January 14, 2015

ShareGrid Is Revolutionizing the Way Filmmakers Rent Equipment

ShareGrid on Set
ShareGrid is looking to bring the process of renting filmmaking and photography equipment into the 21st century.

Brick and mortar rental houses have been a staple of filmmaking since the early days. However, they're often expensive, inconveniently located and limited in terms of their hours. They also require you to purchase third-party insurance, which can make small budgets seem even smaller and can take days or even weeks to go into effect. Then there's the option of renting directly from local equipment owners. Although this can be a cost effective way to go, it's a risky business renting equipment from strangers, especially if the equipment is not insured in some way. If that equipment fails on you or is damaged, you could find yourself in an ugly legal quagmire. However, a new startup called ShareGrid is looking to alleviate all of those concerns with its revolutionary new platform.

ShareGrid Homepage

What is ShareGrid, you ask? In short, it's a peer-to-peer rental marketplace where photographers and filmmakers can securely rent equipment to and from one another. And the best part is that all renters are verified by ShareGrid and all orders are insured, which removes much the risk of renting to strangers.

Here's the first promo video for ShareGrid, which was produced for less than $1000 by ShareGrid members using equipment that is currently available to rent on the system.

For most people, the biggest concern with peer-to-peer services like Airbnb is that they're not comfortable renting to strangers. And like I mentioned before, when you're renting from someone local and things go sour -- broken equipment, contractual disputes, etc. -- you can find yourself in the middle of a court battle or something similar. In order to allay these concerns, the founders of ShareGrid designed their service to put equipment owners in complete control of the entire rental process.

Our community is currently private and every member is screened and verified (we require government-issued IDs). Every member also has a profile which displays their ratings and reviews from past rentals. The owner is always in control. They can always deny a renter’s request for any reason. Additionally, like all rental houses, we require renters to purchase insurance, but we make it very affordable and easy to do so.

ShareGrid

The insurance aspect is what really sets ShareGrid apart from traditional and online rental houses. Normally the process to insure a production rental is somewhat convoluted and inefficient because it requires the you, the filmmaker renting the equipment, to act as a middleman between the insurance provider and the rental house, which can sometimes lead to days or even weeks of telephone tag and faxes/emails between you and both parties. In the words of that one lady who's now internet famous, "Ain't nobody got time for that."

ShareGrid, on the other hand, makes the insurance process simple and painless by allowing you to purchase a wide range of production insurance options directly through their site. During the process of renting equipment, you're presented with the ability to insure your rental in the following ways:

  • Damage Waiver: Any gear valued under 5K, renters can cover it using our damage waiver, which is our most affordable option at $5 - $25 a day.
  • Short-Term Insurance: Covers any size rental above 5K at a competitive price using Athos Insurance.
  • Annual Insurance: This is one of our best options. The annual coverage covers any rentals on the ShareGrid system as well as outside of ShareGrid. Additionally, it gives you the option to cover your own personal gear for the entire year. This option starts at $425/year but its benefits are well worth it.
  • 3rd Party Insurance: If you already have annual insurance or have purchased short-term insurance from other companies, we welcome you as well. On our site you can upload third party insurance in order to cover your ShareGrid rental.

ShareGrid Homepage
ShareGrid Rental Page

So, why would you choose ShareGrid over an established brick and mortar rental house or one of the many online rental houses that have sprung up in recent years? Well, for starters, if you're heavily invested in filmmaking or photography equipment and you'd like to leverage that equipment to generate extra income when you're not using it, ShareGrid provides a unique and risk-free platform that enables you to do just that. We all know that freelance filmmaking can be a difficult way to earn a living, and renting out your equipment could help you diversify and steady your income.

If you're a renter, you can find locally owned gear that is available to rent at prices that are likely cheaper than what you would find at a traditional rental house. Add to that the fact that you don't have to take unnecessary risks by renting without insurance. Last but not least, there's definitely a community aspect to ShareGrid that will only grow stronger as the company expands to new markets and grows its user-base. When fully implemented, ShareGrid will definitely be a viable way not only to rent equipment locally, but to meet and form relationships with local filmmakers.

Currently, ShareGrid is in a private beta in the Los Angeles market, but they're expected to open publicly early this year. I'm not sure when they're planning to expand to new markets, but based on the success of their limited beta, I can't imagine it will be too long.

If you have any questions for the folks behind ShareGrid, leave them down in the comments!     

Your Comment

37 Comments

Oh man I hope this becomes a thing.

January 14, 2015 at 5:54PM

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Great find/write-up, Robert. Very interested in this.

