Guidelines

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 or corporate training films on campus. The use of guns, whether real or prop guns, in the filming of any scene on campus is strictly prohibited.

  1. 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.
  2. If you are using University-owned equipment, you must furnish proof of insurance covering the equipment.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. You must obtain a signed release consent form from each person who is captured on film and is identifiable. You must explain the topic of the film and its intended use to the individual before they sign their consent. A sample release/consent form is found under the Applications & Forms tab.
  6. The production company must allow University representatives unrestricted access to all University facilities being used for production.
  7. 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. Please use our standard release forms for locations or materials. They are attached under the Applications & Forms tab.
  8. Care on location: Production companies must treat University property and grounds with care and respect. Reference the PDF document GUIDELINES 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Parking/vehicles:
    • 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).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 and Requirements

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.

  1. The facilities manager for each location must be notified, and a walk-through of all production locations with representatives of the Office of Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations or the building facilities manager must be held at least 10 days before shooting is to begin.
  2. University-owned equipment used by students, staff or faculty for UM coursework or as part of their employment is coverage through university insurance. However, if equipment is used for an outside project the students, faculty or staff members would need to provide proof of insurance.
  3. Fees will be charged by the University 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.
  4. 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.
  5. You must obtain a signed release consent form from each person who is captured on film and is identifiable. You must explain the topic of the film and its intended use to the individual before they sign their consent. A sample release/consent form is found under the Applications & Forms tab.
  6. The production company must allow University representatives unrestricted access to all University facilities being used for production. Pedestrian traffic may be paused briefly, but not completely impeded by the production.
  7. Representation of the University of Michigan, in any manner, is not allowed and the “University” may not be identified as the location of the photographs, nor can any “University of Michigan” signage be incorporated in any photographs or films without express written prior approval. Contact leedoyle@umich.edu for approval and provide a script for review, as well as your intended audience and methods of transmission.
  8. Care on location:
    • Filmmakers must treat University property and grounds with care and respect. Reference the “GUIDELINES FOR USE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN GROUNDS” for details on outside grounds usage on campus.
    • Care must be taken to protect grounds, facilities, furniture, and flooring.
    • 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 should be covered with matting when crossing pavements. Warning cones and hazard tape should be used when appropriate.
    • Rubbish bins will be provided to the production and cleared regularly by the University’s Grounds at a cost to the production.
    • University-owned objects belonging to the location must not be removed without prior agreement of the University.
    • The location must be returned to its original condition immediately upon completion of filming and all evidence of filming removed.
    • The filmmakers must notify the University of any damage to the property. All damages to property will be the responsibility of the filmmaker.
    • The University cannot provide any storage for the filming crew prior to or during filming sessions.
  9. 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 their permission in writing.
    • No smoking areas should be observed and cigarettes should be stubbed out in ashtrays and disposed of in a responsible manner
  10. Parking/vehicles:
    • Production vehicles and production staff should park only where agreed at pre-arranged times.
    • Engines should be switched off on arrival.
    • Vehicles cannot cause obstruction to City Streets or University traffic flows.
    • Loading & unloading needs must be disclosed and agreed upon before filming begins.
    • No vehicles may be placed on University grounds without the approval of the Office of the Office of the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations.
  11. Health and Safety:
    • It is the responsibility of the production to ensure that employees and contractors adhere to Health and Safety regulations when on location.
    • Lighting and other equipment must not cause danger to the public. Cables should be covered with matting when crossing pavements. Warning cones and hazard tape should be used when appropriate.
    • University must have advance notice of all electrical needs (e.g., whether or not you provide your own generators). The University will decide on proper placement of generators on location.

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