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-   -   Not sure if this is the right place but How does one become an Armorer? (http://forum.imfdb.org/showthread.php?t=2011)

Bugabear 07-10-2012 08:51 AM

Not sure if this is the right place but How does one become an Armorer?
 
I'm interested in becoming an Armorer for movies and television. Does anybody know what kind of education one would need? Or the steps one would take to become one? I have some experience working as part of a backstage and technical crew for theatre, but nothing in film. I live in Vancouver, Canada, if that makes a difference.

Any kind of help you can give would be great. Sorry if this isn't the right place to ask this kind of question.

MT2008 07-20-2012 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugabear (Post 35408)
I'm interested in becoming an Armorer for movies and television. Does anybody know what kind of education one would need? Or the steps one would take to become one? I have some experience working as part of a backstage and technical crew for theatre, but nothing in film. I live in Vancouver, Canada, if that makes a difference.

Any kind of help you can give would be great. Sorry if this isn't the right place to ask this kind of question.

You'd do well to ask some of the armorers on here how they got started. But from what I gather (and I've talked to quite a few of them at this point), most armorers got into the business through two paths:

(1.) They served in the military, in some cases working at base armories. For instance, "Rock" Galotti (who has a rep as John Woo's favorite armorer) was a Marine Desert Storm veteran before he became a full-time weapons coordinator in Hollywood. You can read an interview with him here: http://www.movieweb.com/news/exclusi...r-rock-galotti

(2.) They trained as gunsmiths or some related field (engineering). Our own Steve Karnes got his start at Ellis Props & Graphics because his family has been in the gun business for a long time (if you talk to him, you'll find that he knew lots of gunsmiths and factory managers growing up).

Usually, the guys in category #1 work as on-set handlers only (which means that they supervise the use of weapons and train the actors to use them). The guys in category #2 usually work in the armory all day and convert guns to blank-fire or customize them in other ways. But there are plenty of armorers who are qualified to work as both gunsmiths and on-set handlers. So if you really wanted to become an armorer, the first thing you'd have to ask yourself is whether you want to be #1 or #2. If you want to be #1, go enlist, though only if you can get an MOS that is appropriate for the job. If you want #2, start taking classes.

Also, if you live in Vancouver, the big armory there is Tom Felcan's Felcan Enterprises, which supplies almost every movie and TV show filmed in British Columbia. Unless you plan to move to another province, that's probably where you'd want to work.


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