Atlanta is the hotbed for all things film and television, and this isn't a recent discovery. Films and television shows alike have used the city as a backdrop for their storytelling way before this decade began. Nowadays, studios and entertainment houses come to Atlanta to film due to their hefty tax incentive. They use the entire city to tell their story, but there is a special place just outside of Downtown Atlanta that is home to some of the greatest fiction ever made.
The Atlanta University Center is a consortium of four of the nation's historically Black colleges; Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morris Brown College, and Morehouse College. It is also home to the sets of some of our favorite shows and films.
Stomp The Yard (2007)
The fictional college, Truth University was shot at Morris Brown College and Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta. It was the home of Columbus Short's brand new school where he pledged Theta Nu Theta. The film was produced by Will Packer who attend FAMU, a historically Black college in Tallahassee, Florida and is a remember of Alpha Phi Alpha. This film was significant as it talked about the importance of HBCU's and greek like. It was only fitting that is was shot in a place that resembles that on a daily.
Nick Cannon is a legend in his own right, between giving us Wild N Out, Love Don't Cost A Thing, and Drumline, he really doesn't have to do anything else. Atlanta A&T was was shot on the campus of CAU, with most of the scenes being shot at CAU's stadium and even having the cast members stay in actual dorms on the campus. CAU's band also makes an appearance in the film, and so does Morris Brown's band. Morris Brown also played Atlanta A&T's rival in the film.
The Quad (2017 - 2018)
Georgia A&M lived on the campus of Morehouse College, including even using the school's colors to set the tone. It stared Anika Noni Rose and featured a cast of newcomers and a television legend, Jasmine Guy.
It is no surprise to us that New New chose Spelman over Brenton. Even though Brenton was fictional, we can tell that it was possibly an Ivy League College and the complete opposite of New New's dream school, Spelman College. New New hung out at Cascade and repped Mechanicsville more than her father who actually grew up there. In the end of the movie, New New was able to make the best decision for herself and ended up moving into Spelman.
A Different World (1987 - 1993)
A Different World was actually shot on a studio lot in Los Angeles, but all of the transition scenes were shot in the AUC. It allowed viewers to believe that the AUC was the backdrop of the fictional Hillman College.
Drumline: A New Beat (2014)
The sequel to the 2002 classic was released 12 years later and followed a similar storyline as the first film. The second film still stands true to the brand's motto, "One band, one sound".
Hidden Figures (2016)
Morehouse and Clark Atlanta was the backdrop for this cultural classic. It is befitting that this specific piece of Black history was filmed at two of the oldest and most historic HBCU's in the country.
School Daze (1988)
Spike Lee said School Daze was his four years at Morehouse wrapped into one weekend. It is with no surprise that Lee shot the film dedicated to his alma mater on the actual campus. Unfortunately, Morehouse kicked him off campus and he had to continue filming at Clark Atlanta University (formerly Clark College and Atlanta University) and Morris Brown College. Some iconic scenes in which you can clearly see the backdrop of CAU includes the DA Butt dance scene as that was shot at their gymnasium and the opening scene of the film shot at Harkness Hall. The infamous stepping scene was shot at the gymnasium of Morris Brown College with the homecoming football game being shot at Morehouse.
Needles to say, the AUC is an iconic place to create cinema and television. This is also a great reminder to include media students in the production process.