View Full Version : Real guns vs. fake guns?


Alphie
03-30-2005, 08:48 PM
We are about ready to shoot "Waiting on Alphie" and still have the fundamental question of using real guns or fake guns for our characters. The fake guns we have look too fake but the real ones are .... well, real. Is it legal for our actors to handle real guns? Is it legal if someone on the crew has the hand gun license? What have others done in this situation?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

www.waitingonalphiemovie.com (http://www.waitingonalphiemovie.com)

Mikey D
03-30-2005, 08:56 PM
Rent real looking fake guns. I was in a stage production in college in which I danced a waltz with a hand gun. Looked real, felt real, and yet.....

In fact unless my memory fails me (twas college after all) it even came with some sort of cap/blank. Probably not film quality sound, but a nice flash and a bit of smoke too.

I have no idea something like would cost but I know we rented them from the same place that we rented our costumes.

Zensteve
03-30-2005, 09:05 PM
Ask your friends if they happen to have any older Airsoft guns about. (The ones without the orange tips) They are pretty cheap, and look very realistic.

If you look up some websites for Airsoft dealers, there are a couple that sell "broken" ones, for use as props too. Too much of a hassle to repair for intended use, so they flog them off in bundles of 5 or 10.

Don't use a real gun, loaded or not... nor the ones that fire blanks. Unless of course, your actors relish the idea of being the next Brandon Lee.

cibao
03-30-2005, 09:12 PM
We are about ready to shoot "Waiting on Alphie" and still have the fundamental question of using real guns or fake guns for our characters. The fake guns we have look too fake but the real ones are .... well, real. Is it legal for our actors to handle real guns? Is it legal if someone on the crew has the hand gun license? What have others done in this situation?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

www.waitingonalphiemovie.com (http://www.waitingonalphiemovie.com)

Alphie...I'd go with fake guns unless you have someone who is completely professional with firearms, and will ensure that the weapons are safe...that there is no REAL ammunition anywhere near the guns, searches the crew and actors before the use...inspects the gun...has a second person inspect them, and maybe a third.

Remember Bruce Lee's son was killed on set due to the discharge of a FAKE gun. Think what a real one can do, and wonder if it's worth the loss of a life or a limb.

And even professionals can make idiot moves:

http://www.thegunzone.com/mos/dea-nd.html

A DEA agent shot himself in the leg while giving a anti gun lecture.

Chris

Spatula
03-30-2005, 09:20 PM
Get better fake guns or use the ones you have.
Melt the real ones.

Shaw
03-30-2005, 09:41 PM
Zen, you wouldn't happen to have any of those links on hand would you? If their that cheap I could definitely stock up on some at the moment for future use :D

Will Vincent
03-30-2005, 10:19 PM
I just picked up a beretta style airsoft from www.iisports.com it was $50 with a silencer and shipping.. figure I'll just paint over the orange tip. That's an electric one with the simulated 'blow back' They've got some cheaper spring ones, and they have MANY styles, hand gun, rifle, shotgun, etc

They're designed to look just like the real guns as far as I can tell. Also, that model paint from estes or whatever is pretty cheap, should work on plastic (since it's used for scale models afterall) and they've got a number of 'gun metal' colors and such. :D

FightDesigner
07-15-2007, 05:43 PM
Most of the electric blowback ones aren't very good- extra button on the grip under the trigger noise, slow movement, noisy motor, etc. The gas blowback airsoft guns can be pretty nice though, and are worth the extra money- but yeah, you need to scrape off the orange paint and re-paint it, which can look bad if not done properly.

Or you can buy or rent better fake guns... say, from someone like http://www.fightdesigner.com. Or so I've heard.:D

While real guns can be used, and can fire blanks (revolvers and pump shotguns are often used since they don't have to be modified to shoot blanks without jamming, and I've done that myself), there are some very obvious safety and legal ramifications there in terms of where you can use them, how you transport them, how you buy or borrow or rent them, who can use them (no felons, for example, and I've run into that problem on set before), insurance hassles, etc.

