Prop guns spark debate after cinematographer’s death on set


Oct 22 (Reuters) – An on-set shooting death has reignited concern about the use of prop guns like the weapon actor Alec Baldwin discharged in the killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while filming a movie in New Mexico.

Some prop guns are non-firing facsimile weapons, but many are real guns, loaded with blank rounds instead of bullets.

While the exact type of weapon used in the shooting on the set of “Rust” remained unclear, an affidavit filed by New Mexico authorities on Friday said the film’s assistant director grabbed one of three guns placed on a table by the armorer.

The assistant director took the gun to Baldwin, handed it to the actor and yelled, “cold gun,” in an indication that “the prop-gun did not have any live rounds,” the affidavit said.

Prop guns have long been used on sets for the realistic visual effect of the flash and recoil after an actor pulls the trigger. Guns with blank cartridges, which lack a bullet but use gunpowder, can be fatal at close range.

Productions using prop guns have designated weapons handlers or armorers tasked with watching the weapons on set, regularly checking that they are only loaded when needed and with the intended material, and ensuring that actors use them safely, according to industry rules and experts.

“Every armorer I’ve ever worked with takes that job outrageously seriously,” Ben Rock, a film and television director, told Reuters in an interview.

Rock said he has pushed back on the use of firing blank rounds for years, arguing the “gritty realism” it lends can be replaced by using airsoft guns and adding visual effects in post-production.

“Why is it worth any risk?” Rock said. ‘We’re also pretending everything else, I don’t see why we can’t pretend about this too.”

According to the Santa Fe, New Mexico sheriff’s department, no charges have been filed in Thursday’s fatal shooting of Hutchins and the injury of Souza, and the investigation remains open. The sheriff’s office has said Baldwin discharged a prop firearm.

Baldwin is a co-producer and an actor in “Rust”, a Western set in 1880s Kansas.

Rick Pallaziol, who owns the company “Weapons of Choice” and has leased prop weapons to television, film and theater clients for about three decades, said he stopped renting guns that can fire rounds to film productions more than 20 years ago because he was concerned about the risks involved with blank cartridges. Even with rules in place, a brief lapse in alertness after a long day on set can be lethal, he said.

“Protocols aren’t enough,” Pallaziol told Reuters. “Someone has to be really afraid at every given moment that the gun is going to go off, and when they see that it’s pointed in the wrong direction, to yell bloody murder before something happens.”

Ken Sonkin, a performing arts professor at the University of San Francisco and a stage combat specialist, said the sensory effects from firing blank rounds are hard to replicate with sound effects. But he added that Hutchins’ death may give directors pause.

“I do think it will ask those of us who work in the industry to reinvest in our safety protocols and maybe reexamine them,” Sonkin said.

Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Donna Bryson, David Gregorio and Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Acquire Licensing Rights, opens new tab

Gabriella Borter is a reporter on the U.S. National Affairs team, covering cultural and political issues as well as breaking news. She has won two Front Page Awards from the Newswomen’s Club of New York – in 2020 for her beat reporting on healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2019 for her spot story on the firing of the police officer who killed Eric Garner. The latter was also a Deadline Club Awards finalist. She holds a B.A. in English from Yale University and joined Reuters in 2017.



Source link

Reach Out

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to discuss your specific needs. Our team is ready and eager to provide you with tailored solutions that align with your firm’s goals and enhance your digital marketing efforts. We look forward to helping you grow your law practice online.

Our Services:

Blog Post Writing
We do well-researched, timely, and engaging blog posts that resonate with your clientele, positioning you as a thought leader in your domain.
Content Writing: Beyond articles and content for blogs, we delve into comprehensive content pieces like eBooks, and case studies, tailored to showcase your expertise.

Website Content Writing
First impressions matter. Our content ensures your website reflects the professionalism, dedication, and expertise you bring to the table.

Social Media Management
In today’s interconnected world, your online presence extends to social platforms. We help you navigate this terrain, ensuring your voice is consistently represented and heard.

WordPress Website Maintenance
Your digital office should be as polished and functional as your physical one. We ensure your WordPress site remains updated, secure, and user-friendly.

For more information, ad placements in our attorney blog network, article requests, social media management, or listings on our top 10 attorney sites, reach out to us at seoattorneyservices@gmail.com.

Warm regards,

The Personal Injury Law Attorney Riverside CA 92508 Team

Leave a Reply

Home Privacy Policy Terms Of Use Anti Spam Policy Contact Us Affiliate Disclosure DMCA Earnings Disclaimer