Dialogue In Moving Vehicles

HOW TO SHOOT IN A MOVING CAR

Scenes involving dialogue between characters inside a moving vehicle are difficult to shoot. Even MOS (non sync sound) shots inside a car presents serious challenges. If your scene must be shot in a moving vehicle you should know that LMU’s insurance does cover picture vehicles provided they are not moving. 

If you rent a picture vehicle that needs to move in your shot then the insurance coverage is different (please see the Insurance section of this handbook). Personal vehicles are also allowed to be used however the insurance policy on the vehicle will respond in the event of a claim.  

Another consideration is that shooting inside a car is cramped with little room for personnel and equipment. Therefore, the time it takes to complete a scene is much longer than a scene outside of the vehicle.  

PRODUCTION ADMINISTRATION RESTRICTIONS FOR MOVING CAR SHOTS 

  • No actor will be allowed to drive a car with exterior camera mounts on an open public street without a police escortProduction Administration will consider each request on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Handheld shots may be permitted on an open public street, depending on the scene and the action. The camera operator must be secured with a safety belt and the camera must be secured by a safety line.  Production Administration will consider each request on a case-by-case basis.  
  • Exterior camera mounts may be permitted on either private or controlled public streets, depending on the action. Production Administration will consider each request on a case-by-case basis. 
  • If you request exterior camera mounts, Production Administration will need to approve your key grip to ensure that he or she has the required level of experience to perform the job safely.  

INTERIOR CAR SHOOTING THAT DOES NOT INVOLVE A MOVING VEHICLE:  

“POORMAN’S PROCESS 

Simulates the look of moving when the car is actually standing still. Poor Man’s can be done for day shots, but normally it’s done for night scenes and the procedure is fairly standard. Poor Man’s can be done on a stage, in a garage or even a parking lot (with black hung around the car to block extraneous light). 

Production elements can be added to help “sell” that the car is actually moving:  

  • “Drive by lights” – a couple of headlight units in the rear to simulate a car following, a high mounted street light rig on the side to “wipe over” the car to simulate street lights 
  • Some rain on the windshield is a huge plus, as is a little bit of smoke driven by a quiet fan (an E-fan if you have one). 
  • Have a crew member place a 2’ x 4’ under the car to give the car a little shaking motion. 

PROS: inexpensive, good control of the elements, excellent sound 

CONS: works best for night shots shooting towards the windshield, limited frame lines 

COST: minimal 

GREEN SCREEN 

This process has been in use for many years and is a proven method of achieving good sound and images while shooting in the friendly confines of a sound stage. Fortunately for you, here at LMU we have a sound stage with a green screen cyc and you are allowed to bring a vehicle onto Stage 2 for this purpose. It does require skill in lighting the green screen and the car in front of it. The background “plates” need to be filmed separately and composited in at a later date using computer software. It is possible to purchase stock shots for this purpose, but the angles, depth of field and the exposure need to blend with your green screen shots.  

PROS:   good control, good sound 

CONS:  mixed results – can be time consuming to not only film, but to composite. Background plate shots need to be acquired. 

COST:   varies widely 

PROJECTED BACKGROUND IMAGES USING LED MONITORS 

This is an update from the old technology of rear screen projection. It also incorporates elements from both Poor Man’s and green screen. This process allows you to shoot in a controlled environment (stage, garage, etc.) and achieve very realistic effects. Using strategically place monitors behind your subjects and playing back images on the screen, you are able to capture the composited image in camera. It also gives the added benefit of light reflected from the monitor onto your subjects. Background plates need to be obtained and played back on set.  

VER is one of the leading companies using this technology.

PROS: good control, good sound, in camera compositing, real time light reflections onto your subjects, good for both day and night scenes, relatively fast process 

CONS: monitors need to be rented, background plates need to either be shot or purchased, additional rigging time depending on the number of monitors. 

