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Alec Baldwin accidentally kills crew member with prop gun

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General question for everyone:

Should working guns that fire blanks be banned from all movie sets in the U.S.? *The gun shot effects can be put in during post production with CG.

I wouldn't be surprised if California takes that action (even though this shooting happened in New Mexico).



Registered User
General question for everyone:

Should working guns that fire blanks be banned from all movie sets in the U.S.? *The gun shot effects can be put in during post production with CG.

I wouldn't be surprised if California takes that action (even though this shooting happened in New Mexico).
Hollywood appears to have a good safety record relative to guns. I believe many more people have been killed and injured on movie sets by explosions, horses falling over, light stands falling over, fight choreography gone wrong, etc., than by firearms.

I don't think that we can honestly ban real guns from movie sets without entering into a wider conversation about the use of explosives, animals, motor vehicles, bladed weapons, humans performing dangerous stunts, etc. How much realism do we really need? Audiences may crave real dangers to be present to lend a sense of authenticity, but how much should that monster be fed?

How many people do we sacrifice a year, in whole or in part, to the God of realism?

William Shatner has been troubled with Tinnitus ever since the Gorn episode of Star Trek. Daryl Hannah still has glass in one of her arms from Blade Runner. These injuries are so common that they're presented in click-through slide shows for casual entertainment.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/new...ALbahf#image=2

Also, a deeper question is Hollywood's role in demonstrating casual contempt for the handling of deadly weapons (as shown on screen) and seducing us with the power guns allegedly confer while officially being anti-gun. Hollywood is one of the best gun marketers in the world. They present the fantasy in which the gun is a tool of adventure.



minds his own damn business
Should working guns that fire blanks be banned from all movie sets in the U.S.? *The gun shot effects can be put in during post production with CG.
No. It should be kept in mind that this is an extremely rare occurance. If I were to suggest a ban it would be to ban any non-union uncertified crew, or at least very specific liability clauses to such contracts that will unambigously hold the production management responsible.


I don't think it's a coincidence that at least two of these production companies responsible for this film seem to specialize in the kind of anonymous straight-to-Bulgaria cheapo action flicks that Bruce Willis has been specializing in lately. I think most likely we're going to find that this accident is directly attributable to tight-fisted penny-pinching corner-cutting by people likely more concerned in fronting their off-shore accounts than quality control or professional safety. But I digress...
__________________



"How tall is King Kong ?"
General question for everyone:

Should working guns that fire blanks be banned from all movie sets in the U.S.? *The gun shot effects can be put in during post production with CG.
No. Action movies are full of dangerous don't-try-at-home stunts requiring very careful specialists, and therefore danger in case of sloppiness, but that's merely an argument against the sloppiness. Replacement with CGI is always a loss (because no conscious CGI imagery reproduces all the subtle audio-visual cues that make it feel real). This goes for a lot of things, guns aren't special with that. Not more than other potential causes of deaths (cars, etc) that hopefully won't be replaced by CGI after some other super avoidable accident.

But :

1) There is no reason why a real bullet was even in the vicinity of that movie set. What was it even used for ? Was some gun nut seeking the thrill of going poom poom for realsies between the takes ?

2) There's (or there used to be) gun models that were actually fully functional guns, but with some protruding part within the barrel, ensuring they couldn't be used as gun. More than fully realistic from the outside (it's the actual thing) but disabled. Could be only used for blanks. I suppose a real bullet could injure the holding hand, but that's a lesser evil, and no one would have put a real bullet in it in the first place (because why for, see point 1). Why are these not standards on movie sets ? Why even risk people stealing fully functional guns from movie sets ?

3) And no, by the way, no. When you've got a professional technician whose specific job and responsibility is to put a selected, prepared prop in your hand, you don't have some sacred holy duty from the nra bible to ritually double check it just because it's a gun. Your job is to act, you trust the technicians who tell you that it's a retractable blade, that the bridge will blow up after your passage, that the pillar won't fall on your own floor marking. It's not bad to double check dangerous stuff (and some actors like to go check if the pyrotechnics along their path are set right), but it's not an obligation, and not more for a gun than for any other potentially lethal device or mechanism. Some default trust is perfectly justified.

