Paramount Film Sound Stage Policy

It is highly recommended all users familiarize themselves with the various video production processes and systems in the Paramount Film Sound Stage. Staff will assist when questions arise concerning electrical systems or equipment operations.

Tutorials, individual or group, are available upon request and practice time on the various pieces of equipment can be scheduled when the facility is not in use.


I. General Policies

  • Absolutely NO FOOD, BEVERAGES, SMOKING, or GUM CHEWING allowed in the studios, control rooms, audio suite and hallways. For special college events, catered food shall be allowed. If, for dramatic purposes, there is a need for drinking, smoking, gum chewing or pets, see stage management for approval.
  • Individuals and/or co-curricula’s must check in with the studio staff at beginning of scheduled time and when leaving.
  • Faculty and co-curricular management are responsible for leaving the facilities on time.
  • Faculty and co-curricular management are responsible for normalizing and cleaning up the studios and control rooms after a class or by scheduled out time. Failure to do so may result in restrictions on future use of facilities. After individual or class use, stage will be inspected. Individuals and co-curriculars must wait until released.
  • No flame of any kind will be used on the stage.
  • Flip flops and sandals are not allowed in the studios. Sturdy footwear must be worn.
  • Late arrival to studio may result in loss of stage time.
  • Items such as Scotch tape™, masking tape, pens, pencils, staples, tools, film or video tape, and gaffer’s tape and all other expendables are the responsibility of the students, or organization using studios, not TRF.
  • No Sound Stage equipment is to leave the stage for any reason. P. 3
  • Firearms, knives, swords & other weapons may be used only with written approval P. 4

II. Requests & Reservations

  • Reservation forms can be downloaded and are also available in the Paramount Sound Stage office. Completed forms will be filed in the office.
  • General reservations for studio use should be made a week in advance.
  • There will be no use of foggers, special effects, flames, chemicals, and other materials on the sound stage.
  • Film Sound Stage Managers will assist you when making reservations. You must talk to  and get written approval from the Stage Manager or Assistant Manager for any shoot.
  • A meeting must be scheduled with the Sound Stage Manager when you hand in your initial paperwork and 48 hours before you shoot.
  • The following forms will need to be submitted to the Stage Manager or Assistant stage manager before your shoot.
    • Request for Stage Permit Form. This form will include a diagram of any sets that you will be building. The form must be completed with advisor and all other appropriate signatures within 48 hours. If forms are not submitted within allotted time you must contact managers for extension, or reservation will be canceled. After form has been completed, studio management will find supervisory coverage for the specific date(s). Only once coverage has been confirmed does the reservation become official.
    • Facilities/Equipment Loan Agreement form.
    • Film Stage EDC Pull Form for any equipment that you expect to need for your shoot It is your responsibility to keep the Sound Stage staff informed of changes to your shooting schedule and logistics.
  • Last-minute reservations and requests will be accommodated depending upon availability and at staff discretion.
  • The following is the usual priority for facility use: academic, co-curricular and ECTV, Emerson Productions and other Emerson events. Sometimes this priority will be changed upon discretion of the College administration.

Instructions for Checking Studio Times Online

Go to eCampus and then go to: > ECmail, > Public Folders, > Emerson College, > TRF, > TRF Studio Operations, > Studio Operations, > Studio Schedules, > Paramount Soundstage.

III. Reserving Studio Time on Weekends

  • Weekend Film Stage time is available. Only established co-curricular groups and Emerson Productions or students requiring time to complete film 2 or BFA projects may request weekend sound stage time. Other special requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Request date a month prior through Stage Manager or Assistant Stage Manager.
  • The following forms will need to be submitted to the Stage Manager or Assistant stage manager before your shoot.
    • Request for Stage Permit Form. This form will include a diagram of any sets you will be building. The form must be completed with advisor and all other appropriate signatures within 48 hours. If forms are not submitted within allotted time, you must contact managers for extension, or reservation will be canceled.
    • Facilities/Equipment Loan Agreement form.
    • Film Stage EDC Pull Form for any equipment that you expect to need for your shoot.
  • A meeting must be scheduled with the Sound Stage Manager when you hand in your initial paper work and 48 hours before you shoot.
  • After form has been completed, studio management will find supervisory coverage for the specific date(s). Only once coverage has been confirmed does the reservation become official.
  • It is your responsibility to keep the Sound Stage staff informed of changes to your shooting schedule and logistics. On the weekends staff will be hired expressly for each shoot and schedule. Particular attention must be given to updating your schedule with sound stage staff.
  • Any cancellations should be made 48 hours in advance.
  • Studio requests will be granted based on the following:
    • Proper completion of Stage Permit paperwork.
    • Previous familiarity/experience with the stage facility.
    • Adherence to stage and facilities policies (i.e. set materials etc.).
    • Discretion of management/administration.

IV. The Stage

  • Ask for assistance if you are unsure about how to use any stage equipment.
  • Items are not to be affixed to the studio walls.
  • No writing on the walls.
  • Do not drag heavy items over the floors.
  • Spraying of any kind is not allowed in the studios, i.e.: hair spray, dulling spray, painting etc.
  • If items, pictures, posters, banners etc., are attached to the lighting grid, they must be removed at the end of the scheduled period.
  • All “marks” on the floors are to be carefully removed at the end of the scheduled period unless otherwise approved.
  • If you bring in personal props, costumes, etc. they must also be removed at the end of the scheduled period.
  • Stage equipment Placement Charts are at the end of this booklet and posted on the stage.

