using "weapons" in amateur films

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Joe Parker
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using "weapons" in amateur films

Post by Joe Parker »

I wondered if anyone could help me with some advice. My Grandson recently asked if I could video him with his toy guns and then add muzzle flashes and sound effects for him. I thought that might be fun and also good practice for our film club, but it got me thinking (not always a wise thing for me to do). How do small, amateur groups with a very limited budget, like my own, use guns, knives etc. in our films and still remain within the law?
I would be grateful for any advice and it would be interesting to hear how other clubs deal with similar matters.
Many Thanks
Joe Parker
Ripley Amateur Film-makers
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Dave Watterson
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Re: using "weapons" in amateur films

Post by Dave Watterson »

Until we get some practical feedback from film makers ...

In the UK, the Violent Crime Reduction Act is the one which seems to apply. So far as guns go it seems worried about replica weapons and things like air-guns which can actually fire projectiles. Assuming you are dealing with toys which look unrealistic there should be no problem. If they look even remotely lifelike be careful.

One answer is to contact your local police and explain what, where and when. It is possible they may want to examine the guns but I guess they will just advise caution.

It would do no harm to have a couple of large signs around - possibly carried by volunteers - saying "filming in progress".

This is way over the top if all the action takes place in someone's garden or similar private property. Even then it does no harm to warn neighbours what is planned.

Sadly you do have to be careful if there have been any shooting incidents in your area or if the terrorist alert level goes up. If you are in Northern Ireland take special care.
john ingham
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Re: using "weapons" in amateur films

Post by john ingham »

Hi Joe
One of my other hobbies is actually shooting,
Daves advice is good... i would be tempted if i were not a FAC or SGC holder to get in touch with a Firearms enforcement officer (FEO) they can be found at most police HQ and should be able to help you...

even if you are filming on private land... they may just say carry on, or they may want to check the weapons and the age of those carrying the weapon even an air rifle, also it would be good to inform the police when you are going to film...

not so long ago a few lads doing some legal pigeon shooting on a private farm were surrounded by the police Armed response unit they also had a chopper above ...this came from a phone call from a member of the public saying they heard gun shots


I know you have stated that your grandsons guns are toys..but it would still be worth a call
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Re: using "weapons" in amateur films

Post by Chrisbitz »

we had a couple of lads in OVFM who shot a film outside using fake guns.

They did everything perfectly. they called round at the police stn, and told them where and when they would be filming, and the police were very helpful and friendly.

On the day, we were filming in the "registered" road in full armed police uniforms and guns, and after a couple of hours, we were "raided" by 3 armed police officers, as someone had reported us, and gave the police their address, rather than the road that we were filming in, so it didn't register on their screens as a film location.

there was no problem, and as chairman I checked that the lads had done nothing wrong, and the police apologised as they'd done everything they should have done.

The only thing you need to do is talk to your local police, and ask them what you need to tell them. Contrary to what the busybodies tell you, you dont have to ask permission with the council! :-)
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ned c
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Re: using "weapons" in amateur films

Post by ned c »

Different here in the USA of course but for a recent shoot we had three real hand guns. We got a certified armourer to work with us and it was an interesting experience. He kept the guns in a locked case which was with him at all times and produced them when required and they were locked away immediately after use. Before each shoot he got all the cast and crew together and asked two questions "Does anyone have a gun?" "Does anyone have any ammunition?" If the answer had been yes guns/ammunition had to be given to him. Here in Utah citizens can get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Yes; all very different to the UK!

ned c
col lamb
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Re: using "weapons" in amateur films

Post by col lamb »

In PMM our Treasurer is a dab hand at prop making and has made a few guns and rifles out of wood that look very realistic

As for using weapons in the street, a call to the Police is in order but also fliers delivered to all the households advising of what is happening would no doubt have assured the residents who called tha Police in Chrisbitz's post
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Joe Parker
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Re: using "weapons" in amateur films

Post by Joe Parker »

Many Thanks to everybody who replied, lots of good advice, but I guess the general consensus is , inform the Police! Good advice in my case as I live next door to our county's main police HQ and their helicopter passes over my house each time it takes off or lands!
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Re: using "weapons" in amateur films


We've done some filming with very realistic replica weapons. Fortunately we were filming in a very small populated country area and simply knocked on 3 doors to let the resident know what we were doing and PLEASE DON'T CALL THE COPS!"
This is the result:
Part One-

Part 2- ... ure=relmfu
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