Post up anything that you may be looking for, and someone might be able to help you.
User avatar
By Vee
#458775
Not enough time/ energy/ money to make your own? Figure you’ll only wear it for one event? Before you ask or start searching for people that offer this service, there are some things you should know…

First of all, a good Proton Pack can take months to make and can cost up to $3000 depending on the build method. Typically cheaper ones took much more time to put together since the parts are hand-made instead of bought. And while they may cost a lot to make, they have an even higher sentimental value to the owners. A Proton Pack is like someone’s 20-30 lb. baby strapped on their back with flashing lights on it. Don’t be surprised if you ask someone to rent their Proton Pack and they get antsy about it. Even if you do hang around expensive equipment all the time and swear you’ll take care of it, wearing and maneuvering around carefully in a Proton Pack is a skill that’s learned from multiple wears. The owner may ask to attend the event with you in order to be your spotter, help holster your gun, and get through crowds and doorways (but at that point, shouldn’t they be the one wearing the pack?)

Unfortunately, wearing a Proton Pack in public tends to be like releasing a bull in a china shop. Some of the smaller parts, like hose connectors or banjos are no longer in production and are very difficult to find, and it’s not uncommon for a piece of a pack to break in some way at an event. Trust me when I say it doesn’t get any less frustrating for the owner (or their wallet). There is also an incredible draw for children or drunks to yank on the ion arm or the tubing on packs and crack off parts because they’re dummies. The official rule of being a Ghostbuster is: "Never go solo". Always have someone to watch your back. There would definitely be some sort of insurance to be paid in addition to the “renting fee” because of the tendency for parts to get broken. Fixing a cracked proton gun barrel is a lot more time/money consuming than repairing a seam or taking out a stain from a cloth costume you could rent from a shop.

I wouldn’t recommend asking about rentals on the forums as your first course of action. The members of the forums are pretty spread out, and frankly, the chances of someone in your area being a regular user on GBFans who ALSO wants to rent out a pack is pretty low. If you want to find someone local to ask about rentals you’d be better off using good ol’ Google or Facebook search to figure out if there’s a franchise in your area. If you do find a local franchise, contact them, but be aware, they’ll more than likely be pretty busy with their own events during the Halloween season. Please be polite and understand what may be going on with them if they sound reluctant to rent out a pack or they demand a high price.

Please be aware, there is a seller by the name of Videobob (Robert Mosely) who does offer Proton Packs for rental, but should be avoided at all costs. More info on why can be found in his feedback thread.

So all in all, your chances of finding someone who wants to rent out their baby will be pretty low. With how much you’d be spending on renting and insuring someone else’s pack you’d be better off making your own from scratch, or even a dollar store pack. There’s always the less impressive bagged costume if you’re really desperate, but I imagine if you saw what that looks like you’ll suddenly be willing to make a little more time for this costume.

And to those who are willing to rent: Please be careful and know that the person renting your pack has not had as much time as you have wearing it and knowing how to get around crowds and handle pictures. Understand what you’re getting into and price accordingly.

I feel like I’m not really listing a lot of the “benefits” of all this. I guess there’s money, making another person happy, and whatnot. But there’s a lot to consider before you hand a Proton Pack off to someone you don’t know.

If anyone has any experience renting out Proton Packs or whatever, please chime in.
Sutton621, AJ Quick, KoCo and 20 others liked this
User avatar
By Ernest Reid
#458776
I can believe there seems to be niche market for renting these things and here i have like 12 sitting arounf collecting dust,,,

perhaps commerce doth knock at my door... if only i had the time..

also i think it would be a legal grey area,,
User avatar
By Vee
#458778
Ah, right. I almost forgot about that whole legal grey area thing.

It's generally frowned upon to do any of this hobby stuff for profit, like charging for appearances and asking for personal donations. Often times a donation to a charity of the group's choice will be made instead of pocketing the money for themselves. This could be an option for those looking to rent out their Proton Pack to avoid legal/ ethical issues and whatnot, but I imagine there would still have to be some compensation for possible repairs.
JoeLuna33, Sutton621, Kingpin and 5 others liked this
User avatar
By AJ Quick
Moderator
#458876
Thank you Vee for taking the time to write up something that can benefit the site. If you weren't already a Supporting Member, you'd be one after this! I just wished more people would take the initiative to help make the site better. I'm sure it would only take a few minutes per day by a few people that want to help!
By Egonlookalike
#458878
As a newbie, I have to say that I completely understand and respect the effort that goes into making a proton pack. I've looked over the plans on this site and I'm intimidated! But if I ever get to making one, honestly, I'll want to share it.. What point is there in making something as interesting and cool as a proton pack if it mostly sits in lockdown. I'm sure there are other users of this forum who feel the same way.
Perhaps as a compromise there could be a single thread with those willing to share their packs, if the right scenario for them comes along, along with any conditions/concerns that they may have.
I'm not a lawyer so I can't speak to the legal issues. At the very least, indicating that your pack is available for charitable purposes should eliminate legal concerns.
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#458880
What point is there in making something as interesting and cool as a proton pack if it mostly sits in lockdown.

Hmm.

Now, I could spend quite a while speculating as to what exactly that remark was aimed to achieve, but I frankly have better things to spend that time on.

I'd guess most Proton Pack replicas are shown off at conventions and charity events on a reasonable basis according to the owner's schedule, although some may not want to take them there due to how packed those events can get, or they always meant to have the Pack as a nice bit of kit for their personal space.

