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BU On The Big Screen

by Ariana Quihuiz

Photo Courtesy of Facebook

With an urban setting and an abundance of historic buildings, it’s not hard to believe that Boston University’s campus has been used as a set for many films. However, before filming can even begin, BU requires that a form describing the request and details of where any scenes will be shot be submitted to the university. Depending on the needs of the film and how it will affect life on campus, requests can be approved or denied. One of the most popular spots on campus for filming is The Castle, as well as the College of Arts and Sciences. Here are a few of the films that have brought their cameras to campus.

1. Ghostbusters (2016): The remake of the 1984 hit Ghostbusters, starring Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig, came to BU to use the gothic architecture of the historic Castle, which was transformed into the haunted Aldridge Mansion in the film. A shot of the exterior of the Castle can be seen in one of the opening scenes of the film.

2. 21 (2008): The Castle was used as a backdrop in the film starring Kevin Spacy. Many of the ‘in-school’ shots from this film were meant to appear as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but were actually filmed on BU’s campus in CAS. Scenes were filmed in lecture halls as well the hallways outside of the entrance of the Tsai Auditorium. One of the main characters, Ben Campbell, played by Jim Sturgess, was also filmed living in a single dorm room in The Towers and audiences saw both external and internal shots of the building.

3. The Proposition (1998): This movie set in the 1930s, starring Neil Patrick Harris and William Hurt, shot a few scenes at the BU Castle. Unfortunately, this film was considered a flop at the box office.

4. The Company Men (2010): This drama featuring Ben Affleck and Kevin Costner was set in Boston and also featured shots of The Castle.

5. Mr. Church (2016): Eddie Murphy and Britt Robertson’s comedy included scenes at Marsh Chapel and on Bay State Road. In the film, Murphy’s character pays for Robertson’s character, Charlotte, to go to BU.

6. Commonwealth Avenue: Cracked Pavement (TBD): This film is about the lives of the construction men who worked on Commonwealth Avenue. They have filmed on the corner of St. Mary’s Street and near the College of Fine Arts. Many of the sets have been mistaken for actual construction crews. Filming is supposed to also occur on Cummington Mall and Bay State Road, as well as other locations on campus.

Check out these movies if you want to get a glimpse of BU’s campus on the big screen and keep a look-out for filming crews on campus—you never know when you could find a part as an extra in a film.

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