We spoke to one of our regular lenders, Tom Bryan, a Hackney-based filmmaker who’s now paying his studio rent by lending out his photography gear on Fat Lama.
What do you do?
I am a filmmaker, splitting my time between making corporate content, and working towards making my own short films
What projects are you working on at the moment?
Last year I shot several short films, so this year I am spending a lot of time editing them. On the corporate side, I have a few hotel films to shoot, which are always nice projects to do.
What do you rent out on Fat Lama?
I list all my gear, but the most popular bits of items are my Canon lenses and my Ronin stabilised camera rig.
Do you have any return borrowers?
None yet, but I once had someone hire my Lights, and the next week they rang me up as they saw that I hired a Ronin. They had a Ronin themselves but they were missing a very important screw, without which this screw, the Ronin would not function. And they needed their Ronin to work that day for a shoot they were doing. So I gladly gave him this screw to borrow for free – on condition he returned it the next day – which he did.
What does your lender income go towards?
I earn enough lending my gear each month to cover the rent of my shared office space. It’s nice to know I can cover that expense. At the moment, as I focus on my own projects, I am earning less from corporate work, so this extra income from kit hire is helping me sustain a lifestyle where I can spend more time on my own projects – which is where my heart lies.
Have you borrowed on the platform? Would you?
I have not yet borrowed anything on this site, but I would if it was competitive against the hire companies I use.
How does stuff-sharing benefit freelancers?
Peer to peer lending allows you to meet people who have the same interests as you. Filmmaking is an industry where you are relying on the talents of other people to help produce your film – so meeting new people who are filmmakers and photographers is great.
What does the future of ownership look like?
Most of the time my kit sits there gathering dust. It’s a shame to have tools that don’t get the use that they were designed for. Having a resource where you earn money from hiring out your kit allows you to supplement the high cost of purchases these items in the first place. Just this month I purchased a new camera with the aim of paying it off within one year from just hires alone. It’s made me think about gear in a completely different way.
Last week someone borrowed our projector for an entire week. This coincided with a holiday I went on with my girlfriend. As we both own the projector together, this money went towards our holiday and provided us with a little bit of spending money whilst we were away.
To check out more of Tom’s work, head to his YouTube channel, here.
Already renting out your gear? For more passive income ideas, click here.