Made in… ?!?!
As with production value, just because the filmmaker might love a certain toy does not make for a necessity on a project. Whether the result of the “toy” produces will be something audiences’ appreciates ultimately determines its value in production. Or simply put, some tools are instruments that bring true production value to a production and some are just toys; some are somewhere in the middle.
Same logic can be applied to where a piece of equipment is manufactured. Or as in the case of a product like Apple, where: designed, manufactured, assembled, distributed is partitioned. For more than just marketing purposes.
Just because something is made in China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Russia, India, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany or Liechtenstein does not make for any less value if needed by filmmaker and result appreciated by audiences.
Over the past three years, we have come across some incredibly well-crafted equipment manufactured outside of the US. For those that are able to put aside personal bias, you’ll easily see that. Some are made so well that we have even come across retailers, both brick & mortar and e-commerce, re-branding some of these products and passing off as their own. (We have also come across rubbish that’s nauseating to find marketed as “equipment”)
Might not mean much for the bargain-hunting filmmaker, or any filmmaker for that matter, however consider this:
1) Chances of that equipment being a slightly modified copy of something that was researched & developed, engineered and designed here in the US, for a specific film/shot challenge, is pretty high. As we lead in making high-challenging gags, experimental shooting styles and ever pushing for better visual/audio experiences.
2) Do you really want to be supporting a business that not only impedes upon someone else’s R&D work but lies to and way overcharges the filmmaker? (OK, this is like the daily doings of a major studio, but please stay focused, this is about equipment.)
3) The result of supporting a business that does not invest into research and development yields higher pricing as real equipment makers will have to markup for operating costs due less sales.
4) More importantly, additional unnecessary stagnation resulting in less options for filmmakers. Impeding of progress helps no one, especially filmmakers. Same boring followed by more slightly modified boring = supreme boring. Legitimate businesses needs your support to continue innovation.
5) Some equipment are just junk with brilliant marketing. Study conducted by an Ivy League University. A piece of excrement well-marketed (some celebrity’s) selling for $1K outsold $5K watches selling for $1000 badly marketed, 10-3.
If not anything else, from this article, observe true value worth to your armory and project and not someone’s hype.
Despite us receiving offers to manufacture overseas for less than 1/10 of the our cost to manufacture here, we politely refused. We tend to walk-the-walk sort of speak.
For the record, we engineer, design, manufacture, assemble, and distribute, 100%, right here, in the US.
Manufacturing domestically allows us to respond fast; prototype and fabricate for quality, safety, integrity and next-phase testings.
And we rather like employing our neighbors and accumulating the social points.
Thanks for the beer and burgers gentlemen. But please no more 5AM IHops breakfasts.
Innovation is the only effective defense to combat piracy. Being innovative requires your support.