Cinema Lighting

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The Media Production Center Lighting Equipment Cage is located in the 1600 S State building, Room 120.
Phone is (312) 369-6335.
The space is supervised by Anthony Santiago.

Hours of Operation

Day Hours Notes
Monday 9am-5pm
Tuesday 12pm-6pm
Wednesday 9am-5pm
Thursday 9am-5pm
Friday Closed
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Equipment Reservations

Equipment must be reserved on

After reserving your equipment, call the cage and schedule a pick up time with a cage employee. Please keep in mind that not all equipment is available to certain class levels.
If you would like to check out additional equipment, please talk to a cage employee for approval.
If your equipment request is not approved, please contact Tony Santiago for more information or if you have questions regarding the process.

Lighting Packages

We offer three different lighting packages. Access to them depends on your qualifications and your current enrollment. Please see below for more information on what lighting package you are qualified for, as well as the items in each package. Please inquire at the Lighting Equipment Center if you have more questions.

Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
Directing the Character Cinematography 1 Cinematography 2
Directing the Micro Feature Cinema Directing 2 Cinema Directing 3
Doc General Directing the Drama Digital Cinema (Small Project)
Doc Unit Grad Independent Project Graduate Thesis
Experimental Production 2 Independent Project: Cinema for the Reel Independent Project: Cinema for the Reel
Independent Project Scene Study Practicum

Here is a PDF file of the contents of each light package tiers.

Equipment Prep

Equipment prep is an essential part of your checkout. Please come in at your pickup time and check your equipment to make sure that all your requested equipment is there and properly working. If there are any problems, our team will help to address this problem and find a solution. Sometimes the equipment you want is not always available, so coming in for prep gives our staff the opportunity to best accommodate your needs. Our highest priority at the cage is to help the students, but if we do not feel comfortable with the conditions of your checkout, i.e where you’re shooting, what you’re doing with the equipment, how you’re transporting the equipment, we retain the right to deny your checkout.

Cancellation Policy

Please cancel your reservation on Film Scheduler and then call the Cage to cancel your checkout time. Please let the Cage know as soon as possible so other productions can have access to the previously reserved gear.

Equipment returns

On the day of your checkout, please talk to one of the employees to schedule your return time. It is essential that you be ontime for your return or let the Cage know if you are not going to be able to make your return time. If you are late for your return, the other scheduled returns have priority and your return may have to be on standby until there is an opening.

Rental Agreement

You are required to sign a rental agreement that states “The undersigned acknowledges receiving the listed equipment in good condition and accepts full liability for damage or loss including concealed or unreported damage discovered after return.”

Damage and Loss

Please let one of the employees know if there is a damaged item upon returning your equipment. Natural wear-and-tear on items is completely normal and you will not be charged if a piece of equipment fails. Please just let us know when this happens so we can correct the issue.
In severe cases please notify the Cage as soon as possible.
If theft has occurred, please contact Tony Santiago and file a police report immediately.
If an item is lost or irreplaceably damaged, you will be charged for the value of that item for its replacement. Please contact Tony Santiago to address the situation.

Account Holds

Loss of items or failure to return items will affect your ability to checkout equipment in the future. Failure to return your equipment on time may also result in a hold being placed on your account. Please talk to Tony Santiago or your department head to discuss a solution.


Columbia College doesn’t support the use of their resources for paid work or outside school productions. Please contact the Cinema Arts and Television Chair if you wish to pursue a request.

Media Production Center - Space Request

If you’re interested in pursuing a request for the use of Stage 1 or Stage 2, please see below for the application. If you have questions, please contact Tony Santiago.

1. A brief one- to two-paragraph description of the project (this can be in the body of the email or a separate attachment, whichever makes the most sense to your project).

2. A copy of the script (most recent draft, though we assume things might still be in rewrites) or in the case of documentaries, a synopsis, treatment and/or detailed proposal that clearly identifies content, approach and style. HIGHLIGHT those sections of the script to be shot in the MPC.

3. A proposed budget for the entire project (not just a total cost of production but a minimal degree of itemization of projected costs). Please indicate the percentage of the budget for which you have funding in hand.

4. A proposed schedule (including when you plan to load in, build sets, shoot, strike sets, load out) for the specific shoot; if this is a larger production, a schedule for the entire project is helpful as well, especially if you anticipate needing equipment for future shoots, and if that's the case, please try to give approximate shooting windows for those production dates also. Please note that the MPC hour is Monday-Friday 7-10, Saturday 8-5 closed on Sunday.

5. A crew list (crew positions and if possible the names of anyone already assigned to fill those -- we're particularly interested in the names of key personnel, like producer, director, screenwriter, PD, DP, PM, Mixer, etc.) as well as the specific names of people who will be handling or using the equipment. For crews that are a mix of current Columbia faculty/students and outside people (including alumni), please clearly indicate who is currently a student, who is currently Columbia staff, who is currently Columbia faculty, who is Columbia alumni and who is an outside “hire.” For current Columbia College students, staff and faculty, please identify their majors or home departments next to their names. Please note that your production might be shut down if your crew list doesn't match your call sheet.

6. A list of equipment that you're requesting access to as part of this request.

7. If this is for class credit, please identify the class name, course number and instructor. Please ask the instructor to email me a letter verifying the parameters of the project and making a recommendation as to its viability and need for this facility.

8. Please make note of whether this project may require the presence of additional security or facility staff. Please be advised that the need for additional security or facility staff may accrue costs that you will be responsible for.

Please allow 2 weeks for the Chair’s office to review the request and consult (with the potential of follow-up communications with you to clarify any points of the request that we might need more information on). If authorized, it can take another week to determine facility availability and finalize reservations.

PLEASE NOTE that this above process -- applying for the Chair's Office authorization of the project -- is the first step for approval. If approved/authorized by the Chair's Office, this means simply that your project is eligible to use Department facilities. Date availability, scheduling and final authorization for use will need to be secured by the facility's administrator and is subject to all the standard college, department, facility and equipment policies and procedures. The materials for projects that have been authorized by the Chair’s Office will be forwarded to the facility’s administrator and other pertinent reviewers, but they may require additional information before making a final determination of approval.