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Jcordell 10-22-2021 02:39 AM

Prop Gun Shooting. One crewmember dead New Mexico filmset
 
Echoes of "The Crow" set shooting (1993)

From The New York Times (10/21/21)

Quote:

One Fatally Shot and One Injured on Set of Alec Baldwin Movie in New Mexico

A woman died and a man was injured after a prop firearm was discharged on the set of “Rust,” a Western, the authorities said.

Santa Fe County sheriff's deputies responding to the scene of a fatal shooting on a movie set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe County, N.M., on Thursday.

Santa Fe County sheriff's deputies responding to the scene of a fatal shooting on a movie set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe County, N.M., on Thursday.Credit...KOAT 7 News, via Associated Press

By Alyssa Lukpat
Oct. 21, 2021, 10:24 p.m. ET

A woman died and a man was injured in New Mexico on Thursday afternoon after a prop firearm discharged on the set of a movie starring Alec Baldwin, the authorities said.

The woman and man, both 42, were shot on the set of “Rust,” a Western being filmed in Santa Fe County, around 1:50 p.m., said Juan Rios, a spokesman for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. The set was at Bonanza Creek Ranch, where a number of movies have been filmed.

Mr. Rios said the shooting happened in the middle of a scene that was either being rehearsed or filmed. He said the Sheriff’s Office was interviewing people on the set to determine how the two had been shot.

“We’re trying to determine right now how and what type of projectile was used in the firearm,” he said.

The woman was flown to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she later died, Mr. Rios said. The man was taken to CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe.

While the sheriff’s office did not immediately release the names of the two, the International Cinematographer’s Guild identified the woman who was killed as Halyna Hutchins, the film’s director of photography.

...The shooting echoed an accident on a movie set in 1993 in which the actor Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, was shot and killed during a scene when a bullet that was lodged in the barrel of a gun was discharged along with a blank cartridge.

Jcordell 10-22-2021 02:46 AM

Well the investigation is just beginning. Lots of work going into tracing who handled that firearm. If there was live ammo the cases will be examined for latent prints. Witnesses are being interviewed. It's a film set so my guess is that there is a very good chance there is video and photographs even though it was a rehearsal. Lots of work to be done. To the extant of my knowledge the last time this happened on an American movie set was Brandon Lee's death on the set of "The Crow" in 1993. It's been 28 years. That is a long safety run. It's too bad it ended so badly today.

Jcordell 10-22-2021 02:50 AM

Just learned that it was Alec Baldwin who fired the prop gun that killed the director of photography and wounded the director.

MoviePropMaster2008 10-22-2021 03:47 AM

As an armorer this sickens me. :( Also I can't tell you how many times I've YELLED at actors and crew for fucking with the firearms on set. They don't know what they're doing. They dry fire the weapons. In the case of Brandon Lee, they squib fired a dummy bullet that had a live primer in it, but no one SHOULD have dry fired the damned revolver in the first place. I get pissed off when I see primer marks in my dummy rounds with 'fake intact primers' for the camera. But it's mostly ANTI GUN or folks who don't know shit about guns who do all that horseplay on set.

Prayers to those who have died and are injured. :(

MT2008 10-22-2021 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 45325)
As an armorer this sickens me. :( Also I can't tell you how many times I've YELLED at actors and crew for fucking with the firearms on set. They don't know what they're doing. They dry fire the weapons. In the case of Brandon Lee, they squib fired a dummy bullet that had a live primer in it, but no one SHOULD have dry fired the damned revolver in the first place. I get pissed off when I see primer marks in my dummy rounds with 'fake intact primers' for the camera. But it's mostly ANTI GUN or folks who don't know shit about guns who do all that horseplay on set.

Prayers to those who have died and are injured. :(

This will probably make your blood boil as much as it did mine:

Quote:

Firearm experts, writers and producers have wondered aloud how the incident on the “Rust” set occurred. While some producers insist on using prop guns with blanks to closely capture the sound and look of a real gun firing, others have been calling for them to be banished from film sets, saying that computer-generated imaging offers a safer alternative.

“There’s no reason to have guns loaded with blanks or anything on set anymore,” tweeted director Craig Zobel, whose credits include the 2020 film “The Hunt” and HBO’s “Mare of Easttown.” “Should just be fully outlawed. There’s computers now.”
Quote comes from here, but there's a more in-depth story here.

Setting aside the tastelessness of the fact that this liberal idiot is using this tragedy to promote his political agenda, does anyone else get just as annoyed that someone is calling for yet more CGI in movies? It's bad enough that Hollywood over-uses CGI as it is (not just for "special effects" shots, but now everything from actors' appearances to weather). It's not even politically partisan to agree that CGed-out movies are diminishing the artistic merit of film production; I have almost never heard anyone arguing that more shots in movies using more CG effects is a good thing. Well, at least now I know to boycott Craig Zobel...

Side note: Movie armorers have a record of only a handful of fatal accidents (or even serious injuries) with movie guns in more than a century. The WaPo article cites exactly two from the past 50 years that are known well (Brandon Lee's death in the set of "The Crow", and John Erick Hexum). I'm pretty sure that pyrotechnics and various stunts have killed far more people than prop guns. Where will the Nanny State proponents turn their attention next?

