Filming Q&A

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Several parts of the University record video:

  • Educational Media Services (EMS) offer paid-for recording of lectures and other public events (including live streaming). This is a chargeable service but competitive compared with external providers. Contact the EMS team at for more information
  • The Public Affairs Directorate create high-profile research, admissions and campaigns content – they cannot usually be hired but might be able to work as collaborators on your project – contact Public Affairs at for more information
  • An increasing number of departments and faculties have in-house video units – contact Public Affairs at or your own departmental administrator for details

It’s likely that you will use an external videographer or production company. 

For a list of providers contact Public Affairs at 

Make sure you work within the University terms of service (generally you will need to use the 'Contract for the Supply of Services'. This is helpful in ensuring you have access to the material after the video is made. 

Make sure you get proper permission from participants –  for details about permission forms see the photography and filming compliance site (requires Oxford Single Sign-On).

If you have any other enquiries contact Public Affairs at

For a basic agreement template, use the short-form location filming agreement. This form is for use by departments to document giving permission, for a short period, to a third party production company for filming University employees, officers and/or other appointees in connection with research or other work being undertaken by the University on University premises. The document is designed to be used without needing input from Legal Services, but any questions about changes can be directed to the legal services team.

Please note that any requests to film large scale films, TV programmes and documentaries, or productions where extended access or changes to University premises are required, will require a different long-form location agreement.

At the front of this agreement there is a check list of the practical points that you will need to provide responses to and guidance for you to consider before contacting Legal Services through the email: Please note that at present it is not always possible for Legal Services to take your film location agreement forward for you due to work pressure and a legal firm will be appointed to advise. The film company will need to cover the cost of the legal fees and this should be noted in your negotiations with that film company.

If you have any questions about this type of production, please email

The Public Affairs Directorate offer this basic advice for film companies


The most up-to-date consent form can be found on the photography and filming compliance site (requires Oxford single sign-on). 

It has been updated to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations, but these impose additional requirements as well as getting permission – we strongly recommend you familiarise yourself with our policies on privacy, which can be found on the same site.

A limited amount is available on the University image library.

Further footage, including aerial footage, is available on request from Public Affairs. Some of this might be charged for, depending on the kind of production. Some categories of footage (for instance, sporting events) may have different rights situations. To learn more contact Public Affairs at

The University’s Educational Media Services (EMS) unit offers a service to film and broadcast online high-profile public events (e.g. public lectures). The team is happy to discuss the options available, to showcase studies of previous events, and to provide a guide to making your event a success. 

We recommend you consider: 

  • the extra personnel and equipment costs of live streaming
  • the likely  need for extra tests (e.g. of internet connection on location)
  • how a public live stream can be marketed to attract a useful number of visitors; and
  • whether another service, for instance a web seminar, might do as good a job

Please contact the EMS team at to learn more. 

Live streaming kit is available to borrow from the MPLS Division. See the Public Engagement with Research share page for further details.

The University encourages you to engage, collaborate and innovate through social media; however, wherever and however you do this, you must be aware of the potential impact on yourself and other users. 

Take a look at the social media guidelines on the Comms hub with common-sense tips about taking care of your reputation and that of the University, and some of the legal and privacy issues that might be raised.

If you think you have content that might suit the main Oxford University channels you can submit it via the content posting request form.

Many parts of the University use freelance production companies. Please send your details and showreel to Public Affairs at to be included.

If you’re selling footage to others, or even giving it away, it’s important to control the terms under which you do so.

We have a basic agreement for granting use of footage.

If your video footage constitutes personal data, it will fall under the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation, and you may need to sign further agreements on data with the recipient of the footage – for details about permission forms see the photography and filming compliance site (requires Oxford single sign-on).

Official guidance on uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) use is currently being discussed in a committee, but for now take a look at the Safety Office’s blog post about drone registration and the Insurance Office’s information page about liability insurance for drone use. For more information contact the Safety Office. Be aware: 

  • This is a complicated process with many stakeholders, so please allow plenty of time to secure permissions you need to film
  • The law on drone use is constantly evolving. You can view up-to-date information on the target="_blank">Information Commissioner's site
  • Instead of making your own, you may be able to access stock aerial footage. Contact Public Affairs at to learn more


There isn’t currently a central service for lending video equipment. If you’re a student, Oxford University Filmmaking Foundation lends some items out, and your college or department might have some items. The Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division do lend some equipment through the Public Engagement with Research share system.

If you require specialised assistance, contact Public Affairs at for a more detailed discussion.

The University offers training on skills in basic video-making, social media and related topics. You can find out more at the IT services courses site.

If you require more in-depth advice, please contact Public Affairs at

If you think you have content that might suit the main Oxford University channels you can submit it in the content posting request form. The volume of requests and the nature of the channels means we might not be able to host it, and minimum standards will apply (audible sound, correct focus and exposure, legible graphics, etc.), but it’s a good first step.  

If you’re producing educational materials, contact the Educational Media Services team at about hosting it on Oxford’s educational channels. 

If you have any other enquiries contact Public Affairs at

If you’re making video yourself it’s worth looking into training on the IT services course pages, and contacting the Public Affairs video team for advice at, but we’ve found these tips are helpful: 

  • Get the proper permission from any people that you feature. See the photography and filming compliance site for further information (requires Oxford single sign-on)
  • Make it accessible to all users, according to University guidelines on accessibility. As well as meeting your legal obligations, it also helps your content to be found
  • Consider the audience – which platform will they be watching on? This affects the length of material, and the aspect ratio of the video you choose (square, landscape versus portrait, etc)
  • Sound is harder to fix that the image; in terms of time and money invested, get that right first
  • If you’re adding graphics, the principles of graphic design apply; allowing any text that needs to be legible enough space and time on screen
  • Consider how visible to make the video: how long will you keep it visible for? For which groups of people? Does it need to be kept up-to-date?
  • Remember to carry out a risk assessment to make sure that anyone involved in the filming is safe. Guidance on risk assessments and a risk assessment template can be found on the Public Affairs Events Office site (requires Oxford single sign-on)
  • Most importantly, consider whether a video is the best way to communicate what you want. Video is good for showing, but bad at telling: if you’ve got a lot of information to get across, consider using a written format. If you want to record a conversation or a lecture, consider whether the visual element is necessary