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  • Alec Baldwin shots woman dead on movie set !!
  • Premier Icon plus-one
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    Premier Icon scud
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    Blimey was just reading that… does seem to mirror what happened with Brandon Lee on that Crow movie.

    Premier Icon swavis
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    Just seen that, how tragic ☹

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Not the first time it’s happened using a real gun with suposedly blank cartridges and ending up killing someone.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    Been a few instances over the years, let’s hope the production and the armourer on set were well insured.

    Let’s hope that there was an armourer on set!

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
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    Terrible for all involved and I would think Baldwin will be in a real bad place mentally after this, I would be.

    As for the grief of the families, that’s on an even deeper level of tragedy.

    Premier Icon tpbiker
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    So can this happen even if only blanks are loaded, or would a real bullet need to have been accidentally loaded for this kind of thing to occur?

    I have no idea how blanks work, but I assumed they didn’t have a projectile?

    Premier Icon Klunk
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    at extremely close range the exhaust gas from a blank has enough force to punch through the skull and kill. I knew someone who died like that (his mate was larking around with a blank firing pistol). Though i doubt it’s what happened in this case as there were 2 victims suggesting a live round or something in the barrel.

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
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    If foreign objects have somehow got into the chamber/barrel then the explosion of the blank cartridge will fire them out at high speed.
    That’s part of the reason the military use blank-firing adapters in blank-firing exercises. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blank-firing_adaptor
    Obviously doesn’t look good to have one of these on a prop weapon in a film.

    Premier Icon timbog160
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    Absolutely tragic and sadly not that uncommon. Armourer should have some questions to answer I suspect. The ease with which accidental discharges can occur is one of the reasons why the military take these things incredibly seriously

    Premier Icon dissonance
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    I have no idea how blanks work, but I assumed they didn’t have a projectile?

    As Klunk says ins possible either the gas alone could kill or the wadding but it would need to be extreme close range.
    I would guess its going to be live rounds were mixed up with dummy rounds.
    Although could be a case like Brandon Lee. Which had a incorrectly constructed dummy round which resulted in a bullet getting stuck in the barrel so that when blanks were fired it was effectively a live round.

    Premier Icon timmys
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    If foreign objects have somehow got into the chamber/barrel then the explosion of the blank cartridge will fire them out at high speed.

    In the case of Brandon Lee, I believe they had used a realistic looking dummy bullet to film a close up of the gun being loaded. They then didn’t notice the actual bullet (ie. projectile part) of the dummy had been retained in the chamber, so when a blank was loaded behind it they had basically made themselves functional round of ammunition.

    As above, this one sounds odd as you’ve really not going to manage to seriously hurt/kill two people with just a blank. It’s either a Brandon Lee style chance-in-a-million screw up, or simply there was a live round floating around.

    I’m not sure how prop guns generally work – though you obviously can’t have a blank-firing adaptor hanging off the end of the barrel, you still need a functional equivalent in a semi-automatic/automatic in order to restrict gases enough to build enough pressure/energy to cycle the action.

    Premier Icon timbog160
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    That BFA entry is interesting and suggests that movie props are sometimes fitted with disguised attachments, or may have some kind of barrel constriction.

    Premier Icon fooman
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    After Brandon Lee incident a lot was made of never actually pointing prop guns directly at other actors but slightly off, just in case. Speculation here but it sound perhaps like the gun was pointed at camera killing one crew member and injuring another.

    There have been other incidents too, you’ve got to think the solution is to stop using bullets or blanks – 20 years ago The Matrix used CGI for a lot of their gunshots, muzzle flashes etc. Must be even easier and cheaper to CGI it these days.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
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    Interestingly the lady killed wasn’t an actress but the director of photography, so not shot during filming of a scene.

    Edit: “Speculation here but it sound perhaps like the gun was pointed at camera killing one crew member and injuring another”
    Ahhhh, yep.

    I doubt CGI is cheaper or easier TBH.

    Premier Icon dissonance
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    or may have some kind of barrel constriction.

    Yes it is needed for semi/fully automatic weapons since they generally work by having some of the gas trapped behind the bullet being diverted back and moving the action*. So without a bullet you need some other way of blocking the barrel and diverting some of the gas backwards.
    Its not needed though for manual action weapons eg revolvers, bolt action rifles and so on.

    *there are exceptions eg a gatling gun uses a electric motor to crank in the next round.

    Premier Icon fooman
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    I doubt CGI is cheaper or easier TBH.

    I kinda meant cheaper than 20 years ago, but even so probably cheaper than having on set gun handlers and safety people etc. that are required for on set firearms. It’s pretty amazing how much is done post production now, mostly unnoticed by viewers.

    Premier Icon thols2
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    That’s terrible news. I imagine Alex Baldwin and everyone else involved are absolutely devastated. I had a lousy week at work, but this really puts things in perspective.

    Premier Icon Sui
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    double post

    Premier Icon Sui
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    That’s going to screw with his head for a long time to come, feel sorry for him and obviuously the family of the deceased.

    This is typical with countries where there are not bans on hand guns, it’s too easy and cheap to use real ones and then just use blank cartridges, however there is an issue with using real and blanks;

    1. The projectile of a real round also causes back pressure, which is what turns a pistol (non S&W type) into a semi automatic. If you remove the projectile it will not re-cock.

