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student films

A student attending The University of Texas at Austin may film on university property for purposes of academic credit to fulfill requirements of a class project assigned by a faculty member for a grade. The permission process and the frequently asked questions sections will provide guidance and answers regarding proposed student projects.

 

Student Films - Permission Process

Thank you for your interest in The University of Texas at Austin as a possible filming location.

Definition of a Student Film Project:

A student attending The University of Texas at Austin may film on university property for purposes of academic credit to fulfill requirements of a class project assigned by a faculty member for a grade. Filming must not be disruptive, violate any other university rules, inconvenience members of the university community or create a safety hazard. Students must secure all required releases from the on-camera individuals.

The university will accommodate filming for approved academic class projects when possible.  Filming for academic credit requires a student to partner with the professor or departmental representative who is assigning the filming project.

The following information applies only to students attending The University of Texas at Austin who are filming to fulfill requirements of a class project for a grade. 

Other students interested in filming on university property for any other purpose other than archival use should refer to the section titled filming industry production process or contact University Communications.

Locations:

Students are responsible for obtaining permission from the appropriate department(s) in areas of campus where they wish to film. If questions or issues arise, the students are encouraged to seek the assistance of the faculty member(s) who assigned the project. 

  • Filming in university residence halls:
    The Division of Housing and Food Service will make reasonable efforts to assist University of Texas at Austin students with their film project by making residence hall space available for the film project. Details are available online.

  • Filming in the Tower or Main Building:
    Filming requests for the Main Building will require a special approval process that begins with Student Activities. Please contact Student Activities at 512-471-3065 for more information.

  • Filming in special use facilities:
    To film in special use facilities such as the Texas Union, Performing Arts Center, Frank Erwin Center, etc., students must first contact the office responsible for each of those facilities.
  • Filming by students in outdoor areas of campus:
    Outdoor space requests must submitted to Student Activities in the Office of the Dean of Students. Space requests may be denied for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to privacy concerns, incomplete information from requestor(s), lack of staffing to supervise the project, safety concerns, logistical challenges, restricted access areas, or other issues. 

When requesting permission to use a space for academic credit filming, the student must provide all of the following information to the dean’s office of the academic school, college, or department or the building manager of the desired facility that controls the indoor space that the student wishes to use.

  • Name, UT EID, and contact information of the student film producer and/or director;
  • Name and contact information of the faculty member who assigned the project;
  • Proposed date and time for the production, including arrival, setup, takedown, and load-out; 
  • Proposed location for filming project, including specific rooms, hallways, or outdoor locations;
  • Description and scope of the film project;
  • Proposed number of filming crew members;
  • Proposed number of actors and extras involved in the project;
  • Proposed electrical needs of the project, including risk management plans for electrical cords and equipment (if a generator will be used, additional approval must be granted by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety); and
  • Proposed use of smoke, weapons (see special considerations below), explosive devices and/or other materials that could alarm other members of the university community. 
  • Link to Forms

Special Considerations:

  • Weapons Approval Form:
    Any use of real or facsimile weapons on campus requires the student to submit a Weapons Approval Form to the Office of the Dean of Students at least seven (7) working days in advance of the proposed filming date. Filming involving use of weapons may not begin until this form is approved. 

  • University Services:
    If the film production requires university services, it is necessary for the student to pay for those services.  Examples of services that could be required for a film project include but are not limited to, overtime pay for a university staff member providing access for an after-hours project or any facilities services.

  • Filming in the Main Building: Filming requests for the Main Building will require special approval process that begins with Student Activities. Please contact Student Activities at 512-471-3065 for more information.

    When requesting permission to use a space at the Main Building, the student must provide all of the following information to Student Activities.
    • Name, UT EID, and contact information of the student film producer and/or director;
    • Name and contact information of the faculty member who assigned the project;
    • Proposed date and time for the production, including arrival, setup, takedown, and load-out; 
    • Proposed location for filming project, including specific rooms, hallways, or outdoor locations;
    • Description and scope of the film project;
    • Proposed number of filming crew members;
    • Proposed number of actors and extras involved in the project;
    • Proposed electrical needs of the project, including risk management plans for electrical cords and equipment (if a generator will be used, additional approval must be granted by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety); and proposed use of smoke, weapons (see special considerations below), explosive devices and/or other materials that could alarm other members of the university community.
    • Link to Forms

Registered Student Organization Filming:
Filming by a registered student organization of its events strictly for archival purposes is permitted and a filming location permit would not be required. However, the filmed material may not be used for any other purpose.

