Lights, camera, action on Tech campus

When visitors tour the Tech campus, tour guides often mention that “The Internship” was filmed on campus. In the hit comedy, which starred Owen Wilson(“Zoolander”) and Vince Vaughn (“Wedding Crashers”), the Clough building and Tech Green doubled as the Google campus in California.

“The Internship” was released in 2013, and since then multiple movies have used the Tech campus as a filming location. The state of Georgia, especially Atlanta and the surrounding areas, has become popular for shooting movies and TV shows, such as “The Hunger Games” and AMC’s hit show “The Walking Dead.”

In 2015, five movies were filmed on campus. The most notable, “The Accountant”
was released Oct. 14, 2016. Ben Affleck (“Argo”) and Anna Kendrick (“Pitch Perfect”) were filmed at the steps to the Student Center by the Campanile. The movie also used conference rooms in the Klaus building, the Historic Academy of Medicine building and many other spots at Tech.

Released Apr. 16, 2016, the HBO film “Confirmation” stars Kerry Washington (“Scandal”) and includes scenes at Tech. “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life,” which opened Oct. 7, 2016, also used Tech’s campus.

Two movies with 2017 premieres, horror film “Rings” and Tom Cruise’s (“Top Gun”) movie “American Made”, formerly known as  “Mena,” both shot scenes on Tech campus.

The Technique interviewed Deborah Greene, assistant director of the Office of Capital Planning and Space Management, about filming at Tech.

Technique: Which buildings on campus are used for or favored
for filming?

Greene: When we do permit filming on campus, our goal is to minimize disruption to classes and research activities and to maintain safety.

As a result, we usually do not permit filming in research buildings and residence halls. Requests to film in other campus buildings, such as Clough Commons or the Klaus Advanced Computer Center, and in outdoor spaces, such as Tech Green, are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

We encourage filming in our event spaces, such as the Historic Academy of Medicine, the Campus Recreation Center and various Georgia Tech Athletic Association venues.

Technique: Does Georgia Tech actively encourage the use of the campus for filming? Do we advertise or in some way reach out to production companies about the availability at Tech?

Greene: No, we do not actively encourage the use of the campus for filming.

Technique: A lot of movies and TV shows are now filmed in Georgia, which has become a popular filming location. Has the state reached out to Tech about using the campus for future films?

Greene: From time to time, the Georgia Film Commission reaches out to the Institute on behalf of requests they receive.

Technique: Do the buildings draw film crews, or it is Tech’s stature that lends more interest in our campus?

Greene: It appears to be the physical features and attractiveness of our buildings and campus that generates interest in filming on our campus.

Technique: As it is a campus, are you limited to accepting requests to film on campus by the need to be minimally disruptive? Do you have to keep filming to academic breaks, or is that not a concern?

Greene: We aim to minimize disruption to the campus’ instruction and research

We limit filming to times when the campus is not in an active semester, for example, between semesters and during spring break. We do have more flexibility if the production company is interested is using an event venue.

Technique: How do films request to film on campus? Do requests go through the Space Management Department?

Greene: Currently, permission to film on campus is a joint responsibility of Capital Planning and Space Management and Institute Communications.