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Download and Print the Rules Packet Using this link: RTF Production Equipment Checkout Rules – Spring 2017.docx

RTF Production Equipment Checkout Rules – Spring 2017

Revised January 2017

 Equipment privileges require that you read and understand all the rules. Please return the signed Statement of Understanding and the Liability forms at the end of this packet.

Section I: Whom to contact for help/questions




Equipment is limited to RTF production faculty and students who are currently enrolled in a RTF production class that has equipment allocated to it and have completed all of the following requirements A through C

A. Navigate to to take the test.

IF you did not take RTF 318 at U.T. Austin, you must attend a session. All student users of RTF equipment must attend an Equipment Rules session before they use RTF equipment. For undergrads these sessions occur in a meeting with RTF 318 class and for graduates in a meeting with RTF 881KA and 380P. If you did not take any of these classes at U.T. Austin or you did not attend the Equipment Rules session, you must attend one of the sessions AND pass a test on the rules before you can use RTF equipment.                              

B. Sign the Liability Statement and the Statement of Understanding of Checkout Rules after you pass the test online. The form is available in Equipment Checkout HSM 2.102. Students who passed the within the last year do not need to take the test this semester but you must sign the Liability Statement and the Statement of Understanding of Checkout Rules. That form is available in Equipment Checkout HSM 2.102

C. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have fulfilled ALL the requirements in Section II BEFORE requesting equipment. If you have not completed these steps, you can expect a lengthy delay in getting equipment  

NOTE: There is an insurance premium of $32.64 for each semester and covers student accident insurance, liability insurance, and equipment insurance. Faculty need not pay insurance if they are only using equipment for class and labs. After the 12th class day, $32.64 will be billed to your “What I Owe”.                                           * Equipment is for use to complete required class projects for the class you get the equipment access ONLY. Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo are not acceptable uses of RTF equipment even if your instructor requires such a project.

Students auditing a class do not have equipment or facilities access.

** Other U.T. faculty and students are not allowed access to RTF Production equipment OR facilities.             *** SPECIAL PROJECTS CLASSES DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO EQUIPMENT.

We are not a Media Center. We provide equipment only to students enrolled in specific RTF production classes and the faculty who teach those classes.



Equipment is set aside for each class. Refer to Fall 2016 RTF Equipment Allocation on the RTF website.  Some items such as the jib, the vector dolly, and the hazer are restricted to certain classes and require that users attend a training class. The Jib and Vector Dolly are restricted to: Thesis, Pre-Thesis, , 881KB and advanced undergrad students in these classes: 343 Advanced Narrative, 343 Advanced Cinematography, Cinemalaboratory and 368 Production Thesis who have received training on the Jib and Vector Dolly.  The Hazer is restricted to 366K and above who have received training on the Hazer.  NOTE: There is a cost for using the hazer fluid AND a cost for turning off smoke detectors IF you use the hazer on campus.

If you want to use restricted equipment, you must attend a training session. Class space is limited and you must sign up for these classes. You must attend the entire session.  If you come late or leave early, that does not count as attending. If you do not participate or pay attention, you will not get credit for attending.  If you attend training but are not in a class that has access to restricted equipment you cannot use the equipment.  See jib/Vector Dolly/Hazer training schedule at the end of this document for dates/times/locations of training.



Equipment may not be taken out of a 25-mile radius of the U.T. Austin main campus without prior approval of the Assistant Director of Production Services. If you plan to take equipment outside of this 25-mile radius you must complete a Travel packet and state the destination. Travel packets are online. Additional paperwork MAY be required. The MINIMUM advance notice to the RTF department for outside a 25-mile radius of U.T. Austin main campus or any travel on an aircraft is TEN (10) days. Follow this link to find information about travel within the USA     


B. All locations to be used in your shoot must be cleared ahead of time with signed location releases. Any shoots requiring an overnight stay outside of Travis County must be cleared in advance with your thesis committee or your class instructor. There are limits to the amount of equipment you can use outside of a 25-mile radius of U.T. Austin main campus, on aircraft, and internationally.         


C. For international travel, STUDENTS MUST IDENTIFY ALL DESTINATIONS, LOCATIONS AND PROVIDE AN EQUIPMENT LIST TO THE Assistant Director of Production Services, Keefe Boerner, at least 45 days in advance so that he can check with the UT Travel office and our insurance company about restrictions they might have and obtain information about that location’s status. International travel is complicated and deadlines are firm.  International Travel is allowed only by petition. The MINIMUM advance notice to the RTF Equipment Checkout for international travel is THIRTY (30) days.


