Daufenbach Camera puts $500K into space, services

Daufenbach Camera is continuing its efforts to build up Midwest work with a $500,000 investment in expanded space and inventory.  “We want to let Hollywood producers know we’ve got all the gear here so there is no need for them to fly equipment in,” says owner/cameraman Lawrence Daufenbach.   

“Daufenbach’s current inventory can handle any size motion picture, TV series, or commercial production,” says Gregger Jones, who joined Daufenbach Camera as director of business development two weeks ago from a stint in Los Angeles.

Space buildout began six weeks ago when the Red camera specialists acquired the office next door and enlarged its second floor space in a former industrial building from 1,700-sq. ft. to 3,000-sq. ft.

The expansion mainly allows Daufenbach’s camera prep service to grow in dedicated new space.  Each of the three prep stations have new overhead focus chart systems, with the potential for a camera assistant to use the full 50 feet of space to check focal lengths at the long end of the lens. 

“The saves the assistant’s time during prep and assures accurate focus marks during shooting,” Daufenbach notes.

Gregger Jones, Daufenbach development director On the equipment side, the three-year old company added a Converging Concepts (CC) 3D beam splitter rig that allows for handheld and steadicam lightweight 3D setups, including a unique balance system that maintains steadicam balance.

The beam splitter also has motorized remote camera alignment to speed up 3D calibrations during production.

A third Arri Alexa is on order to arrive later this year.

Another new addition is an upgraded lens and camera service department, featuring lens calibration to exacting specifications.  Super Speed prime lenses and Angenieux zooms are new acquisitions.

Daufenbach’s staff now numbers seven; Local 600 cameraman John Waterman is senior rental technician and Stephen Wheeler is rental technician.

Recent arrival Jones, a New Orleans area native, had previously had spent three years with AbleCine in New York and helped Kari Hess open AbelCine’s Midwest branch here a few years ago. 

Eighteen months ago he was hired by L.A.’s Pier 59 but left a year later when the company dropped its video division.  He freelanced in L.A. for six months until Daufenbach recruited him for his growing Chicago camera operation.