Campus Serves as Setting for “Senior Year” Movie


Source: Ethan Firestone

This past summer, for a period of eight weeks including prep and filming, Westminster’s campus served as the set of Senior Year, a movie starring Rebel Wilson, scheduled to be released on Netflix sometime in 2022. 

Through June and July, the crew of the film Senior Year visited the Westminster campus, deciding how they would turn it into Harding High School, Home of the Bulldogs. “The first thing they did was to come in and assess the space and decide what they wanted to change,” says Trisha Dodt, the Middle School Administrative Assistant. Her office, located on the left when entering Upper Clarkson, was transformed into the Principal’s office. 

The crew accomplished some of the filming at Turner Gym, Broyles, and in front of Pressly, but most of the action took place in Upper Clarkson and in the sixth grade boys’ locker commons. When the film is released, students will notice little changes in common areas. Not many walls in the atrium were painted, the designers instead opting to cover walls with banners and signs. Across the top of the entryway, where a quote from Dr. Vernon S. Broyles is printed, the designers placed a laminate, or removable border. On the far side, the wall across from Upper Clarkson was repainted pale green, and along with Dodt’s office, was one of the few surfaces changed for the set. The sixth grade boys’ lockers themselves were painted green, a tree rising in the middle of the commons.

The classrooms, however, were an entirely different story, painted deep gold with red accents. “It was really just in-your-face bright,” says Westminster Coordinator of Enterprise Operations, Kelley Day. “So, obviously, at the end of the movie we had them all paint it back to what we wanted.” 

As it turns out, Westminster is regularly considered for filming movies, though most of the time it isn’t chosen. “We get scouted all the time,” says Day. “It doesn’t always turn into projects primarily because of our schedule     . . . we can’t really have them during the school year . . . there’s just so much activity on the campus.” 

The upper traffic circle in front of Clarkson became home to food and engineering trucks and filming equipment. “Usually, it’s a very big operation,” Dodt remarked. “When they did The Blind Side, they had trailers for actors and actresses. They had food set up, they had a check-in for [extras].” Similarly, for Senior Year, the gym in the woods served as home base for catering, props, costumes, and extras, while Kent Field housed equipment trucks.