D. If travel is approved, there is a maximum dollar limit of $ 10,000 aggregate value for international travel. There is a maximum dollar limit of $70,000 aggregate value for out of the 25-mile radius, but within the contiguous United States.   

E. Air Travel is limited to items you can secure in the cabin as carry-on luggage. Grip and Lighting equipment may be checked into the cargo hold of an aircraft only if it is packed securely in an Anvil case and is cleared by the Equipment Checkout Supervisor. Cameras, Sound Recorders and Electronics NEVER go in the cargo hold. All travel is subject to final approval by the Assistant Director-Production Services or his designated representative. No approvals will be made without receipt of required compete written documentation by the appropriate deadline. Failure to disclose travel outside of the 25-mile radius of the UT Austin campus, travel on aircraft or international travel may result in permanent and complete suspension of all equipment access, including postproduction, studios, classrooms and other RTF assets. 

F. Note: there are multiple components to travel… paperwork for people, approvals of travel for people, possible purchase of insurance for people, approval of equipment traveling by RTF Equipment Checkout, possible carnet or U.S. Customs forms for equipment that will be traveling.

For international travel, additional RTF, U.T, or insurance company paperwork will be required. A Carnet and U.S. Customs forms may also be required.  


If you are traveling internationally, go here to read and comply with ALL requirements in International Travel Requirements.  Completed forms must be turned in AT LEAST 30 days in advance of travel.   


WARNING: Our insurance policy does not cover losses resulting from acts of war, terrorism, or IMPOUNDMENT OF EQUIPMENT.



A. Use of RTF equipment is not allowed in the following cases:

•Any country where the University of Texas has suspended its Study Abroad Program,

•Any area where the US State Department has issued warnings against travel by US citizens, and/or

•Anywhere that the Department of Radio-Television-Film or the University of Texas has concerns                                                                     about the safety of its students and/or equipment.


B. You may NOT* use RTF equipment in or around situations that may be hazardous to either the   operator or the equipment, such as, but not limited to:

1. Around sand or dust.

2. In or on water.

3. In extreme temperature conditions, such as extreme cold or extreme heat.

4. In areas of high humidity.

5. At heights, such as rooftops, cranes, water towers, grain silos, etc.

6. Our cameras may not be mounted on racecars or motorcycles or carried on horseback.

7. Anywhere they may come in contact with corrosive substances, such as salt water.

8. Around explosives or near fire.

9. In an area where recent armed conflict has occurred.

If you have questions about whether a situation or location might be hazardous to the operator or the equipment, contact Keefe Boerner, Assistant Director of Production Services *WARNING: Use of RTF department equipment in hazardous situations may result in permanent and complete suspension of all equipment access, including computer labs and studios.


C. If you need assistance getting approval for a film shoot location on campus, (other than RTF studios), please contact Bert R. Herigstad at 512-471-4191 or by email at or go by the RTF office, CMA 6.120.  Bert may also be able to help you identify an on campus location.


D. Are you using fake weapons or simulated violence in your film shoot? Real weapons are strictly prohibited and even fake weapons require advance approval by either the Dean of Students or the RTF Department (depending on the location of your shoot).

If fake weapons are to be used for film shoots ON CAMPUS, a Weapons Approval Form  and a photograph of the proposed weapon(s) must be submitted AT LEAST 10  days in advance to:
Wanda Brune- Office of the Dean of Students    SSB 4.104
Campus Mail Code A5800 Fax 475-7942

After approval, the Office of the Dean of Students will advise the University police. This will avoid police reacting to what they perceive as a violent crime in progress.

The approval letter with the Dean of Student’s signature must be retrieved from the Dean of Students Office before the shoot and kept at the shoot during the shoot. YOU MUST HAVE THIS DOCUMENT BEFORE YOU CHECKOUT EQUIPMENT.

Please contact Bert Herigstad in the RTF Office, CMA 6.120; 512-471-4071 if you have questions about the weapons policy.

*The University of Texas at Austin prohibits the possession or use of firearms, facsimile weapons/bombs, ammunition and knives on University property, including academic, administrative, special use, recreational and housing facilities, as well as all grounds and parking lots. This policy applies to students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. The only exceptions to this policy are for commissioned police officers and licensed concealed handgun holders in accordance with U.T. Austin Campus Carry Policy. Although a concealed weapons holder may bring a handgun to some parts of campus, real weapons are not allowed in any films.

