Q&A: Bianca Halpern, founder of BECiNE

Nikita Raja

Happy #FemaleFilmmakerFriday! This week, we spoke with Cinematographer Bianca Halpern, the owner of BECiNE rental house. Whether it’s finding the ideal camera equipment for your production, or providing childcare for parents who are checking out gear, find out what sets BECiNE apart and how Bianca got her start.

Tell us about the evolution of BECiNE, your woman run camera house in Culver City.

It all started with me writing a Business Plan in 2016 when I was nursing my son.

I reached out to Gillian Munro, who was my Director from Film School and together we came up with a Brand. I started renting to rental houses on my own, and after 7 months, in April 2018 we hired 3 more women to work at the Shop.

We now have a Rental Manager and 2 Prep Techs.

 

What separates BECiNE from other camera houses?

We are very hands on during the Prep and very attentive to our client needs.

What mainly separates us though, is that we are the only rental house to provide childcare during the Camera Prep. You can bring your kids to prep or  camera test and we have a Kid’s room they can play at. Oh, and we also make delicious espresso!

Aside from owning and operating BECiNE, you are also a working Cinematographer.  What is your artistic process when preparing for a film?

I always look for references to help set the mood for of each scene. Could be frames from another Film or in Photography and Art. This is a good way to visualize the Film and be able to share my Ideas with my Team.  I also have some songs I listen to during the process and it becomes the Playlist of the moment. Now that I am also a Business Owner, I do this at night when everyone goes home.

What’s on your current playlist?

Lately, I have been listening to the New “Jungle” Album, it really does bring a California Vibe and helps me to always remind of the Journey that brought me here.
I also love to listen to Krishna Das when I am driving home at night. I can almost meditate as I’m driving listening to “Sita Ram”. With my busy schedule it has been hard to schedule in Yoga Classes so this helps sometimes!

Tell us about your presence at Women In Media’s 2019 Sundance Open Haus.

We were one of the sponsors for the the Women In Media Sundance Open Haus and it was an amazing experience. We met great people, women and men and as my 1st Sundance it was very important to be there with such an amazing organization like Women In Media.

We brought some gear for people to Demo and got very inspired by the Panels that happened at the Haus.

Who are your favorite visual artists and why?

I love Gregory Crewdson’s work. His Lighting, Framing and Production Design are so powerful and always inspire me. In the Moving Image, Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze are artists that have always sparked my interest. Their films are fun and creative and always have intriguing camera movements.

Who or what got you into film?

On my first job as an Intern at a Digital Magazine, I was put to produce an Online News Program from scratch. The Production Company ended up hiring me and taught me how to use a digital camera and edit. From this point on, the love for Cameras only grew.

After College, I realized that this is what I wanted to do so I came to L.A. to study Filmmaking and Cinematography.

What is the latest gear that gets you really excited?

Lenses!!! There are so many Lenses coming out these days. Before, there were a few sets that were being used over and over, but now there are so many flavors to choose from.  We are excited to carry unique items to present to our customers such as the Sakuras, a distinct set of lenses from Japan.  

What did you initially want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an Architect.

What are your upcoming projects?

I am prepping to shoot a Live Concert in NY.