University Communications has provided assistance to a broad range of university constituents interested in filming on university property. The following links provide examples of news and filming industry productions at the university.
Portfolio of Productions
Filmed at The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is supportive of the filming industry and works in cooperation with the Texas Filming Commission when filming companies express an interest in filming on university property. The following projects are examples of the broad range of productions that have been filmed in recent years with the assistance of University Communications:
2010 – “Friday Night Lights” Episode 508 “Fracture” scenes in Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium and Gregory Gym
2010 – Half Yard Productions, “How the States Got Their Stripes” for the History Channel
2010 – “Benavides Born” feature film, scenes in John Hargis Hall and campus exteriors
2010 – “Monsters Inside Me” documentary for Animal Planet television
2010 – “American Idol” filming auditions at Frank Erwin Center
2010 – Borderline Amazing Productions, “Chelsea Handler Bang Bang Tour" for Live Nation in the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Concert Hall
2010 - "Collegiate 411" television documentary for prospective students
2010 - Cliffe Knechtle/Grace Community Church, scenes of discussions on the West Mall
2010 - Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism Division, tourism scenes at McDonald Observatory
2010 – Amber Jean Productions, audio recording of Neil Young performance at Texas Performing Arts
2009 – Ecomedia, LLC, "Untamed Science" scenes at McDonald Observatory
2009 –Atlas Media, campus scenes for Discovery Health Channel
2009 – Richfield Productions, campus scenes for "The Language Flagship" production
2009 – Cliffe Knechtle/Grace Community Church, scenes of discussions on the West Mall
2009 – “Friday Night Lights” Episode 409 scenes in Will C. Hogg Building lecture room
2009 – New Remote Productions, campus scenes for MTVU during Clinton Global Initiative University event
2009 – High Tech Media, LLC, scenes at Texas Advanced Computing Center for documentary about super computers
2009 – Golden Boy Promotions, LLC, “Lightweight Lightning” boxing at Frank Erwin Center
2009 – Fly on the Wall Productions, filming a career week event at McCombs School of Business
2009 – Dell, Inc., filming VIP Distinguished Speaker Series at AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
2009 – Diamond Disc Records, audio recording project at McCullough Theatre
2008 – Green Sea, LLC, scenes for “Band Slam” feature film in Hogg Auditorium and outside Sutton Hall
2008 – Flight 33 Productions, interview and scenes in Texas Memorial Museum for "Before it was America" television series on Discovery Channel
2008 - Cliffe Knechtle/Grace Community Church, scenes of discussions on the West Mall
2008 – Exploration Production, Inc., scenes in the Department of Computer Sciences for a Discovery Channel Canada program
2008 – Thomas Lucas Productions, Scenes for a National Geographic production titled “Rise and Fall of a Monster Black Hole.”
2008 – Granada Television, interview and scenes at McDonald Observatory for National Geographic’s “Naked Science” program
2008 - *A&E Television Networks, Optomen Productions, scenes at Breckenridge Field Lab for “Evolution of Color” program for the History Channel
2008 – Pioneer Productions, scenes at McDonald Observatory for a documentary about the evolution of life on Earth
2008 – Twin Cities Public Television, scenes at McDonald Observatory for “The Quest to See Infinity.”
