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Alec Baldwin fatally shoots woman with prop gun on movie set

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Le Clandestin Brun, 22 Oct 2021.

  1. ttaskmaster

    Capodecina

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    In some situations, the firer can perform a check in addition to the armourer, but this will typically be when that armourer has trained them and they're using modern weapons with mechanisms with which many people are already familiar, such as an M4, a bolt-action rifle or most semi-auto pistols.
    Part of the issue is when the weapon is different or more complicated, such as with flintlocks or machine guns, and where the armourer's expertise comes into play.

    For example, I have experience with many dozens of firearms, primarily modern, but I'd still struggle to properly operate and safely clear a Tranter or an 1854 Collette without a bit of training first.

    We usually had people detailed, which was typically whoever had been ******* around most recently and needed bleeding thumbs to teach them not to do it again. They weren't really supervised either, as such, but then we could generally be trusted to count to 20 or 30 (SLRs or L85, respectively).
    Declarations were only after a shoot, as it was presumed you'd not brought anything with you, I suppose. Depending on who the RCO was, you either had "No live rounds, empty cases or misfires" in your possession, "Sir!"... or "No rockets in my pockets, no Wombats in my combats, no Shermulies in my goolies and no LAWs in my drawers..... sir!" :D

    In response to both quotes above - It was the general conversations from earlier on in the thread suggesting that actors should be conducting NSPs and opening weapons up to check their state, examine the ammo, etc... because it's something "18-year-old infantry soldiers with a reading age of 11 can do, yet you don't think highly paid movie actors should?".

    As I pointed out, Infantry soldiers train on modern weapons and usually only a few specific ones. Movie weapon companies often supply a far wider range of firearms, many of which require very different training and which is why you have an armourer to take care of those specifics.

    But if you're going to allow them to start checking their own weapons, even in addition to an armourer doing it, that then does make the actor responsible too... which is another reason for having an armourer. Actors can watch, for their own peace of mind, but allowing them to start messing with it interferes with the safety the armourer has just established.


    There are often (but not always, in the case of some historic weapons) prop weapons available that are either live weapons modified to only chamber blanks, or replica weapons that are only built to cycle blanks. In either case, a 'real' gun capable of discharging live ammo is not needed.
     
  2. chaparral

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    Guessing am a little bit blind as i can't see the answer on page 1 of this thread
     
  3. jonneymendoza

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    Go on.remind us
     
  4. Rroff

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    There is always a bigger fish. I've seen accredited experts in a field absolutely humbled before by someone who has dedicated their life to a subject never mind people who might have read a few internet articles on something.

    What is more important IMO is the approach people take both those who know enough to be dangerous and those who are actual experts - too often it ends up with people becoming entrenched in positions because people can't just work with others - either being a dick towards people with lesser knowledge or refusing to see the limits of their knowledge, etc.

    I also find it amusing how highbrow some approach this and can't tell the difference between someone showing an interest in a subject and/or trying to learn more and/or get a discussion going and someone trying to big themselves up and make out they are an authority on a subject.
     
  5. jonneymendoza

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    Because there is none.else this thread wouldn't been this long
     
  6. dowie

    Capo Crimine

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    That's not the same as saying the full responsibility is on the actor - nor is it a claim that their level of knowledge should be the same as that of the firearms expert.

    I've been quite clear that I was referring to a basic check/NSP there, but also (especially given this is an old-style weapon) mentioned that they could surely ask the armourer as a check.

    They seemingly didn't do that, they took the firearm from the AD apparently and just accepted his claim that it was "cold". Even just asking the armourer if they'd checked it (assuming the armourer was even there) could have prevented this.

    You seem to be ignoring several of the replies I've already made to you where I've referred to the fact they could ask the armourer in a case like this.

    Yeah, I think three people have some blame here - the armourer the AD and Balwin... That's not the same as a claim that Balwin is fully responsible alone, far from it, the AD has been arguably more reckless and the armourer has been pretty negligent to leave the firearms unsupervised and to apparently allow the crew to fire live rounds off set with the same firearms.
     