Jcordell 10-22-2021 07:04 PM

I'm interested in what the investigation will turn up. For example it's been determined that part of the problem with what happened on "The Crow" was the overall work conditions. Long hours, poor adherence to safety guidelines, penny pinching and people who weren't qualified to be acting as movie armorers doing just that. Not to mention many other mistakes that were made. The producers can shoulder some of the burden for that fiasco don't you think?

Baldwin is one of the producers on the movie so I'm very curious to see what ,if anything, comes out of the investigation.

I find myself wondering about something else as well. Alec Baldwin has been a very hostile/vocal hypercritic of police officers in the United States. I've no doubt that he has been treated with the highest level of professionalism and courtesy by the investigating officers and I bet he expects it to be that way. He probably hasn't been a jerk to the officers though I could be wrong. I'm also willing to bet that had a lawyer there as fast as the physical universe allows.

MT2008 10-22-2021 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jcordell (Post 45328)
I'm interested in what the investigation will turn up. For example it's been determined that part of the problem with what happened on "The Crow" was the overall work conditions. Long hours, poor adherence to safety guidelines, penny pinching and people who weren't qualified to be acting as movie armorers doing just that. Not to mention many other mistakes that were made. The producers can shoulder some of the burden for that fiasco don't you think?

For what it's worth: There are MANY productions where people who are not movie armorers are in charge of some or all of the firearms. In the U.S., a licensed handler is only required when there are NFA weapons being used on-set (this is different, of course, in other countries which have stricter gun laws). If the production is only renting non-NFA firearms, it's generally going to be the property master and their assistant(s) who handle those guns, and most propmasters are not weapons experts. Even in those circumstances, accidents with guns on film/TV productions are rare. That's not to say that misuse of guns doesn't happen; as MPM has indicated, it does. Just that the negligence almost never rises to a threshold that leads to deaths.

Many film productions are also done on tight shooting schedules where lots of people work very long hours and are constantly sleep-deprived. Even in those circumstances, accidents are still rare. I think that "The Crow" was just a unique case of very bad luck which, unfortunately, cost a promising young actor his life. This is not to say that negligence did not happen (it clearly did) or that the individuals responsible cannot be held at fault; just that bad luck also factored in. I suspect that the same is true on "Rust."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jcordell (Post 45328)
I find myself wondering about something else as well. Alec Baldwin has been a very hostile/vocal hypercritic of police officers in the United States. I've no doubt that he has been treated with the highest level of professionalism and courtesy by the investigating officers and I bet he expects it to be that way. He probably hasn't been a jerk to the officers though I could be wrong. I'm also willing to bet that had a lawyer there as fast as the physical universe allows.

I don't think I had heard that; so many celebrities were loudmouths about defunding the police last year that I tuned many of them out.

Jcordell 10-22-2021 09:34 PM

Quote:

For what it's worth: There are MANY productions where people who are not movie armorers are in charge of some or all of the firearms. In the U.S., a licensed handler is only required when there are NFA weapons being used on-set (this is different, of course, in other countries which have stricter gun laws). If the production is only renting non-NFA firearms, it's generally going to be the property master and their assistant(s) who handle those guns, and most propmasters are not weapons experts. Even in those circumstances, accidents with guns on film/TV productions are rare. That's not to say that misuse of guns doesn't happen; as MPM has indicated, it does. Just that the negligence almost never rises to a threshold that leads to deaths.

Many film productions are also done on tight shooting schedules where lots of people work very long hours and are constantly sleep-deprived. Even in those circumstances, accidents are still rare. I think that "The Crow" was just a unique case of very bad luck which, unfortunately, cost a promising young actor his life. This is not to say that negligence did not happen (it clearly did) or that the individuals responsible cannot be held at fault; just that bad luck also factored in. I suspect that the same is true on "Rust."
Good point. I'm not in the business so I bow to your experience and knowledge. Terrible situation all around.


Over the past few years Baldwin had made a few statements ,regarding officer involved shootings, in interviews and some really offensive remarks on social media. I don't look for them either, but it isn't uncommon for other officers to talk about those things at work. Especially younger officers who also live much of their life on Twitter, Instagram and so forth.

Last year the gushing of vitriol, much of it from athletes and other celebs, was a constant topic of discussion at work as you might imagine. Many of the younger officers were bothered and hurt by it all and it was fairly common for e-mails to be sent out with various quotes from all of those folks. In particular I remember Baldwin, LeBron James, Alyssa Milano and Samuel Jackson.

Things are quieter now, but the profession has an institutional memory I suppose.

Rockwolf66 10-23-2021 01:38 AM

"Rumor" has it that the firearm used somehow had a live round in it.

Also rumor that Baldwin was fucking around with said firearm right before they shot two people.

Among some of my friends this is a major subject as we all love firearms and films.

funkychinaman 10-23-2021 05:45 AM

From CNN:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/22/enter...ent/index.html

"A search warrant issued by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office and obtained by CNN affiliate KOAT revealed that Baldwin was handed one of three prop guns by assistant director David Halls that were set up in a cart by an armorer.
Halls handed the gun to Baldwin and yelled "cold gun," meaning the gun did not have live rounds, the affidavit states.
The gun fired by Baldwin hit Hutchins in the chest and wounded Souza, who was behind her while rehearsing a scene, in the shoulder. She was pronounced dead at a hospital after being transported by helicopter.
The investigator says in the affidavit that the assistant director did not know the gun had live rounds when he handed the gun to Baldwin."