4) And of course, the opportunistic false equivalence between the "mistake" of discharging your knowingly loaded handgun into a suspect and the "mistake" of treating as a prop the prop handed to you as a prop by a prop specialist is as dishonest as nauseating. But hey, what would you expect. At least we were spared the "this wouldn't have happened if she was armed too" argument, this time. Somehow. For now.

Again, underlying all these reactions, the "how does it fit in the cultural/political agenda" priority. So tiresome, and so predictable. I'm almost curious to go check how militants spin it in symmetrically progressive forums.
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Should working guns that fire blanks be banned from all movie sets in the U.S.? *The gun shot effects can be put in during post production with CG.
Not a ban, but in terms of their use, I'll be the slight contrarian here and say that my feeling is a yes/maybe.

Special effects have gotten really strong these days, and one of the most striking things about some of the director's commentaries I've listened to in the last 10 years is just how many things were CGI that I never imagined.

I think that it's something that anyone making a film should think seriously about. Is the (admittedly very small but also potentially very serious) risk of using a real weapon critical to the film?

Generally, though, it seems like what's more necessary than a weapons ban is a very clear set of safety regulations and procedures with SERIOUS and RUTHLESS enforcement when they aren't followed. As in, if you are caught letting people skip safety training, or skip over steps in safety procedures, consequences like not being able to work on a film set for two years and face a big fine. Even within the microcosm of this one incident, there were accidental gun misfires and that should have triggered some automatic auditing of the crew and their safety procedures before anything else was allowed to happen on that set. But then again I know very little about how the industry is regulated and what procedures are already in place.



Registered User
Was some gun nut seeking the thrill of going poom poom for realsies between the takes ?
Gun nut? Sorry, this one isn't on the gun community. Your politics are showing.

3) And no, by the way, no. When you've got a professional technician whose specific job and responsibility is to put a selected, prepared prop in your hand, you don't have some sacred holy duty from the nra bible to ritually double check it just because it's a gun.
Yes, actually you do. A gun doesn't stop being a gun just because it is a movie set. Calling it a "prop" doesn't change what it is. This wasn't a "prop" gun. This was a real gun. An adult doesn't stop having responsibilities just because they are actors.

Yes, you ritually check. You habitually check. You always assume it is loaded. Yes, you do this because it is a gun. These are the rules. They apply to everyone. The apply everywhere. If you are not prepared to be minimally responsible, then don't ever pick up a gun.

Moreover, it is casual contempt for guns and gun safety ("Not my job!") that results in tragedies like this. Attitudes like this get people killed.

This isn't the fault of the NRA.

Someone died. A five-second check that could be performed by any competent adult was not performed.

Your job is to act,
Bulls--t. If you drive in a scene, your job is also to be a competent driver.

A gun is a deadly weapon. They aren't toys. If your job is to handle a gun, your job includes safe handling.

And so far you haven't supplied anything outside of chest-thumping assertions. This does not even begin to address the simple prudential logical which has already been presented upthread.

you trust the technicians who tell you that it's a retractable blade,
No, you need to double check that too. Otherwise, you might stab someone.

that the bridge will blow up after your passage,
Unless you are the one setting off the explosives, this example is irrelevant. Your are responsible for your actions.

that the pillar won't fall on your own floor marking.
Again, this is irrelevant. You are are responsible for what you do, not what others do.

It's not bad to double check dangerous stuff (and some actors like to go check if the pyrotechnics along their path are set right), but it's not an obligation,
If you are handling the gun, if you point that gun at another human being, if you pull the trigger, it is a f---cking obligation.

and not more for a gun than for any other potentially lethal device or mechanism.
You're equivocating, flagrantly, between examples where the actor is handling and controlling a deadly device and examples where other people are. This is sloppy thinking at best, and disingenuous at worst.

Some default trust is perfectly justified.
This default trust does NOT overturn the presumption of Rule 1 of safe gun handling. Contempt of this rule got someone killed.

