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Old 03-27-2010, 06:24 PM
Mazryonh Mazryonh is offline
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Exclamation Severe allergies to foregrips?

I like that the line in the "Under Siege 2" entry here, saying how a "million-dollar mercenary hasn't yet figured out the wonders of the vertical foregrip!" on this wiki, but after doing some poking around with some other movies and television shows, I find that "severe cases of foregrip allergy" ignore things like movie budgets or even the overall fame of the production. The most famous case of this problem I've seen on this wiki is Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible 3 and his poor unused foregrip on his MP5K-PDW.

Recently I've taken to watching the SWAT cop drama "Flashpoint," and it's not pleasant to see people who are supposed to be crack cops simply ignoring one of the better ergonomic advances on their weapons. Were the show's technical or police advisors simply not doing their jobs there?

I thought that since the iconic image of an early-20th-century gangster blazing away with a Tommy Gun equipped with a drum magazine and a forward pistol grip is so well-known, most actors would immediately recognize that the vertical foregrip on a two-handed firearm is supposed to help you hold the gun more easily. Even so, that doesn't explain why so many actors don't do so--is it a directorial decision, or just the people on set not telling the actors proper gun handling?

Edit: Okay, it seems I posted this in the wrong section--this was supposed to go into the guns and movies section rather than the imfdb section. Any chance a moderator could move it to the guns and movies section?

Last edited by Mazryonh; 03-27-2010 at 10:16 PM. Reason: Wrong Section
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:34 AM
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Moved as per request.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazryonh View Post
I like that the line in the "Under Siege 2" entry here, saying how a "million-dollar mercenary hasn't yet figured out the wonders of the vertical foregrip!"
I wrote that (quite a while ago now), and I should edit it. A few months ago, we declared a moratorium on any comments which critique actors' gun handling. The reason being that we found out some of the actors whose gun handling has been mocked on IMFDB have actually looked at the site, and they weren't happy about it.

As for the reasons that actors handle guns in ways that seem ridiculous to us, several of the armorers on this site have explained it. They've told us that sometimes, when they come on set, they don't have time to train the actors in proper use of the weapons. Or, they do train them quickly, but the actors are so over-worked and focused on other things that, after multiple takes, they forget what the armorer taught them. In some of the most extreme cases, the actors never do anything except pull the trigger when the director yells "Action!" - the armorer actually reloads the weapon for them in between takes because they never even learn how to do that. It seems ridiculous to us, but remember, these are actors, and sometimes they've never even handled a gun before that particular show.

There are many explanations, but the bottom line is this: Unless the director is someone like Michael Mann who cares a lot about guns, or unless the actor happens to be a gun enthusiast (which we all know is rarely the case), proper gun handling is usually just not something that actors spend a lot of time worrying about when preparing for their role.

That being said, I think that the quality of gun handling on many movies and TV shows has improved a lot in the last 10 years. In the 1990s, movies like "Heat" were the exception when it came to gun handling. Compare movies and TV shows that have guns today to those made in the 1990s, and I think the difference is often pretty striking. I've seen so many shows from the '90s where actors fire semi-automatic pistols with the thumb of their supporting hand wrapped around the knuckle of their strong hand - which we all know is a recipe for slide bite. Yet it seems to be getting a lot less common in recent movies.

Last edited by MT2008; 03-28-2010 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:32 AM
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In the past decade, a lot of movies with pretty decent budgets that have a lot of shooting scenes even have behind the scenes of the actors being trained by police and ex-military. SWAT, Transformers, obviously any Micheal Mann movies, even Transformers had a military training for the actors. Punisher, and Punisher Warzone had a lot of commentaries of how the actors were properly trained.
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:50 AM
Mazryonh Mazryonh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT2008 View Post

I wrote that (quite a while ago now), and I should edit it. A few months ago, we declared a moratorium on any comments which critique actors' gun handling. The reason being that we found out some of the actors whose gun handling has been mocked on IMFDB have actually looked at the site, and they weren't happy about it.
Why aren't they happy? They really have no one but themselves to blame. No one is forcing them to perform incorrectly, and their mistake is right there for everyone who knows better to see. Actors are paid to learn how to portray a character and then do so on camera to the director's satisfaction and budgetary/time limits. If they do it wrong, why are they upset with this site? Unmodified screenshots displaying their gaffes aren't libel or slander.

I'm surprised that the foregrips aren't then removed by the armourers so as "keep the actors from being a disgrace to the weapons." Of course, this wouldn't stop other gaffes like the slide-bite-prone grip you mentioned, or inappropriate trigger discipline, but it would reduce this "head, meet desk" inducing problem of not knowing what a simple handle is for. I mean, it's a handle, like the handles on a bike, there for you to hold and put your hands on.

The more I think about this, the more I think something like a "Guide to Guns for Actors, Background or Otherwise" composed by people like you would be useful, explaining proper stance, grip, and common functions of gun features. Would certainly help to inform people who could do more to look more convincing with film firearms.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazryonh View Post
Why aren't they happy? They really have no one but themselves to blame. No one is forcing them to perform incorrectly, and their mistake is right there for everyone who knows better to see. Actors are paid to learn how to portray a character and then do so on camera to the director's satisfaction and budgetary/time limits. If they do it wrong, why are they upset with this site? Unmodified screenshots displaying their gaffes aren't libel or slander.
That's what I said, but I'm guessing it's partially because in some cases, the particular critiques were extremely sarcastic and said things like, "(name here)'s technique in this image is HORRIBLE!", exactly as I've written it.

