Prior to the Load-In
289
The usual list of things to confirm typically
includes:
•Whateveragreementsrequiringsignatureshave
been properly signed.
•Whateverfinancialarrangementsrequiring
additional forms or processing have been
processed. Any checks, bank accounts, credit
card numbers that need to be approved have
been provided and processed.
•Anyrepeatbilling(weekly,monthly,etc.)has
been confirmed and arranged for.
• Thedeliverydateandtime,address,contactname
and cell phone are on the invoice. Highlight this
item if any of the information is different than the
billing address and contact info, which it often is.
•Forlargerdeliveries,thepick-updateandtime
for any empties.
•Forone-offevents,thepick-updateandtimeare
on the invoice.
• Andlastbutnotleast,thebiggorillaintheroom
that has recently become important for lighting
rentals,theCertificateofInsurance(COI).
Certificate of Insurance
TheCOIisadocumentissuedbytheproducer’s(or
theatre’s) insurance company that lists one specific
vendor as the “lost payee.” This document is legally
binding proof that if the lighting rental package is
destroyed or somehow hurts someone, the producer’s
insurance policy will pay to replace the gear, and/or
assume the liability for anyone who got hurt by the
rental package. The lighting rental shop doesn’t have
to pay to replace the destroyed rig, and is absolved of
any liability if pieces of that rig hurt someone.
In these litigious days, many lighting rental shops
now insist that this document is in their possession
before the rental package will be released, and delivered
to the venue. Some shops want it more than 48 hours in
advance. While the Certificate of Insurance may often
be limited to the lighting rental shop, it should not be
excluded as a point of concern for any agreement involv-
ing borrowed or rented gear from any other source.
And thats the funny thing; each COI can only list
one “loss payee” on each issued certificate, and often each
certificate costs a fee. So if there are a lot of vendors ask-
ing for their own certificate, this can quickly add up to a
whole new line item in the budget. While the producer or
the general manager’s office should handle all of this, the
lighting designer needs to at least be aware of the implica-
tions. That way, when the lighting rental shop says to the
lighting designer, at the last minute: “we don’t have the
COI, so we cant release the package,” the next phone call
is to management to get this sorted out ASAP.
Beyond rental items, there are many other sources
for goods and gear to become involved in the light-
ing package. Their arrival at the theatre at the proper
time during the tech process may require a second or
third confirmation in order to be certain that they’re
included in the lighting package at the right time
requiring the least amount of crisis. Other vendors
worthy of this double-check might include:
•Anynewbetaproducts,orgeardirectlyonloan
from manufacturers.
•Drop-shippedcustomitems,suchascustom
gobos or gel string sixth.
•Otherspecialeffectsrentalsorloaners.
•Perishablesfromanexternalsupplier;color,
templates, black wrap, and so forth.
Double-checking may take some time to complete
and may become an annoyance. Not double-checking
may endanger a lighting design.
Truck Tactics
While the topic of getting gear to the theatre is
being discussed, the discussion should also include
general tactics about trucking. Every time a delivery
is made to the venue, no matter where it comes be
from, moving that freight costs money. The driver,
the gas, the truck rental all need to be considered.
There is the fact that the venues loading dock, or
the street outside of the theatre, may be blocked at
different times of the day or night. Not to mention
the potential cost of additional union employees
(“loaders”)whomaybecontractedtodonothing
but get gear in and out of the door. The bottom line
is, the fewer the trucks, the better.
For that reason, many designers and produc-
tion electricians will direct large and small pieces
of gear from outside sources to be delivered not to
the venue, but to the lighting rental shop instead.
Presuming that there’s enough available room, and
agreements can be made with the proper parties, the
rental shop’s loading dock can sometimes become
a temporary staging area to pack all sorts of other
gear into the shop’s trucks on the day that the light-
ing package is scheduled to depart. This is a logis-
tic challenge, and not one to be entered into lightly.
The arrival of the external gear has to be carefully
timed to make sure that it doesn’t get in the way of
the shop’s scheduled business. Successfully arranging
this scheme, though, means that many small pieces
are all combined and delivered in single delivery. This
is a common tactic that reduces the overall number
of trucks arriving on-site, and saves time, money and
delivery headaches.

Get A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.