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

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

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  1. LED Stage Lights – 4Bar Mini 2.0

    Suggested accessories:

    Extension cords
    small fog machine

    Chauvet’s 4Bar Mini 2.0 is a simple, lightweight way to add color or energy to a DJ booth, small stage, or dance floor.  Gives a broad wash of light from four adjustable fixtures.  Customizable with DMX controls or by using the included foot pedal.  Get a continuous color, automatic changing color patterns, or change with the beat of the music.  Sync multiple units together with master/slave controls.  We suggest you rent at least two,  they look even better in pairs!

    The kit includes a 7′ stand and a floor mount, so you can also use them as uplighting or foot lights.

    The light is incredibly lightweight, cool, and energy efficient.  Sets up in minutes, even if you’re not familiar with stage lighting.

    Rental Prices

    $24 for 1 day
    $48 for up to 3 days
    $72 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.

    Video demo of sound active mode

    LED Stage Lights

    A floor stand is included

    wedding DJ lighting

  2. Magic Lantern and Canon Cameras

    It seems like once a month or so, I run into someone who still hasn’t installed Magic Lantern on their Canon DSLR. Whether you’re shooting on a T4i, 7D, 5DmkII or III, 6D, or one of the other growing number of Canon DSLR cameras that support Magic Lantern, you’re missing out on some great free features!  But, since the Magic Lantern project is run by programmers, not marketers, it can be a little confusing at times.

    Canon 6D

    The Canon 6D Magic Lantern is still in Alpha

    We’ve been using Magic Lantern on every Canon DSLR we rent, and we think you should, too.

    Here’s a few reasons why you should be using it, and how to get started.

    What is Magic Lantern?

    Magic Lantern is free software, developed by a volunteer third party (the Magic Lantern team), that runs on your Canon camera.  It runs “on top of” your current Canon firmware and adds some features that Canon chose not to include.  A slightly different version of the program runs on each camera, but all of them work pretty similarly, and add features for video and still shooting.

    Exposure aids – zebras, histogram, waveform, vectorscope, and false color displays, plus HDR features in still and video modes.


    One of the Magic Lantern menus, from the Canon 5DmkIII ML beta

    Focus aids – focus assist (even during recording), peaking, more control of external monitoring options, programmable focus racking, and trap focus features for still photography.

    Sound control – earlier cameras like the T2i (550D) lacked any manual audio control, and newer cameras have only basic configuration options.  Magic lantern allows you to control the gain manually and record two mono channels at different levels, as well as have on-screen metering of audio levels.

    Improved bitrate – if your memory card is fast enough, the camera can write more video data to the card, allowing for an image with clearer fine details and slightly better results in color grading.  Multiple Canon cameras now support raw video recording, at least in limited file lengths and resolutions.  This may help keep the Canon DSLR family competitive with newer offerings from Blackmagic Design.

    Tons of other stuff – including things that were so helpful, Canon integrated them in to official firmware updates. Features like alternate frame rates and manual sound controls were available through Magic Lantern before they were released by Canon.

    What’s the Downside?

    We’ve used it on hundreds of shoots on dozens of cameras and we’re confident in recommending it.  We have heard multiple users have installed Magic Lantern, needed unrelated warranty work, and still had their cameras covered under warranty.  But, because there is a third party involved, there’s no guarantee that Canon will honor it if you do something crazy like melt your CMOS sensor. Basically… don’t be a moron and use it to circumvent safety features, and you’ll be happy.

    To have a trouble-free install, you need to make sure your camera’s firmware matches the version Magic Lantern is expecting.  If you try to use the wrong version, you may get lockups or other weirdness.  If things get crazy, just take out the battery, remove the memory card, and restart the camera.

    How do I Install it?

    The process has become simple since the Magic Lantern project unified all the different cameras together in one download.  This information is current as of version 2.3

    1. Confirm your camera is running the proper firmware version for the version of Magic Lantern you’ll be using.

    2. Copy the Magic Lantern files to your memory card.  If your camera uses SD cards, it’s a bit easier to use 32GB or smaller (SDHC) cards instead of the 64GB and larger (SDXC) cards, which require an extra step

    3. Turn your camera mode dial to M, power on the camera, and perform a firmware update.

    Magic Lantern will take care of the rest, including making the card bootable and setting the right flags.

    Of course, take it out for a spin and shoot some tests before you bring it along for paid work.  If you ever have problems, you can always use a blank memory card, or format the card without reinstalling Magic Lantern, and you can revert back to standard functionality.  But we bet after a few weeks of shooting with it, you can’t imagine ever shooting without it again!

