Procedures Checklist

Planning Phase

  1. Review all of the content on the Filming at Michigan State University site and become familiar with guidelines and fees.
  2. Send University Communications a complete script (film) or storyboard(s) (commercial) for review and approval.
  3. Complete the Filming, Videotaping, and Photography Application Form and submit it to University Communications.
  4. University Communications must preapprove your project. Requests may be denied if the overall content of the script is in conflict with the goals and ideals of the university or if the project is deemed unmanageable for the campus.
  5. Preapproval is generally granted within 10 days. At the time of preapproval, a film liaison will be assigned to work with you on all aspects of your project. Your liaison is your principal contact with MSU and will secure access to facilities, facilitate interaction with university offices and officials, manage required permissions unless otherwise noted, and accompany you at all times during your time on campus.

At least 30 days prior to shooting

  1. Contact your film liaison to set up an appointment to walk through all site locations and to discuss details of the shoot.
  2. Perform a full technical scout, including a written list of all potential items (e.g., cranes, generators, trucks) to be brought onto campus for duration of the production. See technical scout guidelines.
  3. Discuss set dressing/construction, possible rerouting of traffic patterns (vehicle and pedestrian), cabling runs, electrical needs, special effects needs/requirements, and site security.
  4. Determine availability of requested locations for possible use.
  5. Following the tech scout, an estimate of fees will be faxed to you by your film liaison.

10 to 14 days prior to shooting

  1. Your liaison will schedule a visit to site locations with an MSU Facilities and Operations representative.
  2. Finalize locations, requirements, and parking needs with your liaison.
  3. Submit detailed timeline and script revisions (film) or storyboards (advertisement) to your liaison.
  4. Submit a certificate of general liability insurance to Debbie Hurst in the Office of Risk Management and Insurance: email or fax to (517) 432-3854.
  5. If you plan to use university equipment, submit proof of insurance covering the equipment to the same office.

At least three days prior to shooting

  1. Submit full payment of fees and a signed contract to your film liaison. Final approval to film should not be assumed until you have a signed contract with Michigan State University for filming.
  2. Submit any location changes for approval.
  3. Submit a full list of crew members and vehicles and a daily production schedule to your liaison.
  4. Submit a list of possible arrivals and departures of equipment to the production site.

Following shooting

  1. Return all areas used during production to their preexisting state.
  2. Dispose of all trash and materials used during the production.
  3. Inform your film liaison about a timeline for film completion and release.


Cancellation of an approved film permit must be received no less than two business days prior to scheduled start of filming. A fee equal to 50 percent of the regular campus filming production fee will be charged if the cancellation occurs after the contract has been signed or within 48 hours of the scheduled shoot (excluding weekends) regardless of whether a contract is in effect. If a rental facility has been reserved or personnel booked, those fees may be billed also.

Rush Services

In order to ensure that all approvals are received and your shoot is arranged to your expectations, we require that a fully completed application be submitted to University Communications no less than 10 working days prior to the first prep day or day of shooting. We also require that a final tech scout be done no less than five working days prior to the first prep day or day of shooting. Should either occur after the deadline, a per-item rush fee of 10 percent of your campus filming production fee will be charged.