If fake weapons will be used for film shoots OFF CAMPUS, a Weapons Approval Form and photograph of proposed fake weapon(s) must be submitted AT LEAST 10 days in advance to:
Keefe Boerner,  CMA 3.104;

After approval, Keefe will advise the student which other parties the student must notify prior to filming. This will include, but is not restricted to, local police and property owner(s).

E. If your shoot involves: camera support items such as jib, hostess tray, car mount, slider, generator, that do not belong to RTF, OR contains driving or horseback/livestock shots, shooting in or around water, sand, or heights, or if you are using stunts, flames, pyrotechnics, squibs or simulated weapons (real weapons of any kind are never permitted) you must complete a safety plan to RTF Equipment Checkout and get it approved AT LEAST ten days IN ADVANCE of your checkout.

Section VI: HOW MUCH EQUIPMENT CAN I CHECKOUT?                                                                                                                      The Assistant Director of Production Services and the RTF Department reserve the right to limit the amount of equipment per checkout. Because there is a finite amount of equipment, there are limits to how much equipment each shoot can use. Primary equipment items such as, but not limited to: hard disk recorders and cameras are limited to one for each shoot.  For camera tests the maximum test time is overnight on a weekday so as not to interfere with actual shoots. For camera tests you get a camera, light meter, tripod, changing bag, slate, and a few lights. No Sound Equipment. Any additional equipment must be petitioned at least 2 weeks in advance. Thesis and Pre-Thesis students, your instructor must approve camera tests.


RTF equipment and facilities are for use in completing RTF Production class assignments ONLY. Other uses of equipment and facilities may result in suspension of equipment privileges for a period of time ranging from 2 weeks to permanent and complete suspension. No one can give you permission to violate this rule…it is a state law.  Doing work for a non-profit is not allowed unless that is your class project.   Equipment is for use to complete required class projects for the class you get the equipment access ONLY. Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo are not acceptable uses of RTF equipment even if your instructor requires such a project.

Students auditing a class do not have equipment or facilities access.



A. Equipment check-out/check-in is first come, first served. There is not enough equipment for everyone to shoot at the same time. Reserving equipment well in advance of your shoot increases the likelihood that there will be equipment available for you when you need it. Space and staff time are limited. We can only help a certain number of people simultaneously. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Qualified users (see Equipment Checkout Section II) must submit an electronic Equipment Request using the USHER system. Here’s how:

Step 1: Reserve appropriate length appointment times (one for your checkout and one for your check-in) by calling Equipment Checkout at 512-471-6565 or by appearing in person at HSM C 2.102 during business hours Monday through Friday 8AM to 4PM. You should get in the habit of scheduling appointments AND equipment at least one week ahead of time. If you try to reserve equipment or appointments less than one week before your proposed shoot, we may not have appointments or equipment available. We have limited space and limited staffing. If you reserve equipment online without first scheduling an appointment, your equipment may be cancelled if there are no appointment times available.

                                                                                                                                                                                   It is your responsibility to schedule the appropriate amount of time. If you do not schedule enough time - for example, a 30-minute time slot for 100 items - we will not be able to get all of your items on your reservation.


If you create a reservation then later realize you need more items, make sure you have enough time scheduled. If not, reserve more time.


Step 2: Login and reserve equipment. Your EID and EID password are your log-in. Never share your EID password with anyone. Staff may ask you for your EID to verify that you are enrolled in a particular class or to create a reservation for you.


***Do not share your password. Do not make reservations for anyone else. You are responsible for transactions involving your Log-on. Making reservations for someone else or allowing someone to use your Log-on may result in complete and permanent suspension of equipment access. All transactions are tied to your Log-on so we can easily see who made a reservation.


Your log-on will not be activated in the reservation system until you fulfill ALL requirements in Section II which means you will not be able to reserve equipment until you get these tasks completed. Do not procrastinate.


**Please create your electronic reservation BEFORE 3PM ONE BUSINESS DAY BEFORE your checkout. We print the next business day’s checkouts at 3PM so we can begin getting equipment ready. If you haven’t created a reservation, we won’t have your equipment ready for you when you arrive and you will have to wait for us to print it and prepare your equipment. If you happen to reserve late, phone us and tell us so we can print your reservation and have it ready.


