School Policies

General Policy

The following policies are in place to help ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff within the School of Film/Video. The use of the School of Film/Video facilities, equipment, and production services is a privilege, not a right. Any footage acquired or produced while violating these policies and procedures cannot be accepted, and is potentially ineligible for a grade. 

  • You must be currently enrolled in the School of Film/Video to access facilities, equipment, and production insurance.
  • All students are expected to maintain integrity, honesty, and ethics when filming either at CalArts or on location. You must disclose the complete scope and intention of your projects. You should not be dishonest about your project when speaking to mentors, faculty, staff, or local authorities. You cannot change the parameters of a project in a dangerous way once you’ve been granted access to equipment or production insurance.
  • You are expected to maintain a congenial and cooperative environment conducive to focused, creative work. Inappropriate conduct, in person or online, towards School of Film/ Video faculty, staff, or fellow students is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: inappropriate language, verbal abuse, harassment of any kind, stalking, slandering, forgery, theft, or any type of mistreatment.
  • You retain full copyright to all work produced on the School of Film/Video systems, and with the artist’s permission, CalArts may retain a copy of the work for non-commercial, educational, or promotional purposes only.
  • You must meet with Production Services in advance of any and all projects that involve prop weapons, minors, moving vehicles, swimming pools or other bodies of water, animals, stunts, pyrotechnics, beaches, nudity, parks, SAG actors, airports, two or more locations or off-campus locations, the use of permits or roadways. These activities are considered dangerous and/or complicated and require consultation.
  • CalArts facilities, equipment, and production insurance cannot be used for any commercial projects, any projects students are being paid for, or any non-CalArts individuals’ projects. Use of educational software licenses for commercial work is a violation of our software contracts and could result in the loss of licenses or other legal action.
  • You must maintain respect for all School of Film/Video facilities, equipment, and production insurance.
    • Glitter is not allowed in any of the School of Film/Video facilities. This includes props, costumes, and make-up that contain or are coated with glitter.
    • Sharing of keys, passwords, or access codes between students is prohibited.
    • Vandalizing any CalArts property, including painting on studio floors / walls or altering the walls in any way (e.g. nails or fasteners), removing, or misusing any fire safety equipment (including exit signs, fire extinguishers, or fire alarms) or first aid kits is absolutely prohibited, and in some cases constitutes a federal offense.
    • All facilities and equipment must be returned in the same (or better) condition in which they were found. Deposits will be held if guidelines are not followed. If damage exceeds the amount of the deposit, the student listed on the reservation form will be held responsible for the full amount of repair.
  • You will maintain the union standard for work hours and turnaround times: a) Production days should never exceed 12 hours of work and b) time off between production days must be a minimum of 12 hours.
  • CalArts prohibits the unauthorized destruction of artwork.
  • The School of Film/Video is not responsible for any damage to media during use of any School of Film/Video service or facility.
  • You are expected to have your CalArts ID with you at all times when on campus.


The school’s equipment is insured against damage and theft and carries a $2,500 deductible. This means that if it’s determined that your negligence resulted in equipment being stolen or damaged, you can be held financially responsible for up to the full $2,500 deductible.

Under the Institute’s loss / damage policy, all students are covered in the academic buildings for student-owned personal property directly related to their discipline, subject to a $2,500 deductible. There is no coverage for student personal property in the residence halls. Check your family’s insurance policy to see if it covers this, and if not, either add it or take out a separate property policy.

Pet Policy

Although CalArts has a very generous pet policy, pets are not allowed in areas of the School of Film/Video such as computer labs, production shooting studios, individual equipment rooms, cubicles, and classrooms. To ensure the health and safety of our members, as well as to protect our valuable equipment, we cannot allow pets in these types of areas of the School of Film/Video.

Federal laws protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals. Service animals are not considered pets; as such, we welcome any specifically trained service animal. Any pet, emotional support animal, companion animal, or therapy animal is not allowed access to any School of Film/Video facilities.

Food and Drink

Food and beverages are not allowed in the suites or labs, with the exception of capped bottled water (regular water only).

Computer Use

Use of School of Film/Video computer labs and facilities is limited to those with official access. Account and/or password sharing is strictly prohibited.

Disconnecting, subverting, or rerouting any school cabling is prohibited.

Installation, download and/or activation of any type of software is prohibited on any computer within the School of Film/Video. Unauthorized copying of software is forbidden and is a violation of federal copyright law.

