Access to Equipment
The Equipment Distribution Center (EDC) serves the Emerson College community by vending and maintaining various pieces of media production equipment. The mission of the EDC is to ensure that its patrons have timely access to production equipment in good working order and to provide high quality technical and operational support.
Process for Equipment Authorization
Students currently enrolled in approved production courses may borrow equipment that is allocated to their course for assigned class projects.
Equipment for curricular use may not be used for productions of any other kind, including but not limited to, co-curricular organizations, paid projects, or other personal work.
A student’s equipment authorizations are not cumulative and prior authorization for a specific piece of equipment does not ensure its availability in future semesters.
Equipment may not be signed out for, or loaned to, other students. In the case of a group project, one student will be primarily responsible for the equipment and will be responsible for paying any and all incurred costs associated with lost or damaged equipment.
Each course with EDC access is allocated a specific list of equipment by that course's department administrator. The allocation list determines which equipment students may use to complete coursework assigned outside of the classroom. Students seeking to deviate from the assigned equipment allocation for a particular course should speak with the faculty member overseeing the course. If the faculty member agrees that additional equipment is necessary, they may contact the appropriate department administrator (David Reeder - VMA or Jonathan Satriale - Journalism & SOC.
Approved Operators and Special Equipment
Certain pieces of VMA equipment require special approval to check out. Students must attend VMA workshops to become certified “approved operators” for the following items:
- ARRI Alexa 35
- Advanced Rigging (Matthews Overhead Frames & Menace Arm)
- Advanced Movement & Stabilization (Kessler Pocket Jib and EasyRig Vario 5)
- VMA’s EasyRig Vario 5 certification may be completed here.
NOTE: If the primary patron (the person requesting the reservation) is not authorized to check out specialized equipment, they must have an approved operator associated with the reservation who is solely responsible for operating said equipment at checkout and during production.
Visual & Media Arts
VMA students must present a completed and approved Location Form when creating a new reservation. A new Location Form must be completed for each reservation.
- Students in 100- to 300-level courses must enter the number of a current and approved Location Form in the Location Form Number Field on Patron Portal.
- Students in 400-level courses or filming for their MFA Thesis must provide the number of a current and approved Location Form when scheduling their reservation with the EDC Staff.
- Students can fill out Location Forms via the VMA Production Portal on the Student Production and Safety Resources web page.
- For any questions or concerns regarding safety or the Location Form, please contact the Director of Production & Safety, Homa Sarabi-Daunais, at email@example.com or (617) 824-3493.
NOTE: VMA Audio and Photography courses are permitted to check out equipment without a location form.
School Of Communication & Journalism
School of Communication and Journalism students must complete an Equipment Safety Course on Canvas in order to receive a safety certification. Students must review all pages in the class modules section, then pass a quiz on the course material. They will then be issued a physical safety badge that must be presented to EDC staff at the time of checkout. While students are strongly encouraged to pick up their safety badge, a passing quiz score may be presented instead.
- Students must be invited to the Equipment Safety Course by their instructor. For any questions or concerns regarding the Equipment Safety Course, students should speak directly with their instructor.
- Students seeking a physical safety badge may pick them up from the Journalism offices in Walker 618 upon completion of the safety quiz. The office is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00AM-5:00PM.
NOTE: All students checking out equipment for Journalism or School of Communication assignments must have completed and passed the Equipment Safety Course on Canvas within the current academic year. The current safety quiz is titled “Journalism Safety Badge Quiz 2022-23”.
EMERSON COLLEGE FILMING POLICIES
Policy & Procedure
- Reservations may be made up to two weeks in advance and must be submitted at least 12 hours before the selected checkout time. Reservations received with fewer than 12 hours notice will not be accepted.
- EDC traffic is limited to 4 reservations per 15 minute window. If Patron Portal does not allow you to confirm your reservation, please try changing the pick up and/or return times you are requesting.
Reserving Equipment (VMA 400-Level Courses & BA, BFA, MFA)
Equipment for VMA 400-Level Courses and BA/BFA/MFA Thesis projects should be requested via email, addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Faculty advisors should be CC’d on all emails regarding the production. The initial reservation and all subsequent updates must be approved by the faculty member(s) advising the project.
Equipment requests should be complete at the time they are submitted to the EDC. The final equipment list must be confirmed 48 hours before checkout. Additions made at the time of checkout may not be fulfilled immediately and patrons may need to pick up additional equipment at a later time.
Checking Out Equipment
Upon arrival at the EDC, students will be provided with the equipment they reserved and an EDC reservation agreement form. It is the student’s responsibility to thoroughly check the provided equipment, confirm all items listed are present and in working order, and sign the agreement form. The form should then be turned in to an EDC staff member to complete the checkout process.
- Students should alert EDC staff if anything is missing, malfunctioning, or otherwise unusual during their equipment checkout.
The student signing the loan agreement form is solely responsible for loss and/or damage, including any items that were not reported as missing or damaged at the time of pickup.
- Equipment may not be signed out for, or loaned to, other students. The student who made the reservation must be present at checkout and is responsible for ensuring that the correct procedure is followed and all necessary forms are completed.
For large projects, only key crew and approved operators that are assisting with the equipment checkout should be present. Cast and non-essential personnel should remain offsite.