2008 - Remote Productions, Inc., scenes for MTV documentary about U.S. war veterans returning home from duty
2008 – “Friday Night Lights” Episode 312 scenes for “Underdogs” in Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium
2008 – “History of the Telescope” scenes at McDonald Observatory
2007 - Fireflies in the Garden, Inc. feature film scenes on West Mall
2007 – CNBC "Mad Money with Jim Cramer" television production in Hogg Auditorium
2007 – BBC’s “Earth Biography” scenes at McDonald Observatory
2007 - Cliffe Knechtle/Grace Community Church, scenes of discussions on the West Mall
2007 – Muppy Productions, performance by Dweezil Zappa in Hogg Auditorium
2007 – Octagon, Inc. scenes in the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center for “Swim With the Stars” documentary
2007 - KO Films, Inc., scenes of a boxing tournament at the Frank Erwin Center for “Lords Gym” documentary
2007 – Flight 33 TV, interviews on campus for a documentary about astronomers who are Supernova hunters
2007- "CNBC Fast Money', interviews in McCombs School of Business
2007 – Starz Entertainment, LLC, campus scenes and interviews about movie trivia for movie channel
2007 – National Geographic Television, scenes at the Brain Imaging Center for “Ultimate Males” television production
2006 – CNN’s “Fit Nation Tour” scenes in Recreation Sports Facility
2006 – Rider Productions, scenes for feature film titled “Hitcher”
2006 – Granada Films, scenes for “First Americans” documentary
2006 – Paper Sandwich filmed scenes for a cheerleader documentary
2006 – Spark Factory filed a documentary about “The Wendy’s Guy” at the Texas Union
2006 – Burnt Orange Productions, scenes in Hogg Auditorium for “Elvis and Anabelle” feature film
2006 – Hidden Hill Productions, scenes in School of Law for “Supreme Court History” television production
2006 – Texas Education Agency, scenes for “Gear Up” documentary*2006 - Cliffe Knechtle/Grace Community Church, scenes of discussions on the West Mall
2006 – Detour, Inc., documentary about the baseball team
2006 – World Combat League, filming martial arts competition in Frank Erwin Center
2005 – “American Idol” casting call scenes in Frank Erwin Events Center
2005 – Burnt Orange Productions, scenes for “Cave Man Comedy” feature film
2005 – Burnt Orange Productions, scenes for “Cassidy Kids” feature film
2005 – Remote Productions filmed Kelly Clarkson performance
2005 – BBC television production titled “Moon Biography
2005 - Cliffe Knechtle/Grace Community Church, scenes of discussions on the West Mall
2005 – Court TV Networks, scenes at School of Law for TV program on “Intellectual Property”
2005 – Hidden Hills Productions, scenes at School of Law for series on “History of the Supreme Court”
2005 – Natural History New Zealand, Ltd., scenes in Biology Building, for documentary on dung beetles
2004 – “Jack & Bobby” television series pilot – scenes in Stark Library, other locations
2004 – Ringer Productions, scenes in Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium for feature film, “The Ringer.”
2004 – Providence Pictures, Inc., scenes at Texas Archeological Research Laboratory for documentary on stone age America
2004 - Cliffe Knechtle/Grace Community Church, scenes of discussions on the West Mall
2003 Cheer Up Productions, scenes for “Man of the House” feature film
2003 – The Food Network, filmed Lisa Loeb performance in the LBJ Auditorium
2003 – NHK Productions, filming Cirque du Soleil
2003 – Norsemen Productions, scenes for “Big Playstation Saturday” television
2003 - Cliffe Knechtle/Grace Community Church, scenes of discussions on the West Mall
2003 – Seventeen magazine fashion photography
2002 – Sleeping Shark Productions, scenes for feature film titled “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”
2002 – Exploration Productions, interviews for “The Sex Files” for Discovery Channel Canada
2002 – TMD Productions, Inc, filming of “Freshman Diaries” reality series for television
2001 – Valor Film Productions, scenes for feature film titled “The Life of David Gale”
Press Releases & News Articles
The following press releases and news articles describe some of the feature films and television productions filmed at The University of Texas at Austin in recent years.
"Benavides Born" Scenes to be Filmed At The University of Texas at Austin
April 7, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas — The filming of scenes for a feature film, "Benavides Born," in John W. Hargis Hall near Red River Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard on Saturday, April, 10, will involve temporary closing of university parking lot No. 118 for the filming production.
