Phil Peel

Film, video, photography, sound and story

The problems of shooting someone shooting … with a gun.

Posted by Phil On January - 30 - 2013

A friend of mine wanted to do some filming with a gun. But one of the problems with making films using guns is that in the UK it’s an arrestable criminal offence to make an imitation firearm or even paint a coloured toy gun black. But you can buy coloured BB guns. So this is a quick test to see how successfully you can key out the colour. I used the most difficult lighting I could find.. in and out of bright sunlight and filmed it against a blue background. It’s only a rough quick key done in FCPX, but works reasonably well.  The key isn’t perfect but I only spent about 15 mins editing and doing the key.

I’ve shown the same shot before and after keying.

I went on a production course with the Met. Police. Using a coloured gun in public gets round problems of public calling police. So even if you have a legal imitation firearm and even if police have been notified that you are filming, if member of public calls, they will still send out armed response squad.

I was told some horror stories by the police about actors coming very, very close to getting shot by armed response squad. E.g filming a scene with suicide terrorists taking over a bus, filmed inside what the crew thought was a totally sealed off bus. However someone looking down from an office could see into the bus and called the police, who very genuinely thought it a real hostage situation.

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