Dilon CRProduction

Prop weapons in public place YouTube filming

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I'm a young film editor and producer of a show on YouTube and need to know about prop weapons being aloud in public places 

we are going to use prop swords and guns ,made of plastic and foam but will be painted in metallic colours 

we are thinking of using these props in a scene placed in a town

but we don't want armed cops showing up and interrupting the filming at that time 

And would this even be loud for us because we are under 18 years old  

dilon editor/producer of creatively random and Oswald 



sorry for any miss spelt words 


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Any advice on a specific area of law is from either currently-serving UK police officers, and is offered to the best of their ability, or from members of the public who are perhaps aspiring to be serving police officers and may not hold the necessary level of knowledge to provide such assistance or by any other member who may offer their opinion. Either way such advice can only be treated as an opinion and nothing more. Members should look for the Verified Members Badge that appears on the posters name as advice from members holding this badge are verified police employees. The information is based on their own individual experiences, expertise and training. It is stressed, however, that if any information or advice found in these forums is used by any person or organisation, then the respective police officer(s) and staff can not and will not take any responsibility for any outcome in any investigation in a criminal or civil enquiry. Any advice or opinion offered is to the best of the individuals knowledge and ability based on the information you have supplied, and we will stress that we will never be knowingly misleading or untruthful in content.

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Dilon, welcome to the forum for starters, please note the above guidance.

In these circumstances it is always wise to contact your local force, in any case they will say what the are (and are not) happy for you to do. 

It all depends on exactly what props you are using, how densely populated the are is that you will be using them in, and how long you plan to be there for. 

Your local force should have an email address that you could contact them on for queries like this.

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The Violent Crime Reduction Act is where you need to look to see, the main bulk of relevant legislation. Your looking for the parts around use of "Realistic Imitation Firearms"

I deal with this subject quite a bit, and it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Not only for members of the public that won't know that the props your using are not real. But also you and your team, to ensure you don't put yourselves in danger.

If I was in your position, These are things i would look to do...


Find somebody over the age of 18, who you can designate to be responsible for the items themselves. They will need to check in and out the individual items, and ensure they know where they are at all times.

Carry out a risk assessment. (And run it past somebody, that has done it before) templates can be found online.

Look for a "Privately Owned" location, that you can make to look like the scene your trying to create, Universities are a good shout, they have vast campuses that can look like cities and towns behind a camera. Most deliver film courses so should be able to give you some advice and guidance on this subject too.

Visit your potential locations, and take into consideration the flow and amounts of people in the areas, at the times you want to shoot. Add details to your risk assessment.

Ensure you have Public Liability Insurance and Employers Liability Insurance. (ELI Cover is for the volunteers, in case of an accident or incident)

If you want to use a public location, call your local authority (Council) and talk to whoever is responsible for filming, and get some advice and guidance from them.
They will however almost certainly make you look at fencing off the area you want to use. To stop the public being put in danger. This may also include canvass to minimise public view of what your doing.

If it's near residential or business premises, flyer them and meet the people if need be. Be open, honest and let them know what your doing.

At the point you know what your doing and you have plans written down, whether it's a public space or not. Call 101 and give details of the activity to the controllers to circulate to the local units for information. Make sure you do this a couple of weeks before, and then the Day of the shoot.

Properly brief your actors, and ensure they know not only what there doing, but in the event that the police are called and attend, they DO NOT reach for or turn to face the officers with a weapon in hand. They should freeze, and comply with any instructions given.


It probably sounds quite a lot to do, but there is a real risk that by doing what your suggesting, you might actually scare people going about there daily business (Causing Alarm or Distress) which really can't and shouldn't happen for the sake of a YouTube Channel.

If I'm honest though, I think you need to work out if it's worth the time, effort and money against potentially using scenery or a green screen.

I reiterate, I'm not telling you what to do. I'm just simply letting you know some of the steps I'd take in your situation.

Have fun, be safe, and don't get arrested.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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