Merger made in Hollywood
By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Herald, Thursday, May 29, 2008
A pair of longtime Boston-area video and film equipment companies are teaming up to cash in on the surge of Hollywood movies filming in the Bay State.
Rule Broadcast Systems and Boston Camera Rental Co. are merging after years of competing for customers. The two firms do everything from renting out movie cameras to setting up sophisticated editing suites at local companies.
One trend pushing the firms to the altar has been the increase in films being shot locally as the movie industry scrambles to take advantage of millions in new state-tax credits.
Neither company could afford to invest in big-ticket items that major productions now routinely ship in from Los Angeles and New York. That includes a Sony digital-camera package that retails for $250,000, said John Rule, head of Rule Broadcast Systems.
“We want to bring that kind of equipment here so we are on par with the major film centers,” Rule said.
The new company will take the Rule Broadcast Systems name but will use Boston Camera for its rental operations. Rule will continue to serve as chief executive and president, while Boston Camera chief Brian Malcolm will be general manager.
The two firms, which have a combined payroll of 30, are on the hunt for a new headquarters and rental complex.
The combination of Rule Broadcast Systems and Boston Camera is another sign the state’s burgeoning film business is helping to spur growth, said Nicholas Paleologos, executive director of the Massachusetts Film Office.
“They (Hollywood productions) are always looking for local services wherever possible, so this is great,” Paleologos said.