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Live round in Prop Gun


Junior8
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As well as the question of a live round on set, why was the gun fired in a direction to hit the DoP and Director? Even with a 'blank' round, why was it pointed at them?

Press reports (which may or may not be entirely accurate) suggest that this was the 2nd rehearsal of a close-up of the gun being drawn, which would explain why the DoP & Director (watching a monitor, presumably beside the camera) were so close. The 1st rehearsal went fine; on the 2nd the gun (given to the actor as unloaded) went off.

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Reports now emerging but from 'un named sources' hint at a number of possible causes of the live round being present in the weapon including allegations that the guns were being used for 'recreational' shooting by the crew!

 

That sounds possible, and most unwise. "Recreational shooting" is very popular in the USA, and can be done safely. IMHO any such recreational shooting on or near a film set should use guns and ammunition that are kept completely separate from props and be non interchangeable. Guns not connected with the production should be kept locked up when not in use. In the absence of a proper gun cupboard, a locked vehicle is better than nothing.

 

And anyone handed a gun that is said to be safe, should confirm the fact by PERSONAL INSPECTION.

 

 

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I disagree Adam. It is the responsibility of the armourer and first AD to ensure safety. Asking an actor to take that on when their concentration is on other things and their knowledge and skills are probably lacking is itself a risk.

 

Recreational shooting is something else but in a state with the incredibly lax "open carry" and "assault weapons" laws a frailure to maintain complete isolation of set from environment is just stupid. I would hazard a guess that security were carrying weapons loaded with live ammo and the RA should have insisted on strict reduction and even stricter isolation.

 

Again it smells of cutting corners on more than one aspect of the project and that has been alleged by IATSE.

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I disagree Adam. It is the responsibility of the armourer and first AD to ensure safety. Asking an actor to take that on when their concentration is on other things and their knowledge and skills are probably lacking is itself a risk.

...

 

Again it smells of cutting corners on more than one aspect of the project and that has been alleged by IATSE.

I have to agree, the usual system is to hand a gun to the actor at the last possible moment and both the armourer and actor state cold gun to the other for an empty gun (or hot gun for a loaded gun) at least I assume it's a standard procedure as it's what I've witnessed on 2 sets.
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I believe that the US safety rules (maybe uk?) for FILMING - not a gun range etc...

 

say that the armourer /AD hands over the weapon saying "Hot" or "Cold" but that the rules basically prevent the actor from challenging/checking?

ie the actor is breaking the chain of custody if they open or check the weapon?

 

A sensible route would be to approach the talent with the weapon unloaded and physically demonstrate Hot/Cold as part of the handover.

 

When I shot riles (unbelievable we had a range at school) we would be handed a weapon with the bolt open, and return it the same way. If handing it over we'd do the same

If the Film rules prevent this, due to custody rules, having the talent stand on the shoulder of the armourer to demonstrate an empty chamber would go a long way.

 

But basically it sounds like terrible practice by several people.

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Have you noticed that even the BBC now consider a 'prop' to mean 'not real'. Sort of as if it means pretend, or just looks like something. A prop can be a real thing, or a simulation - with props, as in property. It comes across that a prop will always be safe because it's a prop. Prop swords or knives might be plastic and the knives might have a spring loaded blade, but they could have a solid blade that hopefully is not sharp, but a prop knife could easily stab somebody, even if blunt. A real candle can be a prop and set things on fire and so on.

 

The prop gun was real. No contradiction really. Years back when I did a little work with somebody who was an armourer, all the guns (semi-automatics) had chambers that were smaller than real ammunition and had a bore block that prevented a real shell bing chambered. I suppose with so many real guns in the US, they consider real weapons acceptable.

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In a country where it seems most people are fully familiar with firearms

and where they get their knickers in a real twist if someone dares to suggest that there should be checks to see if you are mad when you buy an assault rifle.

 

More surprised there aren't more noteworthy accidents.

 

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I think there may be loads more that we'll neve rknow about as they don't involve famous people.

In a country where it seems most people are fully familiar with firearms

and where they get their knickers in a real twist if someone dares to suggest that there should be checks to see if you are mad when you buy an assault rifle.

 

More surprised there aren't more noteworthy accidents.

 

 

Or a hint of a nipple on TV

 

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