Are you a filmmaker or photographer? Then you need to read this article! Today, we are reviewing ShareGrid and exploring why this camera-sharing community has had such an impact on the creative industry.
We will dive head-first into the world of ShareGrid and cover some of its main features as well as what companies it is up against. Sound good to you? Let’s get started.
ShareGrid is an equipment-sharing community platform aimed at filmmakers. If you are looking to make a movie, you can search the platforms for local creatives who own cameras, lights, and pretty much any equipment you can think of and hire the equipment for your project.
Creatives can also use the platform to hire out the gear that they own whilst they are not using it. Also, if hire isn’t for you, you can also buy and sell equipment on the platform.
There is even an opportunity to hire local creatives. Offering new opportunities to a film crew and potentially reducing budget outlay for multi-location projects.
So, as you can see, it’s a pretty powerful website!
ShareGrid is accessed via the company website. Whilst there is not a ShareGrid app, the site is also geared to the mobile experience. So, using it on your phone is incredibly easy.
The landing page of the website allows you to input what you are looking for and where you are based. As well as if you are looking for equipment to buy or rent.
Once you hit the search button, you are presented with a number of options for you to rent or buy items. As well as pins on a map indicating where the items are.
When have found the items you want, just click on them and arrange to rent or buy them. It really is as easy as that!
Whilst ShareGrid is great for creatives looking for a specific piece of equipment for their project, ShareGrid also has a really cool ShareGrid PRO membership option aimed more at production managers.
With ShareGrid PRO, a production manager can create a ‘Project’ outlining everything they need for an upcoming production. Then, equipment hire companies can ‘Bid’ on the project to provide all of the equipment needed.
For production managers, this means a fast and easy tender process for procuring equipment for projects. As well as operational benefits, such as single location collection and real-time project invoicing as production continues.
Furthermore, ShareGrid’s dedicated agents are on-call to resolve any questions or problems related to the equipment hire.
Beyond just equipment – ShareGrid also has dedicated search functions for crew roles and locations. So, you can hire directors, screenwriters, stunt coordinators, and hundreds of other roles based on location.
Additionally, you can arrange equipment hire, crew, and location remotely, and coordinate everything and everyone to arrive in the correct space to work on your project.
Like other similar platforms, there is a handy rating system that shows previous users’ feedback on the locations, equipment hire, and crew. This means you will have some idea of quality based on previous ShareGrid members’ experience.
If you’re looking to rent equipment on ShareGrid, the cost varies depending on what you are renting and the price the seller has set for their equipment.
To keep prices in line with the market, ShareGrid recommends that sellers list their equipment for rent at similar prices to items on Borrowlenses and Lensrentals, which are similar services (we will get into those later!)
They also engineer their algorithm so that sellers who list their equipment close to the average price get preferential treatment in the search results. Sellers that are pricing too high or too low will find they get low engagement as they will feature further down the rankings.
ShareGrid is easy to join and list equipment that you own for other users to rent for their projects. Creating a really handy additional income for when you are not using the gear.
There’s no membership fee to pay and it’s free to list items for sale or rent. Once you’ve joined, you just enter your ShareGrid login into the website and hit the ‘Add a Listing’ button.
ShareGrid make their money by taking a 15% Service Fee from the cost of the rental and pay the money directly into your bank account.
Obviously, renting out your expensive film gear is a worrying prospect – what if the equipment is damaged? What if the renter simply steals it?
ShareGrid has taken a number of steps to ensure that all members are verified and identified. So, you know that the person renting your equipment has had their identity confirmed.
Additionally, for those occasions when accidents happen, all equipment is insured.
You can read ShareGrid’s full statement on safety on their website.
There are a few alternatives to ShareGrid on the market, we have highlighted a couple below and described how they differ in their offering.
Let’s dive in.
Kitsplit is very similar in many ways to ShareGrid.
Both focus on a similar layout and concept where users can rent equipment to other users through a common Airbnb-style platform.
Kitsplit also boasts a host of household names in their customer list. Including NBC, National Geographic, and Vox. Similar to ShareGrid, it also offers user vetting and insurance on equipment.
Both platforms are primarily servicing the US. ShareGrid appears to have launched across the USA pretty well, whereas Kitsplit has only fully launched in Los Angeles and New York.
However, Kitsplit does have a nice ‘beta launch’ model. This means that some cities worldwide can also use the service (for example, there are quite a few listings in London).
Kitsplit does do project bidding where sellers can bid to provide equipment for a whole project. However, we think ShareGrid has the edge in that it also covers locations and film crew so it can be a one-stop-shop for production managers.
Whilst ShareGrid is local and operates a rent-and-collect model, Borrowlenses is national in the US and operates a rent-and-ship model.
There are, of course, pros and cons to both. ShareGrid allows you to meet and interact with people in the creative community in a specific area. The fact that equipment is collected can mean that that the process is much quicker. This is also a positive for busy production managers on a deadline (not to mention the inherent cost saving of that model).
On the other hand, you are beholden to the equipment available in that area. Borrowlenses’ shipping model means that equipment can be shipped. So, if you are looking for something specific, you have a greater chance of being able to get your hands on it.
Lensrentals is very similar to Borrowlenses in that they operate a rent and ship operation. Therefore, access to equipment is much easier and there is more availability than with ShareGrid.
One unique feature of Lensrentals is their Keeper program. If you fall in love with the item you are renting, you can opt to buy it, overcoming the hardest part of a good rental.
Overall, we would say ShareGrid is probably the best player in the US market for this kind of thing.
The ability to rent from local creatives and collect means you also get the chance to build your network. As well as getting little tips from the owners on how to use the equipment, which is often invaluable.
Moreover, ShareGrid’s expansion into locations and crew is really smart. Their PRO feature is a really good way of making life for production managers much easier.
Lastly, for sellers, they are transparent with how their algorithm works and they have a really nice and clean interface that is easy to use.
ShareGrid expects to launch in the UK sometime soon, and will host over 100,000 users, and more than US$1bn of film and camera equipment. So, stay tuned for that!
Have you ever used ShareGrid? Let us know about your experiences in the comment section below! Also, whilst, you’re here, why not check out some more articles on our blog? We recommend What Is The Best Lens For Filmmaking, How To Become A Filmmaker In 4 Easy Steps, and Hard Light vs Soft Light In Filmmaking: The Ultimate Guide.
Are you an independent filmmaker, or interested in the crossover between music and film? Then check out our article on music supervisors. With our concierge and service and extensive music library, allow us to help you find music for your film. Sign up free for Music Gateway now!