Equipment

One of our core services is to provide members of the Brandeis community with audio and video equipment for film shoots and classroom projects. Our equipment is free to borrow; however, patrons must have a valid Brandeis ID card to borrow it. In addition, some of our items require certification to use (see below).

Equipment Levels:

We offer a wide range of audio and video equipment, spread across three levels. The general access policy is listed below:

Level I general access—no certification required
Level II restricted access—must pass a Level II certification exam
Level III restricted access—must pass a Level III certification exam and must have already passed the Level II certification exam

Loans/Returns:

All Level I equipment can be borrowed on a first-come, first-served basis whenever the Getz Multimedia Lab is open. For all levels, you must have your Brandeis ID to check out equipment. Unless otherwise specified by our staff, equipment circulates for a period of 3 days, after which it must be returned.

Loaned equipment cannot be taken out-of-state without prior authorization from the lab supervisor.

1. Pickup & Return Times

Level I equipment can be returned at any time when the lab is open. Level II and Level III equipment must be returned between the times of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday - Friday. Level II and Level III equipment returned outside these times will not be accepted.

In addition, all Level II and Level III equipment must be picked up between the times of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday - Friday. If you absolutely cannot pick up your equipment at these times, you must coordinate with the lab supervisor or student manager to arrange another time. Alternately, you can appoint a proxy (see Proxies, below).

Equipment must only be left with Getz Lab employees. If the lab is closed when you arrive, or no one is at the staff desk, please do not leave your items with the library staff. Doing so will result in a strike for neglect of equipment, in addition to another strike if the item is late.

2. Equipment Inspections

All equipment, ingoing and outgoing, must undergo a formal inspection by our staff. If you are borrowing equipment, a staff member will make note of the item's condition. If you are returning equipment, a staff member will determine if any parts are missing or any damage has been done. Please allow 5 minutes upon borrowing equipment and 5-10 minutes upon returning equipment to complete this process.

When borrowing equipment, it is the responsibility of the patron to ensure that the equipment inspection has been performed. If an inspection is not completed, the patron will be liable for any and all mechanical problems and/or missing parts.

3. Partial Returns, Damage, and Lateness

Most of our items have a unique barcode and can be returned independently of other loaned items. However, any partial returns (e.g. a camera without a charger, a Zoom recorder without headphones) will not be accepted. In the case of a partial return, you can choose to leave the item(s) with us until the missing parts are found, but you will continue to accrue fines for that item until all parts are returned.

If an item is returned damaged, and the equipment inspection deems you liable, you are expected to either purchase a new item or pay for the repairs for that item. These fines are not charged through your library account; you are expected to pay them out-of-pocket. If you fail to pay for the damage, Student Affairs will be notified. All equipment damage results in one strike; failure or delinquency to pay for that damage may result in additional strikes. We expect repairs/replacements to be made as soon as is reasonable.

Failure to return an item on time will result in one strike. You will receive additional strikes for each reminder-email until the item is returned. If you believe your fine is undeserved, you may contact us at getz (at) brandeis.edu; however, you will still continue to accrue fines during this time if the item has not been returned.

When borrowing our higher-end equipment, we recommend you purchase insurance (just one of our cameras might cost you up to $5000 if broken!). Production insurance, which covers you for up to $15,000, is typically a good deal, especially if you have been approved to use our equipment for an extended period of time. You can get insurance from College Student Insurance or National Student Services, Inc..

4. Carelessness

It is expected that all items are returned in the same state as they were checked out. Please coil all cables neatly and make sure all batteries are inside their respective devices. All accessories should be in their original bags, and items should never be half-assembled. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in a strike.

5. Proxies

Sometimes it is impossible or impractical for a patron to return or borrow an item in person. In these situations, a proxy may be appointed. Proxies have the following limitations:

  • They must have been previously appointed on the reservation form (if picking up equipment) or must be phoned in (if returning equipment)
  • They must be approved by a staff member

If your proxy does not satisfy all of the above conditions, we will not loan out or accept a returned item from them. When checking out equipment, it is your responsibility to entrust the proxy with your ID card, as we will not check out equipment to the proxy.

