Thursday, July 21, 2022

Filmmaker Hustle: How To Get A Red Epic for Next To Nothing

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Are you a filmmaker wishing you could shoot on the Red Epic, the Arri Alexa, the Millennium DXL2 or even the Sony F55? Do you wish you had funding for these cameras? Well, we found out how you can gain access to one of these cameras for next to nothing. Introducing Panavision’s New Filmmaker Program…

According to Panavision’s website:

The New Filmmaker Program loans film or digital camera packages (based on availability) to filmmakers for student thesis films, “low-budget” independent features, showcase reels, Public Service Announcements, or any other type of short not-for-profit project.

Filmmaker Hustle and Submit

To submit your project for consideration for the New Filmmaker Program, submit a proposal that includes the following:

  • Cover letter describing the status of your production, desired format, and some background about yourself. (If you are working on a thesis project for school, you must also submit a letter of reference from your professor on school letterhead.)
  • Desired shooting location
  • Shooting schedule with locked production dates
  • Copy of the script
  • Copy of your budget
  • Resumes and bios of all key people involved
  • Contact information (e-mail/phone number) for all key people involved. If you are associated with a school, include a letter of good standing on the school’s letterhead. If you are not associated with a school, please include a copy of your state ID
  • Three line project synopsis
  • Any other material that you think will support your proposal package (location photos, storyboards, past work, etc.)

Filmmaker Hustle: The Review Process

Panavision will review your proposal to determine if it meets Panavision’s standards and scheduling requirements. We will respond as quickly as possible, but please allow at least three weeks for an initial response.

Filmmaker Hustle: Check Out The Details

Because Panavision’s New Filmmaker Program receives more proposals than we can possibly accommodate, filmmakers must realize that this is a competitive grant program. Application for an equipment grant is no guarantee of acceptance. Please have a back-up plan.

Submit your proposals at least two months before you plan to shoot. Due to the high demand for Panavision cameras and equipment, it is essential that you plan ahead and contact us early.

Proposal materials will not be returned.

The New Filmmaker Program does not discriminate as to the nature of the project that can receive equipment grants. Any form, from experimental to documentary to musical to traditional narrative, is welcome.

Camera grants are available only for productions in the United States. Customs laws make transportation of cameras out of the US prohibitive. No exceptions.

The New Filmmaker Program will not allow cameras to be used on projects that perpetuate racial or sexual stereotypes and prejudices. Pornography is absolutely unacceptable.

Filmmaker Hustle: Get Insurance

Grant recipients must obtain insurance must from an outside insurance agent. Students can generally have the school issue the necessary policies. Plan ahead! This can take several weeks to implement. The process varies from school to school, so check with your film department. Productions that are not attached to a school must obtain the necessary insurance from an independent broker. Panavision must receive proof of insurance two weeks prior to prep dates. EQUIPMENT WILL NOT LEAVE THE BUILDING WITHOUT PROPER INSURANCE. NO EXCEPTIONS!

Approved proposals are subject to a service fee for equipment.

Anamorphic lenses are not available via the New Filmmaker Program. Here’s a list of the digital cameras listed on their site. 

All gear is requests are subject to availability


You can submit your application via email only.

Email Address


BTFC Staff
BTFC Staff
We're a staff of writers who compile the articles to promote crew members and African Americans in the entertainment business.

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