V. Sets

  • The set pieces are here for your use.
  • Use care when moving the set pieces as they are easily chipped.
  • If you wish to change the look of the set, or any set piece, as in painting or wall papering etc. prior arrangements and authority must be made with and given by the Stage Managers.
  • If you bring props, costumes, or other set dressings into the stage, they must be removed at the end of the allotted time.
  • The Manager or Assistant Manager must clear all large set pieces. Arraignments must be made to use the loading dock and freight elevator with Property Management. All arrangements for their use will be made through the Stage Managers and appropriate lead time must be given for these arrangements to be made.
  • If flats are created for a production, DO NOT use 2x4, sheet rock or regular construction materials. The flats will be too heavy and pose a safety hazard. Use standard Film/Theater materials. These materials are lighter and easier to move around.
  • THEY MUST BE REMOVED AT THE END OF THE PRODUCTION.

VI. Lighting Instruments

  • Do not plug lighting instruments into an outlet unless the switch for that instrument is OFF.
  • Do not pull on cable to unplug a light.
  • When lights are plugged in careful track must be kept of all loads so as not to overload any given circuit.
  • Each 300 amp service must be kept as evenly balanced as possible over all three legs.
  • Use gloves and a wrench to adjust, focus or move hot instruments.
  • Dress lighting cables NEATLY.
  • Mats must be used when cable crosses trafficked areas.
  • Mats should be marked with caution tape or white tape if in high traffic areas.
  • A sand bag should be placed on each stand shortly after it is set up.
  • Lighting instruments are not to be left on the floor.
  • If an instrument needs to be re-lamped notify the staff.
  • When possible close legs and barn doors on lights when moving them about the stage.
  • Call out when moving jutting objects around stage (“Watch your back,” etc)
  • Tagged permanent lights should not be moved without approval from studio management.

VII. The Catwalk, Truss, Lift & Rigging

Any number of ways of rigging film equipment can be extremely dangerous and must be thought through very carefully. You must consider safety first, last and always. No shot is worth the potential consequences of failed rigging. Slow down and triple check your work. When in doubt, ask.

  • No one but staff, managers and instructors will use the ladder leading to the catwalk.
  • The entrance to the catwalk is on the 5th floor, door 505. All lights must be brought up in the freight elevator to the 5th floor. The entrance to the catwalk is immediately to the left after leaving the elevators.
  • When lights are used overhead on truss or on catwalk make sure each barn door is securely chained to yoke and each head has a safety chain attaching it to an appropriate pipe.
  • Do not use water pipes to rest, hang or safety cable or lights.
  • Double-check all safeties after a light has been moved.
  • 10k’s require two safety chains and must be rigged by at least three people at a time.
  • Special attention must be given to dressing cable on the catwalk. Dress cable so that it crosses the walkway as few times as possible. Make sure that a mat is used when cable crosses the walkway and mark with white tape or caution tape.
  • Cable drops from the catwalk can only be made with permission of stage managers. All cable drops must have a strain relief tied off to the catwalk.
  • Any tools on lift or ladders must be tied to your belt for safety.
  • Only trained personnel will be able to use the lift. Training will be provided for this purpose.
  • Do not lean over the edge of the Lift when it is extended.
  • You may not drive when the Lift is extended.
  • 10Ks can not be rigged from the lift.
  • Hard Hats must be worn at all times when using or standing around a working lift.
  • Use of ladders must be done with care and second “spotter” must be present for each use.
  • The lift must be left clean at end of session – no lights, empty lamp boxes, gels, frames, clothes pins, etc.
  • Make sure all gobo heads are “righty tightly”.
  • If C stand arms must terminate at eye level, place tennis ball on jutting end

VIII. Cleanup

  1. Place props in their proper locations.
  2. Put away chairs.
  3. All lights, grip and accessories should go back to the appropriate cart, neatly wrapped and left by the Stage EDC door or their normalized position on the floor exactly as you found them or they where brought to you.
  4. Each light will be provided with a scrim set, and must be returned with the same set.
  5. If permanent lights are moved, they must be returned to their original location.
  6. Cables must be neatly coiled and returned to the Stage EDC or appropriate marked crate on the floor.
  7. Remove all spike and gaffer’s tape from the floor.
  8. Pick up any refuse left on the stage.

IX. Safety Issues

  • The telephone number for Police is x8888 (Emergency) or x 8555.
  • First Aid Kits are located in the EDC and in the Sound Stage office rm 405.
  • Only authorized personnel are allowed to open, adjust and repair the equipment in the facilities. This includes re-lamping lighting instruments.
  • Exits are to remain clear and the signs clearly visible. No storing of materials in the hallways and stairwells.
  • Do not leave bags, laptops, or other valuables in the hallway or on the windowsills.
  • Slow down.
  • Think about safety first.

X. Emergency Procedures

In the Event of An Emergency (Loud Verbal Announcements and flashing lights in hallways)

  • If you are to leave the floor, an announcement will be made over the public address system. Take your personal belongings, leave by the nearest EXIT and go down the nearest stairway.
  • Do Not Use the Elevators.
  • Each space has two or more EXITS.

Fire Emergency (Origin of fire)

  • Pull the nearest alarm and leave by nearest EXIT. Go down the nearest stairway. Do Not Use the Elevators.
  • Fire Alarm Boxes are located: Under the Exit sign next to Stairway entrance (SEE EVACUATION PLAN)
  • Fire Extinguishers are located:
    • By both Sound Stage doors on main level
    • By the door to the Catwalk
    • In Sound Stage EDC by the office hallway door
    • In the Sound Stage office

Illness Emergency

Call x8888, give the nature of the emergency (i.e. fall, fainting, burns, etc.) and your location, and lead EMT/Police personnel to the location of the emergency.