BRINGING VECHILES ON THE STAGE  

All of the above options would require you to bring your vehicle on a sound stage. Here are the rules for that process: 

  • Stage 2 is the only stage that vehicles may be used. 
  • Only one vehicle is allowed. Prior approval is required from the Head of Production and the Studio Operations Administrator. 
  • No vehicle may be driven (engine running) into any portion the building. The vehicle must be pushed into building and the TV Stage and pushed out in the same way. 
  • Once the vehicle is completely on the stage and has passed over the sliding door track, it can be placed on Go-Jacks3 so it can be maneuvered for a preferred position. DO NOT attempt to push the vehicle over the sliding door tracks while it is on the Go-Jacks, it will get stuck. 
  • You may not start the engine to position the vehicle, you must use the Go-Jacks. 
  • All vehicles MUST have less than a ¼ tank of fuel. 
  • The vehicle’s battery MUST be disconnected once it has been placed. Remove the positive terminal connection from the battery and wrap it in a cloth so it is not touching the exposed 
  • terminal. If the vehicle is equipped with electric windows, raise or lower them for the shot before you disconnect the battery. You will not be able to use any of the electric features of the vehicle (wipers, windows, lights, radio etc.) 
  • If the wheels will not be in the shot, it is recommended that you leave the vehicle on the Go-Jacks. 
  • All of the above applies to motorcycles as well. 
  • Fully electric vehicles are exempt from the above policies but hybrids are not. 
  • See the Studio Operations Administrator for instruction on the safe use Go-Jacks. 

OPTION FOR INTERIOR CAR SHOOTING THAT DOES INVOLVE A MOVING VEHICLE: TOW-SHOTS 

Standard practice is to use an “insert car” (sometimes called “camera car”) specially engineered for the mounting of cameras and other equipment for the primary purpose of photographing a moving vehicle to tow a picture car or process trailer.  The actor(s) sit in the picture car and are pulled along by the insert car. The actor “pretends” to drive while performing. Sometimes the picture car is mounted on a “process trailer” and this is towed.   

Coordinating and running a tow shot is a complex and time-consuming activity. We do not recommend this process unless you have the funds and the time to shoot it safely. You will need to hire professional drivers, assistant director, grips as well as off-duty police 

PROS:   best control of performance, picture, lighting and sound. 

CONS:  complex and expensive – requires skill and knowledge to do well, very time consuming 

COST:   approximately $5000/day 

Production Trucks

SAFETY AND RENTALS

If you are planning to use equipment from our LMU inventory, it is highly recommended to rent a proper truck with a lift gate. If you are planning to use equipment from our LMU inventory, it is highly recommended to rent a proper truck with a lift gate. As part of the Production Safety Program, it is strongly recommended that all SFTV students working on productions receive the Truck Loading Safety Badge (see the Safety Badge section of this handbook). It is mandatory for all students working in Camera, Grip and Electric, and Sound on set to receive this badge. 

If you are planning to use equipment from our LMU inventory, it is highly recommended to rent a proper truck with a lift gate. As part of the Production Safety Program, all students working on productions must receive the Truck Loading Safety Badge(see the Safety Badge section of this handbook). This is especially important for Grips and Gaffers who will be loading trucks. 

If you plan on getting carts, you must get a truck with a lift gate. Carts DO NOT fit on UHAUL trucks with ramps. L&G will not let you leave with carts if your truck cannot properly accommodate carts. There will be a fine if L&G has to remove carts from your order. 

Don’t be pennywise and pound-foolish and try to pack your family or friend’s SUV. It is dangerous to you, the vehicle and the equipment. Trucks with lift gates are relatively cheap (around $135/day) and will save you and your crew a lot of time and possible injury. 

INSURANCE 

LMU’s insurance does not cover your production truck. We highly recommend you purchase the insurance from the rental company. This will save you money if there is an insurance claim. 

In California, all drivers must have Liability Insurance. You may provide it through your own personal auto insurance or purchase it from the rental company. 

One of the most popular truck rental companies that students use is Avon Truck Rentals. They have been very supportive of SFTV and offer student discounts. 

Many rental companies will have specific exclusions on coverage(s), i.e. overhead damage as a result of low clearance. Make sure you understand exactly what is and is NOT covered for before you arrive to rent the vehicle. 

WHO’S DRIVING? 

Make sure that the person who is actually going to be driving the truck is listed on the insurance and rental agreement and that they have a valid driver’s license. Do not let any unauthorized driver operate the vehicle – EVER. Confirm with the rental company on how to properly add or change a driver. If possible,  have someone with truck driving experience assist you. 

