The University of Texas at Austin
  • Lights, camera, action: University's filming guidelines are now online

    By Robert D. Meckel
    Robert D. Meckel
    Published: Dec. 14, 2010
    Lights,

    A new Web site designed to help people interested in filming student academic projects, commercial filming industry productions and other filming projects on university property has been developed by the Office of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.

    The “Filming Guidelines” site has been added to the Office of Public Affairs Web site to describe the various categories of filming and the procedure for requesting permission to film on university property. It also provides filming information for news organizations covering campus events and working on other news projects.

    The guidelines cover filming not only on the university’s main campus, but also at other locations such as the Pickle Research Center, McDonald Observatory, the Marine Science Institute at Port Aransas and other university properties.

    The Web site includes checklists that could be used in planning a filming production on university property and to help determine what kinds of university services, such as traffic control, security, electricians, etc., might be needed for a proposed filming project. It also includes sections providing answers to “frequently asked questions” about filming at the university.

    Student academic projects are those assigned by a faculty member for class credit to fulfill a requirement for a grade. The Web site notes that other students interested in filming projects on university property for any purpose other than archival use usually would need to obtain a filming location permit as described in the filming industry production section.

    The section on student film productions links to forms that students filming academic projects can use in requesting permission to film in outdoor spaces, residence halls and other university facilities.

    The university’s guidelines for filming industry projects such as feature films, television productions and certain documentaries are designed to help people in the filming industry understand university requirements in evaluating whether the university would be a good match for a proposed filming project.

    The University of Texas System’s Board of Regents rules and regulations governing filming on university property notes that requests to film a motion picture or television production shall be reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis. Primary consideration is given to the safety of students, faculty and staff, the potential for damage to buildings, facilities, or property and for disruption of administrative or academic programs or other scheduled activities and the subject matter of the film.

    The university has historically been supportive of the filming and photography industries in Texas and works cooperatively with the Texas Film Commission and other agencies and organizations to encourage production companies to film in Texas. The Web site includes a list of some of the successful filming industry projects at the university during the past few years. It also provides information on requirements for filming insurance, fees and location permits.

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