Lot No. 118, which surrounds John W. Hargis Hall, will be used throughout the day for film production and crew vehicles, which are scheduled to vacate the lot by 6 p.m., Saturday so it could be used by guests with disabilities attending a concert later in the evening at the nearby Frank Erwin Center. The filming is not expected to affect the traffic flow on streets surrounding the parking lot.
"Benavides Born," produced by Daniel Meisel for SDB, LLC, and starring Corina Calderon of Austin, is being filmed primarily in the South Texas towns of Benavides and San Diego in Duval County. Meisel and his wife, Amy Wendel of New York, wrote the script about a bright high school power lifter from the rural South Texas town of Benavides who faces personal, financial and other obstacles in her dream of attending The University of Texas at Austin.
"Friday Night Lights" Filming Scheduled at The University of Texas at Austin http://www.utexas.edu/news/2010/06/04/friday_night_lights_filming/
June 4, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas — The filming of scenes at The University of Texas at Austin for an episode of the award-winning "Friday Night Lights" television series is scheduled from 4-10 p.m., Friday, June 4 at two locations on campus.
The filming project will involve parking of some production vehicles near Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and Gregory Gym but no disruption to permit parking spaces is anticipated.
The "Friday Night Lights" series centers on life in a small Texas town where high school football plays a significant role in the lives of people in the community. The drama series has been honored two years in a row (2006 and 2007) as an American Film Institute Television Program of the Year. It also received the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award in 2006 and won an Emmy Award for outstanding casting for a drama series in 2007. The episode of "Friday Night Lights" being filmed on campus is directed by Allison Liddi-Brown.
(Note: This film production was released in 2010 as "Bandslam")
The Daily Texan
Movie to be filmed at Hogg
By Larry Dechant, Daily Texas staff
February 26, 2008
Production trucks began arriving on campus to prepare Hogg Auditorium for the filming of a movie starring "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens and "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow. This film will join the ranks of other movies, such as "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," "Man of the House" and "The Ringer" that have been filmed on campus.
The movie, “Will,” (Note: later retitled “Bandslam”) follows an ostracized high school junior with a passion for music, said Letty Chavarria, casting coordinator for the film’s extras.
Filming will take place on campus from March 2 through March 5, but production crews will be at Hogg Auditorium from Feb 25 through March 7, said Toni Atterbury, the film’s spokeswomen.
Designers, when they look for a location, decide what fits best with the design they have in mind,” Chavarria said. “UT was chosen because it had the right look the designer was looking for.”
UT spokesman Robert Meckel said the University charge film productions a deposit that fluctuates depending on the number of days spent filming on campus. The project’s cost, $168,289, includes a UT permit fee of $25,000 for filming and prep days, $48,000 for the rental of Hogg Auditorium, about 70,000 for various labor fees and $25,000 for miscellaneous expenditures, Meckel said.
Carol Pirie, deputy director of the Texas Film Commission, said that when feature films come to Texas, producers look to the Austin area for its diverse scenery.
“UT has been great to have because the conversation is open between the University and filming companies to see if it could work,” Pirie said.
The process of beginning to film a major motion picture on campus starts with the production company’s producers and location scouts contacting the Office of Pubic Affairs, Meckel said.
“Essentially, they tell us they have an interest, and they give us a general idea of when and what they want to film as well as what dates might fit the University’s schedule,” he said. “Assuming that it is something that sounds like it is workable with the University, we ask them to send us a copy of the script to see if it is something that would work.” Meckel said the University Communications informs production companies of the University’s requirements.
“The production company knows the Board of Regents’ rules and regulations,” Meckel said. “They must provide a policy in regards to liability and must have liability insurance.”
Early in the process, the office contacts the Texas Film Commission, seeks commission members’ advice and tries to keep them informed about requests for filming, he said.
“We try to be diligent in talking with various offices that could potentially be affected by a filming project to see if it will be compatible with the University,” Meckel said.
A location scout notified the office of parking limitations on campus to accommodate the many vehicles, generators and other materials needed for production purposes, Meckel said.
