Chicago is a haven for filmmakers, amateurs and professionals alike. The beauty and talent that this city holds is not found anywhere else. So, if you’re an up-and-coming filmmaker or just producing a film as a hobby, you’ll need to find some affordable and reliable film equipment.

Film equipment can run upwards of $10,000 so it’s very common for filmmakers to seek out film equipment rentals instead of purchasing their own equipment. This way you can get the best film equipment at reasonable prices. Renting film equipment in Chicago can be a complex process, but the experts at Eleven04 have a bit of advice for you to get your filming process started.

Here is your guide to renting film equipment in Chicago:

Research The Best Places To Rent Equipment

There’s a variety of options available in Chicago for film equipment rentals. From the most technical options to the most affordable, there’s no limit for film equipment rental options in Chicago. So, to narrow down your options that are suited to your needs, do a little research first.

Plan out your needs. When researching, ask yourself a few questions such as:

  • What type of camera will I need?

  • Will I be able to suffice with a Canon DSLR, or will I need something more advanced like a RED EPIC-W?

  • What type of shots am I looking to capture? Will the camera I’m thinking of renting suffice?

  • Will I need additional cinematic lenses?

  • If I’m shooting indoors or at night, what is the necessary lighting gear I’ll need?

  • If incorporating audio, will I need a shotgun mic, or will a Lavalier mic suffice?

  • Do I need any additional accessories like tripods, batteries, HDMI cables, or other miscellaneous accessories?

  • And most importantly, what is my budget???

Asking yourself these types of questions will help point you in the right direction. Look for a film rental company that can provide you with every one of your film rental needs. At Eleven04, Chicago’s premier film rental company, we rent out everything from XLR cables to the most high-tech advanced RED Digital Cinema cameras. If you are not certain about what you need, you can simply contact a rental company to ask for advice on choosing the right equipment for your needs.

After you do your research and decide on a Chicago film rental company there are a few more steps to take.

Register With A Chicago Film Equipment Rental House


Any film equipment rental company in Chicago will require you to provide a bit of information before you can rent equipment for the first time. You’ll most likely need to provide your name, age, purpose for renting the film equipment, and if you’re an individual or with an organization. Remember you’re renting extremely expensive equipment so be sure to fill out the registration form precisely as the instructions say.

Evaluate Your Insurance Needs

Many Chicago film equipment rental companies require you to purchase insurance. If you meet certain standards, you may be exempt from insurance. New filmmakers will most likely not have their insurance waived.

With Eleven04, if you qualify for insurance exemption, you won’t need insurance for orders of $10,000 or less. Depending on the company, insurance requirements will be different.

Remember, even if you are exempt from insurance, you are still liable for any damage occurred to the equipment under your possession. So it’s always a good idea to have insurance.


The last step necessary for film equipment rental in Chicago is to set a reservation for your equipment rental. Remember, you can also contact the company directly to ask for advice on choosing the right equipment. Once you set your reservation, a representative from the film equipment rental company will contact you with your equipment availability, insurance exemption status, and a quote. If all this information is suited to your needs, you’ll commit to a date and you’ll be on your way!

Although film equipment rental is pricey, it doesn’t mean the equipment rental process has to be extensive. The process is simple. Just ask yourself the prior-stated questions and follow these steps and you’ll be set!

For the highest-quality, reasonably priced film equipment rental service in Chicago, check out Eleven04’s selection of film equipment for rent available! Apply for a reservation today!