LOADING AND UNLOADING 

Loading a truck requires some thought and planning. Everything has to go in a certain way. The reason for this is that you have to be able to work off of the truck. 

That’s pretty.

The contents of the truck may shift during travel. Open all doors slowly to avoid being hit by equipment tumbling out. 

The lift gate should be operated by only one person. The operator should give a verbal warning, “going up” and “going down.” Crew not operating the lift gate should stand well clear of the lift. 

Use truck shelves and racks and ratchet straps to tie off equipment. Avon, for example, has shelving available for their trucks – use them. Ratchet straps are available for the Lighting & Grip department. Notify them of your intent to use a truck and they will provide those.  

DRIVING 

Whenever possible – and it is highly recommended – have someone drive with you. They can assist you with visibility and clearance. This is especially important when changing lanes, parking or driving in a tight space. 

Drive slow and take extra precaution. Always allow considerable extra travel time. Driving a truck will take longer than you expected. 

Familiarize yourself with the route you will be taking. Be aware that some freeways re- strict trucks by size and weight. Check with your GPS to confirm you are requesting truck routes. 

Make sure your load is properly secured and evenly distributed. 

Trucks are taller and wider than the vehicles most people are used to driving. Make sure you have proper clearance at all times – if you want to avoid costly damage to the roof and sides of the truck. Overhead damage is usually NOT covered by insurance purchased from the rental agency. 

This truck damage occurred on a recent student film because the driver did not pay attention to the tree branches. This cost the student filmmaker $5,500. 

If the height and width of the vehicle is not indicated on the truck, be sure to get this information from your rental agent or measure it yourself. 

Always use your turn signals and make sure to signal well in advance.  Avoid making sudden stops or abrupt lane changes and obey all traffic signs and lights. 

Trucks don’t accelerate as fast as cars. Be aware of this when you attempt to change lanes. Additionally, sudden movements can cause your load to shift – damaging the items – for which you will have to pay. 

Driving uphill (especially with a full load) will be slow. When appropriate, use “truck- only” lanes; otherwise, stay in the right lane. 

The recommended maximum speed for a loaded truck is 45 mph. Do not attempt to pass a vehicle moving faster than 40 mph. Never pass on hills or curves. 

Trucks weigh three to ten times more than cars and must have more time and  room to stop. You must begin braking sooner, particularly when you have a load. 

Set the hand brake (or emergency brake) every time you park. Turn the wheels away from the curb when parking with the truck faced uphill. When parking with the truck faced downhill, turn the wheels in toward the curb. 

PARKING OVERNIGHT

When parking your rental truck or van overnight you must park on private property in a secure, well lit area. Do not park on the street. Pad lock your rental and safely back the vehicle close to a wall so the lift gate is inaccessible. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ENTER A PARKING GARAGE WITHOUT KNOWING IF YOUR TRUCK WILL COMFORTABLY FIT.

Your camera and lenses should NEVER be stored overnight in your production truck. Camera and lenses should be taken home EACH NIGHT by the DP and stored in a secured home. 

The safest place to park your production truck is at LMU in the Hannon Lot near the Loyola Boulevard entrance. Drive to the edge of the lot near the trees that border 80th street and safely back your truck into a spot. Weekend parking is free starting at 8:00 PM on Friday. You must pay to park before then.

IF AT ANY TIME DURING THE COURSE OF THE RENTAL YOU HAVE A QUESTION OR CONCERN – TAKE THE TIME TO CALL THE RENTAL COMPANY. THEY WILL BE HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTION OR CONCERN YOU MAY HAVE. 

Electricity

SAFETY AND POLICIES

Electrocution is the fifth leading cause of workplace death from injury. More than half of those deaths result from the use of defective equipment or not following safe procedures.  

Before leaving the SFTV Grip & Lighting Department with electrical equipment, examine all cables for breaks or cuts in the insulation. The same examination should be made of cables on the stages prior to connecting power.  Do not use damaged cables. 

ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION, INTEGRITY AND PROTECTION 

The design of sets frequently requires electrical fittings and wiring to be mounted on flats and scenery for “practical lights1”. Only a qualified electrician should undertake the work of fixing and wiring electrical fittings and fixtures. 

