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Clutch 02-25-2010 09:47 PM

Is movie editing pumping up the round count in some scenes?
We all know how important good editing is to a movie. And we've all seen this statement across IMFDB before:

"[insert actor here] fires more rounds out of [insert gun here] than the gun can carry."

Now I won't dispute most of those claims, because more often than not, they're right. But in some cases, have you ever felt that, were it not for the often dramatic editing that comes with these scenes, the round count would have been accurate? Let me give an example.

Hero corners bad guy on roof, armed with a M1911A1 .45 and a fully-loaded seven round magazine (with an extra round in the chamber). Bad guy surrenders his primary weapon, but draws another gun from the small of his back. Big mistake, hero opens fire. We see the first two shots, and then the camera cuts to the bad guy, who now catches the first two shots. Even though we still hear firing. In fact, we hear shooting all the way through the scene, even when it cuts back to the hero, who we see expend the rest of his mag to slide lock, and then back to the bad guy, who we see take all of the remaining rounds. Even though we see hero shoot eight rounds and bad guy get hit eight times, the sounds make us think that hero fired twice that, if not more. See what I'm saying?

It's kind of the same thing with explosions. Ever notice in some movies that the house seems to blow up three or four times before the scene's over, because the editor included in every possible angle?

What are your thoughts on this?

ManiacallyChallenged 02-25-2010 11:32 PM

I think there is a real desire for directors to "reload and reset" in a way, between scenes.
Which is how Chow Yun Fat can fire 387ish rounds from a pair of Norinco Tokarevs while sliding down the stairs.
Because he slid down the stairs about 5 times, all from different camera angles.

There's also Equilibrium, where half of all rounds fired from the custom Berettas are CGI or just strobes.

Excalibur 02-26-2010 03:35 AM

A lot of time they just do a Texas reload when the camera looks away from the actor firing

ManiacallyChallenged 02-26-2010 06:02 AM

Texas reload as in pirate reload?

MT2008 02-26-2010 03:52 PM


Originally Posted by ManiacallyChallenged (Post 12273)
Texas reload as in pirate reload?

Yep. If you want a good example, I posted a behind-the-scenes video from the "Stargate: Universe" web site on the Discussion Page for the IMFDB entry. In the video, Rob Fournier (the show's armorer) shows how they do a Texas Reload on the episode "Time" - when an M4 runs out of ammo, they swap the empty rifle with a loaded rifle off-camera, and then when the camera returns to the actor's perspective, they start shooting again. Even though they're obviously firing more than 30 rounds.

The norm seems to be that they just reload between takes, but don't show the actor doing it. The best example I can think of is in "Pulp Fiction", when you see Mr. Pink's S&W's slide lock back, and then in the next shot, he's still shooting as if nothing happened.

Sound editing can also play a part. Watch "Die Hard 2" - when John McClane shoots the last terrorist on the skywalk, you see his Beretta empty, but you hear one more gunshot on the soundtrack, which was added in by the folly editor. Something similar happens in "Red Dawn".

ManiacallyChallenged 02-26-2010 08:48 PM

Yeah, I hate that last one.
I know it's hard to reset scenes, but I think it would be worth it so you don't have a guy firing two shots with a jammed gun or something.

Course, it would be interesting if you just had your actors clear the jams in real time, would add a little pizzaz to firefights. But, do blanks jam a lot more than real bullets?

4570guy 02-28-2010 05:28 AM

Yes, for sure, blanks jam more than live rounds
There are several good previous posts on why blank firing guns jam more than guns firing live rounds

Excalibur 02-28-2010 05:57 AM

because of the powder used for blanks?

ManiacallyChallenged 03-01-2010 09:25 PM

Heh, just noticed that you spelled "foley" editor as "folly."
I see what you did there.

Zulu Two Six 03-01-2010 11:11 PM

[quote=MT2008;12278] The best example I can think of is in "Pulp Fiction", when you see Mr. Pink's S&W's slide lock back, and then in the next shot, he's still shooting as if nothing happened.QUOTE]

sorry, movie nazi time. isnt mr. pink and his S&W in Resivoir Dogs, not Pulp Fiction?

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