Why would there ever be live rounds on set at all?

commando552 10-23-2021 10:54 AM

I'm not 100% sure that when they say "live rounds" there they actually mean rounds with a bullet in them. It sort of seems like they may be using the term "live" to mean loaded, be it with blanks or something else. This part, "Halls handed the gun to Baldwin and yelled "cold gun," meaning the gun did not have live rounds, the affidavit states" would suggest that a blank loaded gun would also be a "cold gun" which would not be the case, so in this context "live rounds" seems to be any rounds other than dummies or unloaded.

My guess woud be that the gun was a revolver so it needed dummy cartridges in it to appear loaded, and somehow one of the dummy rounds was actually a live round. That situation requires the one fuck up, of the wrong kind of round getting in the pile of dummy rounds. Any other situation would need multiple fuckups, so the former seems the most likely to me.

funkychinaman 10-23-2021 11:57 PM

Multiple eff-ups appears to be the case:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/23/enter...day/index.html

"Three crew members who were on the set last weekend told the Times there were two accidental prop gun discharges before Thursday.

The rounds were accidentally fired October 16 by Baldwin's stunt double after he was told the gun was "cold," two of the crew members, who witnessed the discharges, told the newspaper."

MoviePropMaster2008 10-24-2021 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MT2008 (Post 45329)
For what it's worth: There are MANY productions where people who are not movie armorers are in charge of some or all of the firearms. In the U.S., a licensed handler is only required when there are NFA weapons being used on-set (this is different, of course, in other countries which have stricter gun laws). If the production is only renting non-NFA firearms, it's generally going to be the property master and their assistant(s) who handle those guns, and most propmasters are not weapons experts.

Ummmm. Not quite true, the laws have changed in the last 10 years. Sorry. in California ANY LIVE firearms on set must have a licensed person (either an FFL or a state issued Firearms Entertainment Permit). That includes all firing weapons, even pre 1898 ones. The fact that many productions VIOLATE the law (these are codified in CA penal code) doesn't make it not true. Since the vast majority of Movies and TV shows filmed in the US are still in California, that makes those rules, the rule, not the exception.

It is interesting that the CREW of the movie "The Crow" in 1993 was from North Carolina. The CREW of "Rust" in 2021 were from New Mexico. Notice that none of them were California Crews. If anything we in CA have the most draconian gun regulations on movie sets. And yet, it's the CA politicians that want to punish us more.

Interesting that we have some of those indie films who designate some "know nothing" 20 yr old girl, who doesn't know firearms at all, as the set 'weapons wrangler'. That's a recipe for disaster sadly. I heard that the 'Armorer' was a 24 year old woman, and this was her FIRST job EVER as an armorer and that she was terrified of 'blanks'. Uh, what???? Also she may not have been on set when the accident occurred and the 24 yr old Assistant Director (who was another woman who knew nothing about guns) was the person who handed the firearm to Baldwin. The entire thing sounds bizarre.

MoviePropMaster2008 10-24-2021 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by funkychinaman (Post 45335)
Multiple eff-ups appears to be the case:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/23/enter...day/index.html

"Three crew members who were on the set last weekend told the Times there were two accidental prop gun discharges before Thursday.

The rounds were accidentally fired October 16 by Baldwin's stunt double after he was told the gun was "cold," two of the crew members, who witnessed the discharges, told the newspaper."

Yep. Those are 'negligent discharges'. WTF. I hate how the media calls them 'misfires', which actually means FAILURE to fire. What they were witnessing were Accidental discharges or Negligent Discharges. Also who is telling the actors that their guns are cold "aka not loaded with blanks". A 'hot gun' on set means it's loaded with blanks. No one ever expects LIVE aka real lethal ammunition on a set since they're BANNED from even being on site. I've had security kick out people who brought live ammo to a set and I personally inspected ALL blanks being loaded into weapons on the set.

Being a western It's most likely a single action revolver. I wonder if that particular gun, when the hammer was cocked, had a 'hair trigger'. Either way, to fire the gun meant that the DOUCHBAG STUNT DOUBLE or the DOUCHBAG BALDWIN were still DRY FIRING a supposedly unloaded gun. Something they're not supposed to do, even with a 'cold gun'.

Jcordell 10-24-2021 12:57 AM

Based on my experience I had a feeling many interesting details would emerge. What a giant goat-rope.

commando552 10-24-2021 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 45337)
Yep. Those are 'negligent discharges'. WTF. I hate how the media calls them 'misfires', which actually means FAILURE to fire. What they were witnessing were Accidental discharges or Negligent Discharges. Also who is telling the actors that their guns are cold "aka not loaded with blanks". A 'hot gun' on set means it's loaded with blanks. No one ever expects LIVE aka real lethal ammunition on a set since they're BANNED from even being on site. I've had security kick out people who brought live ammo to a set and I personally inspected ALL blanks being loaded into weapons on the set.

Being a western It's most likely a single action revolver. I wonder if that particular gun, when the hammer was cocked, had a 'hair trigger'. Either way, to fire the gun meant that the DOUCHBAG STUNT DOUBLE or the DOUCHBAG BALDWIN were still DRY FIRING a supposedly unloaded gun. Something they're not supposed to do, even with a 'cold gun'.

Baldwin was not intentionally dry firing from what I have read. Apparently they were rehearsing a scene where he was drawing the revolver and pointing it at the camera. He did it once, reholstered, and the 2nd time he ND'd on the draw.

