Movie, television filming thrives on campus

Jillian Ballard

Several buildings on campus have prominent and unique architecture, so it is only natural that CSUN will be in films, television shows and commercials. The Oviatt Library is the building used in movies that is the most recognizable building on campus.

Feature films such as “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White ‘ Blonde,” “Sky High” and “Bring it On Again,” in addition to several TV shows, have been filmed at CSUN.

The University Corporation handles all of the licensing filming around campus. The University Student Union, however, licenses itself.

“Any filming done on campus for movies, TV shows or commercials all has to go through licensing,” said Rick Evans, administrative services manager in university licensing.

According to the licensing web site, the filming on campus should not interfere with normal university business or previously scheduled events.

The specified campus locations will be approved for specific date(s) and time(s) five days prior to the filming. The office of public relations must approve the script and university personnel must be available for assistance at the time of the shooting.

“There is a set fee for filming on campus,” Evans said. “(It depends) on the size and how long they want to stay on campus.”

For a feature film, the university charges $5,350 per 14-hour day. The hourly rate is $480. Television shows are charged $4,815 per 14-hour day with an hourly rate of $430. For commercials the rate is $4,280 per 14-hour day with an hourly rate of $385.

“Over the summer and during the winter, filming crews get 20 percent off,” Evans said. Excluding the filming of Oviatt Library, during the breaks when there are fewer students, the film industry will receive a discount. The university corporation does not want filming to be disruptive for students.

The fees for filming are waived for CSUN students who need to use the campus for class projects approved by the director of the cinema and television arts department. A permit letter from the CTVA director is required for students at all times during filming.

The University Corporation does not charge for any company that wants to film documentaries or newscasts. However, the director does have to contact the public relations office beforehand.

If a filming crew needs to use multiple locations on campus, a police officer and a liaison will be assigned to each location and billed accordingly.

There are additional direct costs for services provided by the university. The filming crew will have to pay $60 per hour for police services, $39 per hour for a parking officer and $38 per hour for liaisons.

For the use of Physical Plant Management and/or a custodian the fee is $56 per hour. Parking for automobiles is the same fee that students pay for a daily parking permit at $4 per day. Trailers, trucks and vans must pay $4 per hour per number of spaces used.

“The film industry works so quickly,” Evans said.

In the movie “Sky High,” starring Michael Angarano and Kurt Russell, the Oviatt Library was used as the front of the high school, Sky High, a school for superheroes.

In “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White ‘ Blonde,” Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods walked through the halls of Manzanita Hall to find her beloved Chihuahua’s mom, who was being used for cosmetics testing.

“Bring it on Again” used the CSUN campus as their high school campus. Scenes of the cheer competition were held in front of the Oviatt Library.

On the licensing site there is a contest for the best pictures of buildings on campus. The winning pictures will be posted on the licensing web site. The grand prize is $150, with four prizes in the amount of $75 and four more in the amount of $50.

There are pictures of buildings on campus, hallways and classrooms on the site so film crews will not have to send talent scouts out.