Just for once, pause, and listen to people who actually know something about guns.

4) And of course, the opportunistic false equivalence
Like the false equivalence between someone else setting off explosives and Baldwin pointing a gun at a person, pulling back the hammer, and pulling the trigger? This is RICH.

between the "mistake" of discharging your knowingly loaded handgun into a suspect and the "mistake" of treating as a prop the prop handed to you as a prop by a prop specialist is as dishonest as nauseating.
On the contrary, it is you who is dishonest and nauseating. The mistake is not checking the condition of a real gun. Now you are equivocating about "props" and "guns."

No one. I repeat, no one absolves you of your responsibility of safely handling a weapon. This includes clearing it. Again, "Not my job" got someone killed here. This is not acceptable.

But hey, what would you expect. At least we were spared the "this wouldn't have happened if she was armed too" argument, this time. Somehow. For now.
This is a disgusting thing to say. You are arguing basic rules of gun safety as if the idea of basic gun safety is politics(!!!). This is how far left of field you are. You have whined and whinged about gun nuts, the NRA, mocked the "sacrality of simple rules (as if the rules are bulls--t and worthy of contempt), and now invoked tropes in the gun debate to cover Baldwin's ass. You have attacked prudence as politics.



minds his own damn business
So I guess it's confirmed that Corax prefers to see this as karmic payback for Baldwin's anti-gun stances over the years



minds his own damn business
Generally, though, it seems like what's more necessary than a weapons ban is a very clear set of safety regulations and procedures with SERIOUS and RUTHLESS enforcement when they aren't followed. As in, if you are caught letting people skip safety training, or skip over steps in safety procedures, consequences like not being able to work on a film set for two years and face a big fine. Even within the microcosm of this one incident, there were accidental gun misfires and that should have triggered some automatic auditing of the crew and their safety procedures before anything else was allowed to happen on that set. But then again I know very little about how the industry is regulated and what procedures are already in place.
I think these standards are stricter and better enforced on major studio productions. The problem is with these more independent productions with more nebulous accountability. I think the best bet is to front-end the risks, specifically through standardizing access to the insurance needed to begin a production, rather than punitive on the back end after a tragedy has occured. Make it prohibitively expensive to try to skirt the union/studio standards before the first inch of film is shot.



Ghouls, vampires, werewolves... let's party.
General question for everyone:

Should working guns that fire blanks be banned from all movie sets in the U.S.? *The gun shot effects can be put in during post production with CG.
Either that or use camera tricks to make it appear that the actor is pointing a gun at someone. I do think it should be illegal for actors to point a gun, prop or not, at anyone.



Either that or use camera tricks to make it appear that the actor is pointing a gun at someone. I do think it should be illegal for actors to point a gun, prop or not, at anyone.
How about just real-looking fake guns - surely prop departments can produce them, and then special effects (or CGI) people can put in things like muzzle flashes later?



Either that or use camera tricks to make it appear that the actor is pointing a gun at someone. I do think it should be illegal for actors to point a gun, prop or not, at anyone.
Even with this, though, guns can misfire when they aren't being intentionally aimed at someone.

One of my co-workers has a husband who owns several guns. (Okay, basically ALL my co-workers own several guns). He was putting one of them back in the gun safe in their closet and it fired unexpectedly (no, I do not know specifics) and the bullet went through their closet and into their son's bedroom. If their son had been at his desk or sitting up in bed, he would have been hit by the bullet. I'm honestly not even clear from what I've read whether Baldwin was intentionally aiming at anyone, or if he was just raising the weapon when it fired and the DP and director were just unfortunate enough to be in the way of the bullet's path.

I agree with @Captain Steel. Incredibly realistic props that cannot actually fire anything seems the best way to go. In fact, I bet some genius could even find a way to design a prop gun that generated a loud bang and possibly even some element of "kick" when the trigger was pulled without actually ejecting a single thing, if your concern is wanting the actors to have some visceral "reality" to pulling the trigger.