As for where the live rounds came from, supposedly crew members were taking the movie guns out into the desert on their down time to do target practice with live rounds. That sounds so ridiculously and obviously risky that it makes me wonder if it is true, but based on the past conduct and comments of the armourer I think I can believe it.

Just to add, the thing about here being scared of blanks is not being correctly reported by a lot of places which make it seems like she was scared of blanks themselves. The full context is that she described it as "scary" when she first had to load a blank into a revolver with dummy rounds in the other chambers and make it so that the blank was the round that fired on the first trigger pull. I think the thing that makes it "scary" for her is that she admits that she looks down the front of the cylinder to check that the blank is next to the barrel. To me this is worse than her just being scared of blanks, as it shows her fundamental lack of understanding for the mehanics and safe handling procedures.

Quote from the podcast whe was on: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FCdB5cQX...jpg&name=large

funkychinaman 10-24-2021 07:08 PM

So apparently the AD had some safety issues in the past:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/24/enter...nts/index.html

As for the armorer, according to an earlier article, she's a second generation armorer, so I'd be odd if she was afraid of blanks.

MT2008 10-25-2021 03:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by funkychinaman (Post 45342)
So apparently the AD had some safety issues in the past:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/24/enter...nts/index.html

As for the armorer, according to an earlier article, she's a second generation armorer, so I'd be odd if she was afraid of blanks.

The media is now widely reporting that the armorer was Hannah Gutierrez-Reed; she's the daughter of Thell Reed, who is one of the most respected armorers and gun coaches in the business. (He's worked on a lot of Westerns, ranging from "Gunsmoke" to "Tombstone", plus modern action films that are IMFDB favorites, such as "Proof of Life" and "44 Minutes.") And...predictably, some media outlets are already digging up derogatory reporting on her:

https://nypost.com/2021/10/23/rust-a...o-child-actor/

I have to admit that I'm ready to just throw up my hands and say that we need to just shut it all out until the investigation is complete. I suspect, though, that the ultimate finding will be that this incident was the result of collective irresponsibility on the part of many folks involved in the production.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 45336)
Ummmm. Not quite true, the laws have changed in the last 10 years. Sorry. in California ANY LIVE firearms on set must have a licensed person (either an FFL or a state issued Firearms Entertainment Permit). That includes all firing weapons, even pre 1898 ones. The fact that many productions VIOLATE the law (these are codified in CA penal code) doesn't make it not true. Since the vast majority of Movies and TV shows filmed in the US are still in California, that makes those rules, the rule, not the exception.

It is interesting that the CREW of the movie "The Crow" in 1993 was from North Carolina. The CREW of "Rust" in 2021 were from New Mexico. Notice that none of them were California Crews. If anything we in CA have the most draconian gun regulations on movie sets. And yet, it's the CA politicians that want to punish us more.

Interesting. I did not realize California's laws have changed. And I also acknowledge that the movie gun business is not my profession; I'm just a guy who has talked to many armorers over the years (yourself included).

With that being said, you do acknowledge that a licensed handler was not ALWAYS required on set until recently in California? That is something I have been told many times by the armorers that I know - when I've discussed shows with them, plenty of them have told me that they only handled the NFA weapons on-set and that the propmaster's team handled all other (non-NFA) firearms. It has been widely reported that the incident on "The Crow" happened, in part, because the production decided to send the armorer home, since the scene involving Brandon Lee's death didn't require any NFA weapons and they were trying to save money by not having to pay somebody whose presence wasn't required on-set. So they left one of the assistant propmasters in charge of the guns (all pistols and revolvers) that were being used, and the particular propmaster who handled the .44 Magnum revolver used to kill Lee was not experienced enough to know what he was doing. While "The Crow" was shot in my home state of North Carolina (as you mention), I've heard similar stories about propmasters handling the non-NFA firearms from other armorers who are working (or worked) in California.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 45337)
Being a western It's most likely a single action revolver. I wonder if that particular gun, when the hammer was cocked, had a 'hair trigger'. Either way, to fire the gun meant that the DOUCHBAG STUNT DOUBLE or the DOUCHBAG BALDWIN were still DRY FIRING a supposedly unloaded gun. Something they're not supposed to do, even with a 'cold gun'.

Out of curiosity, are most revolvers nowadays being plugged? I know that revolvers don't need a BFA to cycle, the way that semi-autos do, but not sure what safety measures are taken even with those guns. I do find it interesting that all of the deaths that have occurred in Hollywood with prop weapons happened with revolvers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by commando552 (Post 45340)
As for where the live rounds came from, supposedly crew members were taking the movie guns out into the desert on their down time to do target practice with live rounds. That sounds so ridiculously and obviously risky that it makes me wonder if it is true, but based on the past conduct and comments of the armourer I think I can believe it.

I can't...I had deja vu when I read your post. I remember reading that after Brandon Lee's death on "The Crow," the exact same rumor began circulating: Folks involved in the production began leaking to the media (and the early Internet) that members of the crew would take the guns from the propmaster's trailer, buy live ammunition from a local sporting goods store in Wilmington, and shoot them in the backlot of the studio. The implication being, somebody brought a live .44 Magnum round to the set and mixed it with the blanks, and that's how a real bullet got put into the gun. As far as I know, that rumor has never been verified and was largely debunked by the final investigation report. (Remember: this was the 1990s, in the days before the Internet and smartphones made it almost impossible to get away with spreading those kinds of rumors.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by commando552 (Post 45340)
Just to add, the thing about here being scared of blanks is not being correctly reported by a lot of places which make it seems like she was scared of blanks themselves. The full context is that she described it as "scary" when she first had to load a blank into a revolver with dummy rounds in the other chambers and make it so that the blank was the round that fired on the first trigger pull. I think the thing that makes it "scary" for her is that she admits that she looks down the front of the cylinder to check that the blank is next to the barrel. To me this is worse than her just being scared of blanks, as it shows her fundamental lack of understanding for the mehanics and safe handling procedures.