6. Reservations

Level I equipment can only be reserved on a same-day basis. Items will be held until the Getz Lab closes. If a patron fails to pick up a reserved item by the end of the day, and fails to cancel the reservation, he or she will be given one strike.

All Level II and Level III equipment must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance. As with Level I equipment, failure to pick up equipment on the specified day will result in a strike. Due to limited inventory, not all reservations will be approved.

Equipment requested after 4 PM on Friday may not be ready for pickup before 4 PM on Monday, so please plan ahead for weekend shoots.

7. Renewals

Level II and Level III equipment can often be borrowed for longer than the 3-day default, but generally cannot be renewed. Level I equipment, on the other hand, can be renewed by submitting a request via our website. Unless a renewal request is approved, the item must be returned on the original date, or you will be fined. If we have not responded to your request for a renewal, you should assume the answer is "no".

If you require an item for longer, and have previously been granted a renewal, you must contact the lab supervisor personally to discuss your case. Please prepare a list of the dates you plan on shooting and a written project proposal before contacting the lab supervisor.

We do not loan out equipment for extended periods of time. If you would like equipment for the semester, please purchase your own (we typically order from B&H Photo/Video).

Equipment Certification:

Equipment certification is achieved through the attendance of group classes, followed by an exam. Patrons who have been certified in a prior semester do not need to be recertified in subsequent semesters.

1. Classes

There will be approximately 6 classes per semester, scheduled every two weeks. Each of these classes is approximately 90 minutes and supports a maximum of 8 people. Attendance is determined via a sign-up sheet available on our website; if no one signs up for a particular class, that class will be canceled. These classes are available both as an instructive session for new patrons and as a refresher course for previously-certified patrons.

Walk-ins are welcome for all classes, provided that space is available. If a patron fails to attend a class for which he or she has signed up, he or she will receive one strike.

2. Exams

At the end of a class, patrons must demonstrate competency by passing an exam. This exam will cover usage of the equipment, how to pack up equipment, etc. If a patron fails to pass the exam, they must attend that class again prior to receiving certification.

Passing an exam results in certification for that level of equipment. Certifications are not transferable. If you are working in a group, each member of that group must pass the certification exam individually. Violation of this policy will result in one strike.

Patrons already familiar with our equipment may opt to test out of one or both certification classes. In this case, they must schedule an exam with the lab supervisor. If a patron fails to pass the test-out exam, they are required to attend a class prior to taking the exam again.

3. Exceptions

Patrons currently attending film classes at Brandeis may be able to obtain certification via in-class training. If your professor requires the use of Level II or Level III equipment, please have them contact the Getz Lab to schedule a training session.

If a patron requires Level II equipment on short notice, they may be permitted one "free pass", in which:

  • The patron is permitted to borrow the equipment once without certification
  • The patron receives limited one-on-one equipment instruction at the time of check-out
  • The patron agrees to attend the next available certification class for Level II equipment

If a patron uses the free pass, he or she must attend the next available certification class for Level II equipment. If they do not attend the next available class, they will not be able to check out additional Level II equipment, and will receive one strike.

Usage of the free pass is subject to approval by the lab supervisor or student manager. The free pass applies only to Level II equipment and may be denied to any patron.


Equipment List:

Most of our equipment is available in kits, but individual items can be requested. A list of our most commonly-used items is available on our website.

Level I

Canon Vixia
Zoom H2
Basic Tripod
Microphone Kit
Flash Drive (4-8 GB)*
Hard Drive*
SD Card Reader*
MIDI Keyboard*

* available in-lab only

Level II

Canon DSLR
Nikon DLSR
Panasonic HPX
Specialty Audio Kit
LED Lighting Kit
Shoulder Mount

Level III

Panasonic AF-100
Lens Kit
Halogen Lighting Kit
Lighting Accessories
Video Monitor
Green Screen
Wireless Lav Microphone (set of 2)
Steadicam
Crane
Slider
Dolly