  7. visibleman

    Wise Guy

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    What would the reason be for having a live firing weapon on set acting as a prop? Would it be simply be the fact that a modified version couldn't be made?
     
  8. Dis86

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    Post 61 starts the discussion.

    Feel free to read for yourself.
     
  9. Dis86

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    As stated it's been explained. Because you're not a pain in the chuff though the answer is quite simple...visual effect.
     
  10. chaparral

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    That be page 4 of the thread then ;)

    And still haven't seen the reason for needing real ammo/bullets on the set can you quote the reply
     
  11. Dis86

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    only if you're a bumder.
     
  12. jonneymendoza

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    Post 61 is not in page 1 lol
     
  13. Dis86

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    lol yes it is lol. herp derp. 100 posts per page lol herp.
     
  14. Tefal

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    What kind of an idiot would use page references if they use non standard settings?
     
  15. Dis86

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    Everyone knows all the cool kids use 100 posts per page. You are cool, aren't you?
     
  16. ttaskmaster

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    But in some cases with certain weapons, as pointed out, they would need that level of expertise even just to properly conduct NSPs unsupervised... and if they are going to start doing that, then they subsequently bear as much responsibility (ie full) as the armourer.
    Improper weapon safety has caused a death - There is either full responsibility, or none at all. It's not like those who failed in their duty are going to split the prison sentence equally, is it?

    But we're dealing with the actor checking for themselves, because the armourer isn't there... and if they are present, there's no need for the actor to conduct NSPs. Asking is about the only option available to them in such cases.
    For the same reasons, we have qualified pyrotechnicians, electricians, etc , rather than trusting actors and random crew with checking things for themselves.

    Because that point is not what I'm addressing. I'm specifically looking at the impracticalities of having to teach a bunch of film crew proper NSPs and safe operation of all this weaponry, when many only need to know the armourer has made things safe as it's something that doesn't really concern or even interest most of them in the first place.
    It's a combination of a little knowledge, with muddying the waters of responsibility, and over-regulation resulting in a potentially more dangerous environment. It's a general H&S mentality, not just to do with firearms.

    I would have said that all three bear full responsibility.

    Cheaper, as no mods needed and you wouldn't necessarily have to hire it from a specialist movie weapons house - A general prop house with a qualified armourer and a small supply of guns may be all that's needed... don't quote me on that part though.
    Also, you may be restricted on the weapon type, as in no blank-only versions of the particular weapon you want exist/are available.
    But then, you may have a sponsorship deal with, say, Walther or Beretta or Colt.... at which point you're now showcasing their latest models, for which there almost certainly won't be blank-only versions yet.
    I understand a select few effects shots work best with live ammo, but that whole setup is usually handled with EXTREME caution, on closed sets with ridiculously high focus on safety.
     
  17. dowie

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    And I addressed that, a few times now and pointed it out again in the previous post too - that in such circumstances they could ask an armourer surely?

    It's the basic principle here that it is silly to have a firearm in your possession and point it at someone if you don't actually know that it's safe.

    I'm not sure anyone is going to go to prison here - that's not a condition for there being more than one person at fault.

    No, but that isn't what I said at all, I've certainly not advocated it being a substitute for the armourer being present. I would however suggest that having some basic familiarity with firearms is a good idea - a check can be "show me" (especially in a more obscure/historical firearm case) I mean even just asking the armourer could have saved a life here - point being they should know - good to trust, better to check.

    And again was addressed re: these sorts of historic weapons; have the armourer check.

    Well, I think this is getting muddled by semantics a bit - when you're referring to someone as bearing full responsibility I'd read that as blaming them not sharing the blame among three different people. If you feel all three have responsibility here then I agree. :)
     
  18. Nasher

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    And how is the average actor supposed to check? Look down the barrel?

    That's why the have firearms and safety experts, who failed more than once from what they are saying.

    Same way you don't have random office workers checking/testing electrical equipment.
     
  19. Dis86

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    I'd expect an office worker to check that equipment isn't clearly damaged before using it.
     
  20. Werewolf

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    So you check the power cables for every device you interact with in the office?

    I've known people (some got quite senior) who wouldn't notice that their monitor was on fire.