TRF Equipment Distribution Policy

The Equipment Distribution Center (EDC) at Emerson provides students with equipment and facilities, on loan from the college, with which students fulfill class assignments. Our staff is available for assistance with any equipment operational issues or problems you may have. Please notify us immediately of any equipment difficulties.

At the start of each semester, students wishing to use equipment and facilities must fill out and sign the Equipment and Facilities Use Contract. By signing the form, you are agreeing to abide by these policies and procedures. Therefore it is your responsibility to read, understand, remember, and comply with these policies.


I. General Lending Procedures

Only Emerson College students enrolled in approved production courses, having authorization from the course instructor, and showing valid Emerson I.D. may borrow equipment or use facilities for assigned class projects. Equipment and facilities may not be used for any other productions. Equipment may not be signed out for other people, and may not be loaned to other people. Students may not use equipment or facilities for projects for co-curricular organizations unless given special permission.

If you are traveling with Emerson College equipment outside the United States, you will need to pay for property insurance and provide the manager of the EDC an insurance certificate showing that the value of that equipment is insured for the duration of that travel. 

You are required to:

  • Read carefully and sign an Equipment Sign-out Sheet each time you borrow equipment/facilities. You are responsible for all items listed on the form, until its return is noted on that form by EDC staff.
  • Immediately inspect equipment in the EDC check out area. Verify that the equipment is working, and complete, exactly as listed in the Sign-out Sheet. You are responsible for the equipment that you sign for.
  • Notice how the equipment is packed, you must return it the same way.
  • Immediately report anything unusual, missing, extra, or not working before leaving the EDC.
  • Return all equipment in proper condition and on time.
  • If a problem arises with equipment during use, you are required to: Tag the equipment with a note citing the nature of the trouble. Be as detailed and complete as possible. Inform the EDC staff immediately. Please do not attempt repairs on equipment or facilities yourself. Unreported damage subsequently discovered will result in financial liability to the student. Unreported damage and/or late return of equipment results in penalty. Abuse of equipment results in penalty, or in permanent revocation of borrowing privileges.

II. Sign-Out Periods

In general, no equipment/facilities may be signed out again immediately upon its return. Existing reservations that are already signed out may NOT be extended past the original return date and time. Certain equipment or facilities have special sign-out periods and restrictions. Holiday schedules will differ. Verify your due-back date/time before you leave the EDC. Sign out period changes will be posted in the Equipment Distribution Center and Annexes.

III. Production Equipment Sign-Out

Cameras, tripods, and all other field production equipment have differing sign-out periods (rotations) per week. Only field production equipment may leave the EDC. The director or producer of an individual project shall sign for the equipment and is solely financially responsible. For crew projects, it is recommended that key crew members be present to assist in check out of large orders of equipment. It is also recommended that students buy equipment insurance from an outside insurance agent. Please ask an EDC manager for a list of local insurance agents.

Film 1 equipment rotations run Monday to Wednesday; Wednesday to Friday; or Friday to Monday. Higher-level film course rotations are normally Thursday to Tuesday. There will be one designated production manager for film groups who may reserve and sign out equipment, no other members of that group or crew may reserve or sign out equipment. Video equipment rotations run for 24 hours, or from Friday to Monday. Advanced level courses differ, and run on an individually determined, case-by-case basis. On holidays (no classes) equipment will be returned the following due day. These times and days are strictly observed.

IV. Recording Studio Mics & Editing Equipment Sign-Out

Each audio studio and editing facility has its own reservation, sign-in, and sign-out schedule. Please be sure you understand when equipment is due back before leaving the Equipment Distribution Center or Audio Annex.

No studio microphones, editing, or other postproduction equipment may leave 180 Tremont Street at any time. All such equipment is to be returned at the end of edit sessions.

V. Reservations

Students are encouraged to reserve equipment and facilities ahead of time. The following rules are structured to assure that all students have access to the equipment and facilities:

  • Reservations must be made in person and not on the telephone.
  • Reservations may extend no further than 2 weeks from the current day, except for advanced level students.
  • Consecutive periods may not be reserved; reservations may not be extended.

VI. Production, Editing & Post-Production Editing Reservations

  • Reservations are held for 1/2 hour. After this time the reservation is cancelled and is made available to other students.
  • One equipment reservation, or two edit reservations, per student, per week is allowed.

VII. Penalties

Because of the limited amount of equipment and facilities, an equitable rotation among students must be maintained. Proper use and timely return by everyone is essential. It is therefore necessary to enforce the following penalty system:

  • Students will lose all borrowing privileges for one week (first offense), or 2 weeks (second offense), and all reservations (this is known as being docked) for the following:
    • Cancellation less than 4 hours in advance, or failure to show up for reservations.
    • Late return of equipment - anything over 5 minutes.
    • Improper or careless handling, use, or repacking of equipment (dirty, broken or missing parts, etc.).
    • Misuse of facilities (for example, leaving editing tape on counters, trash on floor, etc.).
    • Eating, drinking, or smoking, in edit facilities, etc.
    • One warning, in lieu of docking, may be given at the discretion of EDC staff.
  • Students will lose all borrowing privileges for the rest of the semester, or 2 months, whichever is longer (permanently, in the severest cases) for the following:
    • A third offense warranting docking.
    • Any gross misuse of equipment or facilities, especially that which seriously impedes the use of the equipment or facilities by other students.
    • Late return of equipment by 1 working day, or more.

Note: In addition to the above penalty, such tardiness results in the incursion of late fees, based on current EDC rates, up to the full replacement cost of the late equipment.

VIII. Lost, Stolen or Damaged Equipment

Students signed out for equipment/facilities that are then lost, stolen, or damaged incur the following:

  • Financial obligation for the cost of the equipment.
  • Immediate revocation of borrowing privileges until the student arranges to reimburse the college.
  • Withholding of grades and transcripts and loss of course registration privileges until the student reimburses the college.

Any changes or clarifications to policy and procedures will be posted on bulletin boards at the Equipment Distribution Center.

IX. Late Fees

There is a 4-tier late fee system on the Late Fee Rate Card:

Tier 1 = $25 / Hour                             All video and film cameras
Tier 2 = $100 / Day All still cameras; Arri lighting kits; DAT and DVD audio recorders; O'Conner tripods; studio microphone kits; film splicers.
Tier 3 = $50 / Day Elemental/Tota light kits; Bogen tripods; individual Mole lights; Mole lighting kits; video monitors; battery belts; battery bricks; shotguns, handheld, and lavalier microphones; non-DAT/DVD audio recorders; light meters; mini disc recorders.
Tier 4 = $15 / Day Equipment manuals; XLR cables: all other non-belt batteries, boom poles; headphones; Ultralites
  • Late fees begin to accrue after 1 hour late. Late fees are accrued during hours that the EDC is open.
  • Late/damage fees are payable by cash, ECCash, or check written to "Emerson College".
  • Any personal checks that are returned from the bank due to insufficient funds will result in a $25.00 fee.
  • Late fees will accrue up to the monetary replacement value of late equipment.