“Let People See” Founder Chris Brank talks cameras and lenses

At Texas Media Systems our goal is to help you get the equipment you need, when you need it. Chris Brank is the founder and CEO of Let People See, a video production agency based in South Carolina.  His business has utilized the leasing options we have to get the gear he needs or to simply add another tool to his kit. Let People See just won a Gold American Advertising Federation award for a mini-doc that was shot in the Congo that you can watch here. We took the time to chat with Chris about how he got started, his business and more.

Photo courtesy of Chris Brank/Let People See

What’s your earliest memory of filmmaking or the moment you knew you wanted to pursue this as a career?

Chris: It might not be the earliest moment, but back in 2012 I was planning a trip to Lima, Peru. I had been shooting fun little promos and corporate work, some of them profitable, but I decided it was time to shoot for the moon. Canon announced the Canon C100 and one of the first stores in the U.S. to get one was this place called Texas Media Systems. I struck up a conversation with Leroy and we worked for weeks to get one of the very first Canon C100’s shipped to me before my Peru trip. The giant box was delivered the night before the flight, and the whole week in Lima I only brought it out of the case twice! I said I was terrified to get it dirty, but secretly I didn’t even know how to use the thing. Three Canon C100’s later (along with two Canon 5D Mark IV’s, a Canon 1DX Mark II, two Canon C300 Mark II’s, and four Canon C200’s), I still don’t know how to use them to their full potential. But along the way, I’ve found team members who are way better than I am.

Your company Chris Brank Films started in 2011 and you recently transitioned to a new banner, “Let People See.” Can you talk about some of the projects you started working on and what’s the story behind “Let People See.”

Chris: I never liked working alone! And so even as “Chris Brank Films” it would always be “Hi, I’m Chris, and this is Taylor, David, John, Lauren….” And because of the team approach, nothing was ever just a “Chris Brank” film. I was thrilled to change the name! After many nights on godaddy.com, we finally found something that resonated with what we do. We “let people see” the awesome things our clients are doing! And Let People See was born. Or…registered.

Photo courtesy of Chris Brank/Let People See

As an independent filmmaker with a small team, expenses must be very important. You’ve leased quite a bit of equipment with us, can you talk about how that’s been a benefit to your company and being able to grow?

Chris: Absolutely! Payroll is tough – cash flow is of utmost importance. We’ve often got 2-4 shoots happening at the same time. And as we’ve continued to grow, I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve sent to Leroy along the lines of: “We’ve got 20 shoots over the next 3 months and we need another camera and another set of lenses. Can you get it here by next Tuesday?” The leasing options are fantastic because we usually don’t have the money until after shoots are wrapped, but we need the gear to accomplish the shoots. Leasing gives us no hesitation to grab gear at 0% or incredibly low interest rates. We know we can get the gear and get the job done!

What would you tell people who may be hesitant about the lease to own program?

Chris: Cash flow is what can make or break a business. There’s so many 0% options or incredibly low interest rate options through Texas Media Systems (we’ve found the 36 month with 1.9% interest to be a sweet spot), it’s a no-brainer for us to split up the cost of equipment. “Spend it all now” or “split it up over time”… seriously, it’s a no-brainer when interest rates are ridiculously low.

What’s in your arsenal right now? Do you have any must-have lenses or cameras you can’t live without now? Any favorites to shoot with or your team’s favorites?

Chris: Right now, each of our kits has two Canon C200’s, a Canon 5D Mark IV on a DJI Ronin-M, and a full set of Canon L primes and zooms (24mm 1.4L, 35mm 1.4L, 50mm 1.2L, 85mm 1.4IS, 100mm L Macro, 24-105mm 4.0L II, 70-200mm 4.0L IS, 16-35mm 4.0L IS, 100-400mm II). We’ve got two of those kits, and also two C300 Mark II’s. For stills, we’ve got a 1DX Mark II and we’re working on building another Canon L lens set. We’re also traveling with Quasar Science bulbs that we bought through Texas Media Systems…those have been game-changers!

Quasar Lights in action | Photo courtesy of Chris Brank/Let People See

Can you talk about the approach to a project “Let People See” takes and how having the varied equipment helps you make the best product for a customer.