Registered User
So I guess it's confirmed that Corax prefers to see this as karmic payback for Baldwin's anti-gun stances over the years
It's a tragedy mixed with negligence. People who make mistakes with guns (including cops and "gun nuts") are quite often decent people who make a horrible lapse in judgment. They should be judged, but judged appropriately. God save Alec Baldwin from the public pronouncements of Alec Baldwin.

Myself, I know there are moments of distraction and aggression I have displayed operating a motor vehicle that could have resulted in death and I only have moral luck as my justification. I think we have all done something behind the wheel of a motor vehicle which could have killed someone (be it racing, road rage, texting, drinking, fiddling with nobs on the radio, not pulling over when tired). I am not justified. I am lucky.

Baldwin was righteous, but ultimately unlucky. He neither deserves to have his head put on a pike (unless we learn he is the one responsible for the unsafe set), nor does he deserve a free pass for a negligent action. He deserves empathy and forgiveness, but he also deserves blame for screwing up. He must take ownership of his share of the blame in point a gun at a person and pulling the trigger.



minds his own damn business
No luck is involved here. There was professional negligence by at least two people - the prop master and the assistant director - who held the specific responsibility to not hand Baldwin a loaded weapon. Your omission of their very clear guilt in order to preserve your narrative against Baldwin says all it needs to say. You have a target and an agenda.

What I need to know: We know that the prior incidents with discharges were reported to the unit production manager. Who else? "At least one of the camera operators complained last weekend to a production manager about gun safety on the set". "There were no safety meetings", who made this decision? Was the person who claimed "cold gun" with Baldwin's stunt double the same assistant director who handed Baldwin a "cold gun"?

We know that those who reported the previous discharges walked off the set hours beforehand. Why did the producers allow this? What efforts did they take to address their complaints? "Hutchins had been advocating for safer conditions for her team"? Advocating to whom? Why was she ignored? Why was the producers' response to their union crew's complaints, including the dangers of the previous discharges, to "order the union members to leave the set and threatened to call security to remove them if they didn’t leave voluntarily"? Was the assistant director who handed Baldwin the gun a nonunion member? With any certified training in firearms?

Why hasn't Hannah Guiterrez Reed been available for comment? Is she cooperating with authorities?

Quite simply, it seems clear that unless Baldwin was one of the producers in question who willfuly ignored these complaints over gun safety, or was one of the producers who ordered the union crew off set, his culpabilty here is far less than a half-dozen easily identified suspects. For some reason, you've chosen to make Baldwin the focus of your moralizing. I wonder why? You've already answered. Because of his past support for anti-gun regulations.



Registered User
No luck is involved here.
Sure there is. Chance operates everywhere. We are all the beneficiaries and victims of chance.

Controlling for contingency is what codified rules of safe handling were developed.

There was professional negligence by at least two people - the prop master and the assistant director
Not the person who picked up the gun?

Not the person who pulled back the hammer of that single action Colt?

Not the person who pointed that gun at another human being?

Not the person who pulled the trigger?

Not "at least three people"?

What a curious sense of responsibility you have.

- who held the specific responsibility to not hand Baldwin a loaded weapon. Your omission of their very clear guilt in order to preserve your narrative against Baldwin says all it needs to say. You have a target and an agenda.
I am already on record, in this thread, noting the blame that also belongs to the so-called prop master. I have already committed in bold print to saying that they deserve a lot of the blame.

I am just not the bizarre alien thinker who holds the responsibility can only ever belong to one person and thinks that Baldwin has no responsibility because someone else has all the responsibility. That's bonkers.

What I need to know: We know that the prior incidents with discharges were reported to the unit production manager.
And Baldwin, also being a producer should have been aware of those incidences and ever more vigilant in handling a real gun.

Who else? "At least one of the camera operators complained last weekend to a production manager about gun safety on the set". "There were no safety meetings", who made this decision? Was the person who claimed "cold gun" with Baldwin's stunt double the same assistant director who handed Baldwin a "cold gun"?
I guess we'll find out when the facts emerge.

The only thing I know for sure is that you treat every gun as if it is loaded, that you do not take the say so of anyone else that it is in safe condition, that you keep that thing pointed in a safe direction, and that you inspect the weapon. That's all I need to know to know that Baldwin fired a weapon negligently and took a life.



