Five Minutes With The Production Depot’s John Leahy
John Leahy, founder of The Production Depot, Ireland’s leading equipment canada goose outlet parka supply house, can do just that however, having canada goose outlet online supplied some of the country’s most alluring and successful film sets over the last eight years.
His company canada goose outlet shop has just turned eight years old, and has celebrated by providing the BBC with a number of cameras for their Clancy Barracks location canada goose outlet for ‘Ripper Street’, as well as Jimi Hendrix biopic
IFTN caught up with John Leahy, who discusses how advances in technology have changed the industry, what production companies look for in equipment to get the right angle, and why he is buy canada goose jacket the man to supply it.
The Production Depot has just turned eight years old. How did you celebrate?
We haven’t celebrated yet as it has been so busy we haven’t had canada goose factory sale a chance but it is great to see the Industry so busy! We recently supplied equipment and services on ‘Trivia’, ‘Vexed’ and ‘Moone Boy’ and are currently supplying projects including ‘Ripper Street’, ‘The Fall’ and ‘All Is By My Side’ as well as some commercials, shorts and canada goose outlet canada other work.
IFTN, we know production is in full swing canada goose uk black friday there. What has The Production Depot supplied for ‘All Is By My Side’?
‘All Is By My Side’ were testing all last week here in The Depot. DoP Tim Fleming (Once, Citadel) is back from the UK and he, and his crew, were doing the usual testing prior to the shoot. The film based around Jimi Hendrix is shooting for six weeks and they are shooting Anamorphic using RED MX cameras and a mix of Hawk Plus / V Lite Primes, Grip package and Video Playback.
At the same time we are just over half way through the BBC drama ‘Ripper Street’ which is shooting on Arri Alexa Plus cameras and Cooke S4 lenses. We are also supplying another BBC drama in Northern Ireland called ‘The Fall’ which has a similar package.
The Production Depot has supplied equipment for some of https://www.buchholz-net.de the most successful Irish productions over the last eight years. What are the stand out ones you remember?
Eight years ago we basically opened up on a bank holiday Friday in May and we started testing for ‘The Clinic’ series two on the following Tuesday. That was our first production and it ran for about 15 weeks. After that we supplied a series of many successful TV dramas such as ‘Showbands’, ‘Pure Mule’, ‘Murphy’s Law’, ‘George Gently’ and so on. At the same time we also started supplying feature films of which our first one was Neil Jordan’s ‘Breakfast on Pluto’ with DoP Declan Quinn. Since opening in 2004 we have supplied 37 feature films and 46 TV dramas along with a range of commercials, documentaries and shorts films.
Over the years do you find international production companies avail of your services more than Irish based companies?
It’s a good mix of both. As 90 per cent of what we do is what we refer to as long term jobs such as features and TV dramas, it would be half and half. At the moment we are mainly supplying UK and American co productions shooting here along with Irish productions companies, but we’re looking ahead in the pipeline and there’s a lot more indigenous work coming up.
How does your relationship with the BBC work? canada goose coats Do they contact The Production Depot when it has an upcoming production?
The likes of the BBC would come in and co produce with an Irish production company. Then a line producer is appointed and I tend to work closely with them and the DoP’s with regards requirements and fitting this to budgets. I’ve been renting equipment in Ireland for 20 years now and a lot of people in the industry have been using me through all of the different rental companies I have worked with over that time. I pursue all projects shooting in Ireland and the leads and contacts come in various ways, sometimes contact is through producers or line producers you have worked with before, or it may come through the DoP or even another crew member. At the Depot official canada goose outlet it is all about finding out what the requirements are for a production and what they need/want. Each one is completely different and because The Production Depot is a boutique company with its own equipment as well as aligned to many different suppliers worldwide, we can supply all the formats and variations of those formats and accessories etc to suit.
Do you monitor canada goose outlet black friday the equipment on set for the duration of the production?
