Longmire in Benildus
Imagine this. You’re a SFUAD student climbing the stairs to the second floor of Benildus Hall. You just got back from Spring break and, instead of the dimly lit, art-decorated hallway you’re used to, you find white bare walls, hospital beds, wheel chairs (were those wall rails always there?), and from the roof there are bright new florescent lights pouring down. You think, who died? Or you think, wow, the crew of “Longmire” did a great job in transforming our campus hallway into a hospital wing, a set that will appear in episode one, season three of the TV Series “Longmire”.
According to Film School Assistant Chair and Garson Studio Director Paula Amanda, the location management and art department for “Longmire” wanted to create a hospital set in Benildus Hall because it was “close to home.” For three years, Amanda says, the crew has become “comfortable with the campus” and liked the idea of filming this short scene just a parking lot away from the Film School, where the “Longmire” team is back on stage filming their third season.
March 25 was the first time, however, the “Longmire” team “trafficked” the students as they arrived for their Tuesday morning classes. So as not to disturb the shoot, students were directed to the far north entrance of Benildus. Once inside their classroom, students were asked to refrain from leaving, unless they needed the bathroom or wanted to disturb the shoot right outside their door with extra noise.
Amanda admits there was nervousness among Benildus staff about the crew’s use of school space, but overall the location management agreed they would work around classes. As Matt Donovan said to his Tuesday morning Shakespeare class,“King Lear stops for no Longmire.” And it didn’t.
In the spirit of arts and collaboration, Amanda stresses how being surrounded by film activity on campus should ignite an excitement for the student body. With “Longmire” in the stages, the new “Manhattan” TV series in the barracks, and school crews littering the rest, who else can phone friends and family to say ‘my class is in the “Longmire” hospital today’?
And wherever there is film, “there’s a place for everybody, not just filmmakers,” says Amanda, describing the many opportunities that have opened to the students. “There’s a place for writers, there’s a place for artists, there’s a place for sculptors, there’s a place for music, there’s a place for every artistic aspect you can think of. I just think everyone should embrace and look for opportunities.”