The father of Halyna Hutchins (the woman who was shot) refuses to blame Alec Baldwin but instead blames the armourer team for the accidental shooting.

News Link


*there's a photo of Halyna Hutchins in the news link, such a sweet photo of her, how totally sad



Registered User
The father of Halyna Hutchins (the woman who was shot) refuses to blame Alec Baldwin but instead blames the armourer team for the accidental shooting.

News Link


*there's a photo of Halyna Hutchins in the news link, such a sweet photo of her, how totally sad

They're going to make movies about this. First it will be a documentary, then a "journalistic: re-creation of events, and then as pure entertainment. There are too many elements for storytellers not to seize upon it.



minds his own damn business
Sure there is. Chance operates everywhere. We are all the beneficiaries and victims of chance.

Controlling for contingency is what codified rules of safe handling were developed.

Not the person who picked up the gun?

Not the person who pulled back the hammer of that single action Colt?

Not the person who pointed that gun at another human being?

Not the person who pulled the trigger?

Not "at least three people"?

What a curious sense of responsibility you have.
Yeah, maybe because I'm paying attention to the available information as opposed to punching my preferred object of derision.


Here's some more info on the assistant director in question, a Dave Halls, who reportedly "had a troubling history of ignoring safety protocols", and who mocked safety meetings and training exercises, "He would always roll his eyes. ‘Do we need to do a safety meeting?’ He would do it and he would be flippant." "There was one day the actress was aiming it at her head. He didn’t want to do safety meeting! It took a person from another department demanding the meeting to finally hold it." And who had asked a non-trained crew member to light pyrotechnics (and was thankfully rebuffed). This is the man who handed Alec Baldwin a loaded weapon, the first loaded weapon Baldwin ever discharged in his 40 year career.


As you pointed out, Baldwin has had experience with guns on film sets for nearly 40 years. He's been handed, what?, a hundred guns in that time? How many had live ammo? Is it so difficult to develop a certain amount of confidence over than period of time that the crew members that handled weapons took professional safety seriously?


I am already on record, in this thread, noting the blame the belongs to the so-called prop master.
As illustrated in the above quote, your focus on Baldwin's blame has been disproportionate in this thread, as has your reasoning based on schadenfreude shaming based on Baldwin's politics (specifically those involving the instrument of tragedy here).

And Baldwin, also being a producer should have been aware of those incidences and ever more vigilant in handling a real gun.
I'm not aware of what Baldwin knew, and neither are you. I think he should be held responsible if he had been involved in any of these decisions involving sacking his union crew over safety concerns (or simply ignoring Hutchins'), the decision to employ a nonunion prop master, or was one of the executives actively pressuring crew members like Halls into cutting safety corners in order to stay on schedule. As of right now, I see some more immediate actions that led to this death.


Also, as an extra, I'd be curious to see which member of the production staff approved of the initial statement citing a "misfire of a prop gun with blanks", which anyone on the set must have immediately known to be a lie.



Add this to the mix.

Prop Gun Specialist Calls Alec Baldwin 'Very Safe,' Says Props Dept. Likely to Blame

newslink


MikeTristano is a state and federally licensed weapons expert and one of the best-known armorers in the business with more than 500 film and television credits to his name....

"There has to be circumstances here that we don't know about yet, but whoever the armorer or person handling the guns, and handed that gun to Mr. Baldwin, that's his or her responsibility to check that gun, make sure the rounds are the proper blank rounds and set up the shot to make sure whoever is firing is safe," Tristano said.
"That's their responsibility, not Mr. Baldwin's; he's an actor," he added.



minds his own damn business
Add this to the mix.

Prop Gun Specialist Calls Alec Baldwin 'Very Safe,' Says Props Dept. Likely to Blame

newslink


This is also potentially a very instructive excerpt:


In a 2017 interview with Cracked, Tristano discussed Lee's death. He said there had been "a very experienced armorer on the set" of The Crow, but he claimed that person "wasn't called in that day because they didn't want to pay him that day."