Any software or activity designed to perform security breaches, such as password cracking software, packet sniffing software, or any other exploits, is forbidden for student use or installation on any School of Film/Video computer. All peer-to-peer file sharing programs (Limewire, Bittorrent, etc.) are prohibited.

Software in the School of Film/Video are under strict educational institution software agreements, which prohibit the use of our software for commercial work. Institute owned computers are for personal and school-related work only. The computers in School of Film/Video may not be used for individual or multiplayer recreational game playing unless it is a specific part of the curriculum or student club.

Multiple logins are only permitted as computer availability allows and you are limited to a single login when computers are needed by others.

Unattended logins for the purposes of rendering, transcoding, etc. are at your own risk and are not permitted during scheduled class times. Unattended logins must be noted with your name, time you left, and time you’ll return. If you don’t return by the time indicated, didn’t leave a note on the computer, or there is a class scheduled, others are then free to log you out and use that computer.

At any time, computers may be remotely managed for various maintenance tasks. While being remotely managed, your desktop may be visible to an administrator. Remote management status will be indicated in the menu bar when possible.

You are responsible for backing up your own work via your own media, such as portable hard disk. The School of Film/Video is not responsible for any data loss during use of any School of Film/Video computers, servers, or storage media. The School of Film/Video is not able to perform data recovery on student-owned devices.


Deposits must be paid before use of most School of Film/Video facilities and will be held if damage to equipment or facility occurs during your use.


You must be currently enrolled in the School of Film/Video to access facilities, equipment, and production insurance.

Loss of Access

Misuse of facilities or multiple equipment infractions may result in loss of access. In addition to violation of the policies above, misuse of facilities can include: repeatedly reserving a room and not using it, signing up for more time than you actually use or repeatedly canceling reservations. Equipment infractions can include: returning equipment late, not picking up a reservation, or not returning equipment in the condition in which it was received.

Leaving any equipment unattended will lead to suspension of equipment access.

Your access to the Equipment Cage and other School of Film/Video facilities may also be suspended in the case of complaints (and the ensuing investigations) related to unpermitted, duplicitous, or deceitful practices on shoots.

Non-School of Film/Video Students

School of Film/Video equipment is solely for students currently enrolled in one of the four degree programs in the School: Character Animation, Experimental Animation, Film Directing or the Program in Film and Video.

Non-FV students who are currently taking a course in the School of Film/Video that requires equipment or facilities use may request access under the following conditions:

  • Access is limited to assignments for the Film/Video course. All access ends when the course ends. 
  • Access is only for equipment and facilities granted through this course, per Film/Video curriculum. 
  • Student must take the Film/Video Production Services Orientation 2023 course on Canvas. Please email to be added to the online course.
  • Student must meet with Justin Hogan, Head of Production Services, prior to accessing equipment to ensure they are aware of the Film/Video production guidelines. 
  • Requests for equipment require the student to file a FV Project Form

Access to School of Film/Video facilities or equipment is not available to students in independent studies with Film/Video faculty.

Non-FV students collaborating with Film/Video students: Equipment access is limited to projects where the Film/Video student is the primary filmmaker, director, and/or cinematographer and is approved for equipment access. Such projects may only be shot on campus.

Summer Access

There is no summer access to the School of Film/Video facilities. On a year to year basis, we may grant up to four weeks of limited access to certain facilities. This is not guaranteed.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Labs and individual editing suites are not to be used during times where there is no HVAC. It is not safe for you or the equipment to work without proper ventilation.

Keys/Swipe Access

Checking Out Keys

When you check out a key from Campus Safety, you become financially liable for any damage caused during the time the key is checked out to you. If you return a key late, there is a late fee of $25 per day. If you do not return a key, your access will be suspended.

Lost Keys/Replacement Keys

If you lose a key, you will be billed $100 to rekey the lock and replace the key. This applies to any keys that you have received from Campus Safety, whether it be your studio key, or a checkout key for one of our facilities.

Reservation Priority

Spaces with sign-up sheets are booked on a first-come, first-served. Spaces booked by advanced reservation are prioritized as follows:

  1. Courses/Faculty/Staff
  2. MFA3
  3. MFA2/BFA4

4. MFA1/BFA3
5. BFA2
6. BFA1

If two students want the same time slot and have the same priority, the student who
has used less time gets the first choice. If both students have used the same number of sessions, the staff member in charge of the area will serve as arbiter and assist the parties involved in reaching a settlement.

