Chapter 37 – Filming on Campus


37.1 Rationale

Commercial filming by non-University entities can pose risks to the people, programs, and property of The University of Iowa. To mitigate those risks, the University has established rules and procedures about commercial filming.

37.2 Policy

The University of Iowa requires explicit written permission for all film, photo, and video shooting on University property done for commercial purposes. The Office of Strategic Communication (OSC) is the designated office for receiving requests to film, coordinating their evaluation, granting or denying approval, and coordinating University support for approved activities.

37.3 Definitions

“Filming” for purposes of this policy means all film, photo, and video shooting on University property done for commercial purposes by individuals or organizations who are not employed by or agents of The University of Iowa.

“Campus” means all real estate under the control of The University of Iowa, regardless of location.

37.4 Exceptions

This policy does not cover filming for the following purposes:

  1. Journalism: filming for legitimate news-gathering purposes by the news media
  2. Personal use: filming for personal, noncommercial use
  3. Academic use: filming by students and faculty for academic purposes, including research, creative or scholarly work, or teaching and learning

Nevertheless, filming for these purposes may be subject to reasonable and appropriate restrictions imposed by the University for legitimate reasons, such as to preserve safety or maintain public order, to protect personal privacy, to avoid disruption to the University’s academic activities and official business, to comply with state or federal law, or to honor contractual obligations to a speaker or performing artist.

37.5 Requirements

  1. Filming will not be allowed at times and in places where it would be disruptive to the academic process, student life, and/or patient care. As a matter of general practice, the University does not allow commercial filming during final exam periods; in residence halls, dining facilities, libraries, and clinical care settings; or in places where public access is restricted for reasons of safety and security.
  2. The University’s name, marks, indicia, signature colors and images, prominent individuals and locations, and athletic uniforms may not be filmed without express written permission.
  3. Those requesting permission to film must submit the final script, treatment, storyboards, or similar materials describing the project in detail for prior approval by the University. The film as finally produced and distributed must be consistent in all material respects with the script, treatment, storyboards, or similar materials on which the University based its decision.
  4. The University reserves the right to restrict filming of a lecture, concert, theatrical production, or similar event under the terms of a contract with the speaker or artist.
  5. The University has the right to deny filming requests if, in its sole judgment, the project conflicts with the mission and values of the University, portrays students or faculty in a negative manner, or is derogatory to higher education. Examples of subject matter that may be rejected are excessive violence, abuse of alcohol and drugs, nudity, racism, sexism, and obscenity.
  6. Permission to film does not constitute implied or explicit endorsement of the film or its content.
  7. The University may require filmers to reimburse it for services rendered in connection with filming, such as parking, security, food service, and staff time. The Office of Strategic Communication will establish these costs at the time of approval.
    1. The University cannot guarantee that on-campus parking will be available.
    2. Production vehicles and staff are allowed to park only in the areas agreed upon prior to filming.
    3. Vehicles cannot obstruct city streets or University traffic. If filmers anticipate that traffic patterns must be altered for filming, they must notify the University before filming begins.
    4. The production company is required to disclose loading and unloading needs so that the University can approve a schedule prior to filming.
    5. No vehicles can be placed on University grounds without prior approval from the University.
  8. The University will require filmers to provide a certificate of insurance for Workers' Compensation, automobile, and general liability. The required insurance limits may vary depending on the scope of the project.  The certificate must specify The University of Iowa and the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, as named insureds.
  9. The University reserves the right to revoke permission to film on its property at any time, without recourse, if in its judgment the filming is in conflict with the terms and intent of this policy.
  10. The production company must create and place signs around location to advise guests, visitors, students, and employees in advance that they may be photographed, filmed, or otherwise appear on camera.
  11. The University reserves the right to eject any crew members or persons in any way connected with the production company for displaying behavior that is deemed disruptive to the operation of the University. Such instances include being offensive in language or behavior to students, faculty, staff, administrators, or University guests.
  12. Unless the production company has obtained prior written approval, they will not be permitted to identify The University of Iowa as the fictitious location either directly or indirectly.
  13. The University may assign staff to oversee the film crew’s activities on campus. Those staff will have full discretion to enforce any and all aspects of this policy in the manner they deem appropriate.
  14. Modifications and instructions:
    1. Filmers may not remove University-owned objects on location without prior approval from the University.
    2. Filmers many not drill, nail, glue, or alter any campus property without prior permission from The University of Iowa.
    3. If permission is granted, the production company is responsible for returning modified property to its original state unless other agreements have been made with the University.
    4. All temporary construction must be conducted in a manner that does not damage University property or endanger faculty, staff, students, or visitors.
    5. The production company must obtain prior approval from the University before constructing any building facades or other set materials that could obstruct fire lanes or affect the safety of pedestrians or building occupants.
  15. Electrical needs:
    1. All electrical needs must be presented to the University in advance of the project. The University will decide on proper placement of generators on location.
    2. If electricians or alterations are required, the University may charge appropriate fees.