Quote from the podcast whe was on: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FCdB5cQX...jpg&name=large

Frankly, the only thing that I'm getting from that interview is that she's a typical Gen Z'er who overshares on the Internet (you tell that she's nervous, too, by the way she's rambling and almost losing her train of thought). If I were her, and I were in a job which requires me to be responsible for so many people's safety, I don't think I would have said what she said, certainly not on the record. There are some jobs where you should never share your feelings openly, and being an armorer strikes me as one of those jobs.

commando552 10-25-2021 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MT2008 (Post 45343)
I can't...I had deja vu when I read your post. I remember reading that after Brandon Lee's death on "The Crow," the exact same rumor began circulating: Folks involved in the production began leaking to the media (and the early Internet) that members of the crew would take the guns from the propmaster's trailer, buy live ammunition from a local sporting goods store in Wilmington, and shoot them in the backlot of the studio. The implication being, somebody brought a live .44 Magnum round to the set and mixed it with the blanks, and that's how a real bullet got put into the gun. As far as I know, that rumor has never been verified and was largely debunked by the final investigation report. (Remember: this was the 1990s, in the days before the Internet and smartphones made it almost impossible to get away with spreading those kinds of rumors.)

In this case I am more inclined to believe the rumours about there being live rounds on set for one reason or another. Firstly, their are separate reports of people complaining that live and blank rounds were kept in the same place, and other reports about crew target shooting in the desert so there are multiple sources that there were live rounds in the vicinity. Secondly, everything about the injury suggests that it is a live round rather than a blank propelling some kind of foreign object.

The thing that makes this all a lot harder to keep track of in the news is that people are using the term "live rounds" very inconsistently in reporting to mean both blanks as opposed to inert, or real rounds with a bullet. I have seen a few articles that make a disclaimer that in the movie industry the term "live rounds" refers to blanks. Is that true? If so that seems kind of dumb and really confusing.

MoviePropMaster2008 10-26-2021 04:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MT2008 (Post 45343)
With that being said, you do acknowledge that a licensed handler was not ALWAYS required on set until recently in California?

September 2010 , CA changed the requirement for all firearms to be received by an actual FFL to the creation of the Entertainment FIrearms Permit (EFP) to take the place of the FFL, because the ATF was complaining that CA had all these propmasters applying for FFLs who had no intention of selling anything. Also there is no requirement for ANY licensed person or FFL if the firearm was personally owned. As long as the legal owner was present, there was no transfer involved. The days of people just walking in a getting live firearms has been long over. But no UNLICENSED person can have a firearm shipped to them if the armorer is not bringing their own inventory. Say if a movie was filming and needed weapons from ISS, they still had to ship to an FFL and then given to the production and then returned to the FFL to ship back to ISS when they were done (the EFP did away with this in 2010). Prior to 2014 you could handle all long guns (rifles and shotguns) that weren't banned by the state, you just couldn't transfer handguns to the set without someone being licensed. After 2014, good Old California made ALL transfers require a license (ffl or EFP), the only exception being pre 1898 weapons (and any cartridge revolver was still restricted, regardless of whether it was pre 1898 or not). Technically you still needed a licensed person, but you're correct in that for un'restricted' weapons, that person does NOT have to be on set 24/7 when the guns are there. But you can't get the guns to set unless you're licensed, if that makes sense (I hope I didn't write it in a confusing manner).

Quote:

Originally Posted by MT2008 (Post 45343)
That is something I have been told many times by the armorers that I know - when I've discussed shows with them, plenty of them have told me that they only handled the NFA weapons on-set and that the propmaster's team handled all other (non-NFA) firearms.

Just curious were those California Armorers? In CA, if the Propmaster's team handled Title 1 firearms, the Propmaster's team MAY HAVE already had "permitted or FFL" folks in their ranks. Most high end armorers are usually only pulled out to set for the NFA guns, but there are many ways for the NON NFA folks to still get the weapons, but it's not like the 1980s when any random person can just check out a live firearm. And if you have a CA defined 'assault weapon' forget it. You needed an AW permit to rent out ANY CA classified weapons from ISS or Cinema Weaponry, etc. And those are just plain jane semi auto guns with evil scary features. :(

Quote:

Originally Posted by MT2008 (Post 45343)
It has been widely reported that the incident on "The Crow" happened, in part, because the production decided to send the armorer home, since the scene involving Brandon Lee's death didn't require any NFA weapons and they were trying to save money by not having to pay somebody whose presence wasn't required on-set. So they left one of the assistant propmasters in charge of the guns (all pistols and revolvers) that were being used, and the particular propmaster who handled the .44 Magnum revolver used to kill Lee was not experienced enough to know what he was doing. While "The Crow" was shot in my home state of North Carolina (as you mention), I've heard similar stories about propmasters handling the non-NFA firearms from other armorers who are working (or worked) in California.

