Breaking News
LAST CHANCE for Cyber Monday SALE: Up to 54% off InvestingPro! Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Prop guns spark debate after cinematographer's death on set

WorldOct 23, 2021 03:42PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. An aerial view of the film set on Bonanza Creek Ranch where Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded a director when he discharged a prop gun on the movie set of the film "Rust" in Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S., i 2/2

By Gabriella Borter

(Reuters) - An on-set shooting death has reignited concern about the use of prop guns like the weapon actor Alec Baldwin discharged in the killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while filming a movie in New Mexico.

Some prop guns are non-firing facsimile weapons, but many are real guns, loaded with blank rounds instead of bullets.

While the exact type of weapon used in the shooting on the set of "Rust" remained unclear, an affidavit filed by New Mexico authorities on Friday said the film's assistant director grabbed one of three guns placed on a table by the armorer.

The assistant director took the gun to Baldwin, handed it to the actor and yelled, "cold gun," in an indication that "the prop-gun did not have any live rounds," the affidavit said.

Prop guns have long been used on sets for the realistic visual effect of the flash and recoil after an actor pulls the trigger. Guns with blank cartridges, which lack a bullet but use gunpowder, can be fatal at close range.

Productions using prop guns have designated weapons handlers or armorers tasked with watching the weapons on set, regularly checking that they are only loaded when needed and with the intended material, and ensuring that actors use them safely, according to industry and experts.

"Every armorer I've ever worked with takes that job outrageously seriously," Ben Rock, a film and television director, told Reuters in an interview.

Rock said he has pushed back on the use of firing blank rounds for years, arguing the "gritty realism" it lends can be replaced by using airsoft guns and adding visual effects in post-production.

"Why is it worth any risk?" Rock said. 'We're also pretending everything else, I don't see why we can't pretend about this too."

According to the Santa Fe, New Mexico sheriff's department, no charges have been filed in Thursday's fatal shooting of Hutchins and the injury of Souza, and the investigation remains open. The sheriff's office has said Baldwin discharged a prop firearm.

Baldwin is a co-producer and an actor in "Rust", a Western set in 1880s Kansas.

Rick Pallaziol, who owns the company "Weapons of Choice" and has leased prop weapons to television, film and theater clients for about three decades, said he stopped renting guns that can fire rounds to film productions more than 20 years ago because he was concerned about the risks involved with blank cartridges. Even with rules in place, a brief lapse in alertness after a long day on set can be lethal, he said.

"Protocols aren't enough," Pallaziol told Reuters. "Someone has to be really afraid at every given moment that the gun is going to go off, and when they see that it's pointed in the wrong direction, to yell bloody murder before something happens."

Ken Sonkin, a performing arts professor at the University of San Francisco and a stage combat specialist, said the sensory effects from firing blank rounds are hard to replicate with sound effects. But he added that Hutchins' death may give directors pause.

"I do think it will ask those of us who work in the industry to reinvest in our safety protocols and maybe reexamine them," Sonkin said.

Prop guns spark debate after cinematographer's death on set
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (5)
Tom Saltzman
Tom Saltzman Oct 23, 2021 11:52PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Maybe the woke hollywood anti gun folks should stop glorifying gun violence in their movies.
no spin
no spin Oct 23, 2021 6:49PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
24 year old prop handler . Folks we hand you the Facebook generation. Just so you know seniors are retiring left and right .I expect alot of these things to continue. I would avoid getting on a plane train or any other piece of equipment that's risky.
Chubb Okobah
Chubb Okobah Oct 23, 2021 5:17PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
It's just all so sad, the incident.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Oct 23, 2021 1:31PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Fake guns dont feel, weight the same like real ones. Alec is full of #
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Oct 23, 2021 10:27AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Maybe it’s the negilgence that should be corrected. It can result in tragedy with or without the gun.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email