We all have different reasons for coming to the table to build a Proton Pack and assemble a costume, just as we have differing approaches to how we show them off.
Vee, Sutton621, DmsdyMachn and 3 others liked this
By CosplayFan84
#464357
I know this is a bit late in the ball game to post this, but I'll do it anyhow. A proton pack to all of us here, is like a wealthy or successful businessman's Ferrari. He is not going to just loan it out to someone they don't know. Aside from the fact that Ferrari's are completely hand built vehicles, proton packs are also hand constructed. It's not us being mean or ignorant to others about it, but these props are works of art. You simply just won't allow someone to borrow something that took you months to build, only to have an inexperienced unknown person destroy it in an hour or less.

The problem is, there are quite a few people out there who are not very mindful of others and their personal property. You'll always hear people say "It's not mine, so why should I care". Bottom line is this, anyone asking to rent a proton pack from the members here, will probably have the same outcome if they walked up to Sony themselves and asked to rent one from them. I ask those looking here regarding the said topic, to please understand and respect the individuals and members on this site regarding their props.
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#464395
I'll recount a couple of stories surrounding a particular individual who several members of the U.K. Ghostbusters encountered a couple of years back.

I was at a comic convention along with a good friend of mine and a fellow buster, unofficially helping to promote Ghostbusters: The Video Game alongside a replica of Ecto-1.


The particular individual in question (this was the first time we met him) asked if he could try on my good friend Mark's Proton Pack. Mark, being a generous guy granted permission and took his Pack off. I didn't see it happen myself, but Mark filled me in that when putting on Mark's pack, said individual wildly swung it on, and could've easily damaged it.

About a year or year plus later, said individual had bought himself a pack, and managed to trash it through not caring for it properly. He passed his first Pack on to a friend and bought himself a second one, which I believe he also ended up damaging.


Thankfully in the case of this individual, the Packs he'd wrecked were ones he'd bought rather than had been lent... but the example does highlight why some Pack owners would be reluctant.
By CosplayFan84
#464401
Well said Kingpin and I definitely see why those things happen. I understand how some people who have never owned or touched a proton pack, are gonna feel when putting one on. I think that's also the reason why some franchises out there attending conventions with booths, are starting to build stunt packs with old or cheaper materials. It may not be the same as the members packs and took less time to build, but the feeling of wearing one on your back is virtually the same. If the franchise or group charged any money to don a pack, it's through a generous donation on behalf of you to a local charity the franchise is supporting.

Of course, finding a local franchise that does rent out or build stunt packs to wear for photo ops at cons is pretty slim. The latter on the other hand, would save a person a lot more money if they just wanted to wear one rather than taking the responsibility that goes with renting or borrowing it. But as Kingpin said in the previous post. If you have money to burn and you have no regard for the props we take pride and care in building for our own personal accord, then feel free to buy as many as you want from eBay and other places.

I do wanna say another thing on that note. I do think that if a person was to commission build a pack for a random person, I would assume they would be reluctant to understand who they were building it for. In my opinion, there's a certain feeling a prop builder has in ensuring that a prop will go to a good home and in doing so will respect the craftsmanship and time it took to build it. But nowadays with some, it's about the money more or less rather than the care of the prop itself.
User avatar
By SteveGilmour
#464428
Quite a fascinating read this thread. I built two proton packs a few years ago and do enjoy wearing them at parties. Seeing as I had two, I did consider renting the second one out after some drunk nutcase asked me if he could "borrow" the costume later that year... but the thought of somebody ricocheting around a pub with what amounts to 'one of my children' strapped to their back made me baulk. After all the long hours of love and labor, I just couldn't bring myself to let any of it out of my sight. After not much soul searching, I decided I would rather have it in "Lock Down" as previously mentioned, than risk have somebody casually damage my hard work. I can't even bring myself to SELL it to anyone anymore!!

I had good intentions to rent out, but couldn't do it. Epic Fail on my part!! :D

(I actually think they are going to have to bury me with my gear. Or failing that - kill me, and prize it from my cold dead hands).
By Cibernite
#465143
Sorry. I would not rent one either. I don't have one yet but I'm very careful when my friend lets me wear his at some events.
I'm a member of the group too. That's why I get to wear it. I move and turn cautiously when I have it on. I hate to see something I worked so hard to build get damaged by some nut case who doesn't know their butt from a hole in the ground.
User avatar
By Vee
#470157
Icebox, I'd like to keep this thread on topic. Keep your call for props to the appropriate thread.
This is for the discussion of renting proton packs, not an advertising thread.
Please keep all requests to the Wanted section.

But this also brings up the important topic of loaning out equipment for film productions. Typically the group that builds the equipment themselves will make their own fan-film. I haven't heard much from people who have loaned out equipment to productions. I've heard some horror stories about renting vehicles to certain video projects where they said they would treat the car with care and ended up with thousands in repair costs (Ghostride the Whip, anyone?).

The Wisconsin group was once contacted by someone who claimed to have written an entire screenplay for our group (wherein we fight the Devil because... why not?) and asked us if we could star their fan film. We hadn't heard of this guy before and he had nothing to show for film experience (we never saw the script either). Naturally, we politely declined.

I think it would be wise for the film producers to share a portfolio or some examples of previous work before making any deals. I wouldn't blindly answer a GB film call only to find out it's an Uwe Boll production. Be open and honest about the project (sharing the screenplay with them or a description of the story) and your previous work. Ultimately, it's up to the owners of the props to decide if they want to be part of it or not.

And if you're looking to rent out and put down a deposit on packs and repair, evaluate how much you might be paying and consider making your own equipment for a fraction of that cost. Yeah, it won't be as easy, but it's a lot less schedule organizing to wrestle with and you have more freedom with the equipment.

If someone has any stories to tell about loaning out equipment for a film, please share.
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