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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Roll cameras: Looking back on movies filmed at Tulane

Over the years, plenty of cameras have rolled at Tulane University. With Romanesque buildings that line a picture-perfect backdrop of oak trees, Tulane exudes a quintessentially “Southern college campus vibe” that appeals to location directors.

That’s why, for many years, filmmakers have flocked to campus to film scenes of both stately academic buildings and quads filled with fun student life. Louisiana’s temperate climate and tax incentives also make filming easy and cheap, drawing filmmakers who embark on projects of all kinds. Tulane’s openness in accommodating film productions promotes economic growth within New Orleans and school spirit, especially as the Green Wave brand expands. 

From comedy to crime thriller, here are some of Tulane’s most famous appearances on the big screen.

22 Jump Street” (2014)

“22 Jump Street” stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill who play undercover cops Jenko and Schmidt. They are tasked with infiltrating and taking down a drug ring at the fictional MC State University, all the while navigating the trials of their partnership as their paths begin to diverge. Production took place on campus in 2013, filming on Gibson Quad, Newcomb Quad, McAlister Place, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Stern Hall and Hébert Hall, as well as the interior and exterior of Monroe Residence Hall. Not only is this buddy cop comedy hilarious and heartwarming, but it is also a fun depiction of the day-to-day antics on campus.

The Pelican Brief” (1993)

This legal suspense thriller adapted from the John Grisham novel of the same name follows Tulane School of Law student Darby Shaw, who finds herself in the middle of a political conspiracy after she composes a brief about the recent murders of two Supreme Court judges. After her colleagues are targeted in connection with her research, Shaw’s only hope lies in the hands of an investigative journalist who wishes to break the story and expose the politicians involved. “The Pelican Brief” has a star-studded cast, which includes Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Stanley Tucci and John Lithgow, among others. The interior classroom scenes of this gripping film were shot in Jones Hall, the former Tulane Law Library. The remainder of the film was shot in the French Quarter and in Washington D.C.

Bad Moms” (2016)

When Amy, played by Mila Kunis, a mother of two, grows discontented with the exhausting responsibilities she needs to fulfill to be a “good mom,” she and two friends set out on a wild, self-indulgent night. The results cause the moms to reevaluate their stressful parenting methods, but doing so puts them at odds with other mothers in their school PTA group. Although set in Chicago, “Bad Moms” shot a few scenes around New Orleans and Tulane. The soccer practice scenes, where Amy would drop off and pick up her kids, took place on Brown Field in front of Reily Student Recreation Center. Additionally, the PTA luncheon which the moms attend takes place in Cudd Hall.

So Undercover” (2012)

This action comedy stars Miley Cyrus as a young detective hired to protect the daughter of a witness in an organized crime case. Going undercover, she poses as a sorority girl at the University of Southern Louisiana — Tulane, in reality. The movie filmed scenes on Gibson Quad as well as inside Richardson Memorial Hall and behind Tilton Memorial Hall. The film’s writer and producer, Steven Pearl, is a Tulane graduate and current adjunct professor at Tulane, teaching Advanced Screenwriting. In a 2011 interview with Nola.com, Pearl said that while writing “So Undercover”’s college scenes, he continuously envisioned Tulane as the setting: “That’s what I know, I love, and what got injected into the script.”

The list of films with scenes shot at Tulane goes on, including: “Green Book,” “Jurassic World,” “Our Brand is Crisis,” “The Big Short,” “Kristy” and “Hurricane Season.”   

Which one is your favorite?

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