U.S. Coast Guard Motion Picture & Television Office
Frequently Asked Questions
What entertainment productions can the Coast Guard participate in?
The Coast Guard participates in entertainment productions that support public awareness, information, and education about the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard also supports entertainment productions that have the potential to enhance recruiting and retention initiatives.
What is the appropriate avenue to request Coast Guard support for an entertainment production?
Contact our office at 310-235-7817, or send us a treatment & project proposal, and we will determine whether the Coast Guard’s participation is appropriate and in the best interests of the Service.
How does someone receive approval to film on Coast Guard owned property?
Some Coast Guard properties are very appealing for filming locations such as lighthouses & ocean front property. In order to provide support, the entertainment production must have some Coast Guard centric content whether direct, indirect, or implied.
How do I license Coast Guard video?
Coast Guard video and stock footage that has been previously released is available for public use on the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS). Video not previously released must be requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
How do celebrities get invited to Coast Guard functions?
MOPIC does not facilitate inviting celebrity's to Coast Guard functions nor do we keep contact information for any specific group of celebrities or their agents. We suggest using the Internet Movie Database www.imdb.com to research points of contact for the agents of the celebrities of interest.
What regulations support engagement between the Coast Guard and the entertainment industry?
The Coast Guard’s relationship with the entertainment media is authorized under U.S. Code 14 Section 659, Assistance to Film Producers.
Why does the Coast Guard (MOPIC) review productions before they air?
A review of entertainment productions is essential to every production the Coast Guard supports. The review process is intended to promote the accurate and appropriate depiction of the Service and the review process is done so on a cooperative level.
How can I participate in a TV show if I am on active duty service in the Coast Guard?
Members must route their request to participate in any television program through the chain of command at their unit before applying for participation on any television program. If approved, the member’s command shall forward such requests to MOPIC for final approval. Members must be in a leave or liberty status for their entire participation in any television program on an individual basis. If a command is approached by a television program or game show regarding providing Coast Guard members to participate, such requests must be forwarded to MOPIC for approval.
I want the Coast Guard to review my script/TV show concept for accuracy, how do I know the concept will be kept confidential?
The Coast Guard considers television and motion picture industry story ideas to be trade secrets. The Coast Guard will not reveal or release by any means aspects of scripts, story ideas, movie or TV series content/concepts, or any other confidential information related to entertainment productions.
What factors are considered when approving CG support for entertainment projects?
In making its determination, the Coast Guard will consider the primary purpose of the production, the producing organization, the outlet(s) to the public, and any legal or practical factors relative to providing support. MOPIC will implement a written, cooperative agreement based on, but not limited to, the following:
guarantee of distribution in the U.S., approval of a script, treatment, outline, or other pre-production document(s) and availability of resources at the shooting location.
- The Coast Guard must be depicted in an acceptable, accurate and dignified manner in the final product and promotional segments. Coast Guard safety requirements must be adhered to.
- Coast Guard operations and readiness must not be impaired.
- A Coast Guard representative must be present during filming of “Coast Guard segments” at the production company’s expense to ensure the conditions for cooperation are met.
- The producers must execute an industry-standard insurance policy covering intentional or accidental loss or damage to government property resulting from the production company’s presence or actions on or in government property and sign a “hold harmless” agreement.
- Any additional project conditions require further review.
Can the Coast Guard participate in a TV commercial?
Advertisements are produced to promote or sell commercial products or services. The use of Coast Guard personnel, equipment, and facilities in advertising productions is prohibited because of the potential for actual, implied, or perceived Coast Guard endorsement of the products or services.
Can the Coast Guard assist with filming non-Coast Guard subject matter?
Coast Guard personnel, equipment, and facilities will not compete with commercial and private enterprises. For example, the Coast Guard will not provide a camera helicopter or a pier to shoot scenes if there are adequate commercial helicopters and piers available.
How can I be an “extra” in a movie if I am on active duty service in the Coast Guard?
Producers may wish to hire Coast Guard personnel as extras for non-Coast Guard roles. Coast Guard personnel may accept such employment when off-duty or on leave. Individuals should coordinate these activities with their local command.