Applying to Film at Columbia

How to Apply

  1. Complete the film application in its entirety.

  2. Allow 3 business days for initial review. During this time, the University will:
    a. check availability for the space and dates requested;
    b. review the film synopsis; and
    c. ensure film production will not disrupt classes, University business, or other events.

  3. Once preliminary approval has been granted, set up a day/time for a tech scout.

  4. Complete technical walk through. Set dressing, special effects, large equipment, power requirements, etc. must be fully disclosed at this meeting. Be prepared to discuss placement of any cranes, generators, and all production vehicles; load-in and load-out, cabling plans in and out of any buildings, and electrical requirements, dimensions, weight, and composition of structures involved.

  5. A non-refundable pre-production deposit, totaling the cost of 1 production hour is required at this time. If there is no cancellation, the deposit will be applied to the location fee.

  6. Following the walk through, you will then be notified if your shoot has been approved.

  7. No permission to use the campus should be inferred until each of these steps has been completed and you receive written notice of request approval.

  8. When shooting on the campus, a $5 million insurance certificate is required; the Trustees of Columbia University 535 West 116th Street New York, NY 10027 is to be named as an additional insured for the day(s) of the shoot.

  9. Additionally, proof of worker’s compensation insurance, automobile liability insurance, and all risk property damage insurance must be provided at least 48 hours before the first set-up day.

  10. A request will be finalized when a contract has been signed. The production company must provide Columbia University with a check for the full amount of the location fee and a signed contract, containing a hold-harmless clause, at least 48 hours before set-up begins.

School of the Arts Students in the Graduate Film Program

School of the Arts students enrolled in the Graduate Film Program should begin the request process here.

All Other Columbia University Students

Students currently enrolled at Columbia University may film on campus with:

  • faculty approval if it is related to academic coursework or
  • advisor approval if it is related to the activities of a recognized student group

Process

  1. Complete a film application and submit to UEM for review.
    1. For Lerner Hall, Low Library and outdoor space, applications must be submitted 5 business days in advance of requested production date.
    2. For all other campus space, applications must be submitted 10 business days in advance of requested production date.
  2. Within 72 hours, Event Management will send an email to confirm receipt of application and, if needed, request additional information for processing.
     
  3. During the application review, Event Management will:
    1. confirm all required information has been provided;
    2. consult the schedule of campus events in the requested location and surrounding areas and  check University black-out dates to ensure there is no conflict;
    3. contact faculty member to verify academic standing of the student requesting to film on campus or contact advisor to confirm approval of student group request;
    4. contact the building supervisor of the proposed film site to confirm availability and put a preliminary hold on the specific areas, dates, and times requested;
    5. ensure film production will not disrupt classes, University business, or other events.
       
  4. Event Management will set up a day/time for a tech scout, if necessary.
     
  5. Event Management will involve campus partners to coordinate security and facility requirements, as needed. If security, facility or other support is necessary for the production, UEM will advise of corresponding charges.
     
  6. Once the tech scout has been completed, you will be notified if your shoot has been approved. Permission to film on campus should not be inferred until each of these steps has been completed and you receive written notice of request approval from Event Management.
     
  7. A signed confirmation with your signature must be returned to Event Management along with method of payment if applicable.