John Fox - Motion Picture Armourer and Weapons Specialist for the Film and Television Industry

 John Fox with Mel Torme


Enjoy the images covering 25 years of film and television history.

  The role of the Motion Picture Armourer explained here.

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Answer to Question 6.
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6.How important is advising the Police of our film shoot?

A. The Police are most helpful with film production and should be contacted well in advance of any Firearms Action, Stunt or Special Effects Filming.
There is also a need to communicate with other authorities when Firearms are being used in public places or in the view of the public through windows, doors etc. You know that you are only making a film, but the public don't know this, so they pick up the cell phone and call the Police "It's a man with a gun officer." Police don't take kindly to having to respond to an "Armed robbery in progress, shots fired." and running red lights etc., arriving with pistols drawn and almost shooting your actor before he is knocked to the ground and handcuffed....You don't want to experience this. It may sound amusing but your actor might wet the bed for weeks!

A professional working Armourer has regular contact with Police in most States and is well known in his home State and can obtain any permits that may be required from just a phone call or fax to the Police.

It is the Armourers responsibility to ensure that all of the above has been taken into consideration by the producers of the film. The producer is ultimately responsible for a safe workplace and must provide a recognised correctly licensed Armourer. (Under Occupational Health and Safety, the film set is the workplace). The completion bond guarantor will also insist on a correctly licensed Armourer as will your insurer.

Toy Pistols,Imitation Pistols,Water Pistols painted black,
The use of SWAT Team Outfits or Para-Military Outfits are also of concern to the police when they are used in public places or used in such a way that the public might mistake you for a "Bad Guy".

If you intend to use such items in your film it is most important that you contact a Licensed Armourer and the Police Film Office in advance of your production so that they can advise you of what is required and the police can advise their other various departments about your filming locations and thus avoiding any unnecessary Police call outs.

The Police have been known to charge film makers for the cost of these call out's, when film makers have not informed Police of their use of Firearms or Explosions in public places.

Police have also charged Un-Licensed persons working as Armourers on film sets as well as the film's producers and have shut down the film production.

The Victoria Police are very supportive of Film Makers and the Police Film Office should be considered to be part of the production's behind the scenes team.

The Police provide a service to help you achieve these Action and Special Effects shots.

They will Not Hinder you, but you must advise them of your intended filming.


Victoria Police Media & Corporate Communications Division

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