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Don't Be That Filmmaker PSA


Project Details

A public service announcement by the St. Pete Clearwater Film Commission and the St. Petersburg Police Department about the risks of using prop weapons during filming.

Don't be that Filmmaker!

Category : Video Editing

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

The purpose of the PSA was to address a real concern by the St. Petersburg Police regarding the depiction of violence and the use of prop weapons during the filming of independent films. In late 2018, the St. Pete Clearwater Film Commission received an inquiry from St. Pete PD about a local filmmaker. They asked if they filed for a filming permit. Our search indicated no. Later, we learned that police responded to calls of violence and gun play downtown only to discover filmmakers filming scenes for their short film. The event created an impetus 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 to Tony Armer, St. Pete Clearwater's Film Commissioner, was to engage the St. Pete Police Department and co-produce a PSA, 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 during filming a scene using prop guns when suddenly they are surrounded by police and arrested. The director then realizes his mistake not calling the Film Commission or the police and applying for a filming permit.

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

Project Goal 1

To educate area independent filmmakers and the general public on the potential risks associated with the depiction of violence and the use of realistic prop weaponry during the filming of independent short and feature length films - goal achieved!

Project Goal 2

To satisfy a genuine concern for the safety of filmmakers, residents, and law enforcement officers by producing and filming a public service announcement (PSA), demonstrating the importance of contacting local law enforcement and film commission before filming any scene portraying violence, using realistic prop weaponry or simulating law enforcement activities - goal achieved!

Project Goal 3

To demonstrate to student and professional filmmakers how easy it is to apply for a free film permit before filming - goal achieved!

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