Checking out equipment from the Cage for the first time can be an intimidating, and confusing experience. This How-To guide will help you navigate a smooth, seamless check-out & return.
Remember, always set yourself up for success… A little pre-planning will go a long way! –Ensure that you are consistently checking in with your instructor and that you understand what is expected for shoot approval. Utilize FS Greenlight to keep production documents organized and available for review. There’s nothing worse than showing up to the Cage and not being able to check-out gear because you didn’t get shoot approval.
There are two big mistakes that students make when making a equipment reservation with the Cage. The first, is underestimating how much time it will actually take to load out or in. Second, is not thoroughly ‘Checking Out’ the actual gear that students are checking-out.
- It should come as no surprise that the first and number one tip to keep in mind is Give Yourself Time. Consider this Before you schedule your pick-up time. Larger orders can take two or more hours to correctly check-out/in.
- Don’t plan a Check-Out or Return right before your class begins. This is particularly important during equipment return. Show up ON TIME, or better yet, slightly early. Running late could mean fines and dipping out before your order’s checked in could also result in corrective action. (Early returns must be cleared prior to arrival at the Cage)
- It’s in the name… Check-Out means CHECK IT OUT! You are responsible for every BARCODE that’s listed on your expanded order print-out. You should make sure that you are in fact walking out with every BARCODE that your signing for. Yes, this takes time but your effort is well worth it.
- MAKE NOTES! Write down any and everything you find ‘not quite right’ about your gear. If a component is missing, make a note. If a component is damaged, make a note. You get the drill. Just because an item seems small or irrelevant don’t overlook it. You don’t want to have to replace a $50 cord that you never had, because you thought it wasn’t important, and you didn’t make a note.
- When your finished checking all of your gear and reconciling against your print-out, it’s time to find a Lab-Tech to finish out the check-out process.
- The Lab-Tech will officially record any notes you have made into FS Greenlight. If items have been swapped or added, ask for a fresh print-out.
- The final step is to SIGN for your order. The Lab-Tech will pull up your order on a designated tablet and have you sign a digital version of the expanded kit-list. Once signed, your order is officially ‘checked-out’, and You are officially responsible for the gear until it is returned.
- Utilize the driveway behind the bays for loading gear into and out of your vehicle. DO NOT park in the Fire Lane, You will be ticketed or towed. This is high traffic area, so only pull up when your ready to physically load gear in/out of your vehicle.
- Lab-Techs are a Resource! They are here to support/assist with the reservation and equipment needs of all students. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, they may not always have the answer but should be able to point you in the right direction.
- Remember, Lab-Techs are Students too! They have productions, homework, and life just like you. While many student’s that serve as Lab-Techs are hired as work-study, many are volunteers and donating their time to the CFS community. Make sure you attempt to build positive relationships with the Lab-Techs, they can be a huge ally as well as asset to you and your projects.
- It’s a good idea to designate one member of the crew to run periodic inventories, especially before final load-of your location. This will ensure that you are returning to the Cage with all the gear that you left with. This task is typically assigned to the Key Grip. Delegating is great but, be advised that YOU are the one responsible for the equipment that you check-out.
- Keep all gear stored in a safe and secure environment. Cameras should NEVER be left in vehicles overnight.
- If problems arise, call the Cage. You should save this number in your phone if it’s not already. Cage Phone: 303-340-7325
- Always maintain Pro-level Safety Standards on set. Following safety protocol helps safeguard equipment and cast/crew from damage and/or injury.
- When returning gear, be ON TIME!
- Just like check-out, equipment return can take time. Do Not schedule a return right before you have to go to class. You must remain present during check-in. If there are any issues, or discrepancies, you must be available to discuss with the Lab-Tech.
- When loading gear into the bays, Stack Narrow & Tall, Not Wide & Short. Space in the bays is limited and constantly in use. Ensure your gear only occupies the designated area that you have been assigned.
- When your order has been fully checked-in, the Lab-Tech will let you know. They will also inform you if there are any fines that will require resolution. Any disputes should be discussed with Aaron Koehler directly.