Top 5 Local Gear Resources for Boston Video Production
If you're a Boston video production crew, or you're looking to shoot in the area, it can sometimes be a challenge to find the gear you need. We all know about B and H Photo, which in our opinion is still the king for sales of video production gear. The problem is it's in New York City. Yes, they have great fast shipping and can usually turn things around overnight. But sometimes overnight isn't going to cut it. So what do you do? Here's our list of the best places to find the gear you need locally. In no particular order.
Hunt's Photo and Video Melrose, MA
Hunt's flagship store in Melrose, just north of Boston, is your best bet for same day purchase of video gear. They have other locations, but honestly, those locations are kind of just satellite pickup spots for whatever they have in stock at their headquarters. So don't waste your time. Just head to the flagship. Hunt's Melrose is like Boston's mini B & H, and they are pretty much the lone survivor for gear in the Boston video production market. Their prices are competitive, and they have a very nice selection of DSLR and mirrorless lenses and camera bodies. Plus, they carry most everything else for smaller shoots, including a good selection of tripods, lighting packages, and recording media. They're the perfect spot to pick up a new lens and some SD cards, CFAST Cards, or maybe an extra camera battery or two.
2. Borrow Lenses, Waltham, MA
For equipment rental, Borrow Lenses has what you need for most shoots. They are a nationwide rental house who ship you your rental order, but there's good news for Boston video production teams. One of the places they are probably shipping from is their East Coast Headquarters in Waltham, MA. This is huge because for area crews it means three simple words- SAME DAY PICKUP. You will need insurance certs on more expensive gear, and they aren't open on weekends, but BL has come through for many last minute rental needs.
3. RULE, Newton Ma
Rule is the rental spot for larger productions. Need a Red or an Arri and prime cine lenses to go with it? Head to Nevada! No, not the Vegas strip, but 320 Nevada Avenue in Newton. Newton is a suburb that borders the western edge of Boston. Rule has a wide selection of gear, and not just the basics, but specialized stuff too, like conversion boxes, wireless control systems, kino flo's, basically anything you might have forgotten to put on your grip truck. Many a Boston based film production team has sent a PA with a credit card scrambling over to Rule HQ to pick something up. Staff is very knowledgeable and helpful if you're not sure what you need. And usually they are at least "Boston nice," which is equivalent to a" Chicago slightly mean." It's the salty ocean air, folks.
Sidetip- If you're in Newton, picking up or dropping off, stop by Buff's Pub. Best wings in America, and I've been to Buffalo. Ok now I'm hungry.
4. High Output Canton, Ma
High Output is the home of Charles River Studios, which houses three of the biggest indoor studio spaces in the area. The largest, Studio A, is 7800 square feet. Their gear list is more about the support gear you would need if you rented a studio, but you can also just rent the equipment. Think lights, jibs, cranes, rigging, staging, etc. They also have grip truck packages. The studios host many live productions but are also utilized quite heavily for events. With dressing rooms, a full kitchen for catering, and mega wide doors to back up and load all that gear in and out, High Output stays busy.
5. Rentex, Canton Ma
Much like Borrow Lenses, the Boston area is fortunate to have a local hub for this national AV Rental company. They're located on the other side of Canton from High Output, and they specialize in audio visual rentals. Not a day goes by where you won't see a Rentex van pulling in and out of the loading bays at the major hotels and conference centers in Boston. With projectors, screens, lighting trusses, cameras, etc, the Rentex rental warehouse is impressive. For live conventions and conferences, Rentex has you covered.
We can only hope B&H one day opens up a mega store on Comm Ave. On second thought, that could turn out to be a budget busting problem for those of us who love gear, kind of like a casino in your hometown.. I like wagering occasionally, but if they put one ten minutes from my house, I'd probably be broke and selling all the equipment I bought at B&H! So until then, I guess I'll be thankful that Boston video production teams can continue to rely on these local mainstays.