Otto Nemenz Moves

Otto Nemenz International (ONI) has moved to a huge new facility at 5700 Buckingham Parkway, Culver City, CA 90230.

We usually list specifications for cameras and lenses. Here are a few specs about the new place. These details tell a lot of the story:

  • 38,000 square feet
  • 41 employees
  • 21 prep bays
  • 2 large feature prep rooms
  • 128 parking spaces
  • 345 maximum occupancy (173 in current social distancing times)
  • 1500 sq. ft storage area for camera assistant carts
  • 1250 sq. ft. machine shop
  • 1085 sq ft projection and lens test room with Chrosziel Large Format Projectors
  • New Trioptic Lens Tester
  • 45 truckloads of equipment brought from the former place on Vine St.

This is Otto’s third location. I remember the first storefront at 7531 Sunset Boulevard. Then they move to 870 Vine Street around 1983 with 8 employees.

Otto Nemenz at ONI on Vine Street around 1984.

And now this magnificent facility in Culver City:

Lounge Area and Kitchen at ONI in Culver City.

Otto said, “We certainly didn’t plan it this way, but the place is enormous and we’re lucky to have the latest HVAC system with advanced air filtration. The place is so large that social distancing comes naturally. The prep bays have  23-foot high ceilings. Crews can check out for jobs and remain safe.”

Fritz Heinzle added, “Union and safety committees visited and approved of what they saw. The halls are 12-feet wide. Equipment is returned to the loading dock where it is checked in and sanitized. The vault is fireproof. Prep technicians work with customers in the big, open plan area. Customers sign in, have their temperature checked, receive masks and gloves. We are open for business and are already prepping jobs.”


Prep Floor with 23′ high ceiling

Prep Area in Feature Room with 12′ ceiling.


Instead of fixed camera pedestals and moving lens charts on rails that hang from the ceiling, Otto Nemenz and crew embedded tracks into the floor on which the camera can move. They installed  P.A.T. (Pret à Tourner) Focus Charts from MYT Works in New York. The charts have magnetic backings that attach and move on the perfectly perpendicular walls.

“Having the camera move on tracks frees up a lot of space,” Otto explained.

Trioptic ImageMaster Cine Flex and Chrosziel Projector in the Lens Room

The massive Trioptic ImageMaster Cine Flex is similar to the ones installed at ARRI, Signature Prime manufacturing and QC, ARRI Rental, and elsewhere. Essentially, it’s three motorized telescopes that pivot on the center and off-axis along with a “wheel of fortune” to test, align and check lenses, including MTF values. The data is stored in its computer. So, if you change air gaps or mess with elements, the Trioptic tester will let a technician return the lens back to the default factory settings. It also checks for loose elements and anything else conspiring inside, both before and after a job.

The Chrosziel TP7 is the latest Large Format, LED illuminated, 60mm Image Circle  Projectors.

The lens test room is 50 feet long, so you can check out far distances as well.

Otto summed it up, “This move has been in the works for a long time. We were running out of space in the Vine Street place. We would love to have you come to visit us. Thanks to all the cinematographers, assistants, crews, directors, and producers for all their years of support. We look forward to working together for many years to come.