Filming on Campus
Guidelines and Requirements for On-Campus Commercial Filming, Videotaping, and Photography
The purpose of the following guidelines is to simplify the process of planning and executing your production on our campus. Also, since the University of Michigan's primary activities are teaching and research, your compliance with these guidelines will ensure the production will not disrupt day-to-day activities on our campuses.
The University of Michigan reserves the right to deny the taking of photographs, film, or video of campus scenes for commercial purposes or for the filming of athletic and theater events. The University of Michigan has the right to deny use of facilities in cases where it considers the overall content of the project to be in conflict with the goals and ideals of the University. Some examples of subject matter that may be rejected include drug or excessive alcohol use, excessive violence, nudity, racism, sexism, overt sexual scenes deemed to be obscene, and subjects derogatory toward higher education, or that portray students or faculty in a negative light. The University of Michigan does not permit the filming of advertising or promotions for commercial products on campus.
- You must provide a certificate of general liability insurance with limits of $1 million per occurrence, naming the University of Michigan and its Regents, employees, and agents as additional insureds. Send the fax or email to the University of Michigan Film Office.
- If you are using University-owned equipment, you must furnish proof of insurance covering the equipment.
- The University will charge fees for any costs due to your production, including though not limited to, security, parking, electrical work, clean-up, and other University employees’ time at prevailing charge rates.
- No filming will be permitted in classrooms or libraries during midterms and finals or at other relevant times in other sensitive areas. Scenes may not be shot in a classroom in use without express written prior permission of the faculty member.
- The production company must allow University representatives unrestricted access to all University facilities being used for production.
- Unless you obtain prior express, written approval, you shall not represent the University of Michigan as the location, nor identify the University of Michigan through its signs, logos, name, or iconic structures.
- Care on location: Production companies must treat University property and grounds with care and respect. Reference the PDF document GUIDELINE FOR USE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN GROUNDS for details on outside grounds usage on campus. (49.9 KB PDF file; opens with Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
- You must comply with all City, State, and University codes, statutes, rules, and regulations, including fire codes, and all environmental, health, and safety rules and regulations that govern the University of Michigan.
- You must take care to protect grounds, facilities, furniture, and flooring. You must place lay-out board in all non-carpeted areas to prevent filming equipment from directly touching the flooring.
- You may not drill, nail, glue, or alter any campus property without prior permission from the University of Michigan Film Office.
- Filmmakers should always pay due consideration to the sensitivities of the community in which they are filming, and members of the public should be treated with respect and courtesy at all times.
- Lighting and other equipment must not cause danger to the public. Cables and generators must be covered with appropriate rubber/matting when crossing pavements or located in a public place in a way that could cause safety hazards. Warning cones and hazard tape should be used when appropriate.
- We will provide rubbish bins to the production and clear them regularly at a cost to the production.
- All signs must be attached to stanchions and may not be hung on facilities, trees, or poles.
- You must not remove University-owned objects belonging to the location without our prior agreement.
- You must return the location to its original condition and remove all evidence of filming immediately upon completing filming.
- The production company must notify the University of any damage to the property. All damages to property will be the responsibility of the production company.
- The University cannot provide any storage for the filming crew prior to or during filming sessions.
- Observing designated areas: Filmmakers should limit their activities to the areas where they have been given permission to film.
- There should be no trespassing on Ann Arbor City or private land without permission in writing.
- No smoking areas should be observed and cigarettes should be stubbed out in ashtrays and disposed of in a responsible manner.
- Production vehicles and production staff should park only where agreed at pre-arranged times.
- We cannot guarantee that on-campus parking will be available. When we can make prior arrangements, we will charge a reasonable fee for vehicle parking.
- Engines should be switched off upon arrival.
- Vehicles must not obstruct city streets or University traffic flows. If traffic patterns must be altered for filming, you must tell us early so we can help you get necessary permits.
- Please disclose loading and unloading needs early so we can agree upon a plan before filming begins.
- No vehicles may be placed on University grounds without the approval of the Office of the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations (see Contact Us page).
- Health and Safety:
- It is the responsibility of the production to ensure that its employees and contractors adhere to health and safety regulations when on location.
- The Production Company must have a qualified first aid person always present while on location.
- You must notify us in advance of all electrical needs (e.g., whether or not you provide your own generators, or high load requirements). The University will decide on proper placement of generators on location. We may charge reasonable fees when electricians or alterations are required.
- Crew and production personnel may be ejected from the campus for behavior that disrupts the operation of the University, is offensive in language or behavior to students, faculty, staff, or university guests.
- You must submit a complete copy of the final script for approval, including any script changes, additions (including title changes) that are made after we have granted approval.
Student and Faculty Filming Guidelines
The University of Michigan Film Office will help students, faculty, and staff who wish to film on campus for academic purposes. As early in the creative process as possible, please contact us with your facilities requirements so we can help you make the needed arrangements.
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