Not true. The armorer would have been in charge of ALL weapons, if they were following the established SAFETY rules, particular those of the unions. They sent the armorer home at midnight because the guns were 'wrapped' for that shooting day. Apparently some NON ARMORER was fucking around with the .44 special (Charter Arms bulldog) locked up in the props trailer. They loaded up dummy rounds (which they initially did not have, so they went to a gun store, bought real ammo, popped the bullet off with a bullet hammer, and dumped out the powder, but sadly, kept the primer intact and reloaded the round. Some idiot dry fired the dummy round and the active primer popped and lodged the bullet an inch into the barrel. It wasn't an armorer who did that because when they dumped the cartridges they didn't notice that one of the bullets was missing. This would have been the FIRST THING I would have noticed and I would have been pissed at anyone dry firing the dummy rounds since it would indent the primers and thus make them unsuitable for a closeup shot. So the gun was put BACK into the prop trailer.

Then at 4:30 am they had extra time and decided, "Hey let's film the scene where Funboy shoots Eric" So an untrained prop handler grabbed the gun, did not check the barrel for obstructions and loaded full power hot blanks into it. The rest is history, but all footage of that scene and any image of the .44 special Charter Arms Bulldog were edited out of the movie.

If you're talking to California Armorers about NON armorer propmaster handling live firearms, are they handling things like bolt action rifles, black powder weapons, etc. because there are TONS of weapons (Assault weapons, handguns, etc) that are not NFA federally but are still strictly controlled by California law. I would also be interested to inquire as to how long ago where their recollections of this happening? For example, the props dept took care of all the weapons that ISS shipped to the set of Hemingway & Gelhorn (2012) but they were ALL inoperable (over 300 weapons). All the propmasters on that set were licensed by ISS directly and were on their permits.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MT2008 (Post 45343)

Out of curiosity, are most revolvers nowadays being plugged? I know that revolvers don't need a BFA to cycle, the way that semi-autos do, but not sure what safety measures are taken even with those guns. I do find it interesting that all of the deaths that have occurred in Hollywood with prop weapons happened with revolvers.

No, the only plugged revolvers are those that are dewatted so that we can hand them off with no paperwork to anyone or they're the blocked barrel blank fire only fakes that you can buy online. We would never 'destroy' a real revolver by blocking the barrel. It can fire blanks and doesn't need to be converted back to fire live (when it is sold .... well except to those folks at the London Propstore, where they have to literally destroyed the weapon in order to make it legal, but you can't argue with all those rich Brits willing to spend their cash on screen used weapons that are ruined by being rendered permanently inoperable. :( ) The reason why all gun accidents ARE revolvers are because all semi and full auto firearms required a barrel restrictor device (BFA) in order to cycle. Lever or bolt actions rifles or lever/bolt/pump action shotguns are similarly UNMODIFIED. I think it's always revolvers because it's easier for crew and actors to fuck up with a handgun than a long gun. I'v screamed at more cast and crew than I can count when I catch them horseplaying with firearms. Ugh.

Hope this answers some questions :D

Jcordell 10-26-2021 05:40 AM

MoviePropMaster2008

Quote:

Hope this answers some questions
It does indeed. The story does seem to be gaining momentum though. Has it had any effect on you?

MoviePropMaster2008 10-26-2021 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jcordell (Post 45347)
MoviePropMaster2008



It does indeed. The story does seem to be gaining momentum though. Has it had any effect on you?

Sadly, folks are trying to grandstand on the tragedy. There are a number of politicians who want to sign CALIFORNIA legislation to ban the presence of live guns on any movie set in California, despite the fact that BOTH on set fatalities (I don't count John Erix Hexum because he was fucking around with a live 44 magnum with full load blanks during a BREAK IN FILMING and was technically off the set when he did the Darwin Award) happened in other states (New Mexico and North Carolina), however the idiots in charge want to outlaw ARMORERS in California. :mad:

Dumbest take I've seen on social media:
A woman I've been arguing with want to make it illegal for anyone to HOLD anything that looks like a gun on a movie/tv set and then have CGI artists put the guns INTO all the actor's hands after the fact in post production.......

Yep, someone actually proposed that ......

Jcordell 10-26-2021 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 45348)
Sadly, folks are trying to grandstand on the tragedy.

Dumbest take I've seen on social media:
A woman I've been arguing with want to make it illegal for anyone to HOLD anything that looks like a gun on a movie/tv set and then have CGI artists put the guns INTO all the actor's hands after the fact in post production.......

Yep, someone actually proposed that ......

I wish I could say that I find it surprising, but I don't.

funkychinaman 10-26-2021 03:28 PM

And... there it is:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/26/enter...day/index.html

"Crew members on the set of "Rust" used guns with live ammunition and engaged in a pastime called "plinking" hours before Halyna Hutchins was killed, founder and CEO of The Wrap, Sharon Waxman, told CNN's Don Lemon Monday night, citing information from an individual with knowledge of the set."

