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Front Towards Enemy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently working as armorer and prop designer for a low-budget series. I can't go into too many details, as I signed a non-disclosure agreement, but what I can say is that I am insistent on making the weaponry used realistic to the characters, and making sure they use the weapons in a real world way. Too many movies and TV shows misrepresent firearms by placing ridiculous, over the top weapons int he hands of actors/actresses who look like they've never held a gun before (some haven't).

What's worse is that some of these productions end up falling into the tropes concerning firearms that only succeed in bolstering the idea that "assault rifles" can blow up cars and never run out of ammunition, that dual-wielding pistols not only looks cool, but is accurate and can send a bad guy flying out a ten-story window, and that every schoolteacher and plumber can inexplicably pull out a desert eagle or MP5 when the zombies come.

Being "on the inside", I feel that it is my duty to represent firearms and their users in a realistic way, and to me that means starting with guns the characters would actually use or have access to. As an example, currently I have two "FBI agents" armed with firearms approved by the FBI for carry. The younger female agent carries a Glock 26 Gen4, and the older male agent carries an XD duty model in a shoulder holster. Apart from arming them, I've also had to train them the proper way to draw their weapons, aim, move while looking down the sights, and a hundred other things that make them appear to be trained federal agents. Basically, I had a couple of days to accomplish what the fbi academy had weeks to do, and I succeeded fairly well.

On this and future films, rest assured that I'm not going to misrepresent firearms to the audience, nor will I suffer any producer or director to do so. Maybe I can't change Hollywierd, or alter the pop-culture and mass media views of firearms and their owners, but I will do my part to NOT be a part of it, and to try and make sure that every film and show I work on is accurate and fair. Heck, by not presenting them as automated machines of death and destruction, maybe I can make firearms look so boring that the libs will simply wander off and forget about them. :D:
 

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Semper Fi
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Good for you though I bet at some point the Series need for ratings is going to override your attempts at realism.
 

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Front Towards Enemy
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good for you though I bet at some point the Series need for ratings is going to override your attempts at realism.
I'm not really too concerned about that. They have a limited budget for weapons. Most are coming out of my own personal collection. That, and I kind of baffled the producer (a pretty cool guy) with my firearms knowledge at the start, so I have free reign over all things weaponry at this point. :thumb:

Although there's rumors that at SOME point...in SOME production that I MAY be attached to, there will be a need for a big explosion, probably CG. I was asked if I had a dummy "bazooka" or knew how to make fake C4 or anything. I just grinned.

I love...this...job. :cool:
 

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Semper Fi
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This is in CA? Better hope AB1511 doesn't pass. That's the Bill to make it illegal to loan your weapons to anyone not in your immediate family.

Plus I thought CA already had some strict rules covering "Movie" guns?
 

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Front Towards Enemy
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is in CA? Better hope AB1511 doesn't pass. That's the Bill to make it illegal to loan your weapons to anyone not in your immediate family.

Plus I thought CA already had some strict rules covering "Movie" guns?
No, I'm not in CA. I'm out east. More and more movies and serials are filming in places like Georgia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and the like, especially productions that need pristine wilderness settings or the small town USA feel. I live in a pretty lax state when it comes to virtually any gun laws.

I wouldn't live or work in California, film industry or otherwise. Too many snobs and too many laws in the biz there.
 

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Semper Fi
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No problem and I understand, I was just unsure since you mentioned Hollyweird.
 

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I'm currently working as armorer and prop designer for a low-budget series. I can't go into too many details, as I signed a non-disclosure agreement, but what I can say is that I am insistent on making the weaponry used realistic to the characters, and making sure they use the weapons in a real world way. Too many movies and TV shows misrepresent firearms by placing ridiculous, over the top weapons int he hands of actors/actresses who look like they've never held a gun before (some haven't).

What's worse is that some of these productions end up falling into the tropes concerning firearms that only succeed in bolstering the idea that "assault rifles" can blow up cars and never run out of ammunition, that dual-wielding pistols not only looks cool, but is accurate and can send a bad guy flying out a ten-story window, and that every schoolteacher and plumber can inexplicably pull out a desert eagle or MP5 when the zombies come.

Being "on the inside", I feel that it is my duty to represent firearms and their users in a realistic way, and to me that means starting with guns the characters would actually use or have access to. As an example, currently I have two "FBI agents" armed with firearms approved by the FBI for carry. The younger female agent carries a Glock 26 Gen4, and the older male agent carries an XD duty model in a shoulder holster. Apart from arming them, I've also had to train them the proper way to draw their weapons, aim, move while looking down the sights, and a hundred other things that make them appear to be trained federal agents. Basically, I had a couple of days to accomplish what the fbi academy had weeks to do, and I succeeded fairly well.

