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Campus Film & Photo Guide

Lights, camera, action

The UW is renowned for its stunning landscapes and iconic sites. From the mountain to the fountain, the University – Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell campuses plus other properties – provides the perfect backdrop for film, video and photography productions.

We look forward to assisting you. Refer to this guide for additional information regarding location agreements, certificates of insurance, fees and more. Get the cameras ready to start rolling!

Questions? Contact or call us at 206-543-2518.

Request forms

To start, fill out the filming request form. Please allow three days for a response.

Request to film

Filming guidelines

Location agreement

A signed location agreement is required to film or photograph any University property. This includes movies and television, commercial videos, student films, festival or independent films, advertising, and internet use.

Note: because UW is a state agency, we cannot sign external agreements which indemnify your production.

The location agreement may be approved when all the following requirements have been met:

  • The Filming Request Form is submitted at least one month prior to your filming or photo date.
  • Specific dates and locations are available and approved by the University’s Director of Brand Management.

Certificate of insurance

The Producer shall furnish the University with certificate(s) of insurance evidencing coverage (explained in the Location Agreement) at least 3 days prior to the commencement of use of the Location. The certificate(s) shall state that coverage will not be canceled or modified without 45 days prior written notice to the University. Producer shall be responsible for payment of any deductibles, co-payments, or excess losses.

Frequently asked questions

Filming locations

We do not allow use of branded or iconic locations in any non-UW production, specifically: the Reading Room in Suzzallo Library, the Rainier Vista view which includes Drumheller Fountain and Mt. Rainier, and the Block W statues located at entrances to all of our campuses. These locations are considered unique to the UW.

Filming cannot interfere with normal University business and/or previously scheduled University events. Therefore we do not allow filming in classrooms during the Fall, Winter or Spring academic quarters. We require at least one month in advance at other times to check availability and get approvals from the appropriate personnel.

We do not allow filming that may interfere with normal University business during the last two weeks of each quarter (“dead” week and finals week). Filming in interior spaces that are not in use for academic or business purposes, and would not interfere with normal business is permitted with a signed location agreement.

When doing an interview with a faculty member or student, they will arrange location access and we will do the location agreement.

Suzzallo Library Reading Room is not available for film or photography. Suzzallo Library cannot be used or scheduled outside of regular business hours.

Dorm/Residence Hall

We have one Model Residence Hall Room available that can be scheduled 1 month in advance pending availability with Housing and Food Services. You cannot shoot in or reserve student common areas.


Not all buildings are completely accessible. There is a significant amount of exclusive research going on at the University and not all buildings are accessible.  Unless you have an agreement with a department, we do not provide access to labs.

Vehicle access

Vehicles are not allowed on campus grounds. UW prides itself on its park-like setting and therefore no vehicles with the exception of facilities services are allowed directly on campus. There are access roads that can be used with permission. Any other lanes must be approved by UW Transporation Services and/or Environmental Health and Safety as the majority of these roads are fire lanes. Trucks and trailers can be parked in designated parking lots; our film team can work with you on a plan that works for your production.


Requests for filming in the Athletics Village should be directed to their facility rental team.

UW Medicine

The UW’s hospitals and medical centers are active spaces all year, and are not available for filming unless you have a prior agreement with a professor or administrator. We do not have “model” surgery or patient care rooms available.


There is no fee for wedding or personal event photography taken on campus. Location agreements are not required for outdoor wedding or personal event photography, as long as it does not disrupt regular UW business or academics. Check here for more information on reserving iconic outdoor locations. Wedding photography in one of our indoor spaces requires approval prior to use. You’ll need to fill out a Use of University Facilities Form and get permission from the venue manager . Due to fire regulations, no stands, lighting or cables may be used.

Please note: Suzzallo Library Reading Room is not available for film or photography, and cannot be scheduled for wedding photographs.

Student filmmakers

If you’re a UW student filmmaker, we may have resources to help you with your production. Please contact for more information.


Certified UAS pilots should adhere to all FAA regulations while on UW property. Non-commercial pilots are expected to adhere to the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (14 CFR part 107). UW does not allow drones near the hospital, athletics village and residence halls and it’s good practice to notify building managers of any scheduled drone shoot. UW Medicine operates a helipad near the Athletic Village area and it is prohibited to fly a drone in this area. If a drone is flown anywhere near UW hospital you should register it with Life Flight at (206) 329-2569. FAA does not allow the flight of drones within 1000 feet of a stadium on a “game day.”

If a drone is flown in a restricted area, the University has the ability to force the drone to land and it can be punishable in accordance with UW policies. There is no retrieval plan or procedure if you lose your drone on UW property (i.e. in a tree, on a roof). For this reason, only fly drones in open areas.

Drone flight is not allowed during the blooming of the UW Cherry Trees in the Quad. The amount of visitors to campus exceeds the FAA rules for drone operation over a crowd.

For flight plans, you can use Airmap to plan your flight.


Commercial productions (film or television)

  • up to 6 hours $1,500
  • 6 to 12 hours $3,000
  • over 12 hrs, $250 hr

Independent films or videos

  • up to 6 hours $750
  • 6 to 12 hours $1,500
  • over 12 hrs, $125 hr

Commercial photography

  • 1–2 hours $200
  • up to 6 hours $600
  • 6 to 12 hours $1200

Space rentals

Rentals fees are additional and vary depending on space and room requirements. Classrooms and meeting or conference spaces on campus have rental fees in addition to the location fees.


Parking fees are additional and vary depending on space requirements.


Bathrooms/changing rooms/craft services

In general bathrooms are not available for film productions. There are no outdoor public bathrooms on campus. If your shoot is indoors, there may be a restroom nearby, but there isn’t a lot of space for a production office, changing areas or craft services. We cannot reserve student areas for production use. You can have food delivered to campus, and there is an on-campus caterer but they need plenty of advance notice as they serve the entire university.

Facilities & electricity

Many of our facilities were built pre-1900 and are managed in quadrants. So you cannot “access a fuse box” in a room as that’s a complicated operation! You will not have access to electrical panels, lights, HVAC, clocks, bells, or locks. You can use elevators with prior approval of a building operator. After-hour access (later than 5pm) requires overtime staff to keep a building open and locked when you are finished.

Many University building are on an automatic locking system. This cannot be changed or turned off. If you are asking to use facilities outside of operating hours a facilities staff must be on site. This is an additional charge and may vary depending on your needs.


Parking can be paid in bulk for all vehicles, and must be arranged in advance unless you are driving onto campus and self-parking. Fees are $18 per day per vehicle. Reserved (coned) locations are $36 per space. RVs and truck parking arrangements can be made thru our office. Loading dock parking is not available. For more parking information please see our visitor page.