In 1983, Carlos Congote decided it was time to centralize movie production support in Bogota, Columbia. The film industry was growing and shooters needed to be able to get their hands on the best tools available – and know they would have personal support as well.
Since then, Congo Films has become the sales and rental house for not only the local Columbia filmmaking community but also for major productions that have come to take advantage of the variety of landscape the country has to offer. “We pride ourselves on having everything needed, whether it’s for a television show, University, independent producer or major feature,” says Congote. “In addition to commonly used gear, we offer unique items from Milo Motion Control to anamorphic lenses and even Tyler Camera Systems, not to mention an array of lighting. And, of course, everything is supported by Matthews Studio Equipment,” he adds.
“I first learned about Matthews when I was a student at Brooks Institute of Photography, in Santa Barbara,” Congote recalls. “As Congo Films expanded into the market and began supplying larger clients and local production as well, there was no question. Matthews would best serve our people.”
According to Congote and sales manager Judith Roa, it’s 100% MSE all the way. ‘The MSE products are unique,” says Roa. “We see inventiveness and awareness of what the professional gaffers, key grip, lighting technicians, and so forth need. This is why the users can feel that someone things about them and the challenges of their job.”
“We average at least 12 rentals a day and 100% of them go out with MSE equipment,” adds Congote. “Just about every single sale we make goes with MSE Grip,” adds Roa.
With a potential market of 48 million people in the country , and major Hollywood productions coming in like Mental, a production from Fox Telecolombia and Los Caballeros las Prefieren Brutas from Sony, Congo films is really busy with big ticket shows. “And with the growing educational market as well,” adds Carlos. “We just put together a large Matthews package for the Javeriana University, that made a great effort to give the students the best tools. It never stops. Thank heaven.”
While Congo Films has everything from MSE dollies, booms, clamps and the other “little things” so key to a smooth production, MAX is also a key player for them. “Our customers ask for MAX mainly because of the safety that it provides in extreme shootings,” Congote adds. “But, what we really can’t do without or even keep in the house is their Tripod MT-1. It’s widely used with a motion control head for the most interesting projects. A lot of our productions use it for special effects.
“Let’s face, it, business would become most difficult to handle without MSE around. We can’t wait for the next new product they come up with to keep our production community on the cutting edge,” says Congote.