January 14, 2015 at 6:00PM, Edited January 14, 6:00PM

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Benjamin Dewhurst
Writer
writer/director

Wow. I was skeptical at first, but the more I read about this, it seems pretty amazing. The insurance options are a huge deal as that always tends to be a hidden cost that sneaks up on people. While I would still rather have the service and expertise of a full rental house for big rentals, for small odd jobs this seems like a really convenient solution. I definitely hope this gains traction.

January 14, 2015 at 6:04PM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
1870

Oren, if you want to have almost the same(and maybe even better) tool for your productions: be able to find gear wherever you go, be 100% sure what you rent, and get professional expertise from specialists in full rental house, then go ahead and check cineRent (https://cinerent.it), which will go live in a few weeks, and will host not only peer-to-peer network of lenders, but also those Full Rental Houses, everywhere on the world.

There is also huge difference in gear database, on ShareGrid, you have to trust people that they've described what they really have, on cineRent, they will choose what kind of gear they have from a huge database (currently it's couple of thousands different cameras, lenses, dollies, cranes, etc)

As far as this idea seems good, it's already been done(hire-hive.com, cameralends.com), on cineRent we approach this matter from professional point of view, and we aim towards people who knows what they need.

I'm the ceo, and the founder of cineRent, and if you have some questions, I would be delighted to answer them all!

January 14, 2015 at 6:33PM

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Iggy Pacanowski
ceo of cineRent, Filmmaker
71

This is so awesome. I'm absolutely going to rent gear this way. I will probably start renting out my own gear to make a few bucks.

January 14, 2015 at 6:12PM

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Adam Badlotto
Director and Visual FX Artist
95

Brilliant.

Bloomington, IN is ready for this. So stoked about the access this will provide talented folks everywhere.

XOXO

January 14, 2015 at 11:06PM

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Jess Levandoski
Producer / Film Festival Director
79

This sounds great. When will it come to Canada and Europe?

January 14, 2015 at 11:22PM

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Michael Gyori
Editor, Camera Op
8

Work in progress.... stay tuned.

January 15, 2015 at 6:46AM

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Torben Greve
Cinematographer
518

We hope to make it to Canada soon. We get a lot of love from Vancouver and Toronto so stay tuned. Europe will take a little longer but we have a lot of signups from Europe as well!

February 27, 2016 at 2:30AM

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ShareGrid
The Camera Sharing Community
137

Finally. This is one of those ideas/sites that will change things in a very good way.

January 15, 2015 at 12:56AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2364

Brilliant idea. Bad news for rental houses and great news for us. Online rental services like BorrowLenses or LensRentals seem to have already driven the prices down on low to medium budget lenses and cameras. Pretty soon the traditional rental houses will be used primarily for big budget productions as all the gear that's cheap enough for individuals to invest in will be rented through
crowdsourced services like Share Grid.

January 15, 2015 at 2:58AM

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Ty
Cinematographer, Editor, Director
523

It makes so much sense--not just for filmmaking stuff, too. I've thought for a long time that it doesn't make sense for every household to have a lot of the stuff it has. For instance most people only use their drill three days a year. Ten people on my street own drills, but 1 would probably be enough. Anyhow, I digress. I hope Sharegrid or something like it comes to Canada.

January 15, 2015 at 8:28AM

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Tom Abray
Indy Videomaker
341

LOL, love you analogy of the drill... I use mine so rarely it never ha any charge when I need it, I end up waiting an hour for it to charge.

January 15, 2015 at 9:05AM

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Kayode
816

We'll be there soon! Sign up at www.sharegrid.com

February 27, 2016 at 2:31AM

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ShareGrid
The Camera Sharing Community
137

This is awesome. Can't wait till they get to New York.

January 15, 2015 at 9:45AM, Edited January 15, 9:45AM

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Michael Markham
Actor/Filmmaker
899

Already on it...check out www.drivethruproduction.com

We should have our beta testing started in a couple weeks.

I am the founder let me know if you have any questions.

-Matt

matt@drivethruproduction.com

January 15, 2015 at 4:07PM, Edited January 15, 4:07PM

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Matt Krant
Founder of Drive Thru Production
147

We're open in NYC! https://newyork.sharegrid.com/

February 27, 2016 at 2:32AM

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ShareGrid
The Camera Sharing Community
137

Bring this to Chicago!!!! I wanna rent-out my Red package and rent some glass from folks!

January 15, 2015 at 11:22AM

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Kyle Obriot
Director/DP
84

Hey Kyle check out reply above....

Let me know if you have any questions!

