Adorama's New Digital Cinema Department

By Romy Ashby

Photographer Monte Isom checks out a lens at Adorama’s new Digital Cinema Department.

The Adorama Rental Company (ARC) made a leap of luminous motion earlier this year with the opening of its new Digital Cinema Department. The department launched with a gala event at Tribeca Skyline Studio in Manhattan. This has immediately put ARC on the A List with the professional filmmaking community. 

“We reached a point at ARC a year ago where we were either going to stay at the DSLR and HD Video camera level, or seriously move into Digital Cinema rentals,” says Director of Business Development Miguel Goodbar. “A great challenge, in a related but at the same time new industry, to us. Don’t forget that Adorama Rentals had been primarily a photo equipment rental house since 1988.”

During his long career in the rental business, Goodbar has witnessed two tremendous changes in the industry; first the transition from film to digital photography, and more recently, the transition from still to motion. And, he notes, “There’s not such a strong division between the two anymore.” Clients, he says, love being able to find and rent all the equipment they need—motion, still and lighting—under one roof.  “That’s why we work closely with so many production houses,” he says. “We can cater to any project they bring to us. Still and motion.”

Joining Adorama in June 2011, Director of Digital Cinema Daniel Gurzi brought years of experience managing rental departments specializing in broadcast video and digital cinema equipment. A filmmaker himself, Gurzi considers direct access to manufacturers’ products and support two of the biggest advantages of being with a large retailer like Adorama. With new products always being tested by someone on staff, no question goes unanswered and no issue is left unresolved. “Everyone that works here takes gear home on the weekends,” Gurzi says. “When we find issues with gear through our own use, we start working with manufacturers immediately to ensure we have the solutions and safeguards in place.” 

When asked what sets ARC apart from competitors, Goodbar has a precise answer: “Prices,” he says. Adorama offers the highest-quality products at essentially half the rates of other rental houses without compromising customer service and technical support. And when the company decides to carry a new item, they really stock up. “We add a substantial quantity to our inventory,” he says. And because gear is constantly being rotated through Adorama’s Used Department, new inventory is always fresh, while opportunities for saving money are always there.

Hottest Items in the House

Zeiss lenses are the most popular, according to Gurzi. “Zeiss has a great understanding of quality, economy, and usability,” he says. “Our Compact Prime CP.2s and LWZ.2s are always busy, and the Canon C300s and Sony F3s are hot items as well.” Goodbar lists the Arri Alexa, the Alexa Plus and the RED Epic and Scarlet as top camera rentals. The Canon C300 EF and PL versions and the Sony F3 with external recorders are in close second. “One thing all these cameras have in common is PL lenses,” Gurzi points out. “We have heavily invested in Angenieux, Cooke and Zeiss glass.” Equally abundant in stock are accessories such as monitors, tripods, recorders, matte boxes, follow focus rings and audio equipment. “With the video expansion, our continuous light rentals have gone through the roof,” Gurzi says.  

In this era of rapid innovation, it is virtually impossible for the average individual to buy every new piece of equipment that comes on the market. But in many cases, it makes no sense to buy when Adorama makes it so affordable to rent. The trick is in keeping up with what’s available. “My advice is to sign up for our email blasts,” says Gurzi. “There are so many new items coming out it’s hard to list them all here.”

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