Top Film Equipment Rental Companies In Ireland
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Ireland is a small country with a population of less than 5 million. To put it into perspective, the UK has a population of 66m, Germany, 82m and the US, a population of 327m. But our rugged landscapes, tumultuous history and imagination feeds many film & television productions every year and keeps film equipment rental houses on their toes.
People got obsessed about what Irish cinema should be, what kind of stories it should be telling.
Lenny Abrahamson. Dir-Room (2015)
We have broadened from themes of church, famine (although there are still great stories to be told with Black '47 leading the charge amalgamating old themes with a classic Western twist) emigration and general 'oirishness' and are excelling in fantasy, romance and horror. Sometimes in the same script!
Section 481 tax breaks helps to entice larger productions to our shores, but I don’t believe it’s the only magic at play.
Our Talent Is Our Strength
Our wealth of talent – which seems disproportionate to the size of our population – graces the end credits of some of the most popular films and television series this decade and we have great film equipment hire houses, big and small, with a range of the most up to date technology, that in the right hands – can capture the magic.
We’re familiar with the host of Irish faces in front of the camera from popular TV personalties like Graham Norton and Catastrophe's Sharon Horgan (who also penned the series along with her co star Rob Delaney) to big screen stars like Cillian Murphy, Ruth Negga and Michael Fassbender.
But behind the camera?
From HBO’s Game of Thrones in Belfast to Vikings in Wicklow (commissioned by the History Channel for historical accuracy). From George Lucas’ Star Wars in Kerry & Donegal to Disney’s Artemis Fowl in Northern Ireland, our indigenous talent behind the scenes allows global viewers to continue to be glued to their screens.
Talent like Robbie Ryan (DOP) for The Favourite, Ruairí O’Brien (DOP) for The Fall, Eoin McPolin (DOP) for Vikings & Penny Dreadful, Ciaran Donnelly (DIR) for The Tudors, Titanic: Blood & Steel, & Vikings, Dearbhla Walsh (DIR) for Handmaid’s Tale & Fargo , Lenny Abrahamson (DIR) for Room , Normal People and the wonderful if slightly off beat Frank, Eimear Reynolds (ED/DIR) Shameless (R Rated) & Here Was Cuba, Ken O'Sullivan (DOC/DIR) Ireland's Deep Atlantic, not to mention the likes of Ed Guiney (PROD) The Favourite, Killing of the Sacred Dear & Sheila Hockin (PROD) Handmaids Tale & Tudors, who just keep making the magic possible. And this is only a snippet of names and projects.
What is it about Ireland that continues to produce such talent?
It is no coincidence that many of the names I have mentioned are graduates of our National Film School (IADT). Some I even worked with as a student there. But there is also a culture of incubation for young film-makers who are driven to ‘get it made’. You only have to look at Ray Mongey’s Film Network Ireland Facebook community to get a taste of what’s percolating under the radar. I’m sure I could pull a script together tomorrow and garner enough support within the community to ‘get it in the can’ – or the ‘DSLR’ as it may be, on a relatively small budget. I’m not saying that’s right (indeed, having lived it for years I have a lot more to say about tight budgets that reinforce the wrongs of the gig culture), but it is a commentary on the community and their willingness to jump in if, and when, they can lend a hand.
So where does this screen magic start?
Outside of a script and from a very practical standpoint, you can’t film anything without the right tools…so it starts there.
Approx. 20% of the equipment hires coming through our doors are from foreign production companies filming here.
Colin Browne. Owner-Film Equipment Hire
In 2018, Screen Ireland invested €13.7 million across 50 projects - features, animations and documentaries. In 2019 the allocated investment rose to €16.2 million which will in turn boost spending on local jobs and services in the industry. And that figure doesn't take into account BAI funding, SFI funding, privately funded ventures, corporate spending or foreign production spending.
So whether you're an Irish crew filming the next Favourite, BMW Commercial or your first short or an international crew filming the next epic series or travel show - here’s a list of the top film equipment hire companies in Ireland and a little about them.
A - Z List Of The Top Film & Video Equipment Hire Companies In Ireland
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland Tel: +44(0)28 90 240977
While producing a segment for a recent travel show in N.I, we had the pleasure of dealing with Steve at Acorn who facilitated a last minute delivery of gear to a Belfast Hotel and was understanding about the delayed return, which reinforced their ‘go the extra mile’ mantra.
Situated on Fitzwilliam Street in a 10,000 square ft. premises, they have been in operation for over 25 years. They carry everything from cameras (including Alexa) to consumables as well as house a 1600 square ft drive-in studio with 360 green screen, black out drapes and lighting Truss. They also boast camera crew hire, production offices and post production facilities.
Acorn don’t have their pricing online as all rentals are project based.
