With Wisconsin a key battleground state, and Milwaukee hosting the Democratic National Convention, 2020 is going to be a busy year for Wisconsin video crews, camera rental and Grip & Electric companies.
Latest estimates are that as many as 20,000 members of the media will converge on Milwaukee just for the convention alone. Networks will be sending armies of reporters, crews, and broadcast trucks. Already, parking lots and any other open area within microwave range of the Fiserv Forum are being snapped up as sites for satellite trucks.
But many international media outlets will be looking for Wisconsin-based crews, equipment and production support. And political ad agencies will be filming in the state all year to produce campaign spots for the Democratic Primary and Wisconsin’s eight US Senate, 16 State Senate, and, 99 State Assembly races.
Things to consider when planning your 2020 Wisconsin shoot:
Probably the most important thing to remember is that you’re not in New York or LA (or London). Obvious, but worth stating. Wisconsin is a relatively small market which can be good and sometimes not so good.
The good news:
Neary every Wisconsin crew person – DP, AC, Cam Op, Sound Mixer, Gaffer, Grip, AD, HMU, or PA is a top-notch professional. Only the best can survive here. The market is too small to support any slackers.
The not so good news:
Supplies are limited. While there are plenty of great crew folks in the state to handle our normal workload, 2020 is not going to be at all “normal”. Unlike in LA or New York, you won’t be able to fill all your crew positions by make a few phone calls a couple days before your shoot date. So, as they say, “Book Early”.
Also, be prepared for a little sticker shock. You’re not going to find any $100./day PA’s or $250./day grips. And this has nothing to do with the increased demand in 2020. Everything you’ve heard about “Midwestern Values” and “Work Ethic” is pretty much true. You won’t see much “price gouging” around here. Crew rates in Wisconsin are what they are simply because of the size of the market. Crew folks in Wisconsin don’t get booked 5 days a week like they can in larger markets, but they still have to pay the rent.
Wisconsin Equipment Rental Resources
Just about anything you need can be found in Wisconsin (or our Southern suburb of Chicago :-). Camera/lens package from Sony, Canon, Red, Blackmagic, Arri, Zeiss and Cooke. Lighting options ranging all the way from LED kits to 5-Ton Grip Trucks. Need a crane, a camera car, dolly or jib? A broadcast or satellite truck? Maybe a green screen studio? All of this is available, but you need to know where to look. And like with crew people, supply is limited.
This is where Fresh Coast Production Resources can help. As you begin to plan and budget for your Wisconsin shoot, send us a quick email. We’d be happy to fill you in on what we’ve learned over the past 30 + years of producing film and video in Wisconsin.