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The use of prop weapons poses significant risk to student filmmakers, therefore the policy on the use of prop weapons must be strictly enforced. The penalties for failure to comply with the policy are severe. A Prop Weapon Request Form must be filled out and sent to the SPO office


  1. The prop weapon will not be played with or pointed at anyone (outside of action required by the script during recording)

  2. Any prop guns will be treated as though they are loaded guns.

  3. All prop weapons will be kept secured and out of plain view except during rehearsal and filming.

  4. All prop weapons will be transported in a closed, securable container in the trunk of a designated vehicle.

  5. All prop weapons will not be left unattended or visible in the designated vehicle or onset.

  6. Signs will be required to be posted on the perimeter of the set stating: “Student Filming in Progress. Prop Weapons in Use for Filming Purposes.”

  7. The use of firearms or any other prop guns may require special permits and / or operator certifications. Anyone that will be using a prop gun shall know all the operating features and safety devices. All prop guns must undergo thorough safety inspection, testing, and cleaning on a daily basis by qualified personnel.

  8. Anyone handling a prop gun shall receive the proper training and know all operating features and safety devices.

  9. A photo of the prop weapon(s) must be included with the request.

  10. All parties (students and faculty) will be subject to disciplinary action if a prop gun is brought on campus and / or used without the proper permissions, regardless of when the violation is brought to light.

We expect students to follow these guidelines as they pursue excellence in storytelling. 


  • If students plan to use a prop weapon on campus, they must follow the procedures for securing permission from appropriate Pepperdine personnel as outlined in this guide.

  • A Prop Weapon Request must be filled out and sent to the SPO office.

  • Any prop weapon will require DPS authorization. DPS requires all paperwork requesting permission for prop weapon use be submitted ten (10) business days prior to filming.

  • DPS may include additional stipulations depending on the activity being filmed.

  • Students are NOT ALLOWED to use prop guns with moving parts.

  • Students are NOT ALLOWED to use squibs or any other pyrotechnic device.


  • Your film permit from the appropriate agency must specify the use of a prop weapon. Check for restrictions from your specific location and city.

  • Once you have selected your location you must determine which police station patrols that area. You will need to notify the police station of your plan to film with a prop weapon. Written confirmation of the meeting and approval from the police station must be submitted to Production Operations.

  • You will need to alert any surrounding residents and business owners of your plans to film with a prop weapon.


How to Submit DPS Forms 

Students should complete the Prop Weapon Request Form. Students will then submit to DPS during regular business hours the following: 

  • Completed DPS Prop Weapon Request Forms

  • Photo of prop weapon to be used from multiple angles

  • Signed Location Agreement form with signatures from:

    • Student Producers

    • Faculty Advisor

    • Production Operations

    • University Representative in charge of reservations for the location being used

    • Any additional documents as may be requested by DPS or Production Operations, which may include a complete script, storyboards, and detailed descriptions of the scene action. 

Students may also email their completed paperwork as a SINGLE PDF to: 

Ariel Sarreal:

Subject: Prop Weapon Request for Student Film Titled: TITLE OF FILM 


The following steps should be taken when filming with prop weapons on campus: 

  1. On the day of filming, email DPS to notify them that prop weapons will be used on campus during filming per the agreed upon time frame and location.

  2. SIGNAGE should be posted around the perimeter of the filming location. The signs should indicate: Student Filming in Progress  Prop Weapons in Use for Filming Purposes

  3. BEFORE THE WEAPON IS FIRST TAKEN FROM ITS SECURE LOCATION, the Production Designer / Weapon Master should call DPS dispatch to notify them the prop weapon is being taken out to be used on set to film.

  4. WHILE FILMING, the prop weapon should only be in the hand of the actor during rehearsal and filming. When not rehearsing or filming, the prop weapon should be handed to the Production Designer / Weapon Master and secured. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should anyone besides the actor handling the prop weapon or the Production Designer / Weapon Master ever touch the weapon. 

  5. WHEN FILMING IS COMPLETE, the Production Designer / Weapon Master should again call DPS dispatch to notify them the prop weapon has been secured and filming of the prop weapon at that location is now complete.

  6. AFTER LEAVING CAMPUS, send another email to DPS notifying them the prop weapon is now no longer on campus.


To contact DPS with any issues or to follow the above procedures: 


Non-Emergency Phone: 310.506.4442 

Emergency Phone: 9-1-1 OR 310.506.4441 OR through the LiveSafe App. 


Prop weapons are serious business. It is important to include prop weapons protocols in the safety briefing for the location where prop weapons are being used. It should be emphasized: 

  • who can and who cannot physically interact with a prop weapon;

  • any instructions from a DPS or other Public Safety Officer be followed without argument and immediately;

  • any activity requiring stunt work should be coordinated by a licensed stunt coordinator per the guidelines in the Producing Your Project tab;

  • identifying who the Production Designer / Weapon Master on set is; and,

  • clearly articulate any on-set protocols and procedures related to prop weapon use.


Ultimately, we want everyone to be safe, and we want you to tell the story you are trying to tell. 

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