B. ALL requests (including faculty and TA requests) for equipment must be via the Usher system. If the electronic system is not working or you have an unusual request, for example, you need items you cannot access in the reservation system, e-mail

ALL requests for changes to reservations, be it additions of equipment, changes in checkout date/time, changes in check-in date/time MUST BE IN WRITING, via email.

Please consider that additions to your checkout can change the length of the appointment time you need. Please understand we have other students and labs that need our time. If we do not have time for these additions, we cannot do them.



A. YOU are financially responsible for all equipment and pieces thereof that you check out as soon as you leave Equipment Checkout. When you sign for equipment, you are acknowledging that it is fully functioning, undamaged, and that all parts are there. You are required to thoroughly inspect and test each piece of equipment. Call to the attention of the equipment room staff any defects, dents, dings, missing parts, etc. and ensure that these are noted on your Loan Agreement. It is the responsibility of the person whose shoot it is to ensure that anyone who is helping them test equipment does indeed properly test and notify staff of discrepancies. If you do not check equipment before you leave or do not notify staff of issues with equipment, and it is broken or missing upon return, you are responsible for repair or replacement. Staff will not conduct an inventory because you think you did not receive an item. The time to discover problems – for example, if you are missing an item or something is damaged - is at checkout. Once your leave, you are responsible for the items on your paperwork. This applies to everyone, including faculty or TAs checking out equipment for classes or labs. We have made it easy. There are boxes for you to use to initial which items you have checked and there is a description of each item so you know what to look for. If you do not understand what you should be looking for, ask questions before you leave. NO EXCEPTIONS. CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT BEFORE YOU LEAVE. When you return your equipment the equipment room staff will inspect it carefully and call to your attention any suspected damage or missing parts. ALL equipment that is checked out will be inspected upon check in whether you used it or not.


B. The U.T. equipment insurance policy is limited in coverage. Like all insurance policies, there are deductibles and situations that may not be covered. The deductible is $2,500.00 per occurrence. This means that if you damage or lose equipment worth more than $2,500, you must pay AT LEAST $2,500. You are required to pay the $2,500 deductible immediately.


If equipment is stolen from you, you are required to file a Police report with the proper law enforcement agency where the theft occurred within 24 hours of the theft.


You are required to file a claim with U.T.ʼs insurance company FIRST, no matter how many insurance policies you file under.


C. Equipment should be safeguarded at all times. No equipment may be left (stored) in an unattended vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle is locked, equipment concealed, nor whether the vehicle is stored in a condition the user considers "secure". The Department considers the storage of University-owned equipment in any vehicle an unnecessary risk. If equipment is lost or stolen from a vehicle, the department will reveal this information to both the governing police authorities investigating the loss and our insurance provider: In the event that the insurance provider denies a claim wherein the equipment was lost or stolen from an unattended vehicle, the borrower's liability for the deductible only may no longer be binding, as he or she will have willfully neglected the rule.


No equipment may be stored in an office or classroom or studio or other University facility other than Equipment Checkout. Equipment left unattended may not be covered by insurance in the event of a loss. If you are shooting in an RTF Studio over multiple days, make sure you secure the equipment and never leave the most valuable items, camera and sound equipment, overnight. The Department considers the storage of University-owned equipment in any campus location other than Equipment Checkout to be an unnecessary risk. In the event that the insurance provider denies a claim wherein the equipment was left unattended, the borrower's liability for “only” the deductible may no longer be binding, as he or she will have willfully neglected the rule.


There is a fine for leaving equipment unattended. If we find your equipment lying around anywhere on campus, including unsecured studios and editing rooms, we will take the equipment into custody and lock it up. The fine is $12 per item. We will immediately bill the person who signed for the equipment’s “What I Owe” account.


D. You are responsible for knowing the safe operation of all equipment you check out. Do not check out equipment that you do not know how to use. Some equipment can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Ask your instructor and/or TA for additional instruction. The equipment room staff does not ordinarily have time to train you thoroughly during your checkout appointment, but if there is a safety concern, we will be glad to help. DO NOT PUT HEAVY CAMERAS ON TRIPODS NOT DESIGNED TO HOLD THEIR WEIGHT. If you are unsure about which tripod to use, ask us. Please do not use personal tripods with our equipment. They most likely are not designed to hold the weight of the cameras we have. Do not use non-compatible equipment together.