The public can volunteer to work as extras for a scene on Sunday at 10 a.m. but must sign up ahead of time by calling Beth Sepko of Casting/Third Coast Extras at (512) 472-5385, extension 1, Chavarria said.
“The band-slam scene will have bands that will perform in a battle of the bands competition,” Chavarria said. “The public will act as audience members.”
One of the benefits of productions on campus is that they provide an opportunity for interested students to see the filming and production process, Meckel said.
“Maybe they could gain a part-time job,” he said. “It provides an opportunity to see production first hand, and you do not have to go to Hollywood to see how these productions come together.”
Cramer’s “Mad Money” Show
Hit with McCombs Students
By Rob Meyer
March 21, 2007
Austin has long been known as the capital of the Republic of Texas, but for a couple days this week Austin—or at least the campus of The University of Texas—became the official center of Cramerica, a nation headed by Jim Cramer and populated by fans of his hit stock-picking show “Mad Money” on CNBC.
The effusive Cramer brought his passion for investing and for engaging college students (plus a whole lot of sound effects) to Austin as a part of the show’s “Back to School” tour. The visit culminated with a taping at the Hogg Auditorium March 20 in front of 800 students, mostly from the McCombs School of Business.
Mad Money has made several stops at top business schools across the country in recent months. The program is seen in Austin Monday through Friday on CNBC at 5 p.m. and re-airs at 10 p.m.
Texas Stocks Among Cramer’s Picks
“Everything’s bigger in Texas, so I knew I had to come here with four big stocks based in Texas,” Cramer announced at the top of the show amid Texas-sized cheers and chants of “booya!”—one of his popular sayings. The first of Cramer’s picks was J.C. Penney (Plano, TX), which he called “the best, most consistent retailer in the country.”
Throughout the show and during commercial breaks, Cramer enthusiastically interacted with the students, who were grateful for the opportunity to take a break from their studies to have some fun.
“Cramer has the ability to take a very serious, buttoned-down topic and treat it in a very upbeat and lively way that’s refreshing,” said Marshall Cowden, a business honors sophomore majoring in finance. “Investing is a subject that a lot of people find intimidating, yet he makes it accessible to all.”
In addition to taping the show, the previous day Cramer got up close and personal with Bevo for a live appearance on CNBC and took part in an informal Q&A session with students.
“At the Q&A, Cramer was just as candid and frank as he is on his show,” Cowden said. “Hearing him talk about a broader range of topics from politics to career choices was not only a lot of fun, but very insightful as well.”
Not everybody, however, is a Cramer fan. Especially some working in the financial planning business.
“I am sure Jim Cramer is a smart guy,” said Jay Levin, MBA ’84, of Investment Planning Associates in Rockville, MD, who was not at the show. “But his manic, short-term, speculative, trading-oriented, entertainment approach to investing is misguided.”
Heinz CEO Johnson Makes Guest Appearance
Another MBA alum was happy to share the stage with Cramer. The show’s surprise guest was William R. Johnson, MBA ’74, chairman, president and CEO of Heinz, whose stock Cramer highly recommended as the “ultimate defensive play” for the current market which has seen some dramatic losses in recent weeks.
At the end of the show, members of the McCombs MBA Investment Fund, which manages $16 million in assets, had a chance to pitch stock-buying suggestions to Cramer and test his encyclopedic knowledge of the market.
One of the fund managers, Amrita Dukeshier, touted Broadcom. She said she liked the company because of its diverse and impressive product portfolio, strong revenue growth and improved inventory management. But Cramer wasn’t buying it. He said he appreciated her analysis and would put Broadcom on his watch list, but he currently doesn’t like technology stocks.
During the commercial breaks, Cramer gave some advice to the future business leaders in the audience. He talked about how it is important to have humility and take responsibility when you make a mistake. “You have to own it,” he said.
He also encouraged students to make sure to donate 10 percent of their time to charity when they begin their careers. “Don’t be dumb like me and wait until you’re 46,” he said.
Scenes for Movie Titled “Fireflies in the Garden” to be Filmed on West Mall Area Tuesday
April 2, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas—The West Mall area at The University of Texas at Austin will become the filming site Tuesday afternoon (April 3) for two scenes for the feature film, “Fireflies in the Garden.”
The filming project on campus from 1-9 p.m. Tuesday is expected to have minimal impact on vehicle and pedestrian traffic. University police officers and guards will be on site to help route traffic around the production areas.
One scene on the West Mall will be filmed on the west steps of the Main Building and the other scene will be in the circle drive area near Flawn Academic Center.
The production by Fireflies in the Garden, Inc., describes interactions within a family in crisis and how the tragic death of a family member affects family dynamics. The cast includes Julia Roberts, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Carrie Ann Moss, Ryan Reynolds and Ioan Gruffudd. Only Reynolds and Gruffudd will be involved in the scenes to be filmed on campus Tuesday.
National Lampoon Acquires "Homo Erectus," Comedy Produced by Burnt Orange Productions in Association with University of Texas Film Institute
June 21, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas—"Homo Erectus," a comedy set in prehistoric times, which was produced by Burnt Orange Productions in association with the University of Texas Film Institute, has been acquired by National Lampoon, Inc. (AMEX: NLN).
To be released in September as "National Lampoon's Homo Erectus," the film stars and was written and directed by Adam Rifkin ("Underdog," "Mousehunt," "Detroit Rock City"). It also stars Ali Larter ("Heroes," "Final Destination") as Rifkin's love interest. The cast also features Hayes MacArthur ("The Game Plan," "Atlanta"), David Carradine ("Kill Bill," "Big Stan"), Gary Busey ("Lost Highway," "The Firm") and Talia Shire ("Blue Smoke," "I Heart Huckabees").
The film was produced by Carolyn Pfeiffer ("The Quiet") and Brad Wyman ("Monster," "Freeway") with Dr. Thomas Schatz, executive director of the University of Texas Film Institute, serving as executive producer.
"Homo Erectus" follows the exploits of the hapless Ishbo (Rifkin), a philosophical caveman who yearns for more out of life than sticks, stones and raw meat. Larter plays his unrequited love interest who is never impressed with Ishbo's inventions such as the toilet, the spoon and pants. Even though he is single-handedly striving to advance the human race, Ishbo continually irritates his fellow Neanderthals who write off his absurd gizmos and forward thinking ideas as the ravings of an idiot. The movie was filmed in and around Austin in fall 2005.
"Having National Lampoon's stamp of approval is a lifetime dream come true," said Rifkin. "One of my favorite movies of all time is 'National Lampoon's Animal House.' 'Homo Erectus' being a part of that legacy of film comedy is an honor beyond words."
More than 30 University of Texas at Austin graduate and undergraduate students worked on the film in all stages of production as apprentices and interns, from accounting and office management, to set production, props and costumes, to casting and publicity.
"Working on a professional film set is a rare opportunity for students in film school," said Schatz. "Performing an essential role on a film that's released commercially is extraordinary."
"Homo Erectus" has already garnered praise from Entertainment Weekly, Cinemablend and IndieWire.
"Homo Erectus" will receive theatrical distribution under National Lampoon Releasing and home video distribution through National Lampoon Home Entertainment.
Tower will shine bright orange Thanksgiving weekend during filming of scene for "Cheer Up" movie on campus
November 25, 2003
The Tower at The University of Texas at Austin will shine bright orange for about an hour on Saturday, Nov. 29 and throughout the night on Sunday, Nov. 30 for lighting tests and for filming of a scene for the feature movie 'Cheer Up' that is being produced on the university's South Mall area. (Note: The movie was later renamed and disributed as "Man of The House").