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Alec Baldwin Case: The Dilemma Of How To Replace Firearms On Film Sets

After the tragedy that actor Alec Baldwin starred in while filming a scene, many have wondered how to avoid these accidents with real weapons.

Alec baldwin

Certainly, it is an artifact that is more dangerous than many think, since it usually retains part of the cap and the trigger that makes them a latent risk for any individual who is on the recording set. Photo: Flickr-Gageskidmore

LatinAmerican Post | Yolanda González Madrid

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Leer en español: Caso Alec Baldwin: el dilema de cómo reemplazar las armas de fuego en los sets de grabación

In 1993 Brandon Lee's acting career came to an abrupt end after he died from a gunshot while filming a scene from the film "The Crow." 28 years after that incident, the US film industry once again dressed in mourning for an almost similar event, where actor Alec Baldwin accidentally killed Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer of the movie "Rust" in which they worked.

As reported by various specialized media such as The New York Times, at the time of the event the production was at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a very common location in Hollywood for filming western-style scenes. Baldwin was rehearsing when he pulled the trigger on the firearm and wounded both Hutchins and director Joel Souza. However, despite being taken by helicopter to Albuquerque Hospital, the cinematographer died of the injury.

Until the date of this article, the police continue to investigate the causes of the event to try to clarify what happened. The actor has voluntarily collaborated as much as possible, while the production company Rust Movie Productions LLC stated in a statement that they have stopped the recordings "for an undetermined period of time." Faced with this eventuality, the industry has begun to change its methods with the intention of preventing similar situations from occurring on recording sets. Will they definitely ban royal weapons? Will they only use CGI?

The constant danger of blank weapons in the cinema

It is worth mentioning that there are hundreds of productions a year that use weapons to record shooting scenes, as happened with "Rust". The normal thing is to use said artifacts but with certain modifications, using blank ammunition or blanks in the cartridges, that is, the projectile is suppressed and the casing is cut so that they cannot do damage. In this way, when used it sounds like a real detonation, although without firing any projectile.

Certainly, it is an artifact that is more dangerous than many think, since it usually retains part of the cap and the trigger that makes them a latent risk for any individual who is on the recording set. That is why the security measures in these cases must be meticulous when cleaning the weapon, in order to avoid the accumulation of powder residue that could become a potential projectile. However, despite the fact that these protocols are strict in a film, unfortunately, accidents tend to happen when least imagined.

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What measures have they started to implement?

Film and television in the United States are characterized by showing as many real elements as possible, and part of it is the firearms during their filming. One such example is seen in the ABC crime series "The Rookie." Precisely its creator, Alexi Hawley, has been one of the first people to take an important step to change the shooting rules, and he has done so by banning real weapons from his set in order to exchange them for compressed air ones.

On the other hand, it is also worth mentioning that CGI is a strategy that has been applied lately, although with the only peculiarity that those who implement it are the producers with the greatest financial resources. At this point budget costs and other details such as time to add those effects come into play, something that independent or smaller-scale projects do not have. In fact, as the film producer Anna Halberg puts it: "It is easier and cheaper to fire a real gun using blanks than to add a gun in CGI in post-production."

«A partir de hoy, la política de ‘The Rookie’ es que todos los disparos en el set sean pistolas de aire comprimido con flashes en la punta de las mismas agregadas en post producción mediante CGI. No habrá más armas ‘reales’ en la serie. La seguridad de nuestro reparto y equipo es demasiado importante. Cualquier riesgo es demasiado» - Alexi Hawley para The Hollywood Reporter

Likewise, other voices that have spoken in this regard are directors Eric Kripke and Craig Zobel, who support the non-use of weapons. "No more blank guns in my sets. We will use cannon flashes with VFX. Who is with me?" Wrote the showrunner of the series "The Boys" on his Twitter. In turn, the director of "Mare of Easttown" posted on the same social network that "there is no need to have weapons loaded with blank cartridges on the set. It should be completely prohibited. Computers exist now."

At this point, many still wonder why they continue to use real weapons while filming a movie or series, and while the answers may revolve around the authenticity and emotion of the scene, the reality is that tragedies are undated. , time or place. Security in these cases is an obligation that must be fulfilled regardless of whether or not you have enough resources or time, because in the end, the error will always come from the human being.