locations they’re planning to use them so we can find out what frequency ranges are available for those areas and secure OFCOM licenses. questionable whether there’ll be any frequencies left to license. So RF kit in particular needs to be booked as far in advance as practical. We typically find that about 30-60 days is usually sufficient. However, a large part of the broadcast business is, by its very nature, last-minute. People suddenly realise they don’t have enough kit, or they’ve simply forgotten a small, but crucial, interface. Again, that’s where the value of experience, plus the fact that we have such a huge range of stock, provides many practical and intangible benefits. What often happens is that an OB company gets a larger job than they had anticipated, which requires them to assign in-house equipment to that job and then call us to cover their additional requirements. We’ll get a list through saying, “This is what we need, now” and it’s our job to either make it available from our stock or secure it for them from other sources. “I want RF cameras” full stop. That’s fine if the job isn’t urgent. It’s a bone crusher if it is. However, we usually respond with a shopping list tailored by our experience and any grey areas usually get resolved quickly from there. That kind of support, both on the desk and on the job, is a massive thing for us that we take very seriously indeed. Someone can be reached 24/7 and, if not immediately, someone will phone back within 20 minutes. It’s something we’ve always prided ourselves on. There have been times when I’ve needed to outsource specialist or additional equipment and I’ve rung companies, often only slightly out of normal business hours and, I promise you, nine times out of ten I would never even get a call back. Needless to say, I’ve never called them back, either. However, we sometimes spot discrepancies that need to be clarified, particularly if the person sending through the list is not particularly technical. Some phone up and say This is particularly important if it’s a last minute project at, say, Wembley Stadium. If it’s a last minute project, it’s KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 118 OCTOBER 2016 | 63