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FACILITIES - Equipment & Facility Use Policy


Access to the Film & Digital Media Department Equipment Checkout Lab, production facilities and associated equipment is a privilege contingent upon compliance with the Terms and Conditions of Use stipulated herein:

Official enrollment in a Film & Digital Media production course and payment of the associated course fee (if applicable) shall constitute the participating Student’s agreement to these Terms and Conditions, as well as their recognition of the Department’s expectations of their responsibility and the consequences of failing to fulfill these expectations; which include, but are not limited to, the revocation or restriction of privileges and financial reimbursement to the Department for the loss, damage, or theft of department equipment.

Contact Protocol

Students are expected to direct all inquires regarding production-related spaces and facilities to the FDM Operations Office, located in Communications Room 137, and may be reached via email at Spaces maintained under the auspices of the FDM Operations Office include all Screening Rooms, Studios, Edit Suites, Seminar Rooms, the Computer Lab (Comm Rm 11), Transfer Room (Comm Rm 135), Kresge 101, and Kresge 115. Students are expected to direct all inquires regarding field audio/video production equipment and the associated on-line Equipment Lab Reservation System (ELRS) to the Equipment Checkout Lab, located in Communications Room 123, and may be reached by phone at 831-459-4062, or via email at

The homepage for FDM Operations:

Students are expected to utilize this resource for informational purposes, as it pertains to current events, securing facility and equipment resources for scheduled use, and technical support for equipment hardware and software.

Usage of Field Audio/Video Production Equipment

Field equipment shall only be released to students who have satisfied all requisites for access, which include: confirmation of course enrollment, payment of course fee (if applicable), viewing all required training videos, and completion of all mandated tests with a 100% passing score. Field equipment shall be made available only for the duration of instruction, and for the purposes of enabling students to complete their audio/video production assignments.

Students are required to utilize the online Equipment Lab Reservation System (ELRS) for requesting usage of field audio/video production equipment, whereby students shall claim and return their equipment requests at the Equipment Checkout Lab (Comm Rm 123). This system is governed by rules that manage the availability of equipment, and are comprised as follows:

The ELRS measures time-durations in units of half-days, whereby each day is divided into a morning “AM block” and an afternoon “PM block”. The system will thereby allow students to choose both the date and time of day desired for equipment “Check-Out” and “Return”; excluding weekends, holidays, and other campus mandated closures.

The hours of the “blocks” shall be defined as follows: The “AM block” begins at 9:00 AM and ends at 12:00 PM. The “PM block” begins at 1:00 PM and ends at 5:00 PM. Students may select either block any day of the business week for “Check-Out”, to pick-up their reserved equipment during the defined times. The same holds for selecting a desired block for “Return” of equipment, with the exception of Fridays, where students may only schedule returns for the “AM block”. The deadline on Fridays for returns is 10:00 AM. The Equipment Checkout Lab will be closed daily between Noon-1pm, Monday through Friday, and all day on Saturday and Sunday.

Students shall be granted an allowance of “blocks” per equipment category, which dictates the maximum amount of time that they are entitled to equipment for the duration of instruction. For every “block” that an equipment item is checked-out, a block shall be deducted from the student’s allowance of blocks in the corresponding category. Once a student has depleted their allowance of blocks for a category of equipment, all equipment from that category of equipment shall no longer be available to the student for reservation.

The maximum length for a reservation is 6 days for undergraduate students and 7 days for graduate students. Graduate students may also reserve equipment over breaks and during the summer for longer periods.Extensions can be made to reservations, however the maximum length of an extension is determined by the original checkout date of the equipment. Please be aware that an extension may not be possible if the equipment has already been reserved during the desired time. For equipment that is returned earlier than originally scheduled, the student will be “refunded” half the number of blocks remaining on the original duration of the reservation.

Emergency Exception

Students will be excused from the Late Fee penalty only in the event of a sudden emergency, which is reasonably unforeseeable. Tardiness due to foreseeable contingencies will NOT qualify as an emergency. Students are expected to make contingency plans for returning equipment on time, be it through the agency of a classmate or other trusted third-party.