* WE HAVE EXPERIENCED TOO MANY GENERATOR-RELATED LOSSES, SO GENERATOR USE REQUIRES APPROVAL OF RTF STAFF 10 days in advance of your shoot.  A 60 Hz Synch Generator is required if you are planning on powering HMI lights. RTF requires HMIs with magnetic ballast use a crystal synch generator. If crystal sync generators are not available, MPE in Austin has EU6500is and EU700is generators that can be used with electronic ballast HMIs - ONLY WITH APPROVAL OF RTF STAFF.  Realize that even if a generator IS Crystal Synch, damage can still be done. You are responsible for damage. Improper use of generators can result in loss of equipment/facilities privileges.


E. You are responsible for knowing the operating hours of equipment checkout - 8AM-4PM MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. If you have questions about RTF Checkout, please ask RTF Checkout. Do not rely on anyone else including your instructor, TA, or classmates. If you have questions about your assignments, ask your instructor or TA not Equipment Checkout. You are responsible for obtaining the correct information from the correct source.


F. You are expected to be present during your check-in. This is your only opportunity to witness how your equipment is inspected and tested, to explain damages or missing items, and to ask questions. You are welcome to have someone act as your representative at check-in if you cannot be present. If all equipment is returned in satisfactory condition, you will be given a receipt. If all equipment is not returned in satisfactory condition, you will be given an itemized list of missing parts and/or damages noted in lieu of a receipt. A follow-up email will be sent explaining what is missing and what is damaged. If missing parts are located and returned, you will be given a receipt noting the return. Note that there may still be fines associated with a late return. See Section XII.


G. Return all equipment the way you received it. Cables and wires should be neatly coiled and wrapped. Return our cable ties or we will bill you for them. Tape should be removed from cables and other equipment. Slates should be clean. Pieces of grass, fake blood, clumps of dirt and mud and other foreign matter should be removed from equipment. You will be asked to clean or coil equipment that is not in acceptable condition during your check in. If you are not present or if you elect not to clean and coil, you will be billed $2.50 per cable/extension cord for coiling, tape removal, or sticky residue removal.


Dust removal from sensitive equipment will be billed at $25/hour. Wet fabric, including sandbags and butterfly kits, will be billed at $8/item.

Other repairs will be billed at the rate of $25.00 per hour if done at U.T. If sent away for repair, charges from the repair facility, whatever they may be, will be passed on to the student.


In the case of damaged equipment, Derek Young will determine if the damage is a result of normal wear and tear. If he believes it is not, he will determine if the item can be repaired, and if so, if it can be repaired here or if it needs to be sent away for repair. His decision is final. If he is unable to determine the cause of damage, the equipment will be sent to the proper repair facility for evaluation. Their decision is final.


H. Equipment Users are responsible for knowing ALL “Rules” contained herein and adhering to them. NO EXCUSES. Do not rely on urban legend and advice from fellow students, TAs or faculty. Read the rules yourself. Speak with us directly if you have questions. 512-471-6565


I. You are responsible for packing equipment in accordance with the instructions, if any, that are printed on your Loan Agreement or inside the equipment case, if any. These instructions have been posted to protect the equipment.


J. You are responsible for heeding the warnings printed on the Loan Agreement Form.


K. You are responsible for meeting all deadlines published in this document. See attached document “deadlines”


L. Students are responsible for adhering to the Student Honor Code and the University Code of Conduct.

Student Honor Code

As a student of The University of Texas at Austin, I shall abide by the core values of the University and uphold academic integrity.

University Code of Conduct

The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the university is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.

N. You are responsible for knowing when and where required training is held and obtaining this training, if applicable.



You are enrolled for a particular semester, therefore you CANNOT check out equipment until the semester begins AND you have completed required paperwork (see Section II).

You cannot use equipment after the semester ends or between semesters even if equipment is sitting idle. You are paying tuition for a semester and for access to equipment to complete your class work for a particular RTF class. When the semester ends (see Rule 18b for exact days this semester) your access to equipment ends; EVEN IF YOU HAVE NOT “FINISHED” YOUR PROJECT. Get your work done on time. EQUIPMENT CHECKOUT AND RTF FACILITIES ARE CLOSED BETWEEN SEMESTERS.

ALL PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT (CAMERAS LIGHTING, GRIP) MUST HAVE A CHECK-IN APPOINTMENT OF NO LATER THAN May 5, 2017. You must have an appointment scheduled. You cannot simply hold on to equipment until this date.) 


If you do not return equipment as scheduled, your records will be BARRED immediately for the dollar value of the equipment. Late Fines will apply.