Chris: We really serve as a video factory for agencies and brands. They tell us what they want, we make it happen. We’re incredibly involved on the execution side, so takes plenty of crew and plenty of gear. With equipment like DSLRS, Canon C200’s, and Canon C300 Mark II’s, we’re able to work on a wide range of production levels. The Canon C200’s are used on 95% of the work (with the .mp4 codec on beautifully inexpensive SD cards), but they have the ability to step up to RAW if the project calls for it.

What are you working on now that you can share with us?

Chris: At any given time we’ve got 10-20 projects in the works, the juggle is half the fun! Some of the most exciting projects right now are an upcoming conference in Minneapolis, some tourism work in the mountains of North Carolina, and a trip to Toronto for an awesome scrap metal company.

Why do you keep coming back to Texas Media Systems?

Chris: The customer service is exceptional. We’ve been able to get everything we need exactly when we need it for seven years straight. The access to a real person on the phone in under 30 seconds is getting harder and harder to find! There are plenty of suppliers closer to us in South Carolina, but when you find someone you trust, it doesn’t matter where they are. I trust Texas Media Systems, and they go above and beyond to retain that trust. That’s what matters!

Take a look at Let People See’s demo reel that was shot on Canon. 

Let People See Hype Reel from Let People See on Vimeo.

You can see more of Let People See’s work by visiting their website www.letpeoplesee.com.  If you’re looking for equipment for your company, give us a call at 512-440-1400 to speak with a sales rep today!

Canon C100 MKII Firmware Update 1.0.3.1.00

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With Canon C100 Mark II Cameras running firmware version 1.0.2.1.00 or older, there have been some issues with using the aperture with certain lenses. Find Canon’s statement and the full list of lenses here. 

Download the new V1.0.3.1.00 firmware to avoid any issues with your F-stops in the future. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page- Click Firmware to download the new firmware for Mac OS or Windows.

The Canon C100 Mark II is now in stock at Texas Media Systems.

Body Only

Body w/ Canon 24-105mm EF Lens

Body w/ Canon 18-135mm EF Lens

Body w/ Atomos Ninja

Wedding/Documentary Kit with Ronin-M and Sennheiser EW Wireless Lav

Apply to lease the Canon C100 Mark II with Texas Media Systems today!

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Canon C100 Auto Focus Upgrade Now Available!

Canon C100 Cinema EOS Cameras

The long wait is almost over for everyone looking to add the Auto Focus Upgrade to their Canon C100 Cinema EOS Cameras.

Canon USA will perform this feature upgrade at a cost of $500, and requires that EOS C100 cameras be sent to an accredited Canon service center.

Shipping and handling charges also may apply.

Contact a Canon Customer Support Center for details.

Toll Free: 1-855-CINE-EOS

Email:  CinemaEOS@cits.canon.com

Here’s Joe Simon talking about the new C100 Auto Focus Feature Upgrade:

Handcrafting Unique Wedding Films with the EOS C100 Digital Video Camera from Canon Pro on Vimeo.

Canon C100 Body $4999

Canon C100 Kit with 24-105mm Lens $5599

Canon C100 Leases Start at $99 per month

Canon C100 Body Leasing Rates Texas Media Systems

 

Canon C100 Continuous Recording Firmware Released

Canon C100 Cinema EOS Camera

The Canon C100 Cinema EOS Camera has a new firmware update available this morning that enables Continuous Recording.

You can download the C100 Firmware from Canon USA at this link.

Designed for the capture of crucial, unpredictable scenes during wedding/event, documentary, news, or wildlife filming, the Continuous Recording Function firmware update for the EOS C100 Digital Video Camera enables videographers to insert metadata markers identifying crucial scenes and moments in their footage while continuously recording to the memory capacity. These markers — for both “in” and “out” points — can be set with the press of a button without interrupting the recording process. These markers are identified in metadata as separate “shots,” and are simultaneously recorded to both SD card slots of the EOS C100 camera.

Canon C100 Continuous Recording Firmware Graphic

Firmware Release Schedule:

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 Canon C100 Body $4999

Canon C100 Kit with 24-105mm Lens $5599

Canon C100 Leases Start at $99 per month

Canon C100
Canon C100 Body $4999

Canon C100 Body Leasing