Student Responsibilities and Liability as Borrower

At the point of claiming their field equipment loan reservation the Borrower shall sign an Equipment Loan Contract upon assuming temporary custody of the FDM Department’s field equipment. By signing this Contract the Borrower agrees as signatory to assume direct responsibility for the equipment, protecting it from loss, damage or theft.

Please note that some FDM students will have the ability to checkout equipment items with a total value or $15,000 or more. For this reason it is recommended that students obtain some kind of renters insurance that will cover FDM equipment while it is in their possession. The UCSC website provides information about "Grad Guard" renters insurance. You will need to check the terms and conditions of any insurance policy yourself with an agent/representative to make sure you are getting appropriate coverage for what you need/expect. Make sure that any policy covers not only your personal property but university property that is in your possession, in country as well as while you are abroad (if applicable). Be aware that damage to equipment is not usually covered by renters insurance, only theft. In the event of an incident you will need to file a police report. Some policies require evidence of forced entry. Never leave your equipment unattended, especially not in a car. Be aware of your surroundings and work with a partner, or better, a crew.

By signing the Equipment Loan Contract, the Borrower acknowledges the FDM Department’s expectation that they will examine all equipment immediately after assuming custody, for the purpose of verifying that they have received the equipment with all components and accessories accounted for, that the equipment is in proper working order, and that any damage, if present, has been noted. It is therefore advised that borrowers check equipment for components and accessories before leaving the checkout area. The equipment’s ID tag serves as a record of the components and accessories associated with any given piece of equipment as well as any pre-existing conditions. Any claims to missing components or accessories, non-operational equipment or pre-existing damage must be reported at the BEGINNING of the loan period and before the equipment is used. Waiting to report discrepancies until the return of equipment shall be interpreted as an admission of responsibility, and the Borrower shall be held to the contract, regardless of whether or not they actually utilized the equipment.

The Borrower is expected to exercise discretion regarding "high risk environments", which include, but are not limited to, the beach, the rain, near bodies of water, or environments that contain smoke, such that the equipment would be subjected to damage, residue, or contamination.

The Borrower’s assumption of direct responsibility includes bearing financial liability for any and all costs associated with the cleaning, repair or replacement of equipment that results from negligent use. Negligence is defined as misuse of equipment (or using the equipment in a manner unintended by the manufacturer), which precipitates performance degradation or failure. By distinction, equipment component failure in the course of proper equipment operation will be attributed to Wear & Tear, for which the Borrower shall not be held financially liable.

The Borrower shall also be subjected to fines in the event of, but are not limited to: late equipment returns, equipment decontamination cleanings, improper packing or wrapping of cables, equipment packages mixed together, missing equipment, and other indicators of improper equipment usage. Students may refer to the Fines and Penalties page of the Slugfilm website for a complete listing.

All depleted rechargeable batteries and burnt-out lamps must be returned with their constituent equipment kits. The Borrower will be billed for the replacement of unaccounted for batteries and lamps.

Transfer of Custody and Shared Liability

The Borrower may transfer liability of reserved equipment to another student during an active loan period by utilizing a Transfer of Custody Agreement form (ToCA). The ToCA form allows multiple successive borrowers to assume full responsibility for their custody of the equipment, releasing the preceding Borrower from their initial contractual liability to a limited degree.

The following conditions must be met: All parties involved must complete a ToCA form in its entirety, and submit it (them) to the Equipment Checkout Lab at the completion of the loan period. Failure to meet these conditions will invalidate the Transfer of Custody, and shall result in defaulting all liability back to the original creator of the equipment loan reservation request, whereby the Terms and Conditions shall be solely applied. The initial borrower(s) should retain the Transfer of Custody Agreement and return it/them to the Checkout lab.


Access and use of facilities is granted upon enrollment in Film & Digital Media courses for the purpose of participating in course instruction and to facilitate the completion of class exercises and assignments.

Use of access privileges by enrolled students for reasons unrelated to assigned course work is considered inappropriate and unsanctioned use of Department resources and may be grounds for the revocation of said privileges. Such instances shall include, but are not limited to: holding recreational screenings of films, television programs, or personal works; using media systems for personal entertainment; and/or producing or publishing private or commercial works for personal gain.

