Behind the scenes – Coast Guard Motion Picture & Television Office

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Oprah filming
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 4, 2010) – MOPIC coordinated the Coast Guard’s involvement in “Oprah’s” Nick Schuyler episode, resulting in more than 6 million viewers and the first-ever Boating Safety Message on “Oprah.” Coast Guard photo by PA1 Mariana O’Leary.

Have you ever seen the Coast Guard represented in a T.V. show or movie? What about the “Deadliest Catch” or “The Guardian”?

Wave Tank
SHREVEPORT, La. (March 3, 2010) – MOPIC coordinated a Coast Guard helicopter hoist over an open-air wave tank during the filming of “Mayday: Bering Sea,” which chronicled the search for the crew of the Alaska Ranger. Coast Guard photo by PA2 Thomas Blue.

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.”

Gordon Ramsay
MIAMI (March 11, 2010) – Station Fort Lauderdale personnel pose with Gordon Ramsay. The station was featured patrolling the waterway near a local restaurant on “Kitchen Nightmares.” Coast Guard photo by PA3 Nicholas Ameen.

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.

Click here to see what movies and programs are upcoming or click here to see a list of movies featuring the Coast Guard, dating back to 1914.

Deadliest Catch
Kodiak, AK (Apr. 9, 2010) – Coast Guard District Seventeen units and personnel coordinated filming with MOPIC for the highly successful sixth season of “Deadliest Catch.” U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Charly Hengen.
CSI Miami
Los Angeles, Cali. (Apr. 6, 2010) – Station Los Angeles-Long Beach assisted MOPIC with filming an episode of CSI: Miami. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA2 Matt Schofield.

1 comments on “Behind the scenes – Coast Guard Motion Picture & Television Office”

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