Procedure:

  • A registered student organization wanting to film on university property must contact the school, college, or department that controls the indoor space that the registered student organization wishes to use.
  • Outdoor space requests must be submitted to Student Activities.
  • Space requests may be denied for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to privacy concerns, incomplete information from requestor(s), lack of staffing to supervise the project, safety concerns, logistical challenges, restricted access areas, or other issues. 
  • When requesting permission to use a space for filming, the registered student organization must provide all of the following information:

    • Name, UT EID, and contact information of the student film producer and/or director;
    • Name and contact information of the faculty member who assigned the project;
    • Proposed date and time for the production, including arrival, setup, takedown, and load-out; 
    • Proposed location for filming project, including specific rooms, hallways, or outdoor locations;
    • Description and scope of the film project;
    • Proposed number of filming crew members;
    • Proposed number of actors and extras involved in the project;
  • Link to Forms

 

Student Films - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is a student allowed to film on university property for purposes of fulfilling a class requirement?

A. A student attending The University of Texas at Austin may film on university property to fulfill requirements of a class project for a grade. Filming may not be disruptive, violate any other university rules, inconvenience members of the university community or create a safety hazard. Students must secure required releases from the on-camera individuals.

Q. Who is responsible for providing guidance and direction to student filming for purposes of a class project required for a grade?

A. The faculty member who assigned the project.

Q. What are some important points for faculty members to convey to students planning to film on university property?

A. Faculty members should inform students that:

  • They must notify the Office of the Dean of Students if the script involves the use of weapon props or simulated weapons, smoke, loud noises or scenes depicting violence that may disrupt the normal activities of the university. Institutional rules also require approval from the student’s dean and the university’s provost for these items to be used.
  • Under no circumstances will hazardous activities be conducted on the campus.
  • If planning to film in an academic building, the student must request permission from the office of the dean responsible for that building.
  • If planning to film scenes in outdoor areas of campus, the student must contact Student Activities in the Office of the Dean of Students, to reserve the location for purposes of the student film project.
  • If planning to film in a classroom, the student must first obtain permission of the teacher and inform members of the class filming will take place. Classroom students who do not wish to participate in the filming should be provided an area within the classroom where they would not be included in the film.
  • If planning to film in the Main Building or Tower facilities, the student must request permission from Student Activities in the Office of the Dean of Students AND the Main Building/Tower building manager.
  • If planning to film in residence halls, the student must contact Housing and Food Services administrative office.
  • If the film production requires certain university services, it may be necessary for the student to pay for those services. An example would be the need for a university staff member or police officer to work overtime providing security in an office where filming is scheduled after regular work hours.
  • If the student will be using supplementary lighting equipment for the film, the student must contact Facilities Services to determine if the electrical system would handle the electrical load. This is especially important in older buildings.

Q. Is material from productions filmed on university property for purposes of fulfilling a class requirement permitted to be used for other purposes?

A. Once the film is made, just as with any other student work, including scholarly written work, photos, or artwork created by students in a class, the resulting product belongs to the student, and the university has no say in what he or she does with it, just as students may sell their artwork, or turn their thesis into a book for commercial publication. In many cases, the university encourages this, and in fact has licensed some students’ documentary films and then sub-licensed them to the Documentary Channel to get them wider distribution and to raise the profile of the college and the university.

Q. Are students allowed to identify The University of Texas at Austin in films they later want to commercialize?
A. If a student has incorporated into the film the university’s name, logos or the university’s trademarked images, such as shots of the Tower, the student would not be able to commercialize the film without the university granting him or her a license to use those trademarks. The university would need to analyze the content measured against the standards the university usually uses and then would grant the license unless it appeared there was some detriment to the university.

Q. Which office would analyze the content and inform the student whether or not a license would be granted?
A. The university’s Office of Trademark Licensing.

Q. What is the definition of a University of Texas at Austin project?
A. A University of Texas at Austin project would be a faculty or staff film project that is done in the course and scope of their employment, or a student project that is done within the course and scope of a student’s studies.

Q. What is the policy for students who wish to film projects unrelated to their studies, or faculty or staff doing projects unrelated to their employment?
A. They would be treated exactly the same as any other third party. These projects would involve requesting the same kind of filming location permit, issued by University Communications, as is required of film production studios. This permit involves fees and a requirement for insurance coverage naming the university as an additionally insured entity.

Q. A student organization is sponsoring an event on campus and wants to film the event strictly for archival purposes as a record of its activities. Is this permitted?
A. Filming by a registered student organization of its events strictly for archival purposes is permitted and a filming location permit would not be required. However, the filmed material may not be used for any other purpose.

Q. I’m a student planning to get married soon and would like to have my engagement pictures taken at several locations on campus by a professional photographer. Do I need a filming permit?
A. Whether the filming is video or still photography, the photographer would first be required to request a filming location permit from University Communications. These permits require insurance coverage and a permit fee.

 


  Updated 18 October 2012
  Comments to University Communications
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