There is no provision for lengthy checkouts. Generally speaking, 1-week maximum and all other circumstances shall be considered exceptional, requiring the approval of BOTH the class instructor and the Equipment Manager. Pre-Thesis and Thesis Checkouts can be longer. GRADS – pay attention to the number of shooting days allotted in the MFA Handbook! It is YOUR responsibility to know this.


If you suddenly discover that you need to keep your equipment longer you may request an extension.

By their nature, "extensions" of equipment can be complicated. We realize that at times it will be convenient for a student to keep UP TO 20 ITEMS of equipment for a day or two longer rather than scheduling a new checkout and check-in. "Extensions" can save us time as well. However, they can deprive other students of equipment. Here is the way to request an "extension" of your checkout. Send an email to as soon as you know that you need an extension BUT no fewer than 24 hours before your scheduled check-in.

Requests for extensions with less than 24 hours’ notice are not likely to be approved.

1. In your email state the reason for the extension, the date and time you propose extending to, and which 20 items you wish to extend.

2. You will receive an email response approving or denying your extension. If you do not receive a reply, your equipment is due back as scheduled.

3. Keep in mind that some items may have been previously reserved and may not be able to be "extended". Items that cannot be extended are due back at the original time.

4. "Extensions" may not be longer than 48 hours beyond the original due date.

5. Back-to-back extensions will rarely be approved.


Section XII: WHAT IF I AM LATE? WHAT IF I AM A “NO SHOW”?                                                                

    Equipment returned late can dramatically impact other students’ work. In order to reduce lateness, we have late penalties in the form of fines AND equipment access suspension. Keep in mind that you can receive a fine, equipment suspension, or both. Late fines are calculated on a 24 hour 7 day a week basis to remove incentive for people to keep equipment out for “an extra weekend”, thereby depriving possibly several people of equipment during prime production periods. The late fine is $.50 PER HOUR PER ITEM and higher for some key items. *NOTE: This fee accumulates over weekends, holidays, and other time periods even when Equipment Checkout is CLOSED.


Late fines for driving away with our parking permit $10. Per hour. There is a 15-minute grace period for this fine.

There is a $10. an hour fine for the late return of cameras and sound recording devices and the media that are used with them. These items are due at the beginning of your check-in. There is a 15-minute grace period for this fine.


      Once equipment is late, even if it is later reported lost or stolen, you still owe a late fine. The late fine will be calculated up to the time you reported the item lost or stolen. You will also owe the cost of the missing equipment. While this may seem cruel, the purpose is to prevent someone who owes a huge late fine from “losing” the equipment in order to dodge the late fine payment. Remember, you are required to report lost or stolen equipment immediately. Late Fines will be billed to your “What I Owe” immediately.


In addition to fines, the following penalties exist:

•1st offense - written warning

•2nd offense - barred from using equipment and facilities for two weeks

•3rd offense - barred from using equipment and facilities until AFTER the next long semester

**In the event that someone is more than 24 hours late (weekends and holidays count as part of your 24    hours) returning equipment, the second late penalty will go into effect.

*This policy is necessary to deter people from keeping equipment that is due in on Friday out over the next weekend, when other students likely have the equipment reserved.

***After a student is more than 48 hours late, the student may be referred to Student Judicial Services for disciplinary action.

*Student Judicial Services considers the late return of reserved items to be a form of Scholastic Dishonesty because it deprives others of materials they need to complete their course work on time.

Keep in mind that these penalties apply to the duration of your enrollment in the RTF program. This means that you only get only 1 “official” warning.

It is not relevant whether someone else wanted or needed the item. If it is late, then a late fine applies.


B. Equipment users who are more than two business hours late for a checkout appointment who have not notified Equipment Checkout via email to will be considered “No Shows”. The fine for being a “No Show” is $1.00 per item up to $25 total “No Show” fine per incident. Please cancel reservations you no longer need at least 2 business hours in advance so that other users can access the equipment and the appointment time.



A. In-Field transfers of equipment should be considered a last resort for rare situations when one user needs to use equipment checked-out by another, at a time when Equipment Checkout is closed and it is not possible to have the equipment properly checked-in before passing to the next user. No more than five items may be transferred during an in-field transfer. Not 5 per paper- 5 total.

RESTRICTED ITEMS SUCH AS: JIB, VECTOR DOLLY, HAZER, ALEXA, F3, F5, PL mount lenses, and 35MM cameras cannot be field transferred without advanced written approval of the equipment room staff.

You may only transfer items to a person who is authorized to have them. For example, you cannot transfer a Jib to a 366K student. The person must be in a class that is normally allowed to use the equipment.

