The Rookie bans ‘live’ guns on set

"All gunfire on set will be Air Soft guns with CG muzzle flashes added in post," says US showrunner.

Following the tragic shooting on the set of the film Rust, police procedural The Rookie has banned “live” guns on set.

Showrunner Alexi Hawley announced the new policy in a memo to staff on Friday.

“As of today, it is now policy on The Rookie that all gunfire on set will be Air Soft guns with CG muzzle flashes added in post,” Hawley wrote. “There will be no more ‘live’ weapons on the show. The safety of our cast and crew is too important. Any risk is too much risk.”

Airsoft guns are replica toy guns used in airsoft sports.

The US entertainment industry is reeling following the tragic incident on the New Mexico set. Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza injured when a prop gun held by Baldwin discharged.

Baldwin spoke out for the first time today following the shooting, saying “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness” over the tragedy. Baldwin is cooperating in the investigation by Santa Fe officials. No charges have been filed.

The Rookie stars Nathan Fillion as John Nolan, the oldest rookie at the Los Angeles Police Department and screens in Australia on Seven.

Meanwhile sources on Rust have told the LA Times that vital safety protocols, including regular gun inspections, were not strictly followed, and at least one camera operator working alongside Hutchins alleges there had been two accidental prop gun discharges on the set days earlier.

“There should have been an investigation into what happened,” a crew member told the newspaper. “There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush.”

Source: Deadline, Guardian

11 Responses

  1. Can someone explain why live rounds are used in a fictional TV show? Does the average viewer really notice? I personally can’t pick out when live rounds are used or not, before the Rust incident I wasn’t even aware live rounds were used.

  2. This Hollywood reaction is to be anticipated, and I expect the US anti gun lobby groups, and advocates for less graphic violence in cinema and on TV will have their say as too, but TV and movie production is an industry and still must have a diversity of product for all audiences not just for those with the loudest social media agenda to promote, I doubt that ‘Saving Private Ryan’ would have set the bench mark for making war movies without the authentic firefights and violence shown.
    Interestingly, two actors well known for their expertise handling weapons in movies; Steve McQueen and Lee Marvin both credited their military training for getting the authenticity right, this is something not mentioned, actors should be provided full training and acquire a license in handling, checking and using firearms as a requirement for being on the set. actors need to be able to safety check weapons themselves and understand safety protocols like not pointing a weapon directly at anyone.

    1. The idea that actors should be trained to do the work has been considered and rejected. Actors have to worry about learning lines, taking instruction from Directors and work very long days doing that. Having an Assistant Director in charge of safely and a profession Armourer is what has been proven to work. As long as they are properly trained, licensed and follow the rules. The Rookie is just virtue signalling because they are already under pressure from anti-police and anti-gun activists. There hasn’t been any forensics, ballistics or proper interviews done yet. All they and the media are going off that the warrant for the gun that Baldwin claimed he was told was “Cold”. The ABC claimed that a real round was fired, something nobody has given evidence of yet.

      1. I’m sure quite a few Hollywood actors own real guns and if they do then they should also be trained in firing and maintaining the gun too, they would put themselves and others at risk if they didn’t.

  3. I understand why they may make this movie, but honestly. This should be completely unnecessary if there are no live rounds and proper gun safety on set.

    Having working cars on a set is far more dangerous, even with a good stunt team than using real guns with proper gun safety.

  4. It says alot that one incident on a movie set will lead to several sensible changes in the make believe world but in the real world mass killings are still an almost daily reality in America and nothing ever changes.

  5. Compositing muzzle flashes is still fledgling and hit-and-miss in its quality. The YouTubers “Corridor Crew” have addressed some of the shortcomings in their videos, giving a crash course introduction to VFX artists of where they’re going wrong and falling short, so I hope that this kind of industry-wide change that I am expecting to happen in the wake of this tragedy will mean their muzzle-flash comps will improve rapidly as it becomes standard practice.

  6. The Rookie has had some of the best choreographed gun fights on TV. When other shows have tried this tocut costs it has looked dreadful. CGI muzzle flashes and smoke look pale, to regular and thus fake, especially in daylight. The action of bracing against recoil is the opposite to lifting the tip up. You don’t see slides operate. You see CGI cartridges fly into the air everywhere and then disappear. They tend to show one fixed shot, then cut away and cut back for another fixed shot to make it easier to animate, and fights look like the blaster fights in the original Star Wars, before Lucas redid them. But I guess we will get a chance to see for ourselves how far the technology has come in the middle of next season.

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