Do not let your body become grounded. Many factors can put you at risk of becoming grounded. If you are grounded, it means you have the potential of becoming part of the electrical circuit and thus, open to having electricity pass through your body.  This can be fatal. 

The following is a partial list of the serious risks on both interior and exterior locations:  

  • Wet feet, wet hands, wet or damp floor or ground, wet lamps, wet cables 
  • Touching two lamps at the same time – even when conditions are dry faulty circuits at your location 
  • Faulty wiring of your lighting equipment, appliances or cable insulation breaks or cuts in the cable 
  • Touching electrical equipment and a grounded object any place where water is present 

FILMING NEAR WATER AND IN DAMP/WET CONDITIONS 

Lights underwater 

LMU does NOT have certified water sealed lights. No lights or electrical cables can be submerged into any water source under any circumstance. If lighting directly from within water is absolutely necessary, you must rent certified waterproofed lights from a company that specializes in such lights (ex; HYDROFLEX Inc.) You will be required to have an experienced lighting technician present if using any of the above mentioned underwater-specific lights.  

These lights MUST be used with an in-line GFCI (see the Generator section for more information) between the power source (house power or generator) and the entire set. 

Inspect all cables for damage that may cause water to seep in. Do not use any equipment you feel may have a defect. 

Filming near water; 

  • Lights and any electrical cables must remain no closer than 10 feet from water. This includes; pools, fountains, ocean, ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. 
  • A GFCI must be used at all times. LMU does have small in-line GFCI’s that can be rented to attach to small lights closest to the water sources. However, a larger GFCI still needs to be used to protect the entire set and crew. 

Filming in damp and wet conditions (rain) 

  • All of the above still applies but you must also take other precautions. 
  • All distribution boxes must be elevated from the ground to keep them from resting in water. This can be done by using “swamp boxes” which LMU will provide, or a plastic milk crate or a half or full apple box. Plastic trash bags or Visqueen should be used to cover the distro boxes and all electrical connections. 
  • Feet and hands must be dry when doing any If rain is imminent, stop and disconnect power before you and your equipment get wet.  You should have an up to date weather forecast just prior to setting up for the day.  
  • Electrical connections MUST also be elevated from the ground and not left in standing water or in wet conditions. 
  • Lights used outdoors need to be covered/protected from the rain. This can be done by using Celo Screen (a tough plastic wire screen), a metal flag, aluminum Black Wrap, or a solid structure no closer than 3 feet above the light (be aware of fire sprinklers). DO NOT USE solid-fabric covered flags, rags or solids as water protection. Water with still seep through. You will be charged a fine from L and G for anything returned wet or damp. 
  • Be aware of sprinklers when filming on grass. Make sure you know if the sprinklers are turned off or are on timers. 
  • Lights/cables used indoors on wet/rainy days are NOT ANY SAFER if the power source is coming from outside or from a generator. All of the above still applies. 

LMU SCHOOL OF FILM AND TELEVISION PROHIBITS STUDENTS FROM “TIE-IN” TO ELECTRICAL MAINS

No student is allowed to “Tie-In” or connect DIRECTLY to any Electrical Main or Circuit Breaker for power. This is illegal and dangerous. The Electrical Main service panel “is like a switchboard for all the electricity in a home or commercial location. It receives the incoming power from the utility company and distributes it to each of the circuits that supply various lights, outlets, appliances, and other devices.”

Know where the circuit breakers are at your location and DO NOT OVERLOAD any circuit. Breakers commonly list the amperage each is rated for. (ex. 10-amps, 15-amps, 20-amps, 50-amps, 100-amps etc.)  Do not load more amperage than each breaker is marked (see the chart below for a quick way to determine how many amps a light will use.) It is common for one breaker to be designated to a single room. If there is doubt, use different sources (rooms) for lighting a particular set. Each room is likely to have its own breaker or several, thus lowering your chance of overload. Older location structures which have only the two-prong type outlets must be avoided. If your location uses the old screw-in fuses, do not shoot there. Consult with L&G to examine alternatives and power sources.  The Lighting and Grip department offers low power-draw lights such as LED’s and Kino Flo’s of several varieties as well as Quasars. These types of lights should be considered first when plugging into to the outlets of any structure and are recommended for indoor filming.