The person who originally signed for the equipment is responsible for Damage/Loss/Theft/Late Return if he/she fails to use a transfer form to properly transfer the equipment.

The person who receives the transferred equipment is responsible for returning the equipment when it is due. Follow the instructions on the form. You sign when the transfer takes place, not before. The transferring party is responsible for returning the original white copy to Equipment Checkout within 72 hours of the transfer. You can obtain the form in Equipment Checkout, HSM 2.102 or online. If you get the form online, you must print 3 copies


B. No person may check out equipment for another person UNLESS that person is part of a group assigned by the production faculty member to work together on a project for that particular production class. TAs may check out equipment for their assigned faculty member or class and lab demonstrations.




A. You have 48 hours to return missing equipment or parts. After 48 hours have passed, you owe us for the equipment or parts. RTF will bill your "What I owe" page. Once a bill has appeared in the What I Owe page, you may pay it in the following ways:

• Pay on the Web using your credit card. Go to the What I Owe page and log in with your UT EID and password.

• Pay in person using cash or check. Payments are accepted in Equipment Checkout, HSM 2.102. Only pay Linda in HSM 2.102, or Lauren in HSM 2.102 because these are the only people who can remove the charge from your “What I owe”.


If you do not pay the amount on your “What I Owe” in a timely fashion, it will turn into a Financial Bar. A Financial Bar can cause you to be dropped from your class, will prevent you from adding or dropping a class, will not allow you to get your diploma, will not allow you to get your transcript. It may cause your scholarship money to be delayed. It may cause issues with your Financial Aid.


Refunds for payments for lost or missing parts cannot be given once your check has been cashed/credit card charged even if the item is subsequently found. You have 48 hours to return the item(s).


B. No equipment will be checked out to people who owe money for lost, stolen, missing, or damaged equipment. No additional equipment will be checked out to a user until all equipment from previous check- out(s) is returned or paid for. ALL members of a group assigned equipment for a collaborative project will share responsibility. Each group member must be clear of financial obligations for the group to be eligible to check out equipment. Moreover, any equipment damage incurred will be billed equally to each group member. All names will be entered on the electronic reservation form. The signature of the person who performs the checkout for the group will bind all group members.

C. Classes and labs are considered “group projects”. Items lost or damaged in lab will be billed equally to all members of the class and the TA unless the person responsible for the loss/damage can be identified.


D. The RTF Department will make ALL purchases of replacement equipment. This is to ensure we get the correct product that actually works.



A. The Technical Staff is responsible for making all repairs. DO NOT attempt repairs, cleanings of cameras or electronic equipment, lubrications, adjustments firmware or operating system upgrades, or alterations of any kind. If you "repair” or alter equipment in any way, or damage equipment by “cleaning” it, or by altering software, you may be required to pay for an entire piece of equipment. DO NOT TOUCH CAMERA SENSORS. DO NOT USE CANNED AIR ON CAMERA SENSORS OR CAMERA LENSES. Canned air can crack a sensor and leave damaging residue on lenses. DO NOT USE RUBBING ALCOHOL on our equipment. If you are having difficulty with any equipment, telephone us. We may be able to help you over the telephone. Save yourself both money and grief. NEVER, under any circumstances, use glue on our equipment, even if you think this might repair the equipment so that you can continue shooting. Glue usually causes additional damage in the long run. USE OF GLUE could result in suspension of ALL access to equipment in the future.


B. You are required to notify the RTF Department at 512-471-6565 immediately if you believe that your equipment is not functioning correctly or has been damaged, lost, or stolen. Our answering machines record messages 24 hours a day. Our insurance company requires that a claim be filed within 48 hours of the loss or damage, so it is important to notify us immediately.  Please help us help you by reporting problems rapidly. The sooner we know about it the sooner we can fix it!


C. Failure to report lost or damaged equipment will be construed as an attempt to conceal the loss of or damage to the equipment and can result in you being barred from checking out equipment in the future for a time period determined by the RTF Department. It is your responsibility to immediately bring to the attention of the person checking in equipment any loss or possible damage.



1. Infractions of the Equipment Checkout Rules may result in referral to Dean of Students Office for investigation of Scholastic Dishonesty in addition to RTF Department disciplinary penalties, which may range from a written warning to complete and total suspension of all access to equipment and facilities.

1a. Appeals of disciplinary action taken by Dean of Students Office must be appealed to the Dean of Students Office in accordance with their appeals policy.