Sign-Up Sheets

For selected rooms, you can make advance reservations for up to 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. Make sure to write your name legibly on the sign-up sheet. Keys can be checked out from and returned to Campus Safety. You are not allowed to sign up for multiple rooms or check out multiple keys at the same time. Always return the key at the end of your reservation or any time you do not plan to use the room for any extended period of time (i.e. during a class). If you do not show up within the first 30 minutes of your reservation, anyone is allowed to use the space during the time of your reservation. 

Equipment Checkout


FV Equipment Cage

All reservations must be done through the FV Cage Equipment Reservation Form and submitted 1 week in advance of the reservation request date. It is recommended that you first complete an FV Project Form for planning your production and/or assignment.The FV Cage will not accept reservations by phone or email. Reservations can be made no more than four weeks in advance. Most equipment can be reserved and checked out for a maximum of three days.

Installation Equipment

All requests for installation equipment from the Technical Specialist in C105A must be made through the FV Production/Installation Reservation Form a week in advance.


You are the sole holder of the responsibility for equipment while it is in your possession and are responsible for the proper operation and care for all equipment you check out. You will pay any costs due to damage or loss not covered by the Institute’s insurance. You are responsible
for inspecting the condition of all equipment you check out before leaving the check-out area. Regardless of any additional crew members on your shoot that are either CalArts or non-CalArts, you are responsible for all handling of equipment that you have checked out.

Equipment returned late will result in a late fee of $50 per day. Each day thereafter will be an additional $50 late fee charge.

The School of Film/Video is not responsible for any reshoots or costs incurred that may be required due to equipment failure.

Facility Use

School of Film/Video Facilities Use Policy 

Students may not host parties or any kind of social gathering in any Film/Video spaces, including classrooms, labs or technical facilities without prior approval. Any kind of screening, reception or group event hosted in a Film/Video space must go through the standard approval process. This policy applies to all School of Film/Video programs: Character Animation, Experimental Animation, Program in Film and Video, and Film Directing Program. 

Posters, Fliers and Signage 

Posters, fliers or any kind of signage may not be posted in any Film/Video spaces–including classrooms, computer labs and production spaces–except for on community bulletin boards. When posting any kind of signage to community bulletin boards, please use pins. Do not use tape. If you need pins to hang signage on a community bulletin board, please let a technical specialist or the Film/Video office know. Posters, fliers or any kind of signage may not be posted on doors, walls, pillars, cabinets or any surface that is not a designated bulletin board. Anything posted to a surface that is not a bulletin board will be removed.

All bulletin boards in shared student studio spaces are community bulletin boards.

Students who have been assigned a desk may hang fliers, posters, or artwork on the divider walls surrounding the student’s assigned desk. In this case, only tape provided by the School of Film/Video may be used. No other kind of tape is allowed.

Shared School of Film/Video Spaces and Computer Labs

Loud conversations, music playback, and disruptive behavior is not permitted in computer labs or common areas, including A115, A116, A221, A321, A421 and BB4 studio desks. Please be courteous to your peers, keep the noise level down and remember that headphones are required for sound playback in common areas.

Production/Installation Spaces

A one-time deposit is required to gain access to our production and installation facilities. This deposit will carry over until graduation or until a student withdraws from the institute.

Construction of sets or flats inside the space is prohibited without prior approval. All sets, props, and equipment must be installed in and removed within the span of the reservation. Do not store equipment in production spaces.

Only C113 Installation Space can be painted with prior approval and, if done, must be repainted and dry by the end time of reservation.

You are responsible for any loss, theft, or damage of checked-out equipment that may occur in the production and installation spaces and classrooms. You must be present at all times when there are other crew members in the reserved space.

You are responsible for returning everything to its proper location (even if it is first found incorrectly placed). If you are not sure where something belongs in a production or installation space, please refer to the inventory photos posted in the space or ask a technical specialist.

Fisher Dolly

Fisher dolly access requires you’ve made a one-time deposit to use the Production and Installation Spaces. Each dolly must remain in its building. When checked out, you are responsible for the Fisher dolly and all its accessories. Access to School of Film/Video facilities and equipment will be lost if the Fisher dolly is damaged or used in an unsafe manner.

Classroom Use

Students are not allowed to use classrooms outside of class hours without authorization. The sublevel classrooms may be reserved outside of class hours by completing an FV Production/Installation Reservation form.


Film Scanning

School of Film/Video has a Cintel scanner for negative and answer print film. Priority for film scanning is given to School of Film/Video members. Reservations can be made for a 1-hour minimum and a 3-hour maximum, per person, per day. Service fees must be paid before delivery of files. Failure to cancel your reservation without 24-hour advance notice will result in your being charged for the full cost of the reserved scanning session. You must cancel by “replying all” to your confirmation email.

