San Francisco’s production community might be a little eclectic – a few high-end productions, a lot of commercials, documentaries, music videos and more than a few corporate shoots – but one thing’s for certain, whatever shooters need, they are going to find it at Janet Coleman’s brand-new, 4,250 square foot JCX facility.
“With parking!” Coleman laughs. “That’s a big commodity here in San Francisco. In our old facility people had to pull up, jump out of their cars and take their stuff while someone watched the car so our customers wouldn’t get a ticket.”
And, what is the biggest ‘ticket’ JCX’s customers demand? “Matthews support, of course,” she says confidently. “We sell a lot of MSE’s equipment. And, a lot of C-Stands and other Matthews support to everyone from gaffers to grips and shooters who are building their own packages. In our new facility we have at least 100 on hand at all times – and try, and I mean try, to keep at least 30 to 40 on the floor. They go out fast!
“Our customers want nothing else,” she adds. “And, why not? Matthews has always been a standard in the industry and, well, it’s because their equipment works. It is reliable.
“So are the people behind the equipment,” she says. “In fact, I can honestly say, Ed Phillips was literally responsible for JCX. I started in the industry after running a sound stage back in 1982. I decided to go out on my own. I looked around and realized there wasn’t really a place in San Francisco where locals could get equipment and expendables. It meant a trip to Los Angeles.
“I found this little 10’x10′ room behind an old steel factory in S.F., where I could set up – then looked around for my support. The first person I went to was Ed. He listened to my idea, decided I was worth a shot, and gave me enough equipment on consignment to get me started.
Now, 27 years later, Coleman still relies on MSE for everything JCX needs – only now she doesn’t take it on consignment! “Sometimes it’s one stand or a dozen, a lot of clamps…and other times we are pulling everything we have of Matthews out of the warehouse.
“San Francisco is also an effects town,” she says. “Recently, to get a stop-motion department up and running, we needed over 200 C-Stands. There was an enormous amount of gear needed but our client pushed us to supply their needs – and we turned to MSE. No problem. We had what we needed even before the stop-motion house was set up!
“I’m never worried when someone comes to us with a large or unusual order. Ed was there for me 27 years ago when I got started – and Ed and his team are there for me now.”