    Posted by Jon Kline

  3. Photo Booth

    Photo booth rental is simple and easy with MKE Production Rental’s photo booth options. We have multiple photo booth and photo kiosk options, including social media integration, branding, backdrops, printing, and enhanced lighting. We also provide a tech to handle the setup, configuration, and operation of the equipment. Photo booth rental services in Milwaukee start at a $799 setup fee plus $95/hour.

    Some photographers want to create a photo booth experience using a DSLR camera and lens. For this, we suggest combining our AlienBees B400 strobes with umbrellas and a backdrop kit.

  4. Keys to a Great Demo Reel

    In the days before internet video, the reel was an essential piece of self-marketing, the capstone on top of a polished resume and project list.  These days, a killer reel can give you a leg up on the competition, especially if you’re trying to make new contacts, or stand out in a field of dozens of candidates.  In the world of social media, each of us is our own brand, and it’s up to us to make a sizzle reel that gets potential clients excited.  Here’s my top ten list for how to make a reel jump through the screen and get gigs on your calendar.

    1. Start at the top.  In almost every other video, you want to build to a climax.  With a reel, you’re starting at the end of the third act.  Open with something awesome, and set the bar high.

    2. Keep it short.  There is no reason a reel should be more than 90 seconds, ever.  Closer to 60 makes even more sense.  If the audience needs more, make them click “replay.”  A good reel should be short enough to make them ask questions, and they should still remember the beginning when they get to the end.

    3. Stay specific.  Don’t show me one project you edited, another you wrote, and a third you were assistant camera on.  I’ll just assume you have no idea what you want to do with your career.  If you really want to showcase your work in multiple positions, try making a different reel for each category of work.

    film4. Don’t cheat!  I’ve gotten reels where I KNOW who actually worked on the project, and it wasn’t the person who was taking credit.  I assure you, your resume will end up at the bottom of the pile for a very long time if you take credit where you haven’t earned it.

    5.  Over-text is so 2009.   In montage (sometimes called “collage”)  reels, pacing is more important than context.  You can give the viewer context in the video title, in the video description, and in the email you send with the video link.  We don’t need something to read while we’re supposed to be watching what you’ve done.  A long list of brands or campaigns will take us out of the visuals and turn your reel into a video resume.  If you’re making a scene reel (where you’re only showing 3-4 excerpts each about twenty seconds long) a very short description may be appropriate.  Personally, I think scene reels are too short to be useful, and just long enough to risk being boring.  If I’m hiring a director or editor,  I will ask to see some other work samples, and this is where I learn about their ability to cut together scenes and tell stories.

    6. Don’t just cut to the beat!  I’ve seen other people suggest just exactly that, and it’s terrible advice.  The term for this is “Mickey Mouse Editing” and it will seem amateurish and predictable.  Use the motion within the shots to connect with the music. Finding the internal rhythm of the clips will seem more professional, and leave the audience wanting more.  If you’re not a pro editor, consider hiring someone to edit it for you.   A professional editor will also be a big help if you’re trying to mix multiple formats, frame rates, and aspect ratios in a single reel.

    7. End your reel with a simple way for your audience to get in touch with you.  This is where it’s okay to use text and logos.

    8. Put it online.  Of course, you should probably have a hard copy of it with you if you’re in an interview, but these days we expect everything to be online. Sites like Vimeo and YouTube make it very easy.

    9. Ask for feedback.  Your audience will see things that you don’t, and be confused more easily than you might expect.  Show your friends, show your mom, and definitely show other people in the industry.  Try to listen without being defensive.  Remember, you won’t be there to defend your reel when a potential gig is on the line.

    10. Keep it fresh.  I suggest updating your reel at least once a year.  If you’re continuously improving, then your most recent work should always be your best, so show it off!

    So go cut a killer reel, get it online, and share it!  Post it in the comments and we’ll even give feedback!

    Jon Kline is a Cinematographer/DP living in Chicago.  You can see his reel here.

  5. Sennheiser G3 Wireless Lav Microphone Kit

    The Sennheiser G3 Wireless lavalier microphone with transmitter and receiver is one of the most popular items we rent.  The EW 122-P comes with the ME-2 omni mic with foam windscreen, lapel clip, bodypack transmitter, bodypack diversity receiver with cold shoe mount, AA batteries, cables, and a hard case.  The receiver can output either XLR or 1/8″ with the included cables.

    We include high-capacity rechargeable AA batteries for more than four hours of runtime.

    The Sennheiser G3 is an analog system that requires you to select an available frequency. If you prefer a digital system that can auto-select a frequency, consider the Sennheiser AVX wireless system.

    Rental Prices

    $46 for 1 day
    $92 for up to 3 days
    $138 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.

    Suggested accessories:

    Audio Recorder
    Audio Mixer
    Additional Batteries

  6. Rode NTG-1 Shotgun Microphone


    This Rode NTG-1 shotgun microphone uses 24-48v phantom power.  Moderate rejection of off-axis sounds and great SNR make it a great all-purpose shotgun mic.  Less “hot” than typical shotgun mics from manufacturers like Sennheiser, this mic is a perfect match with cameras and recorders with sensitive preamps.

    Includes a low roll-off switch for rumble and wind reduction.  We send ours with a windscreen and a shockmount with 3/8″ mounting threads, for easy attachment to your boom pole or camera shoe.

    Rental Prices

    $19 for 1 day
    $38 for up to 3 days
    $57 for up to 7 days
    Call or email for availability.

    Suggested accessories:
    XLR cable
    audio recorder
    boom pole

  7. Home

    Projector and Screen Rentalrent-camerarent-lensrent-lightsrent-grip-equipmentrent-audio-equipmentcatalog-milwaukee

    Who are we?

    We believe anyone can make beautiful images and tell compelling stories, with the right gear and knowledge supporting them.  With years of experience helping people make video, photos, and events, MKE Production Rental can help bring your dreams to life.

    What do we do?

    MKE Production Rental offers professional still and video cameras, light and sound equipment, and all the gear you need for your video or event! If you’re shooting photos or video in the studio or the field, we rent cameras, lenseslighting and grip for motion picture, broadcast television, and events in Milwaukee, Chicago, and the surrounding area. If you need AV services like projectors, screens, sound systems, or event lighting, we do that, too. Save money by picking up your rental yourself, or let us deliver and set it up. Need an emergency rental on the weekend?  We can do that.  We’re here to help you every step of the way.

    How do I get started?

    Browse our catalog by category, or use the search bar above.  Check out our getting started page. Ready to talk to a real human in Milwaukee? Call or text us at (414) 939-3653 anytime.

  8. About Us

    MKE Production Rental was founded by director of photography Jon Kline in 2013, to meet the needs of small and medium-budget video productions in Milwaukee.  In 2014, we expanded into renting stage and event equipment, including stage lights, live sound, projectors, and screens. We have a growing team of employees and are always looking for our next team member.

    As video and film production rental specialists, we provide the equipment and knowledge to get great video, whether your project is destined for TV, the internet, film festivals, or you’re just sharing it with friends. We rent more than a dozen different cameras and 100 lenses, to give you the perfect options for any project. We service film productions from our Milwaukee office, and frequently deliver to video productions in Chicago, Madison, and Green Bay.

    Professional tools are now cheaper and smaller than ever before, and shooters of all levels are creating incredible work.  But how do you know which equipment you need for your video? What if you don’t shoot often enough to purchase gear? Or what if you’re new to photography or video and just want to experiment? We can help you with the equipment, the advice, and the training to bring your dreams to life.  Our customers are professionals, students, and weekend filmmakers from around the Midwest and around the world.

    Our event and audiovisual rental services are targeted for corporate events, weddings, and entertainers on any budget. We can provide complete lighting, sound and projections for any event, or just rent you the pieces you need to set it up yourself. We’ve been involved with event productions in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Brookfield, Waukesha, Mequon, and the surrounding communities, and our list of clients continues to grow.

    We also offer exhibitor services for companies and organizations hosting guests at the Wisconsin Center and other event spaces in Milwaukee

    We believe being a partner to Milwaukee’s creative community means supporting organizations that share our values. We partner with nonprofits like UW-Milwaukee, CreativeMornings Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network. We also sponsor film festivals and events, including the Beloit International Film Festival, the Milwaukee Short Film Festival, and the 48 Hour Film Project in Milwaukee and Madison. We are always looking for ways to support our creative community.

    We aren’t the biggest rental company in Milwaukee, but we strive to be the most helpful.  We started out helping our friends make better videos.  Today, that’s still what we do best.

    Contact us today to get your rental quote:  [email protected] or 414.939.3653.

  9. Slide Projector


    This Kodak Ektagraphic III E slide projector is a classic. You can project standard 2″ slides (yes, like made-from-film, sitting-in-the-attic slides). If you somehow ended up here because you were looking for a modern, digital projector, we rent plenty of those, too.

    Do people call you old school? A dinosaur? At MKE Production Rental, we prefer to think of film slide technology as “classic.” This rental slide projector may be old, but we keep all of our equipment in excellent condition. We include two slide trays.

    The user manual is available for download.

    Rental Prices

    $28 for 1 day
    $56 for up to 5 days
    Call or email for availability.


    Suggested accessories:
    Projection Screen
    Projector Cart