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Old 03-17-2013, 10:53 PM
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Sergei Titov Sergei Titov is offline
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Default Blanks vs Digital Effects

Why do so many TV shows and movies always have their cast holding real guns, yet the flash is digital the noise is green and there is no recoil? Isn't it easier and more realistic to fire blanks during a shoot out? Zero Dark thirty is the first movie or TV show that I've seen where the gun noises sounded REMOTELY real!
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:02 PM
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I think with real blank firing weapons on set, you'd need an armorers on set. With fake guns, you don't.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergei Titov View Post
Why do so many TV shows and movies always have their cast holding real guns, yet the flash is digital the noise is green and there is no recoil? Isn't it easier and more realistic to fire blanks during a shoot out? Zero Dark thirty is the first movie or TV show that I've seen where the gun noises sounded REMOTELY real!
1) Usually when the cast is holding real guns they use blanks, either that or what is the point of having a real gun on set? If the gun is real, you still need a legal handler.

2) "The noise is green"??? What does that mean?

3)"...there is no recoil?" Well there is very little recoil when blanks are fired on live guns anyway. And absolutely no recoil at all when the actors are 'mime firing' airsoft replica guns. Usually actors trying to fake recoil with CGI gun flashed look bad.

4)re: Zero Dark thirty, the sound of a gun fight is NEVER recorded live and set to the film without massive audio mixing. Chances are you are listening to complex sound mixed recordings. Sound Editors always foley their gun battles. None of that sound is captured 'in camera'.

Hopes this helps.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 View Post
1) Usually when the cast is holding real guns they use blanks, either that or what is the point of having a real gun on set? If the gun is real, you still need a legal handler.

2) "The noise is green"??? What does that mean?

3)"...there is no recoil?" Well there is very little recoil when blanks are fired on live guns anyway. And absolutely no recoil at all when the actors are 'mime firing' airsoft replica guns. Usually actors trying to fake recoil with CGI gun flashed look bad.

4)re: Zero Dark thirty, the sound of a gun fight is NEVER recorded live and set to the film without massive audio mixing. Chances are you are listening to complex sound mixed recordings. Sound Editors always foley their gun battles. None of that sound is captured 'in camera'.

Hopes this helps.
Wasn't Heat recorded live, at least the famous shootout scene?
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:52 AM
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I heard digital gun noises called green noises somewhere. Can't remember where. Like when the suppressed guns shoot and sound like star wars laser guns? Real suppressed guns sound nothing like that.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:22 AM
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Apparently, the old movie "Merrill's Marauders" recorded the actual blank gunfire.

Which is probably why the gunfire in that movie was really hard to hear and sound distant.

Suppressored firearms sound nothing like they are portrayed on film.

The best of use of a suppressor is so you don't blow out your own eardrums as you gun down the badguy.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Sergei Titov View Post
I heard digital gun noises called green noises somewhere. Can't remember where. Like when the suppressed guns shoot and sound like star wars laser guns? Real suppressed guns sound nothing like that.
I have not heard digital gun noises as 'green'.

However, I know all too well those 'bad sound effects library' all too well. For one, tons of British made or made in association with movies used the BBC sound libraries of guns and war sounds. But those sounds were done during WW2 and they just don't compare to modern recording technology.

Note in the 1970s film "A Bridge Too Far" and then compare the gun noises to the film "The Wild Geese". The uzis in one film sound the same as the Stens and MP40s in the other film.

And Japanese cinema for years had the WORSE gunshot sound effects ever, overlaying those horrible pinkish hue flashpaper guns for all those films.... LOL
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:15 AM
ShootingJames ShootingJames is offline
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So I heard just this week that the "ammo shortage" is having a serious impact on prop houses being able to get brass, and we can expect more digital muzzle flash over airsoft replicas in coming years.

Any truth to this?
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:05 AM
686P 686P is offline
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Default Blanks vs Digital Effects

An award winning cinematographer told me there is a real problem with filming firing guns, whether blanks are used or not. The problem lies in the timing of the camera's gate and viewfinder. A lengthy boring explanation follows.

Lengthy Explanation:
Film cameras alternately expose the film and then the view finder.

When the viewfinder is displaying the image the film is not being exposed.
When the viewfinder is not displaying the image the film is being exposed.

That means that when the cinematographer sees the flash, the film didn't.
That means that when the cinematographer doesn't see the flash, the film did.

Subsequently it cannot be assured that the muzzle flash made it onto the film without lengthy and tedious retakes of the shot. It's far easier to impose an after-affect of both sound and flash to sync the flash and get a blast that doesn't saturate the recording equipment.

If you watch black and white film, the flash is not always recorded even though the gun recoils. I've seen that occur in Combat (TV Series) many times.

True for colour or monochrome.

Last edited by 686P; 05-01-2014 at 04:06 AM. Reason: Qualification
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:28 PM
ShootingJames ShootingJames is offline
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Well, I don't know what award winning person you spoke with, but blank firing weapons have been the industry standard in film since it's inception for a reason. It's the most cost effective, and visually effective way to recreate real gunfire. It does not require lengthy and tedious retakes, also, blanks don't always read as very loud during production sound. This "saturation" thing has never been a problem that I have seen. Some times blanks sound really odd in fact. They are always dubbed over.

The muzzle flash isn't that difficult to capture on film. Sure, sometimes it doesn't get captured because it's in between frames or some such. Sometimes there isn't much of a flash. Some times the flash is very transparent and weak looking.

Using a digital muzzle flash is not easier. It's a different set of challenges depending on the actor and the lighting, etc. Also, the post houses charge for that stuff. They don't let you have those digital flashes for free ya know. If they can get it in camera, they do.
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