When gaffer Robert Oberc moved to Slovenia from Germany, he began working in the lighting department filming advertisements and feature films. In 2006 he founded Candella Lighting and began to gather different support products for his and a few other shooters use.
While attending the 2010 CINEC Convention in Munich, Oberc connected with Matthews Studio Equipment’s Robert Kulesh and Linda Swope. “I’d heard of the company before,” Oberc says. “Meeting the two in person helped me decide that it was time to buy my own equipment for rent on various shoots. I now have everything from suction cups to Mombo Combos, Max the Menace Arm to cutters and clamps and grid cloth. And more. And they are always working.
“It’s the quality and practicality as well as the ease of use that attracts me and my customers to MSE equipment,” he adds. “I am determined to increase its use in Slovenia and Europe. We need that kind of stability on our shoots.”
While visiting CINEC, Oberc also got the idea to organize a trade show in Slovenia, a small country with infinite possibilities for production value. “But how to motivate big film industry suppliers to come to such a small country?” he says. Not one to think negative, Oberc began contacting companies like MSE and Airstar as well as a few others, asking to represent them in a show.
“At IBC Amsterdam, I approached a few other companies and cinematographers,” he continues. “Most were open to participation, understanding that our country does have professional productions and shooters.”
Oberc’s next step was to let Slovenia’s production community know that MSE and other companies were contributing equipment, equipment that his people could use. “Our idea was to present different products on scenes built at Viba Studios,” he explains. “Visitors could see the equipment at work in real situations.
“Seven different European and American companies were involved in the trade show where we used Matthews support. The set up was quite a success.” So much so that people who attended the first show are already waiting for Oberc to organize the next one.
“I have to thank Robert Kulesh and Linda Swope for their support of my work, my new company, and the trade shows we are organizing,” Oberc says. “It goes beyond help with MSE equipment. It extends to support for my desire to strengthen the production community in our small country.
“While visiting Cinegear in 2011, Linda Swope took me on a mini-tour of the show, introducing me to various representatives of other equipment companies. That personal connection she helped set up will make it easier to do the next equipment show and the next.
“It is particularly important for me to thank all international companies represented on the trade show as well as all my Slovene colleagues for extremely well done team work,” adds Oberc.
“For me, Matthews is more than an equipment house – it’s a home to friends.”