Location: Baldonnell, Dublin
Tel: +353 (0)1 4133892
On the go since 1952 when flip charts, acetates and overhead projectors were hot, AudioVisual have moved with the times. Whether you need a wall of flat screens, a Lectern or wireless mics and cameras (Black Magic 4k or Canon Pro Camcorder), they can sort you out. They specialise in events, but some of their packages are suitable for video production – especially if it is for a webcast.
You can collect or they can deliver and even set up. They also offer half-day rentals on some items.
AudioVisual.ie don’t have their pricing online as all rentals are project based
Location: Herbert Road, Wicklow Tel: +353 1 286 2971
For over 60 years, Ardmore Studios has been a staple in the Irish film Industry. It boasts 7 international sound stages and has housed many productions over the years from its first major feature, Michael Anderson’s Shake Hands With The Devil starring James Cagney to the more recent hit series Dancing With The Stars.
In 2018 the jewel in the crown of the Irish Film Industry owned by Ardmore Entertainment Ltd. with Enterprise Ireland also holding share capital, was acquired by Olcott Entertainment, the owners of rival Troy Studios in Limerick, who described Ardmore as ‘an attractive asset’ in the face of growing demand for content by ‘big screen’, ‘on demand’ and ‘gaming’ industries.
Ardmore Studio Services houses several industry related companies , two of which supply equipment: Cine Electric and Panavision.
Location: Herbert Road, Wicklow Tel: +353 (0)1 2868724
Established in 1975 by Paddy O’Toole, Cine Electric has provided TV, Film, Theatre and Event lighting from its base at Ardmore studios for over 35 years. I remember my first encounter with them as a film student and how tickled I was at being on the grounds of Ardmore. I remember the helpfulness of the crew who handheld us through our first encounter with an HMI!
Cine Electric supply all things lighting and large mobile generators.
They don’t have their pricing online as all rentals are project based.
Location: Terenure, Dublin
Tel: +353 (0)1 4924374 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Camera kit is the website for D&P Multimedia Products Ltd. who supply equipment for sale or hire to the video production sector across UK & Ireland.
Established in 1990, the company operates from a purpose built building in Terenure, that houses a showroom, sales office, hire facility and warehouse.
They hire out the SONY F5, SONY FS7,Canon C500, Canon C300, SONY PXW-X200, SONY PXW –X160, Canon EOS 5D MKIV as well as a range of audio and lighting equipment and a full range of consumables and clearly state that extra fees will be incurred if the equipment is not returned by 9.30am. So don’t say you weren’t warned!
They open most days, including a half day Saturday (except on Bank Holiday weekends)
They also list the cost of rental for Daily, Weekly and Weekend Rentals. This is so convenient for producers putting a budget together and one of the reasons Camera Kit (along with Film Equipment Hire) are at the top of my list. They stock a wide range of cameras, from GoPro to RED Dragon, but not an Arri in sight.
http://www.celticgrips.ie Location: Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow Tel: 087 259 4558
KITE FILM STUDIOS
Location: Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow
Tel:087 259 4558
If it moves, or needs stabilization, odds are Celtic Grips can help you out. From sliders to cranes to brushless gimbals, they have a full range of motion equipment. If you happen upon their Celtic Grips website however, they can be tricky to contact.
It is not until you click on their FB page link or stumble on to Kitefilmstudios.ie that you actually have all the information you need to get a quote or have a chat. In their defence, they answer immediately via Facebook!
Kite Film Studios are nestled into 3 acres in Co. Wicklow with ample parking and a full sound studio to boot. No price list available on their website.
Location: Clarendon St, Dublin
Tel: +353 (0)1 6777179
Established in 1968 by Phil Conn, this family run business has been a staple in the film and photography community in Ireland for 50 years.
They stock a large range of demo models which they also make available for hire.
Their pricing model is based on the equipment value. If you decide to purchase a unit, the cost of the hire will be deducted. They do not hire memory cards however. If you don’t already have one, these must be purchased.
A deposit is required and is taken via Credit Cards only (no debit cards) and proof of address and ID are required.
Conns Cameras stock a range of SLR’s (remember those) and DSLR’s. Accessories (such as tripods and flash guns) are also available.
While some swear by their customer service and expertise, if rental is your goal, they may not be the best deal in town.
CORK FILM CENTRE
Location: Pope’s Quay, Cork
Tel: +353 21 421 5160
Cork Film Centre, home of the Cork Film Festival, is a not for profit, membership based organisation and is focussed on developing, promoting and facilitating the advancement of creative film & video making with a special interest in the development of youth filmmaking. Their services include education, equipment hire and advice.
They have very minimal rental stock as this is not their primary raison d’être, but they may be able and willing to help in a pinch if you happen to be filming in Cork, are in dire need of a piece of gear and you are a member.
There are quite a few restrictions however.
