Filming Guidelines

The following guidelines provide a comprehensive outline for commercial and student filming and photography. These activities are regulated so that UBC space and facilities can be used as locations for filming or photography without disruption or cost to the university.

Film location requests will not be approved which seriously disrupt the normal activities of the university.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND UBC’S RESPONSE: Information and FAQs available here.  Filming activity has been cancelled to May 30th.  

The Guidelines Cover:

  • The complex requirements of production companies in utilizing locations, the physical resources of the university that might be suitable for their requirements, and the interests of university students and staff.
  • Minimizing disruption of normal university activities.
  • Assisting non-commercial production agencies and public broadcasting institutions in creating educational, documentary and public interest programs.
  • Managing and controlling general access to the university for commercial production companies producing feature films, commercials, documentaries, student productions, still photography and general entertainment programs.
  • Recovering all costs of the film liaison service and provide financial compensation to occupants of buildings where interior filming is undertaken.
  • Preserving the reputation and public image of the University.

The Guidelines Do Not Cover:

They do not provide information for areas that are not managed or under UBC’s jurisdiction:

  • Requests for areas not managed by UBC must be obtained from each independent location, including the Health Sciences Centre Hospital, TRIUMF, BC Research, TEF 3 Building, Don Rix Building, etc. 
  • For interior locations, approval must be received from the departments occupying the space requested.

The guidelines also do not apply to news and media coverage of university events and/or activities managed by UBC Media Relations. Coverage of sports events will be approved and arranged by UBC Athletics and Recreation. When news and public affairs coverage include complex news or documentary filming, the above guidelines will apply, including fees, and assistance which may be provided.

UBC Filming Guidelines

All requests to use university buildings, ground and facilities for the purposes of filming will be managed by the Film & Events Office.  

  • No major set construction or alteration of buildings will be permitted. Any set decoration must be clearly specified in writing and all areas occupied in connection with the filming must be returned to their normal condition.

  • A program script must be submitted prior to the commencement of filming so that the Film & Events Office can ascertain that such filming will not damage the reputation or image of the university. In the event that a script is not available, a storyboard and detailed outline must be provided.

  • The producer is encouraged to involve students from the UBC Department of Theatre & Film as observers while filming on campus.

For productions that do not involve university events and activities, every effort should be made to maintain the anonymity of the university, including promotion and credits; the university, however, may require that it be identified if it feels this would be in its interest.

Whenever a location fee is being charged, a UBC "Contract for Filming" or "Contract for Photography" will be entered into between the university and the production agency. This is the only contractual agreement regarding filming that the University will enter into.

  • The university uses a standard location contract outlining the responsibilities of both parties during the film shoot. This contract cannot be changed or amended. A Schedule to the contract specifies the dates/times/location of filming, and any other parameters for filming in the designated location
  • Requests for filming must normally be made at least two (2) weeks in advance.
  • Notwithstanding the terms and conditions of these guidelines, the Film & Events Office, has the right to refuse any request for filming on the premises of the university. Factors in such a decision may include but are not limited to the reputation and financial security of the production agency, and the history of previous dealings with that agency.

Information for production companies considering filming at UBC is available from Creative BC and and the UBC Film & Events Office.

Filming Fees

The following information provide an outline for commercial filming and photography on the UBC campus.

Location fees are waived for bona fide student class productions. Students are required to pay all the other applicable fees such as parking, security, plant operations, building rentals, etc.

Standard fees, excluding taxes, are:

  • Location Fee: $2,500 per shoot day, or $1,250 per prep or wrap day.
  • Parking: $1.25 per linear foot; $20.00 per day per parking space in parkades.
  • Security: $60 per hour. At least one security person or department liaison is required during filming
  • Plant Operations: Hourly rate for personnel for air conditioning units, electricians, etc.
  • Facilities Rental Fees: Additional contracts and room rental fees are required for locations, such as the Chan Centre, Cecil Green Park, Athletic facilities, etc.

Other fees may be incurred depending on location and filming requirements.

Will you give us a break on your fees?

Fees are standardized for the entire industry. Rates will be negotiated for film shoots that are longer than two weeks, still photography shoots with minimal impact, or when you are filming at an ancillary facility.

UBC is bound by the terms of various collective agreements with its support, labour and maintenance staff. Under these collective agreements, certain functions on the campus fall under union jurisdiction. If such functions are required, the producer agrees to utilize and pay for union staff at the rates contained in the said collective agreements.

For every location, at least one UBC Campus Security officer, UBC department liaison or UBC contract film liaison must be engaged during filming and will be charged an hourly rate.

If the production company requests that they be accompanied while scouting the campus, a UBC liaison can be scheduled and will be charged an hourly rate.

The cost of any additional services provided by the university, including security, parking, trades, etc., will be charged in addition to the location fee.  The university, in accordance with general policies and procedures, will decide which of these services are required for any film production.

All productions are required to provide a Certificate of Insurance with a combined minimum limit of $5million, with UBC named as additional insured.  

Students filming at UBC for a bona fide student production are not required to provide the certificate of insurance. 

The production shall also have in effect throughout the term of the agreement liability insurance, to a limit of at least $5,000,000 for all owned and non-owned motor vehicles deployed by the producer on the UBC campus. A copy of the certificate of insurance must be provided prior to production arriving on campus.

Production agencies filming at the university which need auxiliary sources of power must use silenced generators and cover all cables at their own expense.

All arrangements, including the payment of the location fees, evidence of insurance, and the execution of agreements, must be completed at least five business days prior to production arriving on campus.

Information for production companies considering filming at UBC is available from Creative BC or by contacting the Film & Events Office.