MT2008 10-28-2021 05:58 PM

So, in the latest development, it seems that equal derogatory reporting is coming out on Alec Baldwin, on the assistant director, and the armorer. All of them have recent reports of unsafe conduct on the sets of recent productions. I feel bad for Thell Reed if the investigation does find that his daughter was responsible (in part, or majority), since he's a very respected name in the movie armorer world, and he obviously stuck his neck out for her to get her into the business. It means that his career will probably be over, too, not just hers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 45346)
September 2010 , CA changed the requirement for all firearms to be received by an actual FFL to the creation of the Entertainment FIrearms Permit (EFP) to take the place of the FFL, because the ATF was complaining that CA had all these propmasters applying for FFLs who had no intention of selling anything. Also there is no requirement for ANY licensed person or FFL if the firearm was personally owned. As long as the legal owner was present, there was no transfer involved. The days of people just walking in a getting live firearms has been long over. But no UNLICENSED person can have a firearm shipped to them if the armorer is not bringing their own inventory. Say if a movie was filming and needed weapons from ISS, they still had to ship to an FFL and then given to the production and then returned to the FFL to ship back to ISS when they were done (the EFP did away with this in 2010).

Got it, thanks for educating me. I am familiar with the term EFP. However, I wasn't aware that the purpose of the EFP was to clamp down on property masters' (perceived, by ATF) misuse of the FFL system.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 45346)
Just curious were those California Armorers? In CA, if the Propmaster's team handled Title 1 firearms, the Propmaster's team MAY HAVE already had "permitted or FFL" folks in their ranks. Most high end armorers are usually only pulled out to set for the NFA guns, but there are many ways for the NON NFA folks to still get the weapons, but it's not like the 1980s when any random person can just check out a live firearm. And if you have a CA defined 'assault weapon' forget it. You needed an AW permit to rent out ANY CA classified weapons from ISS or Cinema Weaponry, etc. And those are just plain jane semi auto guns with evil scary features. :(

Yes, several of them were California armorers. My impression was that they had worked with propmasters who meet the qualifications that you describe (they had FFLs).

And I am aware that for many years now, an unlicensed person could not just go to ISS, Stembridge, Cinema Weaponry, etc. and check out a firearm.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 45346)
Not true. The armorer would have been in charge of ALL weapons, if they were following the established SAFETY rules, particular those of the unions. They sent the armorer home at midnight because the guns were 'wrapped' for that shooting day. Apparently some NON ARMORER was fucking around with the .44 special (Charter Arms bulldog) locked up in the props trailer. They loaded up dummy rounds (which they initially did not have, so they went to a gun store, bought real ammo, popped the bullet off with a bullet hammer, and dumped out the powder, but sadly, kept the primer intact and reloaded the round. Some idiot dry fired the dummy round and the active primer popped and lodged the bullet an inch into the barrel. It wasn't an armorer who did that because when they dumped the cartridges they didn't notice that one of the bullets was missing. This would have been the FIRST THING I would have noticed and I would have been pissed at anyone dry firing the dummy rounds since it would indent the primers and thus make them unsuitable for a closeup shot. So the gun was put BACK into the prop trailer.

Most of what you have said matches what I have read online (I can't claim that I've spoke to any armorers about "The Crow", except in general terms), but by pretty much every account that I have read, the production crew were on their regular filming schedule, and the armorer had been deliberately sent home so that he couldn't bill them at his rate (hourly/daily/whatever it was). The scene as originally scripted called for Funboy to be seen loading the rounds into the gun (in a close-up which required the dummy cartridges), and then shooting Eric Draven. Throughout this time, it was one of the property master's assistants who handled the gun, and the dummy cartridges, and who messed up by dry-firing the gun when he was trying to de-cock it, which is what caused the bullet on the dummy cartridge to come loose and fall into the revolver's chamber.

Also, what this about a Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 Special? By all accounts, the round which killed Lee was a .44 Magnum, not a .44 Special. Also, the character of Funboy never uses a Charter Arms revolver in the movie; the character is only seen using a Smith & Wesson 629 in .44 Magnum (as the IMFDB page documents), which makes me think that it was that gun which was used to kill Lee IRL.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 45346)
If you're talking to California Armorers about NON armorer propmaster handling live firearms, are they handling things like bolt action rifles, black powder weapons, etc. because there are TONS of weapons (Assault weapons, handguns, etc) that are not NFA federally but are still strictly controlled by California law. I would also be interested to inquire as to how long ago where their recollections of this happening? For example, the props dept took care of all the weapons that ISS shipped to the set of Hemingway & Gelhorn (2012) but they were ALL inoperable (over 300 weapons). All the propmasters on that set were licensed by ISS directly and were on their permits.

Tbh, I'm pretty sure I've only ever talked to them about movies made from 1980 to 2000, so that is probably part of the issue. But the scenario that I've heard RE those productions is that the armorers handled the NFA weapons, while the propmaster handled anything else (which might have been anything from modern semi-auto pistols to bolt-action rifles or black powder weapons).

There are also examples that you can find online - our own Steve Karnes, as you may recall, did an interview where he discussed working on "The Shadow" and handling the famous Silver Heat (i.e., LAR Grizzly) pistols from that movie - it's linked on our page for the movie:

Quote:

WM: Were you in charge of all the guns on set and supervised their use?