Users of these facilities resources are expected to comport themselves in a manner appropriate for the use of shared spaces: Food and/or beverage shall not be permitted in any Department classrooms, labs, studios, and/or edit suits.
Access-controls for secured spaces shall not be circumvented for any duration of time (e.g. leaving spaces unattended with the door ajar).
Installed media, IT, and projection equipment systems shall not be tampered with, such that their hardware, software and/or setting-configurations are altered from that specifically set by Department staff, unless stated they are permissible for users to change or modify. Please do not unplug or re-patch equipment cables, change media rack device settings, remove furniture, and/or leave projectors powered on after use.

Persons unaffiliated with the Film & Digital Media Department or its programs may only be allowed in production spaces under the direct supervision of students currently enrolled in courses granting access to those spaces in question and only for the purpose of participating in course assignments. Those students bringing such unaffiliated persons into such access-restricted space shall be responsible for those persons, their safety (where applicable), and the consequences of their actions, pursuant of policies concerning financial liabilities.

Special Facilities - Computer Lab

Please see the Computing Policies for specific information regarding F&DM computing policy and the Computer Lab.

Special Facilities - Studio B

The "Capture Stage" facility (Communications 140) is a specialized production studio equipped for video production, and requires special training for safe and proper operation. Completion of such training is required to gain access to the Studio B space without direct supervision by trained personnel.

The following criteria must be met to gain access to Studio B:

  • the student must be currently enrolled in a production course warranting legitimate entitlement to the space;
  • the student must view all online safety training videos and complete their related verification tests; and the student must attend an in-person Injury-Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) safety certification orientation.

The IIPP Safety Certification Orientation will be presented to all FDM students currently enrolled in a production course during Fall Quarter, and presented to introductory-level production courses in Winter and Spring Quarters. It is a student’s responsibility to renew their lapsed safety certification if they intend to utilize Studio B. Unsupervised access privileges are issued on a term-by-term basis, wherein Studio B Certification shall be effective for the duration of an academic term, lapsing at the end of the academic term, regardless of duration since Certification.

Administration of Access

Access to spaces for students shall be facilitated through two online client-request services hosted on the Slugfilm website: the Room Reservation System and the Studio B Reservation Request Form.

Students may reserve space (in accordance with their access privileges) in advance via the Room Reservation System. Students may reserve up to 8 hours per week of priority access to Edit Suites, "Voice-Over" Suites, and Production Studios A and D.
If the reserving-student does not arrive to claim their reserved priority access of a space within the first 20 minutes of its scheduled time, their reservation is forfeit and the space shall become available on a first-come first-served basis. Students may also sign-up for a same-day reservation.
Overwriting a printed advance-reservation of a space with a write-in reservation is not allowed and will not be recognized as a valid claim to priority access of the space.

Access to the specialized Studio B production space shall be facilitated through the dedicated Studio B Reservation Request Form, hosted on the Department's Slugfilm website. Access will be granted provided the following criteria are satisfied:

  • The requesting student must be Studio B Safety Certified for the current term.
  • The requesting student must agree to assume the responsibilities of Production Manager, as enumerated in the safety training.
  • All personnel must be listed on the request form; whereby Safety Certified Crew Members are identified accurately.
  • The request form must be submitted no later than two business days in advance of the desired reservation date.
  • The reservation shall not be guaranteed until the requesting student receives a confirmation via email; after which point, the student shall be programmed into the lock system securing the space in accordance with duration of time approved.
  • Students may reserve up to 24 hours over a two-week period, provided it does not conflict with scheduled instructional needs.

Failure or refusal to comply with the aforementioned policies pertaining to administration of access may be grounds for the revocation of privileges.

Request for Release for Limited Exhibition of Student Works

The exhibition of student works at the conclusion of the quarter entails public disclosure of students’ association with their course.
In order to participate in their course’s end-of-quarter public screening, students must submit a Release form granting the Department permission to publicly disclose their identity.

Unless this Release is submitted to the Department, the default assumption will be that all students have a Non-Release of Information (NRI) on file, and their identities will be restricted from public disclosure as such.