All commercial, non-news photography or videotaping must be approved in advance by the Duke University Communications and Marketing or the Medical Center News Office (for medical center activities). Below are the guidelines and policies for commercial filming at Duke.

Commercial Use of Duke Facilities

Duke University protects its name and landmarks from inappropriate commercial use but strives to cooperate with film and video producers desiring to use Duke facilities when it can be demonstrated their activities serve the university’s interest. Priority generally is given to those activities that can help support the educational missions of the university. University Communications and Marketing will use appropriate means to facilitate such endeavors.


  1. All photography and filming requests must be approved before your arrival on campus.
  2. Requests for commercial non-news filmmaking, videotaping or photography at Duke University should be directed to the Marketing and Brand Strategy team.
  3. Requests for photography and videography for the Health system must be directed to the director of the Medical Center News Office.
  4. For all news-related inquiries, please contact the University Media Relations team.
  5. Final approval for any location filming request must come from the Vice President for Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs. Once approval has been granted, University Communications and Marketing (or, as appropriate, the Medical Center News Office) will be responsible for working with the production company and coordinating its efforts with all appropriate university offices.


The university will consider permitting the making of photographs, films and videotapes on campus for commercial non-news purposes on the basis of the following guidelines:

  1. A production will be considered in terms of its size and complexity and to what degree it might disrupt classes and other normal campus activities. Whenever possible, production should be scheduled for weekends and during breaks in the academic calendar.
  2. The university expects the production to offer educational and/or extracurricular experiences to Duke students. The university strongly encourages the use of students as extras and production assistants for on-campus productions. The university also encourages representatives of production companies to make themselves available for classroom discussion of their work. Duke also requires that upon completion, a copy of the production be donated to the university’s library.
  3. Anyone wishing to film on campus for commercial non-news purposes must submit in writing detailed information about the propose project, including:
    • locations;
    • days and hours of shooting;
    • number of people involved in each day’s shooting;
    • type of activity to be filmed;
    • list of equipment and vehicles used in connection with the filming;
    • sizes and composition of structures involved;
    • security and safety requirements.
  4. This information and a script must be submitted to University Communications for review at least 30 days before the start of filming. This requirement can be waived at the discretion of the university in the case of small productions.
  5. A walk-through of all proposed shooting locations must be conducted with an appropriate Duke representative at least 10 days in advance of the desired dates. After locations are given tentative approval, the production company must take part in an initial meeting with representatives of all the involved university departments.
  6. A commercial general liability insurance certificate with limits of $1 million per occurrence, naming Duke University and its employees and agents as additional insureds, must be filed with University Communications at least 10 days prior to the first set-up day. In addition, if the production company has three or more employees, it must furnish proof of Worker’s Compensation insurance.
  7. The university reserves the right to require production companies to make a damage deposit prior to the arrival of any production vehicles on campus. The damage deposit will be refunded in full when the shooting locations are inspected by university officials and found to be in satisfactory condition. Special arrangements can be made for small productions.
  8. Each production company will be charged a location fee. The standard fee is $10,000.00 per day or portion thereof. Any representation of official Duke logos or seals must be approved in advance of production. In addition, the production company will pay all incurred expenses such as those for electricians, food services, security, janitorial services, etc. Fees for set-up days will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Cancellation of a production within seven days of the start of filming will result in a charge not to exceed $5,000.00.
  9. Duke University will prepare a letter of agreement, to be signed by the appropriate official of the production company and the university’s senior vice president of the Office of Public Affairs. A shoot will be considered confirmed when this contract has been signed by both parties. The contract must contain a hold-harmless clause approved by Duke University Counsel. The production company must provide Duke with an insurance certificate, damage deposit, check for full amount of location fee and signed contract at least 24 hours before set-up begins. At that point, the conditions in the contract become operative.