The U.S. Coast Guard’s film liaison office remains open for business even though its three-man staff in Los Angeles isn’t getting paid because of the ongoing government shutdown. “Obviously, it’s impacting our pay, but our office is operational,” chief warrant officer Mike Lutz said.
The Coast Guard, which is the only service branch affected by the shutdown, has provided assistance to dozens of films in recent years, including Spider-Man: Homecoming, Dunkirk, Baywatch, Deepwater Horizon and The Finest Hours. Lutz told Deadline that the liaison office is working on several film and TV projects but noted that none currently is in production.
Members of the Coast Guard haven’t been paid since Tuesday, as President Donald Trump wrangles with Democrats over his demand for a border wall with Mexico. “Today, you will not be receiving your regularly scheduled mid-month paycheck,” Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guard, wrote Tuesday in a letter to his servicemen and women. “I recognize the anxiety and uncertainty this situation places on you and your family, and we are working closely with service organizations on your behalf.
“To the best of my knowledge,” he added, “this marks the first time in our nation’s history that service members in a U.S. Armed Force have not been paid during a lapse in government appropriations.”
The Coast Guard “participates in entertainment productions that support public awareness, information, and education about the Coast Guard,” its website states. “The Coast Guard also supports entertainment productions that have the potential to enhance recruiting and retention initiatives.”
To get that assistance, producers must submit a script to the Coast Guard for approval, and a USCG rep “must be present during filming of ‘Coast Guard segments’ at the production company’s expense to ensure the conditions for cooperation are met,” according to its website.
The finished product also must be reviewed by Coast Guard officials before its release to the public. “A review of entertainment productions is essential to every production the Coast Guard supports,” its website states. “The review process is intended to promote the accurate and appropriate depiction of the Service and the review process is done so on a cooperative level.”
The other service branches — the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force — also have film liaison offices in LA, but their staffs still are getting paid.