The tragic shooting which took place during the filming of the movie “Rust” shocked the world. While it wasn’t Alec Baldwin himself who pulled the trigger that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, the fact that a gun used in a movie could have killed anyone during the shooting is beyond comprehension.
Much has been said about the people involved, the protocols ignored and the safeguards that could and should have prevented such a terrible accident. Part of that discussion revolves around the question of why movie productions use real guns in the first place. Obviously, authenticity is desirable in a movie – we viewers expect movies to be as realistic as possible. But in this age of digital enhancement, computer-generated special effects, and post-production editing tools that can do almost anything, are real guns necessary to achieve realism?
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says no. In an interview with Variety, The Rock said his film production company, Seven Bucks Productions, will no longer use real guns in any of their movies or TV shows in the future.
“We are going to switch to rubber guns,” he said. “We’re going to take care of it by mail. We’re not going to worry about the dollars.”
“It just sucks that it has to be like this for us, on our side – and I can’t speak for anyone else – but for us to wake up,” he said.
He said that within two hours of learning of Hutchins’ death, he was on the phone with his team discussing how they could make productions safer.
Several people in the industry shared the dangers of guns on set, even propeller guns that fire blanks.
Television David Slack wrote on Twitter:
âWhen I was in college we were lucky to have a professor who was REALLY good at gun safety. He did a demo where he hung a piece of paper on a piece of paper. C, then fired with a gun next to it, not even pointed at the paper.
But because this propeller pistol had a clogged barrel, that means the entire explosion – half the gunpowder needed to propel a bullet past the speed of sound – comes out of the pistol’s TEC. He made a hole in the paper and lit it on fire. Propeller guns are guns. Complete stop.“
Film gunsmith SL Huang also took to Twitter with a wire on the number of security protocols that have clearly been missed or ignored.
Huang also said that the “propeller guns” are not blank firearms. A propeller pistol is a fake, often rubber replica. A blank firearm is a real weapon. “Sometimes real guns are used ‘cold’ (unloaded) if there is no matching gun or if they want a close-up (props usually don’t look as good in detail. ) “, she wrote.
However, she reiterated, there are so many measures, controls and protocols that should have prevented this incident on multiple occasions.
Some may think that The Rock’s commitment not to use real guns on set is overkill, considering that strict safety protocols, when properly followed, can prevent incidents like the one that killed Halyna Hutchins. But if the same effect can be achieved without the use of real guns, why not take the safest route?
It may be worth considering how often firearms are used in our entertainment industry. Gun violence in PG-13 movies nearly tripled between 1985 and 2015, according to research from Ohio State University. Does Hollywood fuel an obsession with guns, or the American obsession with guns? fire fueling Hollywood choices? Who knows. But considering the fact that 2020 has seen 20,000 Americans die of gun violence (more than double if we include suicide), which is the highest number in at least two decades, it may be worth considering.
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