The more popular a movie or TV series becomes, the more curiosity “behind-the-scenes” life arouses. Fans of projects conduct entire investigations, trying to determine where this or that shot was filmed. Sometimes, TV Shows turn out that locations do not really exist but were built specifically for filming (as, for example, many iconic points in “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” with Sarah Michelle Gellar).
Why Do Directors Film the Real Campuses in Movies?
You can often see colleges in movies, especially for youth audiences. That being said, these sets are always given special attention. Why is it so important? The picture in the background creates a special and unique atmosphere and adds as much realism as possible.
Agree, the dialogue of students looks much more convincing and interesting when the background is a real college or university. Creating an atmosphere helps to make the story told on screen more realistic. And that’s what filmmakers strive for in the first place! That’s why they are so meticulous when choosing locations for filming.
If the series is filmed for a long time, a separate pavilion is often built for it. For example, if you search for “Big Bang Theory” filming locations, you will be surprised that most were in a movie studio building. However, many filmmakers prefer to use existing locations.
The reason for this is the interest immediately arising in the show: students enjoy looking at a familiar college or university. Again and again, they return to the locations to remember and feel the spirit of their favorite story seen on the screen.
This approach is preferable if you need to shoot several scenes or episodes. It is much easier, faster, and cheaper in a real educational institution than building a separate building.
Top 5 Famous Movies and TV Shows Filmed in College
Some student buildings are literally “movie stars”! You will be very surprised if you look at the movies filmed at Fordham University. Popular movies and TV series such as “Quiz Show”, “A Beautiful Mind”, “Center Stage”, “Love Story”, “The Gambler”, and “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” were filmed at this location (New York City, USA).
College life has been a recurring theme in many popular movies and TV shows, offering audiences a glimpse into the ups and downs of campus culture, academic challenges, friendships, and the unique experiences that come with higher education. Here are the top 5 favorite movies and college TV shows.
1. Animal House (1978)
This classic comedy film, directed by John Landis, is set at the fictional Faber College and follows the misadventures of a rowdy fraternity. It humorously portrays the wild side of college life, including raucous parties and pranks, becoming an iconic representation of the college party scene.
2. The Social Network (2010)
Directed by David Fincher, this movie focuses on the Facebook invention at Harvard University. It explores college life’s competitive and entrepreneurial aspects, highlighting the tensions between intellectual pursuits and business ambitions.
3. Community (2009-2015)
The TV show, created by Dan Harmon, is a sitcom set in a community college. It offers a satirical take on the quirks and dynamics of diverse students and staff coming together to navigate life, study, and bizarre adventures.
4. Legally Blonde (2001)
Starring Reese Witherspoon, this film centers on Elle Woods, a fashion-conscious sorority girl who enrolls in Harvard Law School. It challenges stereotypes about intelligence and showcases the importance of determination and female empowerment in higher education.
5. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
The beloved TV series, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, revolves around the lives of a mother and daughter living in the fictional town of Stars Hollow. It depicts the challenges of juggling academics, personal relationships, and pursuing dreams at an Ivy League college.
These movies that take place in college provide a range of perspectives on student life and campus culture. While “Animal House” emphasizes the wild side of college with its outrageous parties and pranks, “The Social Network” and “Legally Blonde” focus on the competitive and transformative nature of higher education.
Community highlights the diversity and eccentricity of a community college, while “Gilmore Girls” offers a warm portrayal of small-town college life. These works add unique flavor to popular media’s rich tapestry of college-based storytelling. You might be surprised that many movies were filmed in Canadian universities, and students can often participate in creation.
How Does College Popularity Influence Student Choice?
It can definitely be seen that campus movies fulfill a social mission. After watching such movies, young people show interest in studies and student life seen on the screen. At the same time, it cannot be said that students only choose an institution to study because it is famous. On the contrary, they start to be more attentive to their choice, visiting different colleges.
Perhaps the most sought-after universities for both study and movies are Harvard and Oxford. Interestingly, they are often seen in movies devoted to business, finance, and investigation. Also, the buildings and grounds are used as locations for filming documentary stories or interviews with colorful personalities.
One thing is certain: movies set in college generate a lot of interest from the audience. For example, some scenes from the movies “The Social Network”, “Legally Blonde”, “Harry Potter”, and “Inspector Morse” were filmed exactly in Harvard and Oxford. And you can visit these famous places and universities!
While watching a movie, prospective students can easily consider the college or university they might be attending. And often, it helps to make the right decision. Some find it essential to understand whether there is space for walking, how the infrastructure is arranged, etc. Meanwhile, others strive for a modern technical base in the educational institution.
The atmosphere of an ancient and authentic university with a long history will be a priority for others. Thus, watching the movies is a good idea to help you get acquainted with what studying is like and make your journey into campus life interesting and memorable!