sound recording equipment for making the movie Rain in the MountainsJoel & Christine made a stop in Seattle today before they picked up Lillian and me at the airport. We had trouble fitting our suitcases in the back because it was filled. They had just been to the movie’s Seattle rental house to pick up their most recent order — four lights and several hard cases that will hold yet more equipment Foxhall Films has already purchased. (The owner of the rental house let them make orders through him, so they’ve gotten some good deals.)

There’s going to be a healthy mix of owned equipment with the rented stuff on Rain in the Mountains. Since Foxhall Films plans to keep on making movies, they figure buying certain gear now makes sense. I don’t know how much they’ve considered the tax notions of depreciation and amortization either. Adding to the four lights, a fog machine, some microphones and “the rig” and they’re going to fill up poor Joel’s parents’ garage.

Of course certain key equipment will be rented, namely the camera, an Aaton XTR. The main argument I hear for renting the camera (as opposed to buying or borrowing) is that if it breaks down, you can get another from the rental house and not lose too much valuable production time. That makes sense to me.

Still, with equipment as complicated as ever, it doesn’t hurt to have time to play around with it and test its limits. We gave the microphones a good test when we also tested ‘the rig.’ A mix of owned and rented equipment can be a smart move, especially if you’re looking beyond the present shoot. O is for Owned, but also Optimistic.