Reservations are held past pick-up time for 30 minutes unless the EDC is notified of a delayed arrival. After this time the reservation is automatically canceled and the equipment is made available to other students.
If a problem arises with the equipment while it is checked out, students are required to immediately notify EDC staff of the issue. Do not attempt repairs or disassemble any equipment. Abuse of equipment will result in financial penalties and/or revocation of borrowing privileges.
Students must return all equipment by the specified return time for their reservation. Late returns will result in an hourly fine being assessed. If extra time is required, students may seek a renewal by contacting the EDC. Extensions may be granted pending equipment availability. All reservation extensions require at least one hour of advance notice.
EDC staff check-in all equipment using a two-step process:
- Staff check that major components have been returned on time without obvious damage.
- The equipment is thoroughly tested to ensure all components are present and in good working order.
Students are able to leave the EDC after the first step but may be notified if an issue with the equipment is discovered during the second step, typically within five business days.
In the case of a production where multiple students collaborate using multiple reservations, it is the responsibility of each student to ensure their equipment is separated based on their individual reservations. The EDC is not responsible for finding mis-matched components, and students may be charged if it is not possible to decipher which equipment was returned improperly (especially with un-numbered components e.g. sandbags).
Holidays and Inclement Weather
The EDC operating schedule aligns with the Emerson College academic calendar in regards to holidays and early closings. The EDC will be closed on all dates marked “no classes” on the academic calendar. The 2022-2023 academic calendar can be accessed at https://emerson.edu/academics/academic-calendars/2022-2023-academic-calendar.
In the event of an unscheduled late opening, early closing, or full campus shut down due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, an EDC staff member will reach out to all patrons with reservations or returns. The EDC staff will coordinate with patrons to reschedule reservations and returns for a later date.
An equitable rotation of equipment among students must be maintained to ensure fair access for all parties. Proper use and timely return of all equipment is essential, and penalties may be drawn in certain cases of time-mismanagement, neglect or misuse. Penalties include fines, replacement/repair charges, and revocation of equipment access (permanently, in the severest cases).
Deviation from the EDC’s policies and procedures may incur the following fees:
Late Return Fees: A $5.00 per hour late fee will begin accruing after the first hour that equipment is late. Late fees will continue to accrue during EDC business hours until the equipment is returned.
Double Booking Fee: In the event that a late return prevents the EDC from fulfilling another reservation, the late party will be charged a $100.00 fee in addition to any accrued late fees.
Early Return Fees: Equipment returned excessively early without prior notice or EDC approval is disruptive to daily operations. Early returns may result in an early return fee, calculated at $5.00 per hour.
Disorderly Return Fee: In the case of a production where multiple students collaborate using multiple reservations, it is the responsibility of each student to ensure their equipment is separated based on their individual reservations. The EDC is not responsible for finding mis-matched components, and each student involved may be charged a $25.00 fee if it is not possible to decipher which equipment was returned improperly (especially with un-numbered components i.e. sandbags).
- This fee may also be applied in instances where one student checks out multiple pieces of equipment of the same type (e.g. lighting kits, cameras, etc.) and does not return numbered components to the appropriate cases.
Loss Fees: When an item or individual components (e.g. screws, springs, tie-downs, etc.) are lost while in a student’s possession, the student will be responsible for replacement costs. If equipment is lost or stolen on set, students should not purchase their own replacements and add them to the equipment package. The EDC will purchase replacements with negotiated educational discounts not available to students. Students will be charged the exact replacement cost to Emerson College.
- It is the student’s full responsibility to alert staff of any missing or otherwise unusual items while checking out. The student signing the loan agreement form is solely responsible for loss, including any items that were not reported as missing at the time of checkout.
- If students have any questions regarding the equipment they are checking out, it is expected that they will ask a staff member for clarification before leaving the EDC.
Damage Fees: When equipment is returned in a non-functional state, students may be charged for its repair or replacement. If equipment is damaged on set, students are expected to contact the EDC immediately. Under no circumstances should students attempt to repair damaged EDC equipment. The EDC will work with students to secure a replacement item if possible.
- The EDC strongly encourages students to test all equipment before leaving the facility.
- It is the student’s full responsibility to alert staff of any damaged or otherwise unusual items while checking out. The student signing the loan agreement form is solely responsible for damage, including any items that were not reported as damaged at the time of checkout.
Cleaning Fee: Equipment used in sandy, wet, or otherwise adverse environments require extensive cleaning by EDC staff. In such cases, students may be assessed a $25.00 fee and placed on hold pending a meeting with an EDC manager. In the most extreme cases, factory service and cleaning may be required at the student’s expense.
Invoices & Payment
When a student is assessed a fee, they are provided one week to make a payment, appeal, or set up a payment plan. After one week, their account is placed on hold and equipment borrowing privileges are suspended.
NOTE: ECCash is the only accepted payment method for EDC invoices.
Unpaid penalties and overdue payment plans may result in the application of a Registrar’s hold. Students on hold with the Registrar are unable to register for classes or receive a transcript. Holds will be released when students pay the balance owed to the EDC.
Appeal of Penalties & Payment Plans
Should a student wish to appeal an assessed fine or penalty, they may schedule a meeting with the EDC Manager to appeal. Appeals will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
If a student is unable to pay their fine in full, a payment plan can be arranged with the EDC Manager.