When Jim Devers and I started Location Lighting in 1998 we thought we could do a better job at quality grip and lighting rental. Two great guys, Chappy Goraj and Tom Dischert had given the Philly production community the first real G & L rental houses. Then along came two young guys who wanted to take it up a notch and we did with Location Lighting, Ltd.
It wasn’t easy with plenty of nights loading trucks after Jim and I worked our “day jobs” of DP and Key Grip early on. Jim headed back to production in 2005 but I’ve carried on since as the solo owner at LL. Fortunately I made two great hires, Chris Dempsey in 2005 and Allison Ruff Mitchell in 2006. Both are still here offering the same knowledgeable, professional rental management that makes our customer service superior to the competition.
Many businesses come to a fork in the road, evolve or perish. I’ve seen the perish scenario many times. The doors close, the yellow-tagged gear appears in the online auction and another rental house disappears. Not the best outcome for the owner, the employees or the production community. I’m happy to say that just like our founding ideal, we’ve found a better way.
In 2016 I was introduced to a young guy with the ambition and desire go for the gold. In 2008 Travis Moody started Red Star Pictures in Madison, WI after learning about G & L on the production side as a gaffer. Like Jim and I he knows what it takes to provide superior G & L rental because he’s been an end user himself. He’s continued to grow Red Star expanding to Louisville, KY in 2014 and buying The Washington Source for Lighting in 2017.
I’m happy to announce that Red Star Pictures, LLC has acquired the assets of Location Lighting, Ltd. and will be keeping our staff in place. The regions best rental house is ready to take it to a new level for 21st century production. That means a refreshed inventory including lots of shiny new stands, apple boxes and other grip gear. The latest in lighting (which of course means LED), additional Sky Panels, LiteMats, Titan Tubes, Helios Tubes, new Arri Orbiters and much more. New Sprinter Packages to meet the needs of small productions will be here soon with additional units from DC available when needed.
A big benefit to the production community is the size of the Red Star inventory. The new Location Lighting can easily supply the quantities needed for large productions. They’ll be increased quantities here and the other Red Star locations, especially Washington, DC, are able to quickly augment our local inventory. Without the need to subrent they can handle most orders in house and offer you better deals.
Best of all is the fact that clients of the new Location Lighting, Ltd. can count on the same great team they know who will continue to provide outstanding service. The production environment is demanding and it takes real pros to handle the issues that can confront any production. With the backing of the top-notch Red Star organization Allison, Chris, Tony and Mike along with some new faces are ready to step it up. Oh yeah, you’re not getting rid of this old guy so quick either. I’ll be helping the Location Lighting Red Star crew be the best in Philly for a while too!