South Florida’s entangled gun environment begins right here more than 500 years ago.
So too America’s gun culture.
For release in 2022.
Guns and South Florida go together like palm trees, sand, and art deco hotels. They’ve been here since before anyone can remember and are more numerous than people. It’s clear they are not going anywhere and are also a scourge on its citizens. We love them, and we hate them, and our politics can seem twisted by them with South Florida (So Flo) especially stained by them in the national psyche.
Filming for So Flo Guns began in the immediate wake of the Parkland shooting, February 14, 2018. A month later we documented the March for Our Lives protest on Miami Beach. Later in the spring we interviewed the organizer of a gun show and documented its goods. Additional interviews, including Dr. Paul George, resident historian of HistoryMiami, took place over the summer. October’s Line in the Sand demonstration on South Beach in which members of Florida Carry took their rifles and sidearms to South Pointe was the last shoot to date. 2019 found us with other priorities it seems and 2020 was taken up by the pandemic.
Paul George on the Cocaine Cowboy Era.
2021 brings a renewed passion to finish the film even before the most recent mass shooting epidemic. Assuming COVID-19 is enough in the rearview mirror to allow shooting in the summer of 2021, with three months of post-production in the fall, we will be ready to roll out the finished film shortly thereafter.
Ten shoots are planned over the summer and include firing a matchlock musket like Ponce de Leon in the 16th century, as well as a Kentucky long rifle like troops had in the Seminole Wars. Coincident with a stop at Al Capone’s house in Miami Beach, we will feature a Tommy gun. Next we’ll focus on the Cocaine Cowboy era that will bring us up to the modern day AR-15. Plans to visit Liberty City will bring in civic leaders to discuss the everyday shootings that occur in their neighborhoods and the handguns that are such a neglected part of the story.
One shoot is planned outside of South Florida with a gun manufacturer in New England where we intend to document, buy, and shoot a new Kentucky long rifle working replica. Why New England? Because Florida produces few of the guns it uses. New England has always been a big supplier of guns. Why this particular firearm? Because it is the same kind available at the time the 2nd Amendment was adopted -- and a big purpose of our film is to illustrate the evolution of the guns themselves. And to show how far we are from what the Founding Fathers could ever have imagined when they gave us the right to bear arms.
Gadsden Flag circa 1776.
The fourth quarter of 2021 will find the footage in Kathmandu where our editor Amit Nepali and his studio are located. Our trans-world post-production habits are well honed with this being our fifth feature documentary.
At the moment we are logging footage, preparing a trailer, working with the music creators, and beginning to scour museums from Key West to Naples to Belle Glade to Miami, digging through archives, identifying the guns, artifacts, press clippings, locations, and fascinating interviewees for the film.
A.J. Niilo - Composer of So Flo Guns theme song Gunz.
So Flo Guns speaks to the various points of view of the gun discussion and helps people understand that the gun situation here is historic and intractable – but not hopeless. Perhaps it’s not about eliminating guns, but de-risking them. Get it back to what it was when the Kentucky Long Rifle was state-of-the-art, back when the 2nd Amendment was written. Because it doesn’t take a genius to see that Daniel Boone’s rifle bears little resemblance to an AR-15.
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