The scene is more than ordinary. You put in a movie or serial episode to watch, look at all those teenagers in the lockers and football fields, and wonder: what is it like to study at a US school?
There are a multitude of Hollywood productions whose heart of the plot (or at least part of it) revolves around the school. There is even a name for this genre: coming of age – stories that portray the maturity and passing of adolescence and adulthood. You can be sure: most of them will happen at some point in the classroom.
But where are these movies filmed? A lot of things we see on screen, of course, were done in the studio. But using real schools as a location for these productions is a widely used resource.
This is the case of Ulysses S. Grant High School, which is in Valley Glen, just outside Los Angeles. Founded in 1959 and with about 2000 students, the name of the college comes from a president who ruled the US between 1869 and 1877. But that is not its most important detail. After all, it is not uncommon to see it as the scene of some filming.
Being close to Hollywood, Grant has become one of the darlings of movie studios. It recently appeared as the HBO Euphoria School, for example. On Instagram, one of the actors in the series, Jacob Elordi, published a video of recordings in full class time.
Here is a list of other productions she has featured in: The Beverly Hills Patriots, Freaks and Geeks, American Vandal, Malcolm, The Noise, The Secret Life of an American Teenager, The Office and Love All the Way. Oh, and four seasons of Power Rangers.
The school has been hosting film crews since the 1960s, when it hosted some movies and TV shows.
In addition to its good location, Grant has a photogenic facade: it is located on a wide flat road with a large wooded area in front. In addition, the college has a tradition with audiovisual productions of the students themselves, and a lot of them ended up following the path of the arts.
It's on paper
Even if you went to Grant, however, or any rental school, you might not have the clear feeling of being on a TV show. This is due to the magic of editing: a fictional college can be formed by more than one real-life college.
The classroom is in one, the corridors in another, and so on. Grease's Set: In the Times of Brilhantina, for example, was a compilation of three different locations.
Also, anyone who chooses to record in real schools needs to follow a series of rules. The Los Angeles Times published an interesting report in 1987 about the requests that the Los Angeles County Department of Education received from studios. The cool thing: you can still read the text, which can be found on site of publication.
At the time, the government received up to two permit applications per week – in the summer, when students are on vacation. You had to have $ 1 million insurance to cover any damage to schools. You also had to pay the rental rate, which ranged from $ 1,000 to $ 2,500.
Between 1985 and 1986, the Los Angeles District earned more than $ 273,000 from it. The money was invested in improvements in school infrastructure.
But even with this whole system, not everyone could do it. Once, as the story goes, a representative of Steven Spielberg called City Hall looking for a school. She would need to be shabby and in poor condition. The director heard a resounding no. With some pride, the official in charge of this said that no school met this demand.