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. In addition to feature films, documentaries and television productions, the university has provided settings for various other kinds of filming, videography and photography projects.
Film Industry Productions - Permission Process
Step One: Determine Filming Category:
University Communications is responsible for evaluating requests for and processing filming location permits, as well as supervising film shoots. For convenience, the word “filming” as used in these guidelines shall include Motion Pictures, Filming, Videotape, Still Photography and Digital Imaging. Audio recordings also would be included.
Certain categories of filming do not require University Communications permission. These include:
- News media coverage of news events
- Students attending The University of Texas at Austin and working on a project assigned by a faculty member and that is required for a grade.
- Filming by a University of Texas at Austin school, college or department for internal use such as producing a training film for staff or faculty.
Filming projects that do require permission include:
Co-Sponsorship film projects authorized through the Office of the Provost:
- The office of the dean of a school or college agrees to co-sponsor a film production with the understanding that the master copy of the film and all rights in the resulting film or tape reside in The University of Texas at Austin, with the sponsor. The university can, at its discretion, license use rights subject to rules of the university and the Board of Regents.
Filming projects involving a filming location permit from University Communications:
- Feature film productions; short films, etc.
- Documentaries that are not news productions
- Documentaries that are news but wherein permits are required by the network to which a producer has submitted the film.
- Filming of events or activities on university property for the purpose of commercializing the filmed material for showing in theatres, on television entertainment programs, for production of DVD’s, etc.
NOTE: The university generally does not approve proposals to film commercials or advertisements on university property.
Step Two: If Permit is Required:
If University Communications determines a proposed filming project does require a filming location permit, a University Communications representative will consult with the producer about the Board of Regents’ and the university’s policies and procedures on filming, including requirements for insurance, fees and university services such as security, parking and electrical needs that could be involved in the proposed production.
If the producer or location scout wishes to proceed, the production company would be asked to send a written (e-mail is preferred) detailed proposal describing the company, the project, university services needed for the project, timetable, synopsis of production, a copy of the script and a statement as to whether or not the producer proposed to use the name, images, logos and marks of the university. Link to Forms
Step Three: Determining Approval of Project:
The director of media relations in University Communications, acting on behalf of the university’s president, will
evaluate the proposal. In determining approval for a film project, the university will consider the filmmaker’s relationship to
the university, the purpose of the project, the potential disruption(s) to campus, the potential use of university trademarks and
images, and the proposed use of the film within the context of the Board of Regents’ Rules, Institutional Rules
and related campus policies. The university strives to balance the needs of campus with requests for film projects.
Series 80107 of the Board of Regents’ rules and regulations regarding authorization to film on university property states: “Requests to film a motion picture or television production shall be reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis. Subject to the provisions of this Series, it shall be within the discretion of the Chancellor or the president of an institution, following consultation with campus security personnel, to determine whether to grant the request. 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 shall be of primary consideration in determining whether to grant a filming request.”
- University Communications, acting on behalf of the university president, would decide whether or not to move forward with issuing a filming location permit and whether or not to allow use of the university’s name, images, etc. in the proposed film production. In either case, the applicant would be informed of the decision as promptly as possible.
- If the decision is made to move forward with the filming permit process, the applicant would be allowed to “scout” the campus for appropriate filming locations under direction of University Communications. Pictures taken during scouting would be for internal use only and would not be authorized for publication or broadcast.
- The applicant also would be asked for more detailed information, especially in the case of major filming productions that could significantly affect or interfere with the routine operations of the university. When determined to be necessary, the producer or location scout could be asked to meet with representatives of campus offices such as parking and transportation services, the police department, student affairs, legal affairs, disability services, fire safety, facilities services and other offices that may have an interest in the proposed production.
- University Communications would discuss the proposal with representatives of colleges/schools involving areas where the applicant would propose to film and determine if the deans and other affected parties are agreeable to the filming project in their areas of campus.
- If an outdoor space reservation is needed, University Communications would coordinate this request with Student Activities and Leadership Development.
- University Communications would check records of the State of Texas Comptroller’s Office to determine if the applicant or its signing representative has a record of problems with the state that would require resolution before proceeding.
- University Communications Director of Media Relations would evaluate the project and determine the filming permit use fee
for the project.
- University Communications would obtain reasonable estimates from campus service providers for anticipated costs for security, parking and other university services and would list these estimates in the proposed filming location permit, along with the filming location permit use fee based upon the nature and extent of the activities as determined by University Communications. The combined total of the university services and the use fee would be shown on the filming location permit as the deposit required in advance (payable by certified or cashiers check) before the producer would be allowed to start filming.
Step Four: DRAFT of Location Permit:
University Communications would send the applicant a DRAFT copy of the location permit to review and share with his/her contracts manager or legal counsel.
- If the applicant wants a change in any of the legal language in the filming location permit document, this would initiate a process requiring the applicant to send a written request for such changes to the Office of Legal Affairs and University Communications. The request would be reviewed and the applicant would be provided a response.
- If the applicant accepts the terms of the filming location permit as shown on the draft document, University Communications would ask the applicant to print two original copies of the document and to have an authorized company representative sign and date both copies, then send BOTH originals to University Communications. The package of materials also must include the required insurance documents naming the university as an additionally insured, and a certified or cashier’s check as a deposit for the amount shown on the filming location permit.