The following films may not be accepted for film scanning, or may incur additional fees: 

  • Hand-processed film
  • Scratched film
  • Workprints
  • Double spliced film
  • Damaged film


Any damaged media will not be transferred. Service fees must be paid before delivery of files.

Sound Mixes

Fall semester mixes are handled on a first come, first serve basis. Spring semester mixes must be scheduled well in advance. Scheduling priority is given to graduating MFAs. Service fees must be paid before delivery of files. Failure to cancel your reservation without 24-hour advance notice will result in your being charged for the full cost of the reserved mix session. You must cancel by “replying all” to your confirmation email.

Sound Recording Sessions

Requests must be made at least one week in advance. Service fees must be paid before delivery of files. Failure to cancel your reservation without 24-hour advance notice will result in your being charged for the full cost of the reserved recording session. You must cancel by “replying all” to your confirmation email.


Character Animation/Experimental Animation Desks

Character Animation and Experimental Animation desks are workspaces designed for personal use.

The following is not permitted in any School of Film/Video space: 

  • Futons, couches, mattresses, beds, screens or other furniture 
  • Hot plates, toasters, ovens, personal refrigerators, or microwaves (there are designated pantry areas in the studio where a provided fridge and microwave are available for student use) 
  • Uneaten food 
  • Animals, insects, or living species 
  • Overnight sleeping 
  • Hanging lights, daisy chained electric cords, or overloading outlets 
  • Covering the lights above your desk
  • Hanging curtains, tarps or anything from the ceiling 
  • Excess noise in common or studio spaces
  • Leaving personal / valuable items unattended (you should lock your valuables) 
  • Leaving doors to studio areas open 
  • Alcoholic beverages, parties, smoking or candles 
  • Excessive piling of papers or materials on the floor 
  • Toxic or flammable chemicals. Toxic or flammable chemicals must be labeled clearly and stored in an authorized chemical cabinet
  • Food or drink (with the exception of studio pantry areas) 

Respect each other and each other’s space, property and work. Please keep your desks tidy. 


If you bring a guest into a common space, please make sure you stay with your guest at all times and escort them out when they leave the space. Guests are also required to abide by the rules that apply to all Film/Video spaces. Guests include anyone who does not have access to School of Film/Video common spaces. 

Shared Student Studios

A studio and key deposit is required for a studio assignment.

Do not write on, mark or damage any surface in a Film/Video space, including floors, cabinetry, walls, pillars, and furniture. Do not put holes in the walls, or damage them in any way.

Students must cover their desks with artboard at all times to protect the desktop.

No storage of personal belongings is permitted at shared desks or in any shared space. The only exception to this policy is that students who are assigned a desk may store items on their desktop, shelves or in their assigned locker. Students may not store any personal belongings on the floor. Storing personal items on the floor is a safety issue, and items will be removed.

Do not take over the entire shared space or make sharing uncomfortable for your colleagues. Do not leave FV Cage equipment or Installation equipment in shared studios. If you need a place to store gear, please check out an equipment locker from the FV Cage. 

No smoking, refrigerators, hot plates, microwaves, futons, couches, mattresses, furniture or bedding are permitted in studios. Sleeping and/or living in the studios, subletting studio space, and allowing non-students to live in studios or share studios is prohibited. Do not put holes in the wall, or damage them in any way.

It is absolutely prohibited to access any other students’ studio without permission. It is also prohibited to use empty studios or studios not currently in use in any capacity without prior approval.

Please keep in mind that the studios are not private spaces. Film/Video staff, custodial staff and potentially other students will be able to access the rooms. It is therefore not advisable to leave valuables inside the studios.

Studio Pantry Areas

Students may not use any kitchen appliances except for the refrigerator and microwave installed by the School. Please clean up after yourself when using the kitchen and pantry areas. Any spills or issues with the pantry should be reported to a staff member.

The pantries in studio spaces are for non-perishable food and drink only. Please use the refrigerators for storing perishable food.

The refrigerators in pantry spaces are for short-term food or drink storage only. They are not to be used for storing art supplies or anything that is not food or drink. 

Perishable food cannot be stored in the refrigerator for more than one week. Perishable or opened items stored in the refrigerators will be thrown out every Monday morning between 8am – 9am. 

Please do not touch other students’ food or drinks. You should clearly label your food and drinks with your name.

Aerosols and toxic chemicals are not allowed inside any building. No heat generating appliances with the exception of hot glue guns, or anything that generates toxic fumes are allowed.

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