Also, we'd rather not be blacklisted in the business or gain a reputation for sarcasm, so we try to stay as neutral as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazryonh View Post
I'm surprised that the foregrips aren't then removed by the armourers so as "keep the actors from being a disgrace to the weapons." Of course, this wouldn't stop other gaffes like the slide-bite-prone grip you mentioned, or inappropriate trigger discipline, but it would reduce this "head, meet desk" inducing problem of not knowing what a simple handle is for. I mean, it's a handle, like the handles on a bike, there for you to hold and put your hands on.
Right, but blanks have almost no recoil, so it's not like the actors need to use the foregrip to control the weapon while firing. Also, when it comes to vertical foregrips specifically, are there any other movies besides "Under Siege 2" and "Mission Impossible III" where we've seen actors who don't use their MP5Ks properly? Those seem to be the exceptions, not the rule. And at least in Tom Cruise's case, it's probably due in part to the fact that he's a small guy, so grasping the magazine may diminish the distance he has to stretch his arms.

And you'd really be surprised how much people who have little experience with guns (and again, that's probably true of most actors) tend to find controls difficult to use. Like the people who can't figure out the difference between the slide release and the decocker on my SIG 226 when I let them try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazryonh View Post
The more I think about this, the more I think something like a "Guide to Guns for Actors, Background or Otherwise" composed by people like you would be useful, explaining proper stance, grip, and common functions of gun features. Would certainly help to inform people who could do more to look more convincing with film firearms.
The purpose of this site is to identify guns in movies, not critique the technique of the actors firing them. We are an encyclopedia and a "history of guns in movies" type of site, nothing more.

Besides, as Excalibur pointed out, it is becoming a lot more common for actors to work with experts nowadays. They are definitely getting better. Notice that it is mostly in movies made before 2000 that we see a lot of the most egregious errors in technique. I don't think they need our help.
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT2008 View Post
Also, when it comes to vertical foregrips specifically, are there any other movies besides "Under Siege 2" and "Mission Impossible III" where we've seen actors who don't use their MP5Ks properly? Those seem to be the exceptions, not the rule.
Not an MP5K...



But I don't recall Willis, in Tears of the Sun, using the broomstick on his M4 anywhere during the ending firefight except at the start of phase 2 (when the team is hunkered behind the downed tree). And that's opposed to Cole Hauser, who holds the grip during his entire usage of the same weapon.



Though it can be argued that it was second nature for him since he carried an M60E4, with a built-in foregrip, throughout the movie.
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:35 PM
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Point taken on "Tears of the Sun", I forgot about that. I'm sure it's happened elsewhere, too, though I dunno if it's "epidemic", exactly.

That being said, what you guys are doing makes the whole criticism about IMFDB members having Asperger Syndrome start to sound valid. I think you guys are taking this a bit too seriously. Steve has always pointed out that if you're spending too much time focusing on the guns (or the gun handling), it means the movie sucks, and I agree with him. And the bottom line is, it really isn't our job to critique gun handling in movies.
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:36 PM
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I noticed in Modern Warfare 2, IW made some of the characters with M4s NOT hold it by the foregrips.
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
I noticed in Modern Warfare 2, IW made some of the characters with M4s NOT hold it by the foregrips.
That may be due to technical limitations within the game engine. I used to make weapons skins for "Counter-Strike" (and other "Half-Life" mods), and I remember how difficult it was to make the character models properly hold my weapons. I would make weapons models where, every time I tried them in game, the player model's hands would be going through the "world view" gun model. I could spend hours tweaking it and it still wouldn't come out right.

Of course, the "MW2" engine is far more powerful than the "Half-Life" engine, but the same problem may still apply. And professional game dev teams work under extremely stressful deadlines, which means they don't always get to work out bugs in the game.
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:43 PM
Mazryonh Mazryonh is offline
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I also mentioned cases of "severe foregrip allergy" that are highly visible within the recent TV series Flashpoint. What makes this especially "head, meet desk" worthy is how some of the characters on the show actually DO use their foregrips, and most of the cast are supposed to be high-flying SWAT-style cops, capable of scoring no less than 48 out of 50 bullseyes under various adverse conditions (last I heard that was the standard for continuing marksmanship qualification). The gun handling technique on the show is definitely not a recipe for believability.

As for games featuring foregrips, I think it depends on the engine. Two of the games I've helped contribute large amounts of info to on this wiki make use of foregrips, SWAT 4 and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2. The latter will even change your character's grip to accomodate the foregrip when you equip or unequip one.

Sadly, in GRAW2's PC version the foregrips don't actually decrease the muzzle rise or make the gun more accurate, which is something I've tested myself, and the foregrip on the M4A1 in SWAT 4 doesn't seem to help with the muzzle climb at all. Maybe it was to make it so that the M4A1 doesn't completely outclass the other two assault rifles in the game's multiplayer.
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