Amperage/amps are how much power the light requires/draws to operate.

Light Types

Tweenie 650650 means it uses 650 watts which equates to 6.5 amps *  
Baby 1K 1K means it uses 1000 watts which equates to 10-amps **
Junior 2K 2K  means it uses 2000 watts which equates to 20-amps ***
Senior 5K 5K means it uses 5000 watts which equates to 50-amps ****
Tenner 10K10K means it uses 10,000 watts which equates to 100-amps *****

*         No more than 2 can be used in a single outlet.  

**       Only 1 can be used in most outlets.

***     Not recommended for plugging in to an outlet. Consider a generator.

****   Not possible to be plugged into an outlet. You must use a generator.

***** Not possible to be plugged into an outlet. You must use a generator.

YOU MUST CONSULT WITH THE L&G DEPARTMENT WHEN USING A GENERATOR

SAFETY REMINDERS 

  • NEVER USE ALUMINUM LADDERS or any METAL support such as kitchen step stools when working with electricity. 
  • Use cable crossovers for electrical cables if you must lay them across walkways, sidewalks and doorways. Cables must be properly secured in all walkways. 
  • NEVER TOUCH TWO LIGHTS AT THE SAME TIME 
  • Do not reach for an electrical appliance that has fallen into water. Unplug the device immediately if you have dry hands and feet when it is safe to do so.  Make sure the breaker has “TRIPPED” FIRST 
  • Always hold the cable connector or plug when disconnecting a cable. Never pull from the cable. 
  • Examine all electrical equipment for signs of wear. Watch out for breaks or openings in any cable, any plug or any place where the cable attaches to a lamp. 
  • Uncoil heavier electrical cables before they are used. Cables should not remain coiled while they are connected to power. 
  • Make sure equipment is properly grounded. 
  • Keep all exits where you shoot clear of equipment and cables. Escape routes must be understood by the cast and crew. 

IF SOMEONE RECEIVES A SHOCK 

  • DO NOT PULL THE VICTIM AWAY WITH YOUR HANDS – you may be shocked, too. Use a broom, belt, towel, rope, lumber or other non-conductive material to separate the victim form the source of shock. 
  • Call 911 
  • Try to disconnect the source of power  
  • Once the victim is separated from the electrical source, determine if they are breathing and have a pulse. If not, begin CPR immediately and continue until the ambulance arrives. 
  • Be sure that all equipment that is being plugged and unplugged is in the off position to avoid creating an arc at the receptacle. 
  • Wear protective gloves to avoid getting burned from a flash created by short-circuit in the equipment. 

Generators and GFCI Breakers

GENERATORS  

WHEN DO I NEED A GENERATOR?

You will need one when electrical power is either not available or inadequate. For example, in remote areas such as deserts, mountains, and forests. Older private dwellings and buildings with minimal electrical service, antiquated wiring, or where the location owner does not want you using their power. 

WHAT SIZE GENERATOR DO I NEED? 

For most student films a small Honda-type generator (pictured above left) should be adequate. A 45 Amp (5500 Watt) “putt-putt” will generate enough electricity to run several lamps. Keep in mind that the small Honda generators are not baffled – they are very noisy and not at all suitable when recording sound. 

To determine exactly how big a generator you need you can use the formula “West Virginia”. That is, W=VxA.  Watts = Volts x Amp 

Figure that a 1000 Watt lamp at the standard 110 Volts will draw 10 Amps (divide 1000 by 100 to give yourself a 10% safety factor). 

Calculate how many lamps you will be using at any one time on your set. Add up the wattage and divide by 100. That will tell you how large a generator you need. 

A 350 Amp generator should provide enough power to light 35 1K tungsten lighting instruments. Of course, that would be running at peak, which you don’t want to do very often – or for very long. A student film will generally not need anything larger than a 500-amp generator. By contrast large feature films will often run two 750 Amp generators to provide enough power to light their sets. 

With generators larger than 100 amps, power is distributed by larger cables using banded 2 “ot” or 4 “ot” Camlock connectors. 

