Pod Hire, an all-in-one vehicle and equipment rental solution for location shooting, is the latest innovation to hit London – and we caught up with one of its founders, Ilana Garrard, to ask her all about it.
What is Pod Hire - and how did you come up with the idea?
We came up with the idea through the frustration of wanting a better solution as practising filmmakers. The majority of shoots now have smaller budgets and therefore limited crew and time. The reality is that you can achieve amazing results now due to technological advances that have made kit better and more compact. But there was no specifically-designed vehicle tailored towards these small-scale shoots. The specialist vehicles out there cater for much larger shoots, but for smaller ones there was nothing that carried the same benefits.
Looking to meet requirements for these shoots, and the demands of travelling around to multiple locations, we looked at the concept afresh. We took a blank canvas and thought: ‘What is the best way of doing this? What can we devise to make filmmakers’ lives easier? We wanted to build, from the ground up, a whole new system to cope with the growing demands of media production, designed in collaboration with producers and cinematographers. And so Pod Hire was born.
How does it differ from other rental companies?
Pod's specially designed van turns up to your first location, with the required kit neatly stacked, and leaves at the end of the shoot. The equipment is ordered with accessible user-friendly racking, making it quicker to get started, pack down between location moves and access in general. It also means that a lot of kit can be carried for this size of vehicle.
Practicality and efficiency is at the forefront of Pod Hire. It condenses the larger specially designed vehicles – such as lighting trucks, camera vans, etc. – into an all-in-one solution that can fit into a single parking space, without compromising its functionality.
You also get the benefit of having loads of kit which comes with the van as standard – from ladders to apple boxes, radios to hi-vis jackets – along with power points to charge batteries on-the-go. You don’t know when you'll need this stuff, but it’s often easily forgotten, so it’s useful to have it on hand.
What would you say the key benefits of choosing Pod Hire are?
Firstly, the benefit is the streamlining of the hiring process. For producers it offers a much improved and simplified workflow, allowing them to deal directly with one company as opposed to several. There’s no collection or drop off, no van to hire, or driver to insure, no fuel costs to pay (within M25) and no congestion charge to worry about.
Secondly, it makes the crew’s lives much easier. It allows them to yield better results because they’re working with a specially designed mobile unit rather than a disorganised van. Pod Hire helps you to fret less about organisation and kit, and focus more on the job because Pod has covered it all for you. When you consider all of this, Pod’s service is highly cost effective.
What projects has the company worked on so far?
So far Pod Hire has worked on a variety of high-end ad campaigns, music videos, corporate promos. We shine when mobility and practicality are required and when you want to pack a big punch for your budget.