MotionTribe is an online platform for renting production equipment from other gear owners at lower prices than rental houses, while also offering insurance on rented items.
Ever wondered why there is no easy online platform for renting production equipment directly from the owners? Or renting out your own gear safely? Well, there is now, but only if you are located in Europe – specifically Belgium and London at the moment.
The MotionTribe platform was founded in 2015 by production professionals Haroun Souriji and Aurélien Troonbeeckx. It was previously only available in Belgium, but since February 2018 it is also active in London, UK. The company plans to spread the platform to further countries in Europe in the future.
The idea behind the project is that equipment owners can earn some extra money by renting out their gear. Also filmmakers looking to hire equipment do not have to go directly to rental houses, but can save some money (or perhaps time) by renting through MotionTribe. The company claims that prices on their platform are roughly 30% lower than those of conventional rental houses.
Furthermore, rental houses do not always react very quickly to the changing market and new non-mainstream gear. One example of my own: a few months back I was looking to rent a set of fast Voigtländer MFT primes to pair with my GH5, and could not find anything in rental houses near my location. For this particular situation MotionTribe might have helped me. There is a growing community of filmmakers and lots of them own their own kit. When this equipment is not in use, it mostly just sits at home, while it could be generating a side income.
For most equipment owners, the main reason for not renting out their gear is safety concerns – equipment might not come back in the same condition as was when rented out or might even come back damaged. The MotionTribe platform claims to have this covered through a cooperation with the AXA insurance company. According to the company, every piece of gear rented through the platform is properly insured.
In order to present itself on the UK market, MotionTribe had a booth at this year’s BVE. Since then, it has significantly increased its user base in London. It now also has a so-called hub in London which can be used as a pickup point for gear rented through the platform, and is located in Cherryduck Studios in Wapping. Equipment renters can therefore agree with the owners which location suits them best to minimize the logistics hassle.
The founders claim there is an added value in the platform too in the form of networking. Every gear rental operation includes a personal meeting and might potentially lead to future collaborations. Sometimes, equipment renters can also save some transportation costs and time by finding the needed gear in a nearby location. In order to provide even more security to its users, MotionTribe manually carries out a background check to all applying members, and there is also a feedback and rating feature for every member. Theoretically, an unreliable person should therefore soon be filtered out.
Keep in mind, though, that when renting equipment through MotionTribe there is an insurance excess of £250 (£500 for productions outside of Europe). This should still be a better deal than pre-existing options according to the platform founders.
At the moment, the platform founders are also gathering feedback from other countries in Europe so as to see where the demand for such a service would be high enough to launch the platform. So if you feel like joining the MotionTribe in your country, send a message to its creators here.
What do you think about this new platform? Would you try and rent out your gear through this marketplace? Let us know in the comments section below.