SK: I was in charge of the Thompson Submachine Guns as they are a restricted item requiring someone to be with them at all times. The Prop Master or his assistant handled the pistols. As for the supervising of their use, it was a team effort as we watched each other's backs to make sure that everything was safe.
http://www.shadowsanctum.net/screen/screen_1994/cinema_1994-steve-karnes-interview.html

Of course, "The Shadow" is a movie that came out over 25 years ago now, so I acknowledge the possibility that things have changed since then.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 45346)
No, the only plugged revolvers are those that are dewatted so that we can hand them off with no paperwork to anyone or they're the blocked barrel blank fire only fakes that you can buy online. We would never 'destroy' a real revolver by blocking the barrel. It can fire blanks and doesn't need to be converted back to fire live (when it is sold .... well except to those folks at the London Propstore, where they have to literally destroyed the weapon in order to make it legal, but you can't argue with all those rich Brits willing to spend their cash on screen used weapons that are ruined by being rendered permanently inoperable. :( ) The reason why all gun accidents ARE revolvers are because all semi and full auto firearms required a barrel restrictor device (BFA) in order to cycle. Lever or bolt actions rifles or lever/bolt/pump action shotguns are similarly UNMODIFIED. I think it's always revolvers because it's easier for crew and actors to fuck up with a handgun than a long gun. I'v screamed at more cast and crew than I can count when I catch them horseplaying with firearms. Ugh.

Hope this answers some questions :D

That does answer some questions. Side note: I just watched the "Forgotten Weapons" interview with Charles Taylor from Movie Armaments Group on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnOUrRTf6jg

Good video if you haven't seen it. Taylor mentions at about 3:30 that he does in fact plug his revolvers, but mostly because the BFA assists with creating the muzzle flash - not because the gun needs it to cycle. He is, of course, a Canadian armorer - not sure what his American compatriots do.

Speaking of Brits, a story that you might find interesting: During the filming of "Aliens," Al Matthews, who played SGT Apone in the movie, claimed that James Remar, while he was playing CPL Hicks, used the Ithaca 37 shotgun to blow a hole in the set of "Little Shop of Horrors," which was filming nearby. (This incident, combined with his drug charge, was one of the many reasons that Remar was fired from "Aliens" and replaced by Michael Biehn.) Matthews has even claimed that he asked Remar, "Where the f**k did you get live ammo?" I'm not sure if it really was live ammo, or if the gun just had a high-flash blank where the pressure and fragments blew open the hole, but apparently, the shotgun may not have been plugged.

MT2008 10-28-2021 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by funkychinaman (Post 45351)
And... there it is:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/26/enter...day/index.html

"Crew members on the set of "Rust" used guns with live ammunition and engaged in a pastime called "plinking" hours before Halyna Hutchins was killed, founder and CEO of The Wrap, Sharon Waxman, told CNN's Don Lemon Monday night, citing information from an individual with knowledge of the set."

I'm still going to withhold judgment until the investigation is complete. There are already a lot of rumors flying around, and different people on the crew who are talking to the press are blaming different folks - some are blaming Alec Baldwin himself, some are blaming the assistant director, and others are blaming the armorer. I think one of the things you see from this story is that movie productions have office politics, just like any other workplace - and in a situation like this, people from that workplace start immediately pointing fingers at co-workers with whom they have baggage.

I can also believe that this is a situation where the correct answer is, "All of the above."

Spartan198 11-16-2021 02:21 AM

George Clooney, a surprising voice of reason, promoting gun safety on set instead of gun bans.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/mo...ie-1235048072/

I always took him for an ultra liberal.

funkychinaman 11-16-2021 03:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spartan198 (Post 45368)
George Clooney, a surprising voice of reason, promoting gun safety on set instead of gun bans.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/mo...ie-1235048072/

I always took him for an ultra liberal.

He's a liberal, but he's also a professional who's been on hanging around sets for most of his life.

As an aside, I'm just really surprised that he was that close to Brandon Lee, and that Miguel Ferrer was close enough that he was going to be his best man?

MT2008 01-23-2022 03:46 PM

To my annoyance, Guillermo Del Toro has gone on record joining the “don’t use real guns on movie sets” crowd…except that he’s gone the extra mile and claimed he already has not been using them for years now:

https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/gu..._8LjYbGa6iOSiU

This sounds like BS to me. Most of the guns in “Pacific Rim,” for example, appear to be real ones.

funkychinaman 01-25-2022 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MT2008 (Post 45406)
To my annoyance, Guillermo Del Toro has gone on record joining the “don’t use real guns on movie sets” crowd…except that he’s gone the extra mile and claimed he already has not been using them for years now:

https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/gu..._8LjYbGa6iOSiU

This sounds like BS to me. Most of the guns in “Pacific Rim,” for example, appear to be real ones.

Looking at the page, it looks like the only guns which were fired were the flare guns. I don't recall much non-Jager weapons fire in the film.

As for Hellboy II, aside from the custom made weapons, all you have are agents with their Glocks.

I never saw Shape of Water.

I suppose it makes sense for him, he makes films with a lot of CGI anyway, how much trouble could a few muzzle flashes be?

MT2008 01-28-2022 05:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by funkychinaman (Post 45407)
Looking at the page, it looks like the only guns which were fired were the flare guns. I don't recall much non-Jager weapons fire in the film.

There may not have been any guns fired in “Pacific Rim”, but that doesn’t mean the weapons which weren’t fired are not real guns. The handguns which appear in the scene where Ron Perlman’s gangsters draw on the kaiju-geek scientist are all clearly real guns, judging by their appearance. Otherwise, the M4s with M203s used by the soldiers in the film mostly look real, though it's possible that some of those in the background might very well be airsoft guns. The credits indicate that Charles Taylor (Movie Armaments Group) was the armorer on the film; the production would not have hired him just to supply and supervise the use of airsoft guns.

The guns in “The Shape of Water” also looked real to me.


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