2. Equipment suspensions are immediate, may be either permanent or temporary, and may be for some or ALL equipment and facilities controlled by RTF.


3. Appeals of equipment suspensions are made to the Chair in writing within three business days. Appeals will be responded to in writing within three business days of receipt.


4. The RTF Department will not reimburse a student for time lost while the student was suspended from using equipment or facilities.


5. The Department of Radio, Television and Film is NOT responsible for losses related to non-functioning or malfunctioning equipment or operator error.


6. In order to help you protect RTF equipment, you must obtain written approval from RTF Technical Staff before using RTF equipment with rented, borrowed, or home made equipment (any third party equipment). This applies specifically when you are using that equipment with RTF equipment. Please allow three (3) business days for approval. Some examples we need to know about are:

*When our equipment will be used on a car mount or jib.

*When other lenses or magazines will be used with our cameras

*When our magazines or lenses will be used with rented cameras.

Contact Linda Cavage, Lauren Castro or Derek Young in Equipment Checkout at least three (3) business days prior to your rental with details about what you want to do, so that RTF can help you achieve your goals while keeping our equipment safe.


7. User of equipment is solely responsible for charges or claims regarding property damage and/or injury resulting from the use of this equipment.

7a. User of equipment ("User") understands he/she may be held responsible for judgments or settlements that result from a lawsuit brought by a third party, such as a crew member or actor on the student's film, should injury or death result from User's actions such as improper supervision, or other intentional or negligent acts.


8. User is solely responsible for collecting Release and Indemnity Forms from each crew member. User is solely responsible for collecting from each crew member Medical Release Forms, & Travel forms when film project travels outside a 25-mile radius of the main UT Austin campus. Additional forms may be required at the Facility Manager’s discretion.


9. Any injuries on your shoot requiring medical attention must be reported to your instructor and the Assistant Director of Production Services, Keefe Boerner ( within 24 hours of the incident. There is a form in checkout and on the RTF website that must be filled out and returned to the Assistant Director of Production Services as soon as possible.


10. If Police, Fire, or Ems are called to your shoot, you must report this to the Assistant Director of Production Services, Keefe Boerner within 24 hours.



Special safety precautions for your crew, actors and others in the area are required if you are undertaking any hazardous activities while filming, including but not limited to ANY driving or horseback/livestock shots, shooting in or around water or heights, or if you are using stunts, flames, pyrotechnics, squibs or simulated weapons.  Please note that unlicensed handguns and other real weapons are never permitted in RTF studios or on location shoots.  In addition, you must follow all federal, state and local laws and the rules of any venue or location at which you are filming regarding hazardous activities, including University of Texas at Austin rules if filming is done on campus.


Student filmmakers must submit a detailed safety plan to their course instructor and the Assistant Director-Production Services if a script or project involves driving or horseback/livestock shots, shooting in or around water or heights, stunts, flames, pyrotechnics, squibs, weapons or any other hazardous activities (this requirement applies to all shoots, including documentary projects, but please see the special guidelines for documentary driving shots below).  It is the responsibility of the student to hire experts in the field and budget at least $600/day for expert consultation and on-set supervision if, in the judgment of the class instructor and the Assistant Director-Production Services, such expert consultation or supervision is necessary.  In addition, any utilization of pyrotechnics on the University of Texas at Austin campus requires prior review and approval through the Fire Prevention Services office by the University Fire Marshal or their designee.


Students should understand that driving while filming will be permitted only in strictly limited circumstances, such as on a private road or drive.  In most circumstances, students who wish to undertake driving shots will be required to arrange for a police escort and a city permit.  Monitors inside the vehicle will NOT be allowed while filming in a vehicle.  Filming from the back of trucks is not considered safe and is not permitted under any circumstances. 


Documentary filming of an interview while the interview subject is driving is only permitted if the cameraperson is secured in a seat belt and is not directing the driver of the car in any way, besides engaging in a conversation in which the driver/interviewee has been informed not to look at the camera or the interviewer at all during the interview.  In addition, any filming from a vehicle, for drive-by B-roll, must be done by a cameraperson secured in a seat belt, where the driver is not being directed in any way by the director, so that they are driving as they normally would.  As noted above, any documentary student planning on filming in any vehicle must submit a safety plan to their course instructor and the Assistant Director-Production Services.

Students who fail to comply with this policy will receive a failing grade in this class and will be barred from future access to RTF production and post-production equipment and facilities.


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