Newcomers to the film world are making their way to California, and Sigma is the most recent company to set up shop. After only two years in the Cinema space, Sigma followed suit behind Adobe and Canon, buying a castle behind a Pep Boys to house their new community outreach/service center in Burbank.
Located at 148 S. Victory Blvd., the new Sigma location will be home to their West Coast operations, as well as being a service center and place for people to come check out the various offerings from the Sigma Photo and Cine lines. Sigma also will be hosting monthly classes and seminars available to the public in an effort to enrich the local imaging community, as well as galleries showcasing work shot with Sigma products.
Visitors to the party, DJ’d by Miss Ninja, were treated to an open bar, fresh food from some local trucks (as well as a spot of catering), and plenty of various sake bottles flying around the room keeping people warm.
Unlike (say) Adobe’s Santa Monica location, Sigma Burbank is open to anyone and everyone. They want anyone interested in creating images to come through and check out what’s new with the Japanese lens-maker. While there you can use their stage set-up to check out what their lenses look like on various cameras, or simply drop off your lens for service instead of shipping it out. Be sure to call ahead, though, if you’re getting serviced. While this new location isn’t a retail space, it does cover just about everything else.
Sigma has a history of quiet excellence, foregoing large endorsement deals and advertising pushes, and this location seems to be an extension of that ideal as they’re looking for working filmmakers to support and potentially partner with going forward. If you’re interested (or are consistently drawn to Sigma’s neutral, flexible lens offerings) it might be worth heading over there to ask about!
There will be perks for the chosen few that are selected to be Sigma-supported filmmakers such as access to their personal-sized screening room, which can be used to do some light post work/QC, as well as use of the warehouse itself as a shooting location if the project is right. They said all the stuff in the showroom can be easily wheeled out, so it seems like that may have been the plan from the beginning. Sigma’s Operations Specialist Aubrey Duclos told me they only have one person on the “Cine” team right now, so there’s clearly some room for new additions to the sponsored squad. That being said, they’re also looking to support creators of all sorts so if you’ve got something compelling on the horizon, head in there and talk to them about it!
I spoke to as many people as I could and all the way up to the President of Sigma America himself, Mark Amir Hamzeh, and across the board the message was that they want people to come in and get hands on with Sigma’s cine and photo offerings. They want to attract creators who share Sigma’s values of Passion, Quality, and Craftsmanship and they want to do so face-to-face. Mr. Hamzeh also mentioned that Sigma’s tradition of optically clear, neutral, and flexible lenses has extended from their photography background in to their Cine line (to much fanfare, if I may say), they are aware that lenses with a “look” to them are in favor and may have something for those folks in the future. Sigma representatives also mentioned that they’re coming out with L-Mount lenses (and cameras) in a partnership with Leica and Panasonic sometime in 2019, so that’s going to be some nice competition for CanNikon.
They also have a ton of parking at the new location, and that can’t be understated.