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Television Crew Films on Oxford’s Campus

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Warner Bros. Television filmed for a CW television pilot at Oxford College on Monday.

The pilot, “Life Sentence,” follows the story of a woman diagnosed with terminal cancer. After deciding to “live like she was dying,” she finds out she’s not dying after all and needs to live with the choices she made. It stars Lucy Hale, best known for her role on “Pretty Little Liars,” and Carlos PenaVega, a former member of pop band Big Time Rush.

According to an announcement sent to students, the crew filmed two scenes on campus: one in front of Seney Hall and the Language Building, the other inside Phi Gamma Hall. Students were asked to exit through side and back doors of the buildings during filming.

Actress Lucy Hale (in orange) speaks with a member of the television crew in between takes. In this scene, Hale walks across the quad toward Seney Hall.

Several students served as production interns during the setup and filming process. One such student, sophomore Jenna Cariker, said she helped rearrange the interior of Phi Gamma Hall to resemble a classroom and helped with miscellaneous tasks ranging from setting up cones to escorting people to the bathroom.

“It was an amazing experience,” Cariker said. “I’m really interested in the field of television production but I’m not really sure what I want to do. There are so many roles that go into the whole process of production and it was great because I could observe all the different aspects of it. … I enjoyed every minute of it.”

According to Events Manager Danielle Dockery, production companies reach out to Oxford College and Emory University as filming locations frequently.

“Each year, we do about a dozen initial site visits for location scouts with different productions,” Dockery said. “If directors and producers are interested based on the photographs the location scouts take, we then set up another visit with a larger group of people (directors, producers, locations crew etc.). From there, if they are still interested and we can make the space available, we contract them and begin the process of ironing out the details of needs and restrictions on both sides. We typically have limited availability based on our class schedule and student activities, so sometimes even when productions are interested in our campus, we unfortunately cannot make it work to everyone’s satisfaction.”

Dockery attributes the interest in Oxford College to its location and look.

“Given our historical architecture, we offer a unique look for the area,” Dockery said. “Our most popular filming locations are those with singular features, such as the rotunda in the Student Center, the large doors and windows in Phi Gamma, the modified black box theater in Tarbutton and the exterior of Seney Hall.”

Sophomore Claire Veraart said the filming did not disrupt her daily schedule and expressed indifference toward seeing the film crew on campus. She added that “if the pilot gets picked up, I’ll watch it just to see Oxford.”

Others, such as freshman Gloria Wan, were excited about Oxford’s role in the television production.

“It was so cool seeing all the cameras and equipment on the quad,” Wan said. “I didn’t get to see any of the actors or watch them film, but it was still exciting how they chose to come to Oxford.”

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Television Crew Films on Oxford’s Campus