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 service is a privilege, not a right. Any footage acquired or produced while violating these policies and procedures cannot be accepted, and is possibly 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 water, animals, stunts, pyrotechnics, beaches, nudity, parks, SAG actors, airports, two 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 and protection of 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.
    • Passing 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 is beyond 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 / beverages / pets 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, thumb drive, etc.


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 and range from $15 to $60.


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

Students from other Institute schools who are enrolled in School of Film/Video production classes have access to equipment and facilities only during the semester they are enrolled in the class.

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. Keys can be checked out from and returned to the 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 and when 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 at that time.

Equipment Checkout


Equipment Cage (Production)

All reservations must be made through the Student Project Application. The Equipment 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 by email and are handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Check out/Check in

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

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.

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).

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.


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 will not be accepted for film scanning:

  • 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 Cubicles

Character Animation and Experimental Animation cubicles are workspaces designed for personal use and are not allowed to have or do any of the following:

  • Futons, couches, mattresses, beds
  • Hot plates, toasters, ovens, personal refrigerators, or microwaves (there are designated kitchenette areas in the cubes where mini-fridges and microwaves are permitted)
  • Uneaten food
  • Animals, insects, or living species
  • Overnight sleeping
  • Hanging lights, daisy chained electric cords, or overloading outlets
  • Covering the lights above your cubicle
  • Hanging curtains, tarps or anything from the ceiling
  • Excess noise or storage in cubicles
  • Leaving personal / valuable items unattended (you should lock your valuables)
  • Leave doors to cubicle areas open
  • Alcoholic beverages, parties, smoking or candles
  • Excessive piling of papers or materials on the floor
  • Toxic chemicals. Toxic chemicals must be labeled clearly and stored in a chemical cabinet.

Any curtains in cubicle doorways must be flame retardant and pre-approved by the Film/Video or Character Animation office. Respect each other and each other’s space, property and work. Do not take Skype or phone calls in your cubicle and keep your cubicles tidy.

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