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Alec, Baldwin

Prop guns, blanks on set: How does it work?

Prop guns, blanks on set: How does it work?

23/10/2021 6:20:00 AM

Prop guns, blanks on set: How does it work?

As police continue to investigate the fatal shooting of Ukrainian cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by actor Alec Baldwin , we take a look at the use of prop firearms in film productions and the protocols in place.

This week, Ukrainian cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot and killed by actor Alec Baldwin on the New Mexico film set for the movie Rust.The film's director, Joel Souza, was also hit and injured but has since been released from hospital.

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While an investigation into the incident continues, we take a look at the use of firearms on film and television productions and the safety protocols in place.What is a prop firearm?It's a loose definition and could apply to anything from a rubber toy to a real firearm that can fire a projectile.

However, if it's used for firing — even just blanks — it's considered a real gun.A blank is a type of gun cartridge that contains gunpowder but no bullet.A prop firearm discharged by Alec Baldwin killed Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust.(AP: The Albuquerque Journal/Eddie Moore headtopics.com

)Still, it can seriously hurt or kill someone who is close by, according to the Actors' Equity Association.Film firearms-safety coordinator Dave Brown wrote a 2019 piece for American Cinematographer about gun safety on set."Blanks expel gunpowder and hot gases out of the front of the barrel in a cone shape," Brown wrote.

"This is harmless at longer ranges, but the explosion can seriously injure someone if it's too close."Police are still determining what kind of projectile killed Halyna Hutchins on set.What are the rules for using firearms on set?Generally, a weapons master or armourer oversees all weapons that are used on a production.

Weapons masters are required to abide by state and federal laws and hold proper operating permits.This can mean anything from selecting the correct items for a certain period in history, to taking care of the weapons on set and making sure they are being used safely and properly by actors and stunt performers.

It's a new position in the history of film production. Prior to the 1980s, the prop master handled all props.The entrance to the Rust film set, where actor Alec Baldwin fired the prop gun.(AP: Cedar Attanasio)Recently, it's become more common to enlist specialists.The weapons master is required to be on set whenever a weapon is being used. headtopics.com

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According to the Actors' Equity Association's guidelines, a gun must be test-fired off stage and then by the actor involved, before each use."Watch the prop master check the cylinders and barrel to be sure no foreign object or dummy bullet has become lodged inside," the guidelines state.

"All loading of firearms must be done by the property master, armourer or an experienced person working under their direct supervision."Armoury coordinator Sam Dormer said all weapons would be checked, before blanks were added."The blanks themselves are never loaded until the very last minute when all crew is in position, so the armourer knows exactly where every member of the crew is.

"That ensures no one's walking through any danger areas the armourer has set up."Why would an actor point a gun at a cinematographer?We don't know what happened on the set of Rust, but it is quite common to have a gun pointed at the camera and, by extension, the cinematographer.

Halyna Hutchins was director of photography for the film, Rust.(Reuters: Andriy Semenyuk/Handout)Steven Hall, a veteran second unit director and cinematographer who has worked on films like Fury and Thor: The Dark World, further explained the process. headtopics.com

"We've all seen the very famous shots in films where you get that dramatic effect of a gun being pointed at you, the audience, and of course, it's being pointed towards the camera," Mr Hall said."To minimise that, one would put a remote camera in that place or, if someone does have to operate the camera, [they would] be protected by safety goggles, a safety visor and a perspex screen that withstands pretty much anything.

"Obviously, it wouldn't withstand a real shot from a gun, but it would certainly withstand a blank." Read more: ABC News »

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Hollow shells are normally used when filming to show ammunition being loaded, then removed to film the discharge with a blank, never heard of live rounds being used 🤔 Accidents waiting to happen Obviously it doesn't work Ah, The guardian is reporting that he was given a gun loaded with live ammo and told it was safe

Blanks can also dispense wadding and metal fragments when fired and some times they would use black power (or similar) rather then regular propellant to get a noticeable flash of fire for dramatic effect All of these add danger If he Was member of the American rifle Association he would’ve been trained in the proper use of firearms

American gun laws? Can't even get prop guns right? The safety regulations involving prop guns should all have been sorted after the previous fatal movie set incidents. But no Ffs here we go again Rust is set in the 1880s, which requires actors to use period weapons that have been checked and deemed safe, according to Mr Hall. So...... Where do the guns used in science fiction films come from?

Prop gun Fake gun Real gun Baldwin is an ass. Karma.

Film crew member dead after prop gun shooting incident involving Alec BaldwinThe prop firearm was discharged by actor and producer Baldwin , 63, according to the Santa Fe County Sherriff's Office. 9News

Apparently it doesn't work Stop this infatuation with guns and promoting violence

Film crew member dead after prop gun shooting incident involving Alec BaldwinA female crew member has died and another injured following an accident involving a prop firearm on the New Mexico set of the film Rust in the US. Alec, the darling of leftist media 9NewsAdel Bad OH&S on that film set. Now that’s how you fire the crew.

Cinematographer fatally shot after actor Alec Baldwin discharges prop firearmActor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop weapon that killed a cinematographer and injured the director of the New Mexico set of his film Rust , according to a statement from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office

Film crew member dead after prop gun shooting incident involving Alec BaldwinThe prop firearm was discharged by actor and producer Baldwin , 63, according to the Santa Fe County Sherriff's Office. 9News

'Always smiling, always hopeful': Hollywood mourns cinematographer Halyna HutchinsDevastated colleagues and friends ask the world to focus on the immense talent of the cinematographer fatally shot with a prop gun by Alec Baldwin on a movie set. Hahaha

Hollywood mourns Halyna Hutchins as anger mounts over fatal film set shootingThe 42-year-old cinematographer was filming a movie in New Mexico when she was fatally shot by a prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin . Well done, the best reporting ever, the best headline, spooking the obvious.😂😂😂 Such a brave quote. I'm assuming it's in response to someone saying people should be killed by a gun on a film set? Or is this just virtue signalling? 'No one should ever be killed by a gun. Period. Unless you’re in the US, where it’s normal.'