For prompt delivery by courier, send the package to:
Filming Permits Section
ATTN: Amy Crossette
The University at Austin
1100 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, Texas 78712
- University Communications would review the documents and determine if the insurance document is in compliance with university requirements. If it is not in compliance, or if there are questions, the document would be referred to the university’s risk management office for review. (Note: To avoid delays, especially on tight filming deadlines, it is advisable to send the insurance information to University Communications earlier in the process.)
Step Five: When the Application Package is Received:
University Communications would arrange for an authorized university representative – either the director of University Communications, or the university’s contracts manager, to sign both originals of the filming location permit. One permit would be sent to the applicant and the other would remain on record with the university. The applicant’s certified or cashier’s check would be deposited and held until completion of the filming project.
Step Six: OPA Oversees Compliance:
During filming, University Communications would oversee compliance with provisions of the filming location permit, resolve conflicts on filming locations if they arise and assist producers with their requests for unanticipated university services.
- Filming productions should take precautions to safely cover electrical and other cables on sidewalks and other pedestrian areas to avoid hazards and to provide safe access for people with disabilities.
Step Seven: Upon completion of the filming project:
- University Communications would arrange for university departments that provided services for the project to send invoices to University Communications, which would determine the actual total cost of university services compared to the estimated costs for which a deposit had been collected in advance.
- University Communications would pay the invoices for university services from the deposit received from the permittee.
- If the total cost for university services exceeds the deposit amount, the permittee would be billed for the difference.
- If the actual expenses for university services total less than the amount deposited for university services, the permittee may submit a written request to University Communications for a refund and the excess deposit funds would be sent to the applicant in the form of a check.
Film Industry Productions - Checklist
Thank you for your interest in The University of Texas at Austin as a possible filming location.
To help the university evaluate your request to film on university property, please send us a written proposal describing
your company, the project and how you would propose to use the filmed material. You are welcome to provide references and background
about your previous projects. The proposal should be sent, via e-mail, to the attention of Amy Crossette, University
Communications, The University of Texas at Austin – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your proposal should provide the following information:
- Name, address, phone numbers, Tax ID# and Web site of the production company.
- Names of other production companies involved in this filming project.
- Name and contact information for executive producer.
- Name and contact information for executive director.
- Name and contact information for the location manager.
- Name and title of person who would sign the permit on behalf of the production company.
- Type and description of the filming project (attach latest version of script).
- Date(s) and time(s) requested for proposed production.
(When would the filming crew arrive on university property? When would filming start and end each filming day? When would the film crew wrap and load out?).
- Location(s) requested for filming.
(Please be specific as to which buildings or outside locations are requested).
- Number of cast and crew members.
- Number of “extras.”
- Would the filming require connection to university electrical power sources/outlets for lighting or other electrical needs? What voltage/wattage would be required? What kinds of connectors?
- Would the production company provide its own generators?
- Would construction or painting be involved?
- Number and description of vehicles (trucks/trailers/cars) requested to be parked on university property for purposes of film production.
- Proposed use of the material filmed on university property.
- (Television broadcast? Feature film? Non-broadcast video? Other?)
- Would any university services be required for purposes of the production such as parking spaces, security, electricians, alarm system personnel, Internet service, etc.?
- Would weapons, simulated weapons, smoke, explosive devices or other materials or activities that could alarm members of the university community be involved in the production?
Board of Regents Rules & Regulations
Filming Motion Pictures or Television Productions (pdf)
(last editorial amendment 5/5/08)
For the latest version, please visit http://www.utsystem.edu/bor/rules.htm#A9
Film Industry Productions - Insurance Requirements
The University of Texas at Austin requires that applicants for filming location permits provide insurance coverage meeting the requirements of the university and The University of Texas System.
The university’s filming location permits include the following description of these requirements:
Permittee’s Insurance. If the Agreement requires the presence on University's premises of Permittee and/or Permittee's employees, agents, suppliers or permitted subcontractors (if any), Permittee agrees to maintain and to cause its agents, suppliers and permitted subcontractors (if any) to maintain the following insurance coverages for at least the specified limits:
Commercial liability insurance in an amount no less than Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000.00) per occurrence, $1,000,000 in the aggregate as respects products and completed operations liability, $1,000,000 per occurrence as respects personal and advertising injury liability, Two Million ($2,000,000) in the aggregate. Coverage should be submitted with admitted carrier with companies acceptable to The University of Texas at Austin.
Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) Primary Occurrence limit may be met with an umbrella of not less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence limit.
Business Auto Liability Insurance: Combined Single Limit of $1,000,000. Such insurance shall cover liability arising out of any auto including, owned, hired, and non-owned autos.
Workers Compensation: Statutory Limits
Employer's Liability: $1,000,000 per accident and employee
All policies (except Workers' Compensation) shall name the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Austin as Additional Insured and endorse applicable policies to reflect this status, as required by contract. A Waiver of Subrogation in favor of University and thirty (30) day notice of cancellation is required on all policies. Certificates of insurance verifying the foregoing requirements shall be provided to University prior to commencement of any services under this Agreement.