Don't Be That Filmmaker PSA

Client review: "Declan's concept captured perfectly the problem we hoped to shed light on, expertly executed with a combo of action and comedy" - Yvonne. R. St. Pete PD

Filmmakers using prop weapons during filming risk arrest by police or worse.

The purpose of the PSA is to address a real concern by lawe enforcement regarding the depiction of violence and the use of prop weapons used in independent films. In late 2018, the St. Pete-Clearwater Film Commission received an inquiry from police about a local filmmaker that used real weapons. Had they filed a filming permit? Did they call the police first? When police responded to calls of violence and gun play, what resulted could have been much worse. This event created a need on the part of the Film Commissioner to educate professional and student filmmakers alike on the potential dangers of not contacting law enforcement when filming scenes where dramatized yelling, fighting and gun play occur.

The concept pitched by Creative Producer, Declan Flynn to the St. Pete-Clearwater Film Commissioner, was to engage the St. Petersburg Police Department and co-produce a public service annoucement, highlighting the potential risks involved in filming certain scenes dramatizing violence and using prop weaponry. During development, we learned of many instances where filmmakers were arrested and even shot at by police! The concept was to depict a small film crew filming a scene that uses prop guns only to be surrounded by police and arrested. The director then realizes his mistake by not calling the Film Commission or the police and applying for a filming permit.

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