Helicopter scheduled to shoot footage of UT Tower

Bobby Blanchard and Samuel Liebl

Update: Cloudy skies and scattered showers pushed back the Tower helicopter filming, which has been rescheduled for Saturday morning from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and in the evening from 6 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Tonight and Friday a helicopter will circle the Tower, which will be lit orange and displaying a number one. The aircraft will film the University’s famous monolith in full luster to gather updated footage of the campus, according to an email sent to students.

“The Marketing and Creative Services area of the University Development Office has contracted with a company that will film from a helicopter 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday, and possibly again Friday night, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m,” stated in an official email from the University sent to all students and UT employees Wednesday.

The aircraft may fly unnervingly close to the Tower, but the email advises onlookers not to worry.

“We are notifying faculty, staff, and students so you will not be alarmed by the close proximity of the aircraft,” the email stated.

Carolyn Connerat, executive director of University Marketing and Creative Services, said the footage will be used primarily for the Campaign for Texas, an eight-year $3 billion fundraising effort.

Since the last time aerial film was gathered, new buildings have been added to the University and filming technology has improved.

“The film we had from before was standard and was actually shot on film,” Connerat said. “We will be shooting this on high definition video, which is all what our current projects are shot on.”

The University has contracted Electro-Fish Films for the project, an Austin-based filming company that has won five Emmy awards.

Connerat said while the footage will be shown at events and on UT’s website, there are currently no plans to air the video in a new TV commercial.

“We produced new TV spots of the Tower spinning last year, and those will continue to run this year,” Connerat said.