Phil Boos is a Senior Media Assistant at Loan Services in LSA Technology Services. His primary work involves loaning out/checking in equipment and training students, staff, and faculty on a variety of audio-visual technologies. Additionally, Phil works closely with and helps supervise about 20 student staff, who all have a varied background in technology and production. He provided the below information that will help new and returning patrons understand our equipment and services.
Q: What types of equipment do the Loan Centers provide? What are the most popular?
There is a range of equipment available from laptops to cameras to lighting and audio. In addition to lending out the equipment, we also offer opportunities for training on how to use the equipment and can make recommendations for what specific equipment should be used for students’ specific projects, such as video essays, podcast projects, and more.
The Canon HFG50 Camcorders, Canon Rebel T6i DSLRs, and laptops are the most popular equipment, followed closely by microphones, projectors, and audio recorders.
To provide some insight on how often we loan equipment out, last fall the MLB Media Center provided over 2,500 equipment loans, while the Mason Hall Loan Center provided over 900 equipment loans. See our website for a complete list of services and equipment available.
To ensure we have equipment readily available, we enforce a 3-day policy for equipment checkouts.
Q: What is new for fall 2019?
Oculus GO VR headsets (training required)
4x6 foldable and portable backdrops for headshots (available in green screen, gray textures, and black and white)
We replaced some video cameras with the Panasonic DVX200 model
User-friendly Canon HFG50 (provides better audio and images than our late model)
Q: Who can check out equipment and reserve spaces?
Most of the equipment is available to current LSA students, faculty, and staff. There is some level-one equipment available to anyone on campus such as calculators or various adaptors for laptops. View our equipment catalog or look at more information about reserving a space.
Q: How do I get started with loaning equipment?
Call the Loan Desk (734-615-0100; Prompt 3), email us at LSATechnologyServices@umich.edu, or stop by one of the two Loan Centers located at 2001 MLB or G340 Mason Hall to ask questions or request in-person training. Additionally, there are some training videos that patrons can view—here is an example of one of the online training videos. The online videos and our knowledgeable staff will help explain how to use certain equipment that requires training.
Q: What are the differences and advantages for recording classes using a cellphone versus a camcorder with a microphone?
First of all, the quality of the video, especially in regards to a language class, if the students need to be able to read lips. Secondly, the quality of the audio, which is equally important. Cellphone cameras decently record video, but when you need good quality it doesn’t compare to the recording options available at the Loan Centers. In the end, it depends on the goal of the instructor for their recording.
Q: How do you determine what equipment to buy for the Loan Centers?
Typically, we purchase equipment based on faculty demand. If there are requests for a certain piece of equipment that a Loan Center does not have, the product is researched and may be ordered. For example, a class wanted to use VR (Virtual Reality) for an assignment that involved learning empathy and compassion through virtual reality storytelling so equipment was researched and purchased. Adding to our inventory is accomplished in a similar fashion: we will gauge needs based on how much of a specific type of equipment is checkout and turned down, or see if our inventory is too low compared to the demand.
Phil is a knowledgeable resource. His background is in film and he worked in local television for four years and produced several short documentaries, music videos, and short narratives. Along with film, he has several years of experience leading after school programming in Ann Arbor (Neutral Zone) and Ypsilanti (Ward 1 Productions), where he assisted high school-aged youth with developing their video production skills and digital storytelling knowledge. Finally, through Neutral Zone and CTN Phil founded the Teen 24-Hour Film Competition, the first competition of its kind geared towards youth in Michigan.
Talk to Phil, or a member of his team, about loaning equipment or reserving a space today!