If you are using HMI or fluorescent lights,  there are some other considerations you have to keep in mind. To avoid “flicker” your lamps must be flicker-free – or the generator must have crystal sync to maintain a constant 60HZ (cycles/second) at 24fps. 

Lamps larger than 10K will require 3-phase power. LMU’s Grip and Lighting Department does not provide any resources for 3-phase power distribution other than the required cables. You will have to rent 3-phase power distribution boxes from a 3rd party vendor. 

Please makes sure you check with the L & G staff at the time of ordering equipment to confirm whether you need a generator.  

GFCI 

You must use a Lifeguard GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) with the generator. A GFCI is a device used to monitor the flow of electricity to a piece of equipment. Moisture and dampness are two of the biggest causes of ground faults, and the consequences can be life altering. 

If electricity flows from hot to ground through you, the result is a ground fault, and it could be fatal. The GFCI can sense the current flowing through you because not all of the current is flowing from hot to neutral as it expects — some of it is flowing through you to the ground. As soon as the GFCI senses this “leakage” of power, it trips the circuit and cuts off the electricity. 

We have some GFCI devices in the Lighting & Grip department. The Studio Operations Administrator will determine if you will need to rent a GFCI from an outside vendor.  The cost is about $300 per week. The GFCI rental paperwork must be inspected by the Studio Operations Administrator before your Lighting and Grip order will be released.  

Guardian GFCI 
12685 Van Nuys Blvd.
Pacoima, CA 91331
818-565-3550, ask for Steve Brock. 

WHERE DO I GET A GENERATOR? 

DO NOT get your generators and GFCIs from places like Home Depot and Lowes. You must get them from industry rental facilities. There are slight differences in the generators that can damage the lights. 

There are a number of rental companies in the Los Angeles area that rent sound-proofed generators as well as the smaller “putt-putts” (unsilenced generators, which are totally unsuited for sound recording – these smaller units are usually rated in watts rather than amps). Wooden Nickel Lighting and Castex have smaller generators and generally deal well with students. 

Check LA411 for generator rental companies.  

The following vendors have cooperated with LMU students in the past and the LMU Risk Management Office will issue Certificates of Insurance for: 

Cinerep 20420 Corisco Street 
Chatsworth, CA 91311-6121 
Phone (818) 882-2677 (discounts for students) 
SMS Generators Inc 15700 Roxford 
Sylmar, California 91342 
Phone (818) 361 2151 Fax (818) 364-7420 

WHAT DOES IT COST TO RENT A GENERATOR? 

Rental rates vary depending on the size of the generator. The average cost for a 3-day weekend is about $900 for a 500-amp generator.  

WHAT ABOUT FUEL? 

For purposes of budgeting, figure that a generator running at 100% capacity will burn about 4 gallons of diesel fuel an hour. The tanks on most units are large enough to accommodate a “normal” 10 to 12 -hour day. Consider whether or not you will need re-fueling, who will do it; when will it be done and how much will it cost. 

DOES LMU INSURE GENERATORS? 

A truck mounted generator – or a trailer mounted, towed generator is considered a vehicle when in motion – and as such, is not covered by LMU. However, once stationary and functioning as a power plant, it would be covered. 

Many generator rental companies will provide “drop/pickup” service at an additional charge. As long as your location is within the 30-mile Studio Zone, this charge will be substantially less than purchasing third party vehicle insurance. 

If you need the generator at multiple locations, you will have to pay additional charges to have it moved. 

HOW DO I OPERATE THE GENERATOR? 

Most generators available from motion picture equipment rental houses are fully automated and relatively simple to operate. However, we highly recommend you employ a professional generator operator.  

You must have a designated generator operator with direct 2-way communication to the set (i.e. walkie-talkies – NOT a cell phone). This person is not to be considered “on-set” crew. They stay with the generator monitor its operation and shut it down immediately if there is a problem. 

Any delivered “tow plant” generator will come with a fire extinguisher.  Locate the extinguisher BEFORE turning on the generator and place it within easy reach, outside the genie.  DO NOT RUN THE UNIT WITH THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER STILL INSIDE THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT OR CONTAINED ELSWHERE ON THE TRAILER.  IT MUST BE VISIBLE AND NEARBY. 