We don’t remain on set at all. The Production Depot is a facility house. We supply equipment packages, service these packages for the duration of the shoot and supply 24/7 back up.
We work from a list of all the requirements using our expertise and knowledge and then and when the pricing is settled we monitor the testing of the equipment the week prior to shooting. Every job has a test period before they start shooting. Throughout that time, the crew adapt the packages to suit them and the production and we all ‘iron out all the kinks’ and by the end we ensure that they have everything they need. We provide extra equipment and specialist equipment if, and as, required, and also a full back up service if any equipment stops working or is damaged. We would occasionally drop in on the set every now and then to see how everything is going make sure everyone’s happy.
What are the main cameras The Production Depot supplies production companies with?
Equipment being used has changed considerably in the last few years. When we started in 2004 it was all film cameras for features and HDCAM cameras for TV drama but now we do not even carry any of these formats. Everything we carry is solid state cameras, no more film or tape. We can, and do, access 35mm and 16mm film cameras along with ‘tape’ cameras but the demand is very, very small.
Currently at the Depot we are mainly supplying Arri Alexa (PLUS, PLUS H/S STUDIO) RED MX Camera Kits. We carry some smaller solid state cameras as well such as Sony EX1’s. We have all these on shelf but depending on the format and canada goose outlet toronto factory type of equipment required, we access equipment from canada goose outlet uk the UK, Europe or the USA. We also supply some REC EPIC cameras and larger XDCAM cameras.
How have advances in technology affected your business, was there a need to clear out old media to make room for new media?
Technology has changed, and is changing our industry in a huge way. Over the past eight years the advancement from shooting on film to shooting HD to shooting DIGITAL 35mm film cameras was expected but maybe not as canada goose uk shop fast as it actually happened. Things were changing slowly and we were supplying features and TV dramas with HD equipment but about four years ago there was a big change with the introduction of the RED Camera, after which followed the Alexa. After these Super 35mm Sensor cameras were released, this followed a multitude of other cameras arriving to, including DSLR Cameras that shoot HD Video.
As Ireland is small, we cannot carry every format available so we stick to the main cameras, RED and canada goose factory outlet Alexa, as these are in demand and are being used worldwide. For all other formats, we can access other formats through different suppliers as required. In my opinion, canada goose coats on sale the biggest change is that the market we are really in now is lenses, not cameras. The lenses for 35mm are now in huge demand as there the amount of camera that use these lenses has increased. The lenses we used years ago were put on the shelves because they were too ‘slow’ to use but now we use them because the cameras are so sensitive. With all the large sensor cameras around the demand for 35mm lenses is huge compared to when they were only cheap canada goose goose outlet canada used on 35mm film cameras.
Do you find that you’re meeting clients’ demands for the most popular cameras?
We canada goose clearance are meeting clients demands. The majority of projects we do are long term and so there is good lead time to put packages together. What is proving more difficult is when people have lower budget jobs and want the higher end camera equipment and it’s just not affordable for them. The cameras are getting cheaper but the lenses and accessories are not. The Depot has always supported the industry when it comes canada goose store to the likes of short films and all the different sort of projects that are done from the development end. We give a lot of time and discounts to these projects. Everyone obviously wants the best and latest equipment and we try and accommodate as much as we can.
What happens if a piece of equipment gets damaged on a shoot?
We have testing facilities in our building with space set aside with specific lighting and test charts. We insist as part of our terms and conditions that productions come in and test the equipment before they take it out. People renting our equipment are required to take out insurance to cover the equipment in case it is damaged or stolen. If someone is on a job and something happens to a camera it is then covered as it has all been tested beforehand. If it is something small like a connection or a cable, we can obviously replace/fix that, but if something worse occurs such as water damage, physical damage or theft, the client is required to inform us and their insurance company and our role is then to remedy the situation with working equipment so not to affect the shoot.
Have mishaps like this happened much?
There are always things going to happen, we’ve had incidents of equipment stolen and damaged on shoots but a very, very small percentage as against the amount of shoots we have done.