Studio Facilities Safety

Learn industry-standard safety guidelines for shooting on a soundstage

Studio Facilities Safety

Developed by Jason Tomaric, FilmSkills
When you’re shooting a movie, you shoot either on a soundstage, or on location. Use of a well-designed sound stage has many advantages over shooting on location; it is a space designed from top to bottom to accommodate the requirements of film and video production, it is sound proof, has a tall ceiling, provides the ability to light from a grid of pipe or truss above the set, provides sufficient electricity to power lighting equipment as well as other departments. Some even have built-in dimming capability via a dimmer room controlled from a lighting control console. Many sound stages feature large elephant doors to facilitate moving tall sets and equipment in and out. A sound stage also provides heating, air conditioning and ventilation, which we take for granted, the lack of which can pose a serious challenge on location shoots. These features make a sound stage convenient, and they also make it a safer workplace.

Although sound stages are built to accommodate production, they have their own safety concerns.  In this module we will discuss emergency preparedness, fire safety regulations, and elements of an Emergency Action Plan. We will also identify some of the hazards associated with overhead work, and dimmer rooms.  We’ll provide guidelines to avoid harm from these hazards.  Every facility has its own specific rules and safety procedures, so remember to always follow the rules and guidelines when working at a soundstage to maintain a safe, productive work environment.
  • 19:42 video that highlights guidelines for working on a soundstage
  • Illustrated companion guide
  • Downloadable on-set reference guide
  • Emergency preparedness when working on a soundstage
  • Fire safety rules
  • How to develop an emergency action plan
  • How to safely engage in overhead work
  • How to work around dimmer rooms
Jason Tomaric

Jason Tomaric

Director, Cinematographer Los Angeles, California
Jason J. Tomaric is an Emmy, Telly, and CINE Award-winning director and cinematographer of four internationally-distributed feature films, dozens of national television commercials, music videos, and the largest film training content library in the world, published author of 8 books - used in many top universities, and creator of, an industry-changing learning management platform. 
Jason has worked in Los Angeles and around the world in over 20 countries. His clients include Disney, NBC/Universal, National Geographic, McDonald’s, Toyota, Scion, Microsoft, and Paul Mitchell, with narrative work screened at Sundance, Slamdance, and South by Southwest film festivals as well as on Netflix and on all broadcast networks.
Jason has taught and/or guest lectured at some of the nation's most prestigious film schools including UCLA, Columbia College, John Carroll University, Kent State University, San Francisco State, University of Notre Dame, and numerous film festivals.
Jason has written eight industry-defining books, all sold in bookstores, and used in film schools around the world. The American Society of Cinematographers hails Jason's books - "There are no wasted words in Tomaric's tome, which concisely summarizes each facet of the director's craft.  It's difficult to think of a step in the process that Tomaric fails to address." 
Jason’s DVD training series on Hollywood film production have trained filmmakers in over 40 countries, with distributors in Europe, Hong Kong, New York and Australia.
In 2010, Jason launched FilmSkills, which combines the world’s largest film training video library with his proprietary learning management system.  Adopted by 47 universities within the first year, FilmSkills is now the leading industry-standard training solution for motion picture and television production.
In 2015, Jason launched, an industry-changing learning management platform that bridges the gap between academia and industry.
Kingsley Benham

Kingsley Benham

West Hollywood, California FilmSkills
UPDATED ON 1/22/2016
Harry C. Box

Harry C. Box

Camera Operator, "Heroes," "Brothers and Sisters," and Author of "The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook"

Harry C. Box has worked in television and motion picture production since 1989. Over the years he has done substantial work as a lighting technician, gaffer, camera operator, director of photography, and as an educator. His recent credits include network and cable television series, such as "Heroes" (NBC), "Brothers and Sisters" (ABC), and "Everybody Hates Chris" (CW). He has worked on major motion pictures, independent feature films, telefilms, documentaries, music videos, commercials, and industrials. Harry has also written "The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook," now in its fourth edition.

Jason J. Tomaric

Jason J. Tomaric

Emmy-winning director/Cinematographer
Jason J.Tomaric is a multiple Emmy, Telly and CINE Award-winning director and cinematographer. With four feature films, sixty commercials, music videos and an educational DVD series on the market, Jason's approach to filmmaking has made for a successful, fulfilling career. Jason has worked in over 20 countries as a director and has taught at some of the nation's most prestigious film schools including UCLA and the New York Film Academy. Jason's book, "Filmmaking"(Focal Press) is available in bookstores worldwide.
Jason is also the creator of FilmSkills.
John Gresch

John Gresch

Vice President, ARRI Inc.'s Lighting Division
Based in Burbank,Calif., John Gresch serves as ARRI Inc.’s Vice President, Lighting Division. He has worked for ARRI for the past 20 years, initially heading sales efforts for the Western Division before being promoted to his current position. John is also an instructor of HMI lighting for IATSE 728 (Studio Lighting Technicians) Safety & Training program. He often lectures on lighting topics for union, trade, and educational groups. John is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.
Josh McLaglen

Josh McLaglen

Producer "X-Men," DGA Award Nominated 1st Assistant Director, "Titanic," "Avatar," "X-Men: First Class,” "The Polar Express," and "Real Steel"
Josh McLaglen graduated from UCLA in 1980 with a major in History.  After working with his father, director Andrew McLaglen, as a stuntman and a production assistant, he joined the DGA in 1984. He worked as a 2nd AD with his mentor Duncan Henderson on several films.  In 1987 he became a 1st AD on the TV mini series, AMERIKA, and his current film, REAL STEEL, marks Josh's 40th film as a First Assistant Director.  In 2002, he started working in a dual capacity as a Co-Producer/1st AD and now works as an Executive Producer/1st AD. Josh has had the pleasure of working with accomplished directors such as current DGA President: Taylor Hackford, as well as Robert Zemeckis, Francis Lawrence, Michael Bay, Shawn Levy and James Cameron.  He's been nominated twice for the DGA Award: AVATAR in 2009 and TITANIC which he won in 1997.  Josh is one of the industry's pioneers of the motion capture technology and has the distinct honor of having the two highest grossing films of all time: #1 (Avatar) and #2 (Titanic) on his resume.