Directors often talk about wanting to create the illusion of reality in their works -- and if that's what independent filmmaker Fred Carpenter was aiming for, then the fact that real-life cops nearly gunned down his actors indicates he achieved his goal.
The frightening story comes courtesy of The New York Daily News. Carpenter and a small film crew were shooting a convenience store robbery scene for his new film, Jesse, when Long Island police arrived on the scene. Thinking what they were witnessing was a genuine crime, officers entered the store with guns drawn and subdued the actor playing the robber with force. Luckily, no one was shot.
Vincent Garcia, a spokesman for the police force, said there were no outward signs that it was a film shoot -- Carpenter was filming with a small HD camera and wasn't using elaborate lighting set-ups or any of the technical equipment that you see on the standard movie set.
In the scene, a robber is holding up the manager of a convenience store, pointing a prop gun at him across the counter. The store's real manager, Sanjay Patel, was playing the victim in the scene when the real drama unfolded. "Suddenly, all the real cops came over and they pull out their guns outside the door," Patel said. "Then they came inside the door and ripped the gun out of the guy's hands."
"The officer used great restraint in not firing his weapon," Garcia stated. He also expressed relief that the officers didn't arrive at the store later than they did. "The next scene was supposed to be shots fired."