Streamline Your Next Production with Live Rental Bids from ShareGrid PRO
ShareGrid, a favorite indie peer-to-peer rental company, is taking one-stop online equipment rental to the next level with ShareGrid PRO.
In the fall of 2013, two Bay Area friends — both product designers at Groupon — were on a walk, dreaming up a potential business plan that would change the game for indie filmmakers. ShareGrid Co-founders Marius Ciocirlan and Arash Shiva knew what they were looking for: a system that offers filmmakers a way to make money renting out their gear, and the ability to rent from other owners without the uncertainty of online marketplaces like Craigslist. They built a test website — a single landing page with a mission statement and a place for interested visitors to drop an email address. Within weeks, they had thousands of sign-ups, including one from an L.A.-based cinematographer who would become the final pillar of ShareGrid’s leadership: Co-Founder Brent Barbano.
Image via Joseph Adams.
In January of 2015, ShareGrid went live with a brand new model for peer-to-peer film equipment rental — one that includes instant online access to opt-in insurance coverage. They doubled down on fraud prevention, creating a new way for independent filmmakers to rent responsibly and without fear. Now, after three successful years of camera sharing and community development, expansion into seven cities, over 50,000 members, and $500 million in inventory, ShareGrid is growing up.
What Is ShareGrid PRO?
ShareGrid PRO is a new kind of rental service. Members log onto the site, create a project, specify its type (commercial, film, etc.) set its dates, then assemble a wish list of equipment. ShareGrid PRO then sends this wish list anonymously to rental houses in the area, and they can submit live bids to provide the gear.
Early adopters of ShareGrid were primarily indie directors, filmmakers, and cinematographers. The interface and usability of the site proved so popular that many of ShareGrid’s customers today have been with the service from the beginning — and have advanced their careers as the company has grown. ShareGrid PRO is matching that growth with rental houses in cities across the country. Instead of renting from individual equipment owners scattered throughout the city, ShareGrid customers can receive live bids for their entire rental wish list from rental houses and boutique equipment companies. Producers and line producers are joining the movement because they want the ease and convenience of an online marketplace without the labor of calling every rental house in town to negotiate the best deal.
Always focused on the rental experience, the co-founders of ShareGrid realized that, even though they’d created a platform that provides access to high-end gear for the general population, the system of renting from individuals breaks down when you have to spend a whole day driving around town picking up equipment. With ShareGrid PRO, customers can shop around for a deal with the convenience and assurance of a rental-house experience. This means equipment will be available on time, serviced correctly, and ready to be prepped and loaded in a professional environment.
Image via Joseph Adams.
How Does It Work?
According to Co-Founder Arash Shiva, “We always like to start with the member and what their needs are and then work our way from there.” In developing PRO, the team talked to DPs, directors, and producers to identify the greatest impediments to gearing up their productions. The solution they kept coming around to was communication. Because of the time it takes to communicate with equipment providers and then with the team and back and forth, producers can’t always afford to search for the best deal. ShareGrid PRO streamlines the entire process into one submission form. Once renters submit projects, over a dozen partnered rental houses will receive the information anonymously and can submit a bid.
The Submission Process:
- Select the project type — Choose from a drop-down list that includes Feature Film, Documentary, Corporate, Photography, and more.
- Choose your pickup and drop-off dates — The site offers a calendar for error-proof scheduling.
- List the gear you need — An in-house tech at ShareGrid will go over your list to ensure clarity and specificity before submitting your project to the rental houses.
- Review your bids — Within 24 hours, you’ll receive ShareGrid-vetted live bids from rental houses on your dashboard. Each bid will include a rental quote and the replacement value for the gear.
- Add your team members to your live interactive cart — PRO’s live interactive cart allows you to invite your team members to collaborate on the site. Share the private link, and you can live chat through the site, with all the information you need conveniently laid out in one place.
- Accept the bid of your choice — You can select insurance and pay on the site with a company card or a purchase order. Real time invoices are available.
- Pick up your gear — A ShareGrid PRO gear rental comes with all the standard amenities of a rental house deal. You will be able to prep your equipment on site with a technician and load out from there.
Some of PRO’s unique features:
- Price transparency with an overall bid and an itemized quote from each rental house.
- A public chatroom for rental houses and renters where you can ask questions, discuss substitutions, etc.
- Anonymous bidding competition.
- Instant insurance selection with no required deposit.
Some of PRO’s current rental partners in Los Angeles and New York include the following:
- Stray Angel Films
- F22 Studios
- Production Junction
- Deck Hand Camera
- Freestyle Filmworks
- On The Mark
- Lightstone Rentals
- Brainbox Cameras
- DuAll Camera
- Focus Gear
- CSI Rentals
- Pro HD Rentals
- K&M Rentals
- Death Grip Electric
- Rare Breeds
ShareGrid PRO is free for both renters and rental providers. Early users have reported an average savings of 30-40%. According to Suren Seron, owner of Stray Angel Films, “PRO is the culmination of years of marketplace experience and was the logical outcome for a true online rental platform and professional rental house partnership.”
Looking for more industry updates? Check out these articles.