Hollywood Studios Review Gun Safety Protocols Following Deadly ‘Rust’ Shooting Incident


According to Deadline, conversations are currently underway at major television studios, which have carefully reviewed their gun safety policies over the past few days and considered potential changes.
Hollywood has had a long, difficult history with guns, which always comes back into the limelight after tragedy. Shows illustrating gun violence are temporarily suspended after a mass shooting out of respect for the victims. Studies exploring possible links between violent content in movies, TV series and video games are commissioned periodically.
But guns have remained a Hollywood staple; they have been an indelible part of on-screen storytelling since the early days of cinema, solidifying their prominent role across the Western genre, in which “Rust” fits.
There were individual actions, motivated by emotions. Former “The Blacklist” star Megan Boone, originally from Florida, announced on social media in 2018 that her NBC series character “will never carry an assault rifle again” following the high school shooting of Parkland.
After Hutchins’ death, “The Rookie” showrunner Alexi Hawley wrote an internal memo which he described as “an emotional process”. In it, he announced that as of last Friday, “It is now policy on The Rookie that all shots on set will be Air Soft weapons with CG muzzle flashes added in post. There will be more guns “live” in the series. The safety of our cast and crew is too important. Any risk is too much risk. “
“The Rookie” won’t be alone. “Mare of Easttown” director Craig Zobel revealed after the “Rust” incident that all shots on the popular HBO limited series are digital. “There is no longer any reason to have blank loaded guns or anything on the set. It should just be banned completely. There are computers now,” he wrote on Twitter.
Eric Kripke, showrunner for Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys,” tweeted, “No more blanks on any of my sets. We’ll be using VFX muzzle flashes. Who’s with me?”
Purists have argued that using Air Soft guns and special effects is not the same as the real thing and that genuine recoil can only be produced by a real weapon. But as Zobel countered about the use of digital gunshots onscreen, “You can probably tell, but who cares? It’s an unnecessary risk.”
As industry discussions continue, there is no indication that a studio or streamer has a general policy banning “live” weapons from all of their shows. But security protocols are carefully reviewed and strengthened.
The feeling I hear is that most studios consider the existing warranties to be sufficient. Indeed, it was often low-budget independent films outside of the studio system that were prone to accidents. ‘Rust’ had the budget for an average episode of a high-end drama series, around $ 6-7 million, and a tight 21-day filming schedule.
As Neal W Zoromski, a props veteran who turned down an offer to join “Rust,” told a news outlet, he first requested a department of five technicians, which would be the norm in the company.
After concessions, he changed his request to two experienced crew members: an assistant prop master and a gunsmith, who wields prop guns. He was told that the film could only afford one person to take care of all of these tasks, which prompted Zoromski to move on.
Due to the large budget gap between studio and independent productions, a universal ban on live guns on sets might be the only solution to ensure the safety of all projects, large and small.
According to the deadline, a popular campaign to ban the use of live firearms in filming is already gaining momentum. A Change.org petition, started by filmmaker Bandar Albuliwi, has amassed 30,000 signatures since Friday, including support from filmmakers and stars, and has caught the attention of lawmakers. (ANI)

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