L.A. High School Moonlights as Movie Set

University High School
LOS ANGELES - From the crowded hallways to the busy classrooms, University High School in Los Angeles looks like any school, anywhere. But looking "ordinary" is what makes it "extraordinarily" famous, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

The school's football field starred alongside Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner in this year's hit romance, "Valentine's Day".

Actor Owen Wilson walked the halls in the 2008 comedy "Drill Bit Taylor."

And the Jonas Brothers rocked out in the school's gym in this ad for Target.

"It's really exciting to go to University High School - just seeing your school on a movie," said student Justicce Labarrie.

Since 2008, studios have leased the school for 162 days of filming. That's earned University High more than $200,000 -- much-needed money due to budget cuts.

University High School is now able to do things that it otherwise wouldn't because of that money.

Principal Eric Davidson says the money has bought calculators, computers and desks. It bankrolls the student newspaper. And it's even saved Steve Bardfield's job.

"It's made my job possible," said technology coordinator Steve.

Steve heads the school's computer labs and his position was on the chopping block. Now money from filming finances his salary.

The studios try to shoot at night and on weekends and more schools are opening their doors to Hollywood.

L.A. public schools have issued 416 film licenses this year - up 38 percent from 2008 - earning the district almost $1.8 million ($1,785,883).

"As the schools become more aware of the opportunity to bring revenue right into the classroom, they've become much more interested in filming," said Paul Audley, president of FilmL.A.

Part of the money they take in goes to all schools in the district -- even those that aren't quite ready for their close-up.

"It's location, location, location," said Principal Davidson.

A valuable geography lesson -- for cash-strapped L.A. schools.