Filming Airsoft guns in Public?

Should I even do it?

Is it Smart?

What would I have to do in order to safely do it?

This place is not even very visible, not many people at all are there.

Or is there a way I can animate guns in there hands, how would I do that? I would really like to know ;)



  • Oy, big can of worms, lots of variables.

    If "realistic" with an orange tip, leave it. Commit to fixing it in post. It's a pain, but unless you're going to do actual permits, then don't push your luck.

    If this is near a residential area its not a bad idea to flyer the surrounding neighborhood. "Blah, blah, DATE, blah, PLACE, blah, blah, MAKING A VIDEO, blah, blah, FAKE GUNS."

    Animating guns is a nightmare.

    Can you get all false-color weapons? Stupid Neon Orange isn't scary, but can be changed in post. It's a pain, but only because of repetitive shots. It's at least rough roto. 

  • Questions

    1) What country, ask becuase you will get a different response from different countries

    2) Location (Public or Private land)

    3) If this is 'Run and Gun' style filming (excuse the play on words) then letting the authorities know might be more hassel than it's worth, however be safe, have the camera very visable to all, so they know it's not a real shoot out.

    4) Let the authority's know what your doing (When, Where, What). - be careful they might ask for permits.

    5) Make it clear this is a FILM shoot, high vis jacket on the camera person.

    FilmRiot had an episode covering this.

  • @Triem23 So the Airsoft guns look realistic with orange tips, I can tape them with bright colors, then like you said I can fix that in post.

    And it is not in a residential area, its a building with a couple offices, and I am doing this Saturday, so like no one should be there, hopefully, might need to contact the owner (I don't know) then I would have flyers.



    1) United States

    2) Public

    3) Don't understand exactly what you mean, there is "a hero" walking then a gang comes upon him to stop him, then there's some shooting, and the gang ends up on the floor, injured. Ta Da!

    4)So are you saying to do this step?

    5)Okay, will do :)

    I will watch that episode from Film Riot, thanks


  • "Run and Gun" filmmaking is a slangy reference to showing up on set with actors and a camera, no on-set rehearsal, shooting everything hand held a fast a possible and getting the hell out.

    Heh... Thinking about an engagement shoot I did earlier this year. I flat out didn't pay for permits, we just shot as fast as possible and left when security told us to leave. Didn't spend $1500 in permits for six locations, got most, not all of what we wanted. 

  • Okay, that is what I plan on doing, still might be a couple hours, but my goal is to finish as fast as I can ;)

  • @HIS_Films I would just make sure you make it very visable that this is a film shoot and have your actors make sure the wepons are only used during the filming bits to avoid anyone mistaking them for real gang members. I think I recall some advice from someone working in the States that said often the local police will have a policy on filming. Might be worth a google for your area?

  • @Andy001z I will check that policy for my area. Maybe I can have a bright sign saying "Filming" yes?



  • Maybe, or just have someone on location with you that is keeping an eye out (or brief your friends and cast to keep eyes open for signs of concerned citizens or police ) to ensure you are kept up-to-date on what is going on around you, I imagine when in the filming zone all else fades away. Maybe on of our US community members can advise you more, given I am talking from a UK point of view.

  • @Andy001z Okay will do, thanks

  • You mentioned this will be shot in an office building.  you also mentioned that the owner of the building does not know......... that can bring down a lot of bad juju   I presume you are in the US. If not then the following  may not be applicable.      Currently in many American municipalities  that have had "troubles"  there is less than zero tolerance for firearm issues.  Currently a climate where Police officers have been targeted and executed makes the law enforcement communities extremely nervous. 

    Recently someone called the police about a "weapon" on the hood of a friends lifted jeep.  It was his Jack.  So,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    My 2cents is keep it inside a building or deep in the woods away from any prying eyes and get it done quickly.  Definitely you must inform the building owner to avoid  the possibility that  someone out of the loop may glimpse  someone with an "assault rifle"   and call  911.  

    It would be a great idea to inform the local police and bring them a dozen donuts.

    Also the red tip is not always trusted after what happened in Tampa.  See you tube attached.


  • Hey @BobDiMarzio This will be shot outside an office building (and it is not a real office place, it used to be a old hospital, off on a hill, not by any roads, and they converted it to where people can rent out office spaces in there, and some people we know rent office spaces their, and I think (not positive though) that some of the kids of the people we know that rent there even played air soft there once, and I do not think they asked.

    But I will keep in mind what you said for sure, and I can do it where I really quickly show the guns when I need them, then stuff them back in a back, or something. And make it obvious that I will be filming ;)

  • Another thing, making the guns bright is going to help a lot, right?

  • It can. Thing is, USA 2017 is pretty damn spooked. One minor thing after the other good advice here--since you'll have a lookout everyone should understand a shout of "COP!" meana everyone drops their weapons, walks calmly together and waits to see what the police do. I HAVE had police draw a weapon on me for carrying an orange, plastic shotgun inside a building. It's disconcerting, and was pre-9/11

  • @Triem23 Thanks for the tips, I am planning my shots to where, there is only a little time for the guns, then put them away, probably do all those shots first, then do the shots that do not need them ;)

  • During my childhood I was outside playing with Glock airsoft gun and an Electric M4A1 (looked real as it was made by metal) without orange tips, I don't think that has ever been a thing here in Sweden. People didn't really bat an eye. If I was not in Sweden but America, I probably would have seen the SWAT team inbound or even got shot, because apparently a Wii controller is enough to identify a suspect with a gun over there...

    A bit more serious, asking the police is the way to go, you can simply walk into the police station or call them (don't use their emergency number :P) and ask them how far you would need to go for that particular location, as well what people you would need to contact and ask for permission. 

    Good luck! :)


  • @CNK thanks for the tips! I will be cautious ;)

  • Using guns in a film is very serious business. You do not mess around with this, it does get people arrested and sometimes worse.

    If it's on private property, what you need is permission from the owner or property manager, plus you need to let the local police department know. In that case, you don't need an actual permit, because you're on private property. The vast majority of the time, as long as you're up front about what you're doing and you let the police know that you're making a film, you won't run into problems with the police.

    Don't let the local police know, and someone sees your guns without realizing it's a film set, and you can expect cops to show up in the middle of a take (I've witnessed this while crewing on a film set).

    There are stories of people who've gotten shot while filming staged bank robberies and gang shootouts. Don't be one of those.

    If you're on city or public land, get a permit AND notify the cops. Anything else is asking for trouble.


  • edited September 2017


    Thank you! :) I hope it will all go well!


  • I hope so too!


  • When you get to post, the guys at Corridor Digital put together this video on muzzle and blood hits you'll want to see. It's not a tutorial on blending modes and keying, but a good breakdown using reference footage to get realistic size and motion dynamics on things like blood, flashes and smoke.

    Niko speaks truth when he says most post muzzle flashes look like crap because the smoke is wrong.

  • Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you all know that we got the shots! And it all went well, The trailer to come out on Wednesday! (hopefully ;))

  • Cool! Looking forward to seeing the result!

  • @jsbarrett thanks, can't wait to show you!

  • Nice! Hope it was a smooth shoot. 

  • @Triem23 It was really fast with new actors, so it was...okay I will see what I can do ;)

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