On this and future films, rest assured that I'm not going to misrepresent firearms to the audience, nor will I suffer any producer or director to do so. Maybe I can't change Hollywierd, or alter the pop-culture and mass media views of firearms and their owners, but I will do my part to NOT be a part of it, and to try and make sure that every film and show I work on is accurate and fair. Heck, by not presenting them as automated machines of death and destruction, maybe I can make firearms look so boring that the libs will simply wander off and forget about them. :D:
Every little bit helps....
You are addressing one of my pet peeves.
I have had to deal with some of the uninformed concerning the capabilities of firearms due to movie fantasy...
It can be hilarious.
 

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Front Towards Enemy
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Every little bit helps....
You are addressing one of my pet peeves.
I have had to deal with some of the uninformed concerning the capabilities of firearms due to movie fantasy...
It can be hilarious.
I have to wonder how many people woking on this set even know the capabilities of the firearms there. Well, we have a couple of ex-military guys and a LEO in the cast who do, but the others, probably not. Some of them I think actually have the itch to see big, bad firearms like AKs, miniguns and Barret .50's. The show don't call for that kind of hardware, and to include it in the shooting would be preposterous and ruin the plot.

There's not going to be alot of shooting in this series. When the scenes arise where a character has to fire a weapon, it's already written in stone that I am God himself on the set. When I went over "Da Rules" of firing a weapon on set, I was practically telling the production Co. how it was going to be. Safety takes precedence over the deadline, the shots, the acting, and everything else. You should have seen the look on one guy's face when i said that blanks can kill someone. You would have thought that I'd placed the world upon his shoulders and the lives of a bus-full of orphans in his hands. :D:

montana wolfie mentioned problems with LEOs stemming from Hollywood interpretation of firearms. I haven't had that problem yet, but there WAS the time I was working on a film, part of which took place in a police department. Due to time and budget restraints, we got permission to use an actual police department, during business hours, with on-duty cops and public coming and going. There I was, standing in the forecourt of a police station, rifle on my back, two pistols stuck in my belt, holding a sword and a shotgun.

You ever feel like you SHOULD be getting arrested, but for some reason, no one's doing it? :upsidedown:
 

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Sounds like an awesome job!

Thank you for doing your best to represent guns and their usage realistically. I think the best way to fight the gun grabbers is by educating non gun-owners about firearms. For most people who don't own firearms, the only knowledge they have of them comes from tv and movies.
If the average person (regardless of political orientation) understood the difference between a clip and a magazine and semi-auto vs. auto, they would see through the bull**** of the "ghost guns that can fire 30 caliber magazine clips per second" politicians.
 

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Thanks for doing your part to help out us gun nuts.

I do find it funny the hollywood elite love to rail against evil guns but they sure crank out movies about them as fast as they can.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

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My D does some of this as well. She's not an armorer; works special effects - but that's not the CG kind. It does however make for some very interesting work experiences! (Even if the scenes get cut).
 

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Corpsman Up
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Glock and XD? My neighbor, an FBI Academy instructor and HRT member, carries a SIG in 40 cal. I've read the Fibbies are changing to 9 mil. I guess Glock and XD are the brands. I will say that my XDm is the best shooter I've ever held.
 

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Lol!!!
Lt. Drake my friend..
The word was un-informed AKA tourists mostly... not LEO'S
I need to be clear in my posts

Now if you will excuse me I need to go hide
 

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Semper Fi
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biggest pet peeve in the TV/Movie world?
Racking the slide on a weapon that should already be loaded.
Yeah, we JUST saw them shoot someone/thing and yet in the next scene they rack the slide before opening a door. :xeye:
 
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in the woods
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There is an article about the filming of the Revenant and the rifle Hugh Glass owned in American Rifleman which pertains close to just the job you do, Lt. Drake. Here's the link.

In that movie, historical accuracy to Glass' rifle had to be reproduced by an armorer. The rifle was a Joseph Angstadt .53 cal octagonal barrel flintlock. Beautiful and expensive at the time. Good horse went for $10 to $20, the rifle was $40.

In the fictional book, The Revenant by Michael Punke, the rifle was a short one, 36 inch long. Well, Ron Luckenbill, the guy supplied and made a copy of the rifle used in the film, constructed a long rifle per historical accuracy and refused to cut the barrel when requested. Said it'd be like cutting off an arm of one of his kids.

They had someone else do the cutting.

Regarding handling, loading of the flintlocks to keep things historically accurate:
Clay Landry, a living historian of the mountain man/fur trade era for the past 45 years, was hired as a technical advisor to help set up a period correct trapping outpost and put the actors through a boot camp that exposed them to the ways of the wilderness frontiersmen of the 1820s. He related that DiCaprio and Hardy knew their way around firearms and the basics of safe handling, but they had no experience with guns from the flintlock period. Landry educated them to the point that they really look like they know what they are doing when you see them handling, loading and firing their guns on film.
Kudos on keeping things accurate. Means a lot to firearm lovers everywhere.



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