Commercial Film and Videotape Productions Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in Brandeis University as a possible film or video location. The purpose of these guidelines is to outline and simplify the process of planning and executing such a production.

The University’s Office of Communications is responsible for all arrangements pertaining to commercial productions on campus. Please direct all requests to the Director of Media Relations or the Senior Vice President for Communications, rather than to individual departments.

Before a project can be confirmed, you should send the following to the Director of Media Relations:

  • A written letter of request
  • A full script or story board, if possible, or a general outline of the production
  • A list of locations and dates involved, and
  • Any special requests or needs.

Confirmation comes after a review by the film review committee (made up of affected units within the university) and is dependent upon availability of desired location, parking and security, and the schedule of university classes and events.

A production is confirmed only when a contract has been signed. An insurance certificate and a signed contract are due at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the production. It is the responsibility of the Office of Communications to protect the interests of the university, students, staff and faculty as well as to honor its commitment to you and make your project as productive as possible.

Specific Requirements

I. Locations: Most areas of the Brandeis University campus, subject to availability and academic schedules, may be used for commercial filming and videotaping with the following exceptions for interior shots:

  1. Irving Presidential Enclave
  2. Any campus library or classroom during exam periods
  3. Residence halls while occupied by students

II. Institutional Identification: The university’s name, nickname(s,) trademark symbols (e.g., The Castle, Justice Brandeis Statue), building and unit names may not be used in commercials or advertisements. The use of Institutional Identification in films or non-news broadcasting programs is subject to approval on a case-by-case basis.

III. Fees

  1. The production company will be responsible for all expenses incurred for parking, security and technical support (e.g., facilities workers, custodians, and electricians.) These costs will be coordinated by the Director of Media Relations with the appropriate campus units and production company representatives.
  2. An additional fee will be charged and a separate facilities use agreement will be required when filming at an athletic venue. When shooting at such venues, an athletic representative may be required to be present along with the Director of Media Relations or his/her designee.

IV. Script Approval: A copy of the final script or story board must be submitted with the letter of request for approval by the University’s Film Review Committee. Script approval must be granted prior to signing of a contract. While the committee members understand that script changes occur frequently, it is imperative that any changes or additions should be brought immediately to the attention of the Director of Media Relations or Senior Vice President for Communications once approval for filming has been granted.

V. Insurance: A $3 million certificate must be provided with the university named as additional insured for the days of preparation, set-up, the actual filming and the tear down time. Additional insurance may be required if special locations are used. This will be agreed upon before shooting begins.

VI. Fire Permit: The production company is responsible for notifying the Waltham Fire Department about the project and obtaining a fire permit. A copy of the fire permit must be submitted to the university at least five days before the crew arrives. Other requests subject to City of Waltham approval (e.g., closing of streets) are the production company’s responsibility.

VII. Parking and Security: Parking and security needs will be coordinated by the Director of Media Relations. The production company should provide the Director with a list of parking and security needs as soon as possible. When vehicle parking by the production company will affect pedestrian safety, film crews must set up appropriate signage and safety barriers to alert pedestrians to potential hazards. Charges for these services will be billed separately by the affected units.

VIII. Construction and Special Needs: Special needs affecting university buildings and grounds (e.g., removal of emergency call boxes, bikes racks, flagpoles or tree and shrubbery pruning) must be conveyed to the Director of Media Relations as soon as possible and will be subject to approval. Representatives from affected university departments, along with the Director of Media Relations, will be present during scouting on campus to discuss these requests. Temporary construction shall be conducted in a fashion that neither damages university property nor, in any way, endangers students, faculty, staff or visitors. Such alterations must be approved in advance by the Senior Vice President for Administration. Campus property that is altered must be returned to its original state by the production company. A final inspection by a production company liaison, the Director of Media Relations, and appropriate university officials is required at the end of the production.

IX. Staff Assistance: The Director of Media Relations, or another Office of Communications staff member, will be present throughout filming. That person will assist the production company with scouting, coordination of various sites on campus, assist in contract negotiations with the university counsel, security and parking, facilities, and assist the cast and crew throughout the entire project. Charges for these services begin with the university’s approval of the project and conclude once the cast, crew and equipment have left campus.

X. Cancellations: Cancellation of a scheduled shoot without just cause requires at least a 48-hour notice to the Director of Media Relations. A cancellation fee of $1,000 per day will be imposed if there is failure to comply with notification. In the event of a weather delay, the production company reserves the right to extend the production equal to the time lost.

XI. Special Notes

  1. It is imperative that the campus community has access to all facilities and that the production crews not disrupt, in any way, the university’s academic mission. 

The university will give special consideration to commercial productions that clearly will enhance the educational experience of its students (e.g. through extras, production assistants, community involvement.) 

  2. Production companies requesting to film on campus must provide the Director of Media Relations a minimum of three references from owners of past locations used.

  3. The production company will credit the university for its cooperation as “Brandeis University”.

  4. If the project is approved by members of the university’s film review committee, these guidelines and other terms will be incorporated into a contract that must be executed before there is any use of the campus.