Back in the day, we told you all about how you could produce your own show. Mind you this was a whopping eight months ago, so practically the Stone Age. Indies producers across the board agreed that it would cost you a fair bit of money to produce any kind of something unless you had a friend who could lend you production equipment. Well, brokesters, fear no more: your series dreams can finally get back on track, thanks to this nifty new e-service called Kitsplit that lets you rent production equipment from like-minded creatives affordably, so you’re not blowing your entire production budget on gear.
Similar to Airbnb, Kitsplit functions on a marketplace platform that connects creatives to one another instead of funneling them toward a single resource pool. The site was founded by two young female entrepreneurs (which hopefully we’ll be seeing more of, soon), Kristina Budelis and Lisbeth Kaufman. This works out well for those seeking cutting-edge equipment for their projects. Because the artist/filmmaker pool on Kitsplit is curated directly by two millennial women, the artists and filmmakers therein are younger themselves, and tend to work with newer and more difficult-to-find gear like Oculus Rifts and Google Glass.
This also means that, much like many startup business platforms, the service is as much of a social networking tool as it is a professional resource. “The idea is that when you use KitSplit, you’ll meet other photographers, filmmakers, and artists in your area,” Budelis tells us. “As opposed to renting from a big rental house, where the person checking you out might not know the gear they’re handing over and probably won’t want to chat. Part of enabling creativity is bringing together creative minds to share knowledge and ideas.” (FWIW, she also recounts a pretty adorable instance of a kid renting the Oculus Rift from a user in Bushwick so he could use it for his school presentation.)
Nervous about handling a stranger’s stuff, or renting out your own? As far as contingencies go, Kitsplit does a pretty bang-up (no pun intended) job of covering all the bases. For example, if you’re overdue returning equipment, Kitsplit charges you a 7% interest fee on top of additional per-diem rental cost. If anything on the item needs repair because you damaged or misused it, you’ll pay the cost of that, too. And if you downright break the equipment, or it gets lost or stolen, you’ll have to pay the replacement value of the item. All of the above fees are paid directly to the owner.
So from a renter’s perspective, it’s a lot like owning anything: just take good care of it and you’ll be fine. This is why we can have nice things. (If you’re an equipment owner, by the way, now’s a great time to test the waters of the site—Kitsplit is still in its invite-only beta version. By vetting potential renters and keeping the community relatively airtight, you’re less likely to have to deal with any of the above circumstances.)
“Our main goal is to make the creative process easier and support creators by providing them with the tools they need in arms reach,” Budelis says. So, say adieu to weeks spent pushing back shoot dates because you’re waiting on camera parts! Sayonara, pricey uHaul rental! And all the other goodbyes in foreign languages you can think of, waved to inconveniences you won’t have to deal with any longer thanks to Kitsplit.
Since things escalate so quickly in the start-up scene, I asked the girls if they were dreaming big yet. Like if one day, in the rolling credits of a Cannes jury-prize film, they wouldn’t love to see a Special Thanks to Kitsplit for making it all possible? “We haven’t thought about being credited in a film,” says Budelis. “But we wouldn’t turn it down!”
Try the site out for your next creative venture; maybe you won’t have to Kickstart, after all!