1. You must be a fully paid up member
2. Hire of equipment is for non-commercial purposes only 3. Equipment must be returned before 11 the following day.
4. Bookings must be confirmed a week in advance 5. Cancellations must be at least 24hrs in advance.
6. Users must demonstrate competence with equipment. 7. There is a €500 deductible on damage or replacement.
Lighting Rentals from €15 per day
Camera Rentals from €30 per day (JVC or GoPro)
Audio Rentals from €15 per day Grip From €10 per day Prices are inclusive of VAT
EVOLUTION FILM HIRE
www.evolutionhire.com Location: Rush, Co. Dublin
Tel: not available
With a registered address in Rush, Evolution Hire say they are 10 minutes from the city centre but no other address is available on their website.
They do however, stock a range of cameras from Canon 5d to RED Dragon along with follow focus and primes, a Fresnel lighting kit and various audio devices, some grip (including Steadicam) and consumables.
Their Facebook Page was last active in December 2018 as was their Twitter presence.
They offer a price list for rentals on their site, which is a plus.
FILM EQUIPMENT HIRE
Location: Donabate, Dublin www.filmequipmenthire.com
Tel:+353 (0) 8075759
When I returned to live in Ireland in 2012 my first gig was to produce a music video. I lived in North County Dublin and I thought – damn! I’m going to have to navigate the city – or worse, travel further south to pick up the gear.
It was a pleasant surprise to find FEH 10 minutes from my house in Redleaf Business Park.
With the possible exception of Evolution Film Hire who have a registered address in Rush, FEH is the only large-scale rental house North of Dublin Airport but still only 10 minutes away.
Owned and operated by Colin Brown and Nicole Hodson, FEH has grown from strength to strength over the years.
Colin’s passion for filmmaking is apparent the minute you set foot inside the building. Film memorabilia adorns the walls and even the bathroom wallpaper is a good read!
As far as equipment goes, they stock a full range of cameras, from Arri to Panasonic to POV’s. Underwater housing to inflatable support boats. Wireless mics to cranes and sliders and will deliver nationwide. Pricing is available for all items which makes budgeting easier (from a producer's perspective).
Their recently opened store on the top floor is a must to browse selling both new and used items as well as consumables. But more importantly, their knowledge and expertise is a plus. From Colin in the driver’s seat, to John Caren in the equipment room (who can regale you with some great stories of his travels) to Anthony Bowes (himself a Steadicam operator) in the shop, they’ve got you covered and there is no facility more supportive of the filmmaking community in Ireland than the crew at Film Equipment Hire.
GALWAY FILM CENTRE
Location: Galway, Cluain Mhuire Campus of GMIT
Tel: +353 (0)91770748
Email: Via website http://www.galwayfilmcentre.ie/contact/
Located in the UNESCO City of Film, the Galway Film Centre is a not for profit organisation in the West of Ireland.
The Galway Film Centre equipment rental terms are similar to those of the Cork Film Centre and also like the CFC, equipment rental is not their main source of funding.
Equipment is only available to rent to those with an up to date membership.
A more complete list of audio gear is available on the website and all prices quoted are subject to VAT.
Location: Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
Tel: +353 (0) 1 276 5502
Formed in April 2017, KITHOUSE hire a range of mostly Sony camera equipment from the F5 & FS7 to the a7sII DSLR and the 5D for the consummate Canon user.
They also supply a range of audio, lighting and grip equipment and rates are listed on the site which is always a plus.
It is necessary to set up an account in advance, which is a simple and fast process. However, they are clear about their ‘No Insurance - Deposit Required’ policy.
They are happy to talk to you to help you decipher what equipment you might need if you are not sure.
Location: Ardmore Studios, Wicklow
Tel: ROI: +353-1286-0811 | N.I: +44 (0) 2890 736 299 Email: email@example.com
Panavision have offices worldwide but their Irish offices are situated in Ardmore Studios, Wicklow in the Republic of Ireland and Titanic Quarter, Belfast, N.I.
Best known for their high precision lenses and founded in 1954 by Robert Gottshalk to solve the industry’s most pressing problem of the time – how to successfully and cost effectively project Cinemascope and other anamorphic formats.
They delved into cameras when they partnered with MGM to produce the Ultra Panavision 70 camera, which gave us the classics Ben Hur and Lawrence of Arabia and which earned them the Scientific and Engineering Award.
In the 1980’s they were the first to produce a completely matched family of primes and zoom lenses. With their roots in the age of film, a bold move that kept Panavision relevant was their willingness to embrace digital innovation by partnering with Sony.
Remember the now forgotten buzz when George Lucas announced the first feature to shoot on digital – Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones? The stuff of nightmares for Fuji and Kodak!
Today Panavision continue to embrace innovation with their DXL 8K Workflow.
They don’t have their pricing online as all rentals are project based