Camera, Light, Projector and Sound Rental in Milwaukee & Chicago

            Renting cameras, audio, lighting & grip for Milwaukee, Chicago, and the surrounding area.

Archive: Mar 2014

  1. 24/7 Emergency Service

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    Things don’t always go wrong on the right schedule. If you need help after hours, send us a text or voicemail at (414) 939-3653. We’ll respond as quickly as we can.

    For new rentals ordered and picked up outside of our regular business hours, we charge a $59 fee, and our minimum order charge is $99.  Insurance requirements still apply for emergency rentals, so we encourage you to keep an insurance certificate on file with us, just in case.

  2. Medium Smoke Machine

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    smoke machine

    Our 800-watt smoke machine (also called fog machine or fogger) is rated for up to 8000 cu ft of fog per minute, great for medium-sized stages, haunted houses, or as a general mist in larger spaces. We include a remote, and an automatic timer remote upgrade is available.

    This fog machine, like most others, is not silent.  You’ll get cloudy fog with a hint of stringiness, and in most conditions the fog will be denser near the floor.  If you want a mist/haze effect, we suggest pairing this with a fan, or upgrading to a hazer with haze fluid.  The smoke machine can rest on the floor, or be mounted to a pipe or stand with a clamp.

    The smoke machine is designed to work in bursts.  The heating element needs 3-5 minutes to warm up after long periods of continuous use.

    Fog machines are popular with events, churches, DJs, haunted houses, and parties.  A little bit of atmosphere can make a small dance/DJ light kit look much bigger.

    You’ll also need fluid (fog juice).  We can send you with a pint for $14, more than enough for hours and hours of fogging.

    Rental Prices

    $24 for 1 day
    $48 for up to 3 days
    $72 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.
  3. Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Prime Lens

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    The Rokinon (or Samyang) 8mm f/3.5 HD fisheye is a prime lens for cameras with EF and EF-S mounts.  This lens is incredibly wide, and bends straight lines around the center of the lens in dynamic and interesting ways.  The extreme wide-angle is most popular in sports, action, and music videos.

    The lens is fully manual, with aperture and focus controls on the barrel.  The imaging circle will cover an APS-C size (1.6x crop-factor) sensor completely, but full frame cameras will fall off to black in the image corners.

    This 8mm is also a nice wide option for smaller-sized sensor cameras with EF mounts, like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

    Rental Prices

    $24 for 1 day
    $48 for up to 3 days
    $72 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.
  4. Canon T3i DSLR Camera

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    canon-600d-t3iSuggested accessories:
    Lenses, HDMI Monitor, Tripod, Sound kit

    The Canon T3i has a lot in common with the slightly older T2i, including gorgeous HD video in 1080p and 720p.  The T3i adds an articulating screen for easy viewing and an improved heat sink, for significantly better performance when live view/video mode is running for more than a few minutes.

    If you’re shooting extended shots, or working at higher ISOs, the T3i is worth the upgrade.  The audio controls are also improved.

    We send the Canon T3i out with a battery grip, charger, 4 batteries, and a 64GB SD card.  Just bring your own lens or rent one of ours.  This camera accepts EF and EF-S lenses.

    Rental Prices

    $43 for 1 day
    $86 for up to 3 days
    $129 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.
  5. Rock N Roller Heavy Duty Cart

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    Our Rock N Roller R6RT/R6G 8-in-1 cart features a carpeted solid lower deck and carpeted solid shelf. It’s a perfect rolling workstation or lighting and grip cart.  It transforms into multiple sizes, from 39″ long all the way down to a hand truck for navigating stairs. We upgrade our Rock N Roller cart rentals with the G-series wheels for best performance.
    This collapsible cart fits easily into any vehicle, and is rated for up to a 350-pound load.

    Rental Prices

    $24 for 1 day
    $48 for up to 3 days
    $72 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.
  6. Lighting and Grip Rental in Milwaukee

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    Shooting your video in Milwaukee and you need lighting and grip rental?  Whether you need a few apple boxes or a van with all the lighting, power, and grip that fits, we’ve got you covered.  We also offer cameras, lenses, tripods, and just about everything you need for a great video shoot.  We specialize in small productions (with crews usually under 10 people), and have partnerships with other rental companies to get you pretty much anything your production needs.


    Milwaukee has a tight-knit community of non-union production crew, including great gaffers and grips we’d be happy to recommend.  Even if you’re not sure what grip and lighting equipment you’ll need, we encourage you to get in touch.  Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll show you why Milwaukee is an easy place to get your project done right, on your budget.

    We’re the only lighting and grip rental company in Milwaukee who publishes our prices online in our rental catalog.  We can also help you with production support equipment, like tables, chairs, food and beverage support, popup tents, and pretty much everything else you might need. Request a quote for your production and we’ll get back to you the same day.

    Film and Video | Stage and Event | 3200K Tungsten | 5600K Daylight

    Apple Boxes | Carts | Chromakey | Flags and Butterflies | Sand Bags | Stands | Effects

    Production Support
    Tables | Chairs | Popups | Coolers


    (414) 939-3653

    [email protected]

    Posted by Director of Photography Jon Kline

  7. Chromakey Green Apple Box Set

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    greenscreen-chroma-apple-boxlIf you’re shooting on a greenscreen, there’s nothing quite as useful as a chromakey greenscreen-ready apple box family.  We custom painted these apple boxes for easy visual effects and compositing.  Your rental gets you a full green apple, half green apple, quarter green apple, and a green pancake.

    We’d love to help you with all your lighting and grip rental! For larger orders, please contact us for a quote.

