Studio Facilities Safety Preview

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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
Very detailed. Excellent for homework assignments to let students watch at home.
   -  Daniel Levin,
       University of Houston