View Single Post
Old 10-28-2021, 05:58 PM
MT2008's Avatar
MT2008 MT2008 is offline
IMFDB & Forum Admin
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,580

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.

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 View Post
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.

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 View Post
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.

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 View Post
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.

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 View Post
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:

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.

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.

Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 View Post
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
That does answer some questions. Side note: I just watched the "Forgotten Weapons" interview with Charles Taylor from Movie Armaments Group on YouTube:

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.
Cry "Havoc," and let slip the hogs of war.
Reply With Quote