Pacific University briefly transformed for TV series
Pacific University in Forest Grove looks to have been renamed, with each sign and school banner replaced by "Beacon Heights University." While the changes may leave a few visitors and possibly even some students puzzled, the situation is only temporary.
From March 12 to March 24, Freeform's new show "The Perfectionists," a spinoff of the popular teen drama series "Pretty Little Liars," is filming its pilot episode in Forest Grove, on Pacific's campus.
The campus has received a temporary makeover while it is being used as the set of the show's made-up town and university.
Several weeks ago, A Bit Extra Casting company posted a call for locals interested in starring as extras or background roles, looking primarily for people in their 20s to fill this imaginary college town.
The cast and crew have been shooting late into the night, sharing some sneak peeks on Twitter of their spooky night scenes with fog machines, as much of the plot is a twisted murder mystery.
The university has hosted several filmings in the past, said Joe Lang, director of media relations for Pacific. However, this show is the largest scale, he said, with filming for adventure series "The Librarians" likely being the biggest prior.
"We try to be pretty open as a university, as a community resource," Lang said. "Not just for (the) local community, but we want to feel like we are contributing to kind of a global society."
While the filming at Pacific is scheduled to only take up about five days of the two-week period, it hasn't exactly been a covert process. A section of street parking along College Way was cordoned off last week for use as an equipment staging area, and filming has involved some vigorous set-up and a mass of personnel.
The filmings typically don't happen during school session, Lang said. The university tries to host only during spring break or summer months as to not disrupt the students, but it's all based on timing, he said.
"We try to accommodate both our internal community and also the external community," Lang said.
Junior student Leandra Benson-White said she and other media arts students got the opportunity to shadow the filming one night, and that several production members hosted a talk for the media arts students.
An aspiring filmmaker herself, White said the campus filming turned into a great opportunity for her and others to be exposed to the industry.
Senior theater major Abigail Morgan said the filming wasn't disruptive to her, though some of her friends had been complaining about having to reroute.
"I honestly thought it was kind of cool, because it means our school was special enough for them to take notice of it," she said.
Both "The Perfectionists" and "Pretty Little Liars" are television series adapted from books written by Sara Shepard, who was at the filming on Thursday, March 15. The showrunner for both series is I. Marlene King.
By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
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