    2. To get around this you either block off the chamber towards the end, or you use a BFA – in the case of films these are desguised as the silences (surpressors) similar to the big yellow ones the army use.

    3. If you completely block the chamber, you still need a gas exhaust port, these are normally ontop of the barrel near the ejection port – the issue here is that you can see them if you look closely enough, which for films is never good.

    4. Purpose made blank firers are what should onyl ever be used in films (personal opinion) – the barrels are always blocked off, and there are loads of brands that have very good imitations which are perfectly legal to buy on-line. The bad thing is that they are easily drilled out and turned into working weapons.

    edit – sorry see dissonance got thre first..

    Premier Icon thols2
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    It was a 19th century western so it would have been a revolver, not an automatic.

    Also, it would be pretty simple to fit a battery and actuator into a semi-auto so that it was electrically powered and could only fire blank cartridges, but still looked like like a real weapon.

    Premier Icon benpinnick
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    It’s America, it’s a probably a handgun. Im guessing some doofus put real bullets in it ‘for fun’. Thats exactly the sort of genius move I can well imagine around half the US population thinking was a good idea.

    Premier Icon TiRed
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    Im guessing some doofus put real bullets in it ‘for fun’.

    Not a chance. Most likely, a blank was fired too close and into a camera, and the force of exit gasses displaced something from the filming equipment that injured two very close bystanders looking directly at the weapon, one fatally.

    Premier Icon Sui
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    thols2
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    It was a 19th century western so it would have been a revolver,

    makes it even worse of a f up. So much easier to have the barrels blocked off an not affect the operation and using blanks with a dummy head..

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    There’s a lot of assumptions being made unless some more details of the gun and process have been released.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
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    Been a few instances over the years, let’s hope the production and the armourer on set were well insured.

    Let’s hope that there was an armourer on set!

    Apparently Baldwin is the producer (or a least a producer) on the film.

    It’s all speculation at the minute TBH, but very sad for everyone concerned.

    Premier Icon roger_mellie
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    Interestingly the lady killed wasn’t an actress but the director of photography, so not shot during filming of a scene.

    The DoP would be on set during filming, so Google tells me.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
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    Ahhh… right.
    (although I meant right in with the actors during the shooting of the scene- see what I did there?!)

    Premier Icon roger_mellie
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    Ah, yeah, gotcha.

    Premier Icon benpinnick
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    Not a chance.

    Still going with regular bullet myself. I think you under estimate the ability for americans to do stupid stuff with guns.

    Premier Icon Stainypants
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    BBC say it was live bullets in the gun.

    Premier Icon scud
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    How the hell did they end up with live rounds in there?!

    It amazes me that no basic handling skills on a Hollywood film, very first lesson with any sort of firearm is “blanks or not, never point a weapon towards anyone….EVER!!”

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
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    Live rounds. S***.

    I wonder why live rounds were even on the set?

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Why do they even need blank-firers?

    Multi-million pound budgets for films and they can’t make a prop gun that goes ‘click’ and then add flash-bang in post?

    Premier Icon kilo
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    “blanks or not, never point a weapon towards anyone….EVER!!”

    Going to be a bit difficult making a film under those constraints; don’t point it at another actor, don’t point it at the camera man, don’t point it towards people on set, may be just point it up in the air?

    Premier Icon timmys
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    BBC say it was live bullets in the gun.

    I’m sure I’m being incompetent but I can’t find that anywhere. Could you give a link?

    Premier Icon nickjb
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    Going to be a bit difficult making a film under those constraints; don’t point it at another actor, don’t point it at the camera man, don’t point it towards people on set, may be just point it up in the air?

    My understanding, possibly from watching a YouTube, was that on set you never point a real gun at a person, loaded or otherwise. If you need to point it at person then it needs to be a dummy model gun.

    Premier Icon Drac
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    I’m sure I’m being incompetent but I can’t find that anywhere.

    You’re not is doesn’t mention live rounds.

    Tragic stuff and from what I’ve read the director was injured by the camera not directly by the firearm.

    Going to be a bit difficult making a film under those constraints; don’t point it at another actor, don’t point it at the camera man, don’t point it towards people on set, may be just point it up in the air?

    No, not at all it’s easy for them them to give the impression they’re pointing at someone with different shots and camera angles.

    Premier Icon kilo
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    Judging from the below it seems that pointing blank firers at crew and cast, as well as using real guns seems may still be quite the norm;

    It remains unclear whether Baldwin was rehearsing or actually filming a scene at the time of the incident, and if so, why the discharged gun was pointing towards crew members rather than a fellow actor.

    On Friday, the director Ben Rockula called for the use of blanks to be outlawed. “They’re extremely dangerous and under the best of circumstances they eat time,” he wrote.

    “Every time you have to shoot a scene with blanks, you’re going to lose 30 minutes to safety meetings, passing out ear plugs to the entire crew, setting up Plexiglass and plywood, on and on. It has to be done to avert tragedies like this. And it doesn’t always work.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/oct/22/on-set-fatalities-halyna-hutchins-alec-baldwin

    Premier Icon i_scoff_cake
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    Which had a incorrectly constructed dummy round which resulted in a bullet getting stuck in the barrel so that when blanks were fired it was effectively a live round.

    That’s the main risk IIRC. Something substantial getting stuck in the barrel like a squib, for example, and it not being cleared before firing a blank.

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