Zootee Studios: For those online jobs with those online budgets. Meet the Good Guys in Camera and Gear Rental.
You know that ‘online job’ that came through with the ‘online budget’? Sigh. What a time to be alive. Well, we’d like to introduce you to the gear rental company that’s got your back (and budget).
If you’re an online content creator or indie filmmaker we could not be more thrilled to introduce you to Zootee Studios. Over the years they’ve seriously had our backs whenever we’ve created content, needed guidance on production and they even partnered with us to bring you Cannes Lions 2018. So we decided to take it upon ourselves and do the industry a solid by going inside the camera and gear rental supplier that you NEED on your speed dial.
Let’s Start at the Very Beginning🎵
Fresh out of film school in 2009, Zootee Studios Co-founders, Stacey Keppler and Faheema Hendricks, were filled with the exuberance, confidence and insecurities of most recently-graduated aspiring filmmakers. Unsure of how to measure their worth in the industry, they decided to take out a loan and purchase their first camera which they quickly paid off by renting out. Steadily the young entrepreneurs started becoming small-business-official by purchasing and renting out more gear and now, 9 years on, Zootee Studios prides itself in being the most affordable, helpful and friendliest gear rental suppliers in Cape Town and yes, after years of working with them, we can vouch for this!
‘Zootee Studios is the most affordable camera and gear rental company in Cape Town and we’re happy to beat ANYONE’S quote by 10%.’ – Owner and bestie-to-the-industry Stacey Keppler.
iDidTht: Okay, give us the hard-sell here, what equipment can the industry rent from you?
Stacey: Guys, we have all the equipment you need and if we don’t, well we’ll find it for you. We’re also happy to beat anyone’s quote by 10%.
iDidTht: That’s money for petrol right there!
iDidTht: What do you think sets Zootee apart from the rest?
Stacey: Apart from our love of cats, my clients can contact me day or night, even if it’s something as simple as not knowing where to plug in a lapel mic. I’m always available and always happy to help, even on Christmas Eve…true story, its happened!
iDidTht: We promise that wasn’t us!
Stacey: Ha, maybe not that time. We’re also really focused on building long-term relationships with our clients by giving honest advice, guaranteed one-on-one customer service, technical support and tutorials at gear checks. Our team genuinely are committed to being available.
iDidTht: What’s some of the fancy-pants gear you have on offer to entice our sexy readers?
Stacey: Below are just some of the gear we stock, but download the full PDF to see our whole range.
iDidTht: What’s next for Zootee and what can Directors, agencies and production companies start getting excited about?
Stacey: Zootee is currently investing in some new toys: Two kickass Ari sky panels, a set of wireless directors monitors and some easy-rigs for systems to carry the bigger Ronins, to name but a few.
iDidTht: Are those the new sequels to Star Wars?
Stacey: OHMYGAWD I’ll take you guys through a tutorial.
Zootee’s love of new toys and gear are only rivalled by their love of cats. Seriously, these people love cats and that’s gotta count for something right?!
Picture: Wireless directors monitors, Ari SkyPanels, and Easyrigs to save your back from those heavy Ronins #TransactPads
They’re the Good Guys
Get a load of this: Zootee is a solar-powered rental company and an all female-run operation! #FactsThatMatter They’re also pretty well known for always backing the industry by offering affordable prices to aspiring content creators, indie filmmakers or even sponsoring projects like SCHNIT and The 48 Hour Film Festival. In 2017 Zootee partnered with the SAE Institute to provide a bursary whereby a trade exchange gave Samson Moyo the opportunity to participate in SAE’s Higher Certificate in Digital Film Production programme. The partnership was inspired and created for Samson who had taught himself editing and camera operating, despite being from a rural community with no access to electricity. Zootee Studios is damn proud to have assisted Samson on his path to work as a wildlife videographer in wildlife conservation. So yeah, they’re the good guys!
A Lil Name-Dropping
iDidTht: Who are some of your regular Zootee clients?
Stacey: Only the best obviously! Zootee’s regular clientele include production companies like Stage5 Films, Carbon Collective, Motion City Films, Arcade, Moonlighting, Gambit Films, Penguin Films and Sketchbook Studios. Agencies that regularly call on us include Publicis, FoxP2 and many independent Directors like Ryan Kruger, who is one of the best music video directors in the country having directed over 70 music videos and award-winning Documentary Filmmaker and Producer Jolynn Minnaar.
Just in case Stacey was making up names, we got in touch with Directors Ryan and Jolynn to find out just what Zootee has meant to them.
Jolynn Minnaar (Director): “Ever since opening their doors, Zootee Studios and Stacey have generously supported an entire generation of filmmakers. From assisting producers on a budget level – often at her own expense – to always working hard to find a solution for your shoot requirements; from creating a safe space for young filmmakers to ask any question to Stacey herself stepping in to help out on your shoot, Zootee Studios goes far, far beyond what you would expect from a gear rental company. More accurately, Zootee Studios has enabled an entire industry to learn, grow, survive and flourish.
As a woman, working with Stacey and her female-run company has always been incredibly empowering and rewarding. It is impossible to imagine where I am today without Zootee Studios and I am certain many esteemed film professionals, working in the top of their field today, would echo this.”
Ryan Kruger (Director): “As a local Director I used to deal with many smaller budget music videos that started my career and if it wasn’t for Stacey and Zootee I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. Zootee Studios has always backed me and believed in my visions to grow as a director over the years. Now as an award-winning Director having MTV/SAMA/GHOEMA awards behind my name, I am very grateful to know Stacey and they will always be family to me. They have been there from the start.”
Behind Every Piece of Kickass Content
iDidTht: Why does Zootee go above and beyond like this?
Stacey: We’ve always been determined to support the local industry either through gear, production assistance, studio space, acting as producers and anything in-between. Also, I just flippen love the industry. If I see a good horse I’ll back it and I don’t really expect anything in return. It’s just what I feel is right.
iDidTht: We know gear rental companies don’t usually brag about the work their gear was used on, but we say ‘Why not?!’ What are some of the projects that Zootee has backed?
Stacey: That’s a weird question guys. I mean we’re a gear rental company, who knows what people shoot on our gear…In fact, often I don’t even want to know! But here are some special things close to my heart.
Behind the Music Videos
Zakwe Sebentin ft Musiholiq & Cassper Nyovest – Arcade Content Directed by Kyle Lewis / Geared by Zootee Studios
Monark ‘Hush’ (SAMA 2016 Video of the Year Nominee) – Directed by Ryan Kruger / Geared by Zootee Studios
Ricky Rick ‘Fuseg’ (2016 SAMA Video of the Year Nominee) – Arcade Content Directed by Kyle Lewis / Geared by Zootee Studios
Prime Circle ‘Doors’ (SAMA 2015 Video of the Year Winner) – Directed by Ryan Kruger / Geared by Zootee Studios
And that is Cape Town’s quirkiest HD Video Camera and Digital Cinema Equipment Rental House. Fact. But there’s more! Here at iDidTht we love our readers so much that we want to award you for being so damn attractive, so we’ve got an offer for the iDidTht community because Zootee loves our readers too. Call them now and quote #WeLoveZootee to get 35% off your first gear rental with them. Offer valid until 30 November 2018. #DropsRodeReporterOmnidirectionalInterviewMic
Produced by the iDidTht Content Studio
Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder
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This Editorial is paid for by Zootee Studios. Want our studio to create content that puts your agency/company/kickass ad you made in bright lights for the whole industry to see? View or editorial packages or contact email@example.com and we’ll make it happen! #Boom