How does the old cliché go? A picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s the case, what is a hit cable T.V. show or big screen movie worth? A lot I’d bet, and it’s a great way to tell the Coast Guard story.
The Coast Guard’s Motion Picture & Television Office (MOPIC) is a small but dedicated staff of public affairs professionals located in Los Angeles, Cali. The three-person team receives ideas and requests from some of the hottest producers wanting to portray the Coast Guard in an upcoming entertainment production.
“It is a true privilege to serve in this role and help tell our service’s story to the American public,” said CDR Sean Carroll. “Through productive and collaborative relationships with the entertainment industry, the U.S. Coast Guard is on television once every 10 days to an average audience of three million viewers. We are also represented or featured in a major motion picture every 13 months.”
Although bound by the law (14 USC 659), the Coast Guard may provide assistance as long as it does not “interfere with Coast Guard missions.” The MOPIC team offers technical advice and storyline development on Coast Guard related projects, stock footage of Coast Guard operations and resources, and arrangements for filming on Coast Guard facilities, boats and aircraft. MOPIC also reviews scripts, treatments, and rough-cuts to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and conformity.
In these productions, the Coast Guard can be a central character in the storyline or provide more of a support or consultation role. Whatever the role is, the MOPIC team strives to enhance public awareness and understanding of the U.S. Coast Guard, its people, and its missions through a cooperative effort with the entertainment industry.