-Mat

January 15, 2015 at 5:31PM, Edited January 15, 5:31PM

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Matt Krant
Founder of Drive Thru Production
147

We love Chicago. Such a strong film community. We're gearing up for expansion soon.

February 27, 2016 at 2:33AM

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ShareGrid
The Camera Sharing Community
137

This would be so wonderful in small communities like the one I live in that has almost no access to rental houses, but a strong community of professionals. I hope it works out for them and spreads to the smaller towns.

January 15, 2015 at 11:46AM

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Jason Weiss
Videographer / Camera Operator
86

I think the idea is great and I will probably end up using the service but that video was so hysterically cheesy.

*pushing in* ....."there we go."

January 15, 2015 at 1:23PM

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AJ Lodge
made a movie once
128

I cringed when that guy was wiping the the lens with what at first looked like his sleeve.

January 15, 2015 at 5:20PM

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Great idea! Rental houses are awesome and you need them for big equipment rentals but when it's for a small gig or just a few pieces of equipment this is perfect. I could imagine this will really help the indie market and young filmmakers who are still getting their feet wet.

January 15, 2015 at 6:19PM, Edited January 15, 6:19PM

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jacob
38

Awesome! Hope to see this in Atlanta soon!

January 15, 2015 at 8:45PM

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Dale Goldberg
Director/Editor
251

I work at a rental house and this is bad news for us for sure. BUT that being said, we do rent to low budget, student, small productions all the time. we will rent gear out with out insurance. (no trucks, no genny and no fisher dollies). But I would hate to loose all my smaller customers to something like this...

January 21, 2015 at 2:57PM, Edited January 21, 2:57PM

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Sarah S. Herren
General Manager Day-1 Production Services, LLC
74

That's our next city! Stay tuned and sign up at www.sharegrid.com

February 27, 2016 at 2:33AM

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ShareGrid
The Camera Sharing Community
137

This sounds great! As far as I know, I own the only Digital Bolex in Colorado and I would love to rent it, knowing that it would be properly insured.

January 15, 2015 at 11:17PM, Edited January 15, 11:16PM

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Mark Hinchey
Shooter
152

Sounds like a win!

January 15, 2015 at 11:59PM

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Jake Keenum
Filmmaker
1988

Insurance in platform is a nice value add to the Gearshare play, although it does not remove the risk for the renter on assignment. The condition of the equipment and timeliness/hassle of picking it up can make or break a client job. A photographer/filmmaker can insure for this too, but it won't save the client relationship and reputation. Traditional rental still has the advantage of sending another light or lens to the studio or location on the same day if it does't work, because they have more than one. Nothing is risk free, but this piece of the gear sharing model still needs a solution.

January 16, 2015 at 11:44AM

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Steven Poe
Picture Maker
81

This is awesome, but waiting for an invite, I found that Camera Lends is already making it happen: https://www.cameralends.com/list_your_gear

January 16, 2015 at 1:37PM

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Shawn Montgomery
Post Production Coordinator / Director and Producer
81

It'a great idea. When does this roll out to the UK?

January 16, 2015 at 2:44PM

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Bloomington INDIANA will love this!

January 16, 2015 at 3:03PM

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Matthew Dillman
Freelance Editor/Animator/Cinematographer
79

Looks great. Hopefully it's expanding to other cities and countries soon. I'm from Berlin and know a lot of people who would use it.

January 22, 2015 at 5:44AM

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Lauritz Neu
1st AC
171

On one hand...this sounds great. The insurance plan is awesome... And having a larger network might make my gear get more eyeballs...but there will also be a huge race to the bottom with this! Every trust fund kid or other amateurs who buys a camera out of their ballpark will now be renting it out super cheap (they do already, but with a bigger audience)...it will get super competitive, and gear will be renting at a rate unrealistic to the price of the gear in the first place. Great for producers, but it might be pretty bad for people who actually make their living with their gear.

January 22, 2015 at 10:10PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2249

I wish them success. I remember testing to see how hard it would be to rent a 35mm ARRI. The insurance aspect of it made it super complicated for the average filmmaker. Understandable requirements, but still a pain.

Thanks for the link Shawn. I never heard of "cameralends". I'm looking at it right now. I'm particularly interested in the "drone" rental they offer. We have some drones here and also RUGVs (remote unmanned ground vehicles for film or inspections) that I'd like to rent, but need to study the process more in depth as renting a drone is completely different than renting a camera (not everybody knows how to fly proficiently vs using a camera).

January 23, 2015 at 1:10AM

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J. Fandino
Drone sales at www.providentialsystems.com
154

Pretty cool!

January 30, 2015 at 6:49PM

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Ghia Ransome
Creative Director | Producer | Writer
154