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    #41
    Chapelgrove Films
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    All due respect, novicemonk -- I'm mainly speaking to the OP, who does not have your credentials, probably doesn't know what the industry standard protocols are, etc. I'm mainly talking to the indie filmmakers here who are trying to get 'cool' effects in dangerous ways. I did not mean to be flippant or insulting. My apologies.

    That said, the stunt coordinator on 'The Crow' was Jeff Imada. At that time, 'The Crow' was his 80th film credit as stunt person or stunt coordinator. Most of those were major Hollywood movies, plus a few well-known TV shows. Needless to say, his knowledge and experience were without question. He was also the personal stunt advisor to Jason Lee. Yet with all of that knowledge and experience and a presumption of an intense concern about safety, they managed to do something stupid with real guns and blanks that cost Mr. Lee his life.

    Which only serves to illustrate that even on professional Hollywood productions with plenty of money for highly skilled and experience people, mistakes can be made. On small indie productions, especially ones with meager budgets, the likelihood of serious, perhaps fatal, mistakes rises exponentially.

    For smaller indie productions, there is no legitimate reason to take risks with the health and safety of your cast and crew by bringing REAL guns onto the shoot. There are too many perfectly good options for achieving the effect safely.

    And again -- I was differentiating between guns designed to shoot ONLY blanks and those capable of shooting both blanks and real bullets. Either could be called a "blank-firing gun". But which one you use makes a huge difference in terms of safety.
    David W. Richardson
    Writer/Producer/Director/Editor
    Chapel Grove Films
    Celtic Cross Films
    Bliss Video Productions
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1400903/?ref_=tt_ov_dr


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    #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by David W. Richardson View Post
    All due respect, novicemonk -- I'm mainly speaking to the OP, who does not have your credentials, probably doesn't know what the industry standard protocols are, etc. I'm mainly talking to the indie filmmakers here who are trying to get 'cool' effects in dangerous ways. I did not mean to be flippant or insulting. My apologies.
    Apology accepted. I think tho, that the OP asked if "most bigger productions today still using blank firing guns or have most switched to airsoft type guns?" My answer is that most bigger productions do still employ the use of blank firing, and are rarely completely VFX (or blank free). The OP asked "So aside from muzzle flash, is there are a reason to still use blank firing guns?", so I gave examples of reasons.

    Your dismissive remark "Good actors know how to act and react. And they will feel a LOT safer if there are NO real guns on the set." was too general. I'd prefer not to drop names, but I've worked with plenty of respected, talented actors who prefer to work with blanks when deemed safe than not at all. If there were no real guns on set, undeniably, they would be safer. But if the insurers or completion bond companies thought having them on set presented unacceptable levels of risk, we would never have them.

    Quote Originally Posted by David W. Richardson View Post
    That said, the stunt coordinator on 'The Crow' was Jeff Imada. At that time, 'The Crow' was his 80th film credit as stunt person or stunt coordinator. Most of those were major Hollywood movies, plus a few well-known TV shows. Needless to say, his knowledge and experience were without question. He was also the personal stunt advisor to Jason Lee. Yet with all of that knowledge and experience and a presumption of an intense concern about safety, they managed to do something stupid with real guns and blanks that cost Mr. Lee his life.
    I think you mean Brandon Lee (not Jason Lee, or Jason Scott Lee). The tragic, avoidable incident on "The Crow" was 23 years ago. At the time the investigation uncovered numerous safety failings. For instance in an earlier scene live ammunition was brought on set as a prop (a no no) and Imada had them removed. I seem to recall hearing that the low-budget , non Union movie, had an over stretched, tired crew, & that other accidents had occurred.

    BTW the ultimate responsibility for gun safety doesn't lie with the stunt coord. You can have gunfire scenes where an Armorer is required on set, but not a stunt coord. But if you have gunfire you are unlikely to have a stunt coord present but no armorer. It's been reported that "The Crow"'s gun wrangler (or armorer) was not on set. No movie, big or small, should have guns being used without a competent armorer present to monitor, check and recheck. On sets now, in the years following "The Crow", you will likely see armorers, First ADs, actors, stunt people and crew very respectful of weapons - showing when weapons are clear, announcing when there will be gunfire, announcing when weapons are hot etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by David W. Richardson View Post
    Which only serves to illustrate that even on professional Hollywood productions with plenty of money for highly skilled and experience people, mistakes can be made. On small indie productions, especially ones with meager budgets, the likelihood of serious, perhaps fatal, mistakes rises exponentially.

    For smaller indie productions, there is no legitimate reason to take risks with the health and safety of your cast and crew by bringing REAL guns onto the shoot. There are too many perfectly good options for achieving the effect safely.
    There's never a legitimate reason to take risks with H&S regardless of budget. I wasn't suggesting that. What I was trying to do is a) answer the OP's question "So aside from muzzle flash, is there are a reason to still use blank firing guns?" b) Point out potential shortcomings with using non-firing props and VFX.

    As filmmakers isn't it useful to know potential shortcomings so we can address them - ie "I want this shot of the guy firing the Glock at 96fps, but at that speed we would likely notice slide action and shell ejecting. How do I approach this?"

    Quote Originally Posted by David W. Richardson View Post
    And again -- I was differentiating between guns designed to shoot ONLY blanks and those capable of shooting both blanks and real bullets. Either could be called a "blank-firing gun". But which one you use makes a huge difference in terms of safety.
    I get that. But many guns which "only" shoot blanks don't get used on films as they can flash/smoke from the "wrong" part.


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    #43
    Chapelgrove Films
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    All valid points, novicemonk. I concede.
    David W. Richardson
    Writer/Producer/Director/Editor
    Chapel Grove Films
    Celtic Cross Films
    Bliss Video Productions
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1400903/?ref_=tt_ov_dr


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    #44
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    Great thread. I remember Jon-Erik Hexum, and his death. I was a kid and thought the was really cool and good looking. I watched Voyagers and Cover Up.
    I know the gun sounds are usually added in post, even when using real guns firing blanks. The norm is to dub bigger gun sounds than the gun actually bring used. For instance, if the gun in the movie is a 9mm, they'll dub the sound of a bigger gun. The gun sound effects are recorded by sound effects guys carefully using mics to capture the best possible sounds...better than the sounds you get on set from the blanks during the filming of the movie.

    Out of all the real guns I've shot and recorded through the years I've never seen them produce daytime muzzle flashes like in movies and tv. The blanks must create extra big flashes, more than firing bullets.


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    #45
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    I thought everyone used "non-guns" now (gas-powered props that have real actions but no muzzle flash). These can be had relatively cheaply, and even eject cartridges.

    For the money, though, I planned a shoot using airsoft guns (a lot of the gas ones have really convincing actions/details). There's no cartridge eject, but I did a screen test with Kramer's pre-packed after effects stuff including 3D modeled cartridges and it looked great.

    Shoot never happened, but I felt confident that I could pull it off if I ever needed to.

    I am a firearms enthusiast and I cannot imagine the nightmare of having a real gun on a movie set.


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