Filmmaking is about telling stories, which may include conflict and sometimes violence. We all know that this violence is fake, but during filming it can sometimes be hard for people nearby to know the difference between simulated violence and real violence. In our modern world, we need to make sure that our filmmaking doesn’t cause distress among the people around us.

These policies are intended to help you have a safe, productive and problem-free shoot.

Scenes with simulated violence may include: chase scenes, scenes with guns or knives, fight scenes or wrestling. Even if you don’t have violence, using fake blood is also included in this policy. This is not a complete list, and please use your judgment and caution when filming. Sometimes, a scene that seems fun to you may seem scary to people walking by, so plan ahead. It’s better to be prepared than have to stop filming to talk with Public Safety or the police.

Lesley University policy strictly prohibits violence of any kind. It also prohibits the use of weapons on campus, whether they are fake or real. The only exception is for filmmaking, but you must follow the guidelines below.

  • Any weapon related props should be kept in storage cases when not in use. Upon removing the prop weapon, keep the plastic orange tip in place until filming begins.
  • Do no use any caps, firecrackers or any other device for mimicking gun shots or any loud noise. Sound can be added later in post-production.
  • Place signs, one on each side of the filming site, to alert the public that you are producing a film. Signs are available in Lockup.
  • Understand that you are representing Lesley, and as such, it is expected that you will abide by the student conduct standards set forth in the University Student Handbook.
  • There are rubber guns, knives and other props in Lockup. You are welcome to check these out. If you provide your own props, they MUST have orange tips (removable for filming is OK) and CANNOT make any noise. REAL WEAPONS OF ANY TYPE, INCLUDING PELLET GUNS & PAINTBALL GUNS, ARE PROHIBITED!

Prior to filming a scene with simulated violence, it is strongly suggested that you contact the appropriate authority.

For on-campus filming, you are required to email Public Safety at

For off-campus filming, we strongly suggest you contact the local police.
Cambridge Police: (617) 349-3300
Harvard Police: (617) 495-1215
Boston Police: (617) 495-1215

We want you to have a safe and fun film shoot! Following these guidelines will ensure that you also don’t create problems for yourself or the University while creating your work.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact