Each production gets a certain amount of equipment that I suppose someone deemed was enough to make a film. This is a standard package that has the camera, big and little sticks, dolly, dolly track, assortment of lights, sandbags, apple boxes, c-stands, light stands, tarps, frames, sound blankets, gels, and miscellaneous grip gack ((Grip gack is an assortment of random parts to mount lights and other objects to almost any surface, such as walls and pipes.)). If you want anything more, such as a steadicam or ubangi, then you have to request it from the Equipment Room (ER).
As is standard with all real world productions, we have to check-in and check-out the equipment for each show. For a feature film, this takes about a week or two. For us, we have about two hours.
The truck is completely unloaded and each department handles their equipment. The ACs (Assistant Camera) build the camera, sound builds the boom, and G&E completely empties the truck and lays out all the equipment. Someone from the ER comes by with a checklist and checks in the gear from the previous show, and then checks it out to the new one.
Everything must be tested to make sure it works. Each light is plugged in, every lens is attached to the camera and focused. If there’s a problem it needs to be caught now before you’re on set and it really becomes an issue. You also don’t want to get a broken piece of equipment and then get blamed for breaking it. “It was already like that,” doesn’t fly.
For some reason, some people decide to show up late to check-out, or not at all. This is not a good habit to have.
I had two check-ins Friday because the two shows I was on last weekend had two different grip trucks. The first check-in had about 3 people show up. The second one had all 6. I kind of liked the second one more.