One night, downtown, 911 received dozens of calls, gang-bangers gunning it out on the streets, shots fired, and total mayhem. When the police arrived, guns drawn, what they found were a group of scared indie filmmakers, shooting a scene of a drug deal gone wrong, using real guns for their short-film. Someone could have been killed. It’s happened before.
The following day, I proposed to the Film Commissioner, as Creative Producer, to film a public service announcement about the dangers of filming scenes of violence with prop guns without first involving local police or Sheriff’s deputies. Not only should we film a realistic reenactment, we should ask for the cooperation of the same police agency that responded to the call described above.
The result is the video seen here, filmed not far from the original location where the young filmmakers almost lost their lives, featuring officers from the St. Petersburg police department and the agency’s S.W.A.T. team commander, who’s officers responded that very evening.
The St. Petersburg police department showcased the video internally as a training tool for new and veteran officers as well as agencies involved in public safety.