    Rental Prices

    $9 for 1 day
    $18 for up to 3 days
    $27 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.

    Suggested accessories:

    Cart, Sandbags



  8. Sony Z100 4K Camcorder Real-World Test

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    sony-z100-testI was recently approached by Flipeleven Creative to direct photography on a promotional piece for the Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee.  The project proposal was creative, ambitious, and unique, and I thought it was a great opportunity to put Sony’s latest 4K camcorder through its paces, even if it may have seemed like an odd camera choice for the project.

    The PXW-Z100 features 4096×2160 resolution with 4:2:2 chroma subsampling and 10-bit color, which made me feel pretty confident about using it for green screen and compositing shots.  We decided the promo would be a single composited shot, about 60 seconds long.  The foreground element would be 24 fps, and the background elements would be 60 fps, conformed to 24.  We matched the camera moves by accelerating the camera motion 250% in the 60 fps version.  With a limitless budget, I would have leaned toward a Red Epic with remote follow focus and a dana dolly, but we used a homemade PVC dolly and a camera package about a quarter of the cost.

    The overall shooting experience went well.  The wifi control feature was very helpful, making it possible to start and stop recording and pull focus remotely.  The web interface for controlling the focus was usually very effective, but sometimes a bit twitchy. I ended up blowing about 20% of the takes due to the focus racking in the opposite direction I told it to.  Since we were shooting indoors, we shot at f/2, making focus more critical than most applications.  For version 1.0 of a HTML interface, the wifi feature is pretty impressive, but I’d love to see improvements as Sony updates the firmware.  The ability to control focus with a keyboard instead of sliders would be a nice touch.

    We were shooting indoors under theatrical lighting, around 3000K.  Given the opportunity, I would have liked to have been closer to 5600K, since the camera seems to handle noise better at higher color temperatures.  We ended up keeping gain at 0 dB, but there was still visible noise in the 4K source footage, since a large portion of the frame was dark at any point in time.  An extra stop of sensitivity would have been appreciated, but the Z100 was adequate.  We shot flat, since we knew we’d be doing a very heavy grade in post.

    Phil from Skylight handed lighting cues using the house board.  The muslin drape was diffusion for the subject's key light.

    Phil Warren from Skylight handed lighting cues using the house board. The muslin drape was diffusion for the foreground subject’s key light. Kyle and I are hiding on stage. Photo by Chad Halvorsen.

    After the shoot was over, it was time to try keying and compositing.  The first thing I realized was I should have turned sharpness completely down for VFX!  I had only done some very brief greenscreen tests with the camera before our shoot day.  Reviewing the footage, there was a two- to three-pixel band of black between our subject and the chroma green.  Fortunately, the matte choker handled it pretty well,but it would have been much better to add sharpness in post, since the Z100 seems to be pretty heavy-handed with the default sharpness setting.

    The other “shoulda” on my list from this shoot was a smoother dolly ride.  We had to make a lot of tweaks to take out the wiggles as we hit the tiny junctions between PVC pipes, and the slight bend of the tracks made things a little more complicated.  A heavier camera would have meant a heavier dolly, making things smoother, but it might not have been possible to get 30 feet of steel pipe and a full-size dolly properly supported over the vintage seating, either.  Fortunately, the bumps didn’t seem to cause any rolling shutter artifacts, which was a pleasant surprise.

    The keying experience was definitely much nicer than any non-raw camera I’ve used.  I think the results speak for themselves, so I’ll let you be the judge of the effect.  We had some serious green bounce from under the subject, but the camera’s codec definitely kept all the color information it got.  Some cameras (e.g. DSLRs)  have a fantastic sensor but limited processing power, encoding, and bandwidth.  Other cameras, like the Z100, have incredible recording ability, but are most limited by their sensor.  In this way, the Z100 reminds me of Panasonic’s HVX200.  I’m sure once Sony releases the lower bitrate options in a firmware update, most shooters will be happy trading high bitrates for longer record times.

    Our deliverable was 2K resolution, but we did some substantial zooming and cropping in post.  The project turnaround was so fast, we didn’t have time for noise reduction, and subtle noise was added over all the elements as one of the final compositing steps.  Basically, I suggest you watch it as a complete piece, and don’t use this as a pixel-peeping comparison.

    Special thanks to the incredible team at Skylight Theatre who teamed up with all my friends at Flipeleven to make this awesome promo!

    Posted by Jon Kline

  9. Beverage Cooler

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    Keep your crew hydrated and craft services running smoothly with our 5-gallon drink cooler rental. Paper cups are available for an additional charge.

    Rental Prices

    $12 for 1 day
    $24 for up to 3 days
    $36 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.
    Suggested accessories:
    Tables, Chairs, Popup Tent
  10. 35mm f/1.4 Rokinon Prime Lens

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    The Rokinon (or Samyang) 35mm f/1.4 is a fast prime lens for Canon EF and EF-S cameras.  The lens is fully manual, with aperture and focus controls on the barrel.  It’s slightly wide-angle on a full frame camera, and “normal” on a crop camera.

    Overall, this lens is a fantastic performer among 35mm lenses.  Video shooters may appreciate the added lens gears on the optically identical Rokinon 35mm T1.5 Cine DS. Very subtle vignetting is undetectable by f/2.  Mount filters with 77mm front threads.  Close-focuses to 12 inches.

    Rental Prices

    $34 for 1 day
    $68 for up to 3 days
    $102 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.
    Suggested accessories:
    Canon DSLR

Can’t Find It?

If you haven't found what you're looking for, try the search box above, or call (414) 939-3653. We have way too many clamps, cables, and widgets to list everything. And we have new stuff coming all the time, too!