Me: "Hey friend-who's-now-working-at-a-rental-house! How's your day going?"
Him: "Eh, it's busy but easy. We're pulling a subrental for [previously mentioned, well known rental house]. Hundreds of everything."
Me: "Oh really? Hm... Interesting..."
So basically, the very rental house that I was at before is so busy that they pretty much have no more equipment and are renting from somewhere else to fill their orders.
Out of curiosity, I did some asking around. Most of the bigger players I know of (read: the ones who work on the larger, studio produced movies) are still hunting around for work. But the smaller fish (read: the ones in my weight class or lower who work on low budgets, webisodes and other indie projects) are busier than we were a month ago. That's not to say that we're all working; just more of us than before.
That makes even less sense to me. Why are the big time guys starving for work while us little ones are more or less keeping busy? It wasn't all that long ago that it was the other way around. With the strikes (and/or threat of strikes), sucky economy, runaway productions, etc, there were less Union productions going on, resulting in too many out-of-work juicers, grips, set dressers, etc. To fill the void of more lucrative jobs, many of them turned to indie productions, taking a pay cut in favor of any work at all. Whatever productions that were still going on in L.A. jumped at the chance to hire top tier people for non-union, low budget rates and one by one, my friends and I found ourselves out of work.
But now the tides seem to be shifting. Things do seem like they're picking up. For who exactly, where and why though? That still remains a mystery to me...