Aerial Guggenheim Library
Erlanger Garden Fountainy
North and South, East and West, New Jersey has a seemingly endless supply of outstanding locations. Some of them are so special that they make a lasting impression on movie audiences. Such a location is Monmouth University’s Great Hall, which back in 1982 played for Daddy Warbuck’s Mansion in the big-budget Hollywood musical Annie, directed by cinema legend John Houston, and featuring an all-star cast including Carol Burnett, Albert Finney, Tim Curry, and Bernadette Peters. “We still have people come to see the Great Hall, remembering it from scenes in that film.” says Patrick Leahy, who has been President of Monmouth University since 2019.
In the decades since, numerous television programs, music videos, and independent films have shot on campus. In recent years, the Sundance selected feature film Cat Person, Netflix’s The OA, and the romantic comedy Which Brings Me To You have all filmed at the University.
“Our campus is very special, and if a production doesn’t interfere with our student’s experiences we try to make it work,” continues Leahy, “Hosting film and video productions showcases our buildings and grounds in a unique way. What’s more, it gives members of the Monmouth community—in particular, our students—the chance to get involved in major film and video productions.”
Miranda's Victim crew at Monmouth University
Monmouth University President Patrick Leahy
President Leahy points to some of the special University locations that attract both visitors and filmmakers. Front and center is The Great Hall—the largest private residence ever built in the state of New Jersey, and the landmark historic building on Monmouth’s campus. Today, The Great Hall serves as a gathering place for students, houses administrative offices and has become a much sought-after location for filmmakers. Most recently the feature film Miranda’s Victim, which tells the history behind the Miranda law, utilized the Great Hall and other University locations for their production. The movie featured an all-star cast, including Kyle McLaughlin, Donald Sutherland, Luke Wilson, Andy Garcia and Abigail Breslin.
George Kolber, the producer of Miranda’s Victim, explains how instrumental Monmouth University was to their production. “Their enthusiasm and support for the project was extraordinary. We coordinated with their events team, who helped us avoid what could easily have been logistical nightmares.”
The Great Hall, however, is not the only location of interest at Monmouth University. The Erlanger Gardens, adjacent to The Great Hall, feature fountains and a large portico that attract many visitors. The Guggenheim Memorial Library—once the summer estate for the Guggenheim family—is also a special and sought-after site on campus. The OceanFirst Bank Center—one of the premier multi-purpose activity centers in the region, and among mid-major athletic facilities across the country—is another special location on Monmouth’s coastal campus.
The Great Hall Exterior
The Motion PIcture Annie at Monmouth University
The learning that comes from hosting these productions is paramount to President Leahy. “Students get an up close and personal view into the ways in which major productions are made. Many of our students have been directly involved with recent film and video productions on our campus, and we look forward to affording them the same opportunities in the future.” Appropriately, Monmouth University also hosts numerous student film productions on campus, so students have an opportunity to use these incredible locations to tell their own stories.
President Leahy’s advice for other property owners interested in hosting a film or television production is simple, “It’s a ton of fun to have a movie or commercial filmed at your campus, home, or business location, but you must realize that it can be disruptive to everyday activities associated with your core business. Clear and frequent communication with your constituents can help to manage any potential interruptions. In the end it can be a great experience for all, and we look forward to doing it again.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Monmouth University as a possible filming location, you can reach out directly to Lu-Ann Russell, Senior Director of Conference Services and Special Events (email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +1 (732) 571-3578)
To find more incredible and unique potential filming locations in the State of New Jersey, or to submit your home or business location to our growing location photo library, visit the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission’s website and our Location Photo Library: https://www.nj.gov/state/njfilm/production-location.shtml