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Dark Light Pictures’ Gil Cope Sets Sail with U.S. Coast Guard

Directs service members in two spots for LM&O’s “Born Ready” campaign.

HOLLYWOOD— Director/cameraman Gil Cope of

Dark Light Pictures

has directed two spots for the United States Coast Guard and its new “Born Ready” recruitment campaign. Conceived by Washington, D.C. agency LM&O, the spots promote service in the Guard as an elite mission through the stories of real service members who fulfill their personal aspirations while protecting the country.



, a Coast Guardsman describes his passion for the environment over vignettes showing him mountain biking and, later, helping to intercept a boat caught dumping chemical pollutants into the ocean. In


, a female Guardsman talks about her commitment to physical and mental fitness over shots of her exercising and performing her duties aboard a high tech Coast Guard cutter.

The intent of the spots is to show the caliber of people who join the Coast Guard. “The spots first feature the Guardsmen as people who are intelligent, driven, physically fit and striving,” notes LM&O chief creative officer Dave Marinaccio. “You then see how they fit into the Guard as good team members.”

“Gil did a brilliant job of setting up that reveal,” Marinaccio adds. “In Workout, you see how the Guardsman is perspiring and pushing herself like an elite athlete…and it’s only when she walks outside that you realize she’s on a Coast Guard cutter.”

Cope shot the spots at a Coast Guard facility in San Diego and in the mountains near Running Springs, California with actual Coast Guardsmen in on-screen roles. The 378-foot-high U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman as well as a 25-foot chase boat and a Jayhawk helicopter were employed in the production.

Shooting military air and water craft on the open ocean is challenging, particularly given the production’s tight schedule. “It takes a lot of planning and coordination,” Cope says. “When you’re working boat-to-boat, with all the logistics involved, you do not have the luxury of shooting repeated takes to finesse the details.”

“The Coast Guard personnel were very enthusiastic and did a great job in corralling everything,” he adds. “We were in need of nothing.”
The air and sea photography capture the life of a Guardsman in a revealing and powerful way. “Gil combined all those elements into seamless stories that are dramatic, focused on our heroes, and full of exciting action,” Marinaccio says.

About Dark Light Pictures

Over the past 17 years Dark Light Pictures has established itself as a problem solving resource for television advertisers, motion picture marketing teams, and producers of feature films and television specials.
As a leading producer of television commercials Dark Light has created effective, imaginative advertising for some of the most influential advertisers in the country including The Coca Cola Company, Budweiser, Tylenol, Reebok, AT&T, UPS, Perrier, Boeing, Unilever, US Coast Guard, Honda, and The University of Southern California.
In the world of motion picture advertising, Dark Light has produced and filmed live action material for countless teaser trailer and motion poster campaigns including War of the Worlds, Mission Impossible III, The Other Guys, and Salt.
For more information, call (323) 460-2077 or visit






Client: United States Coast Guard. Luke Pinneo, public affairs specialist; Adam Wine, public affairs officer; Annie Ells, public affairs specialist; Mauro Cooper, chief, advertising division.
Agency: LM&O, Washington, D.C. Dave Marinaccio, creative director; Jordan Rix, account executive; Adam Chism, copy writer; Christina Krug and Oronde Vaughan, art directors; Chris Laughlin, president/project manager.
Production: Dark Light Pictures, Hollywood. Gil Cope, director/cameraman; Vince Arcaro, executive producer; Sheila Flaherty, head of production; Carole MacDonal, producer.
Edit: Motor Entertainment, Hollywood. Barnett Kiel, editor; Greg McClatchy, executive producer; Bryan Gawron, post production supervisor.