Using a generator in some locations (like the Angeles National Forest) will require that you hire a Fire Safety Officer to be on set. The issuing permit office will let you know if an FSO is needed. 

Scene Shop Policy

SCENE SHOP POLICY 

Access to the Scene shop is restricted to Scene Shop Graduate Assistant, the student workers and the Technical Staff. 

Students are not allowed to operate the power tools in the Scene shop. The Graduate TA will operate the equipment for you when available or previously arranged. 

Students are allowed to check out sanders, drills, paint rollers, and trays from the Scene shop. 

Tools borrowed from the Scene shop must be returned immediately following your shoot. 

THE SCENE SHOP DOES NOT SUPPLY PLASTIC DROP CLOTHS, PAINT, BRUSHES OR ROLLER COVERS.

Students must reserve flats through the scene shop by placing a “HOLD” tag on each wall desired. They may reserve flats up to two weeks prior to the construction of their sets. 

Students may not destroy flats, poke or cut holes in flat walls, wallpaper or plaster set walls. Flats must be returned in the same condition they were rented – with the exception of paint. 

If you remove a flat from the flat storage area, you must return it as you found it. A student will be fined $50.00 if the flats are not returned properly. 

Students may not paint flats in the loading dock area. All painting of flats must be done in the sound stages or outside with proper drop cloths.  Do not use newspapers as drop cloths. 

All paint brushes or rollers used will be washed thoroughly in the paint room and discarded properly. 

DO NOT THROW PAINT CANS, UNWASHED BRUSHES, OR USED ROLLERS IN THE TRASH CANS!  

You may leave empty cans and brushes, etc. outside the Paint room door as long as you’ve placed a drop cloth on the floor first! Any paint spills must be cleaned up immediately. 

DO NOT POUR PAINT INTO ANY SINK! 

LMU requires the use of Dunn Edwards water-based paint only. 

SFTV Scene Shop and Set Dressing

SERVICES 

Props and Set Dressing

Props are stored on Stage 1.  To check out props or set dressing you must complete the Props Rental Form and have it signed by Production Administration. You may check out props during business hours if a class is not in session on Stage 1. For information on props inventory and checking out props from

SFTV contact The Prop Shop

A schedule of prop access time will be posted on the L&G Doors next to their hours.

Set Construction

This department provides limited equipment for the construction of sets used in approved student productions. Flats may be checked out through the Scene shop.  For more information about building sets on the stages contact the Scene Shop Graduate Assistant.

Lighting & Grip Sound Stages

SOUND STAGE FACILITIES 

Students can only use the sound stages by completing a Stage Booking Form after their project has been approved by the Head of Physical Production. 

Once a reservation has been made, you will be held by contract for the date(s) to use the stage. 

At the end of the scheduled use of the stage, the Studio Operations Administrator must sign off that the studio has been restored to original condition. 

STAGE OPERATIONS GUIDELINES

  • All construction, painting, storage of set dressing or sets must be done inside the stage. 
  • All stages are rented clean and swept and must be returned clean and swept. Upon strike, there will be an inspection of catwalks, grids, walls, stage floor and Fire equipment. Any damaged or missing equipment will be replaced and charged to the student who reserved the stage.  
  • Students may not paint the stage floor. They must use drop cloths and/or flooring they provide.  
  • You may not use any adhesive on the stage floor. This includes anything used for flooring, tile, carpet, vinyl, etc.
  • Yellow fire lanes must be kept clear at all times. All fire equipment, fire hydrants, fire extinguishers, fire hoses and post indicator valves, which are painted red or yellow must be kept fully operable, clear, and accessible at all times 
  • All pedestrian doors must be unlocked and accessible. Do not block aisles, fire lanes, or exits. 
  • All ladders, set walls or lumber leaning against walls must be secured to walls (tied off) when stored. 
  • No vehicles may be brought onto the stage unless arranged in advance with the Studio Operations Administrator and the Head of Physical Production. Only Stage 2 (TV Stage) can accommodate a vehicle.  Please contact Aaron Dowell about the requirements of using an approved vehicle on the stage.  VEHICLE ENGINES CANNOT BE STARTED AT ANY TIME WHILE IN THE STAGE OR LOADING DOCK. (See the Vehicles On Stage section below for more details.)
  • You cannot light fires or use smoke or fog effects without the approval of Production Administration.

VEHICLES ON STAGE – APPROVAL REQUIRED

  • Cars can only be on Stage 2 (TV stage) as cars typically cannot make the turn   into the stage. Cars must have less than ¼ tank of fuel.
  • The battery must be disconnected.  This means lowering all electric windows first before disconnecting the battery if a clear interior shot is needed.
  • Cars must be pushed into the loading dock, not driven, then placed on Go-Jacks (which we have) to position the cars for their shot.  It’s recommended that cars stay on the Go- Jacks unless your shot requires seeing an entire stationary car.  Go-Jacks cannot be placed until the car has been pushed on the stage.  Otherwise, they will get stuck in the elephant door tracks
  • Cars cannot be started or driven into the building.  It is recommended that cars are smaller in size, no vans or large SUV’s, buses. Limos etc.

TRASH / RECYCLE / HAZARDOUS WASTE STORAGE & DISPOSAL 

  • Recyclable wastes (i.e. paper, aluminum cans, PET & HDPE plastics, glass, etc.), with the exception of construction debris, must be deposited in appropriate recycle bins located on the side of the building. 
  • Hazardous Materials (i.e. liquid waste, hard paint waste, flammable liquids, chemicals or corrosive materials) must be stored in safety cans or approved containers in a manner which complies with the University’s Environmental Management Procedures and all relevant governmental regulations.  Approved hazardous materials storage containers are available through the Studio Operations Administrator’s office at extension 85178. 
  • Hazardous material disposal must be coordinated through LMU’s Safety and Environmental Department. Storage and disposal of these materials must comply with the University’s Environmental Management Procedures and all relevant governmental regulations. Call extension 87861 for information. 
  • Any allowable hazardous materials brought and/or used on site (i.e. flammables, corrosives, etc.) must have material safety data sheets (MSDS) on site and available for review. 

HOW THE LIGHTING AND GRIP LOTTERY WORKS

The SFTV Lighting and Grip Lottery takes place every Thursday promptly at 12:00 pm outside the Film Stage. For information on participating in the L&G Lottery remotely, visit Lighting and Grip Remote Lottery, but you don’t have to attend in person nor remotely to participate.

Every project on the SFTV Production Schedule will be automatically added to the Lottery. However, you must submit your order online via Patron Portal by 6 pm the Monday after your Lottery. Failure to do so will result in your priority being dropped to last in the queue.

More on the Lottery

Lottery drawings are held two Thursday in advance of your shooting weekend at 12:00 pm.

  • For example, in Fall 2023 if you are shooting September 22nd – 24th then the drawing is on Thursday, September 7th.
    • Camera department will immediately follow with their lottery at 12:15 pm.
  • You must submit your online reservation by 6 pm Monday, September 11th.

The purpose of the Lottery is to equipment priority. Random numbers from 1 to 100 will be drawn and assigned to each project. The lower the number, the higher the chances of receiving more of the equipment you request. The higher the number the less likely you are to receive all of the equipment you request.

For example, if Person A draws #98, Person B draws a #99, and Person C draws #10, the priority order would be:

  1. Person C
  2. Person A
  3. Person B

It strongly suggested your reservation be submitted by the following Monday at 6 pm. Doing so will ensure you keep your priority from the Lottery. Failure to do so will result in your reservation being placed at the end of the queue.

The last day to submit a reservation is no later than two days before your planned pick up.

  • L&G will not have time to perform Cuts* on your order, but we will accommodate and replace as many items as possible and let you know all changes at time of pick-up. 

Additional Guidelines –

  • If you have an outstanding fine with L&G, you cannot check out your order until you have paid your fine.    
  • Orders go out on Thursday and must come back on Monday (before noon) unless they get pre-approval from Studio Operations Administrator and Production Administration. 
  • Cuts are made Friday the week before your shoot.
    • You will receive an email from Shauna Garrett explaining your cuts, and you can then determine whether a rental house is in your best interest to make up for equipment you did not receive, or you can do without. 

For more information on making a reservation, please visit our Reserving Equipment page.


*Cuts are changes made to your reservation that reflect available inventory based on your class level priority and your lottery number/time and date of receipt of reservation form.

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