Depending on what kind of gun you want to use, there may be pretty realistic but totally inert replicas available if it doesn't have to fire on screen.

cr125rmxr
02-21-2008, 02:17 PM
ive run into the same problem before and let me go ahead and say No to real guns...too many legal issues and accident hazards do not make it worth the hassle. However you can still get by making good looking fake guns with a relatively cheap alternative. There are C02 replica guns for sale online and at some sport retailers. For instance i purchased a walther handgun replica that operates the exact same as the real gun. It cocks to arm the weapon, has a clip, and when fired kicks the gun just like its supposed to. Also as a bonus, with a fresh C02 there is a burst of c02 that looks like gun smoke coming out of the barrel. these guns look far better than the cheap plastic airsoft guns. It might mean spending a little money but search around. I got mine at walmart for 60 bucks. hope this helps a little!

Troy Patton
/Call the Law Productions

cr125rmxr
02-21-2008, 02:31 PM
This might help too..in my scene there was a gunman sitting behind a driver in a car...the shot first was from behind the seat where the gun fired, then the shot was from outside the car infront of the window..we shot a paintball with red gel on the window (inside the car, big mess) but it made a brain splatter effect! worked awesome! especially when the paintball casing dripped down made it look like skull bits!

barnaclelapse
03-07-2008, 11:13 AM
Yeah, it definitely sounds like renting some good-looking fake ones is far less a bother than what would happen if you got in trouble with some good-looking real ones.

Heh.

And that's really interesting about the brain splatter effect you nailed.

I would have loved to have seen that.

StevenUK
03-07-2008, 04:57 PM
Fake guns definitely.

Accidents happen.

Think about splashing out on an armourer. Thankfully in the UK we don't have a choice, go fake, go pro or don't bother.

phoenix2005
05-10-2008, 09:34 PM
We are about ready to shoot "Waiting on Alphie" and still have the fundamental question of using real guns or fake guns for our characters. The fake guns we have look too fake but the real ones are .... well, real. Is it legal for our actors to handle real guns? Is it legal if someone on the crew has the hand gun license? What have others done in this situation?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

www.waitingonalphiemovie.com (http://www.waitingonalphiemovie.com)

Okay, you might get some well intentioned but ultimately wrong information from a bunch of sources. Being that I am a weapons wrangler IN THE INDUSTRY I will try my best to answer your questions.

Question one: Is it legal for our actors to handle real guns?
Answer: Do you live in the USA? I'm not sure if you're in NEW YORK or the U.K. I can't speak for the idiotic gun laws of Britain so I'll assume you're in the USA. Of course it's LEGAL for your actors to handle real guns (unless they are convicted felons) but any person without a criminal record, Restraining order or adjucated mentally ill, can hold, use and brandish a live gun within the confines of legal activity. Reckless brandishment is actually illegal in most localities. But filming a movie is not considered reckless brandishment, especially after you've acquired your filming permits and notified the local police. Just make sure your actors don't 'horseplay' between takes. That's why most productions have a weapons wrangler. Not only can they train the actors in 'safe usage' they are also 'babysitters', yanking the weapons away from the actors RIGHT after the take and handing it back to them right BEFORE the next take.

Question: Is it legal if someone on the crew has the hand gun license?
Answer: If you're in the USA, what state are you in? In Illinois they require a FOID (firearm owner's ID) card, but it doesn't address loaning the weapon to an actor (which is essentially you are doing any time you hand a weapon to the person standing right next to you). If you're in the evil empire of NYC, then there is rarely a situation where you can use a real gun (in fact a lot of MAJOR motion pictures there have to use stupid looking fake guns because of the dumb laws in NYC :no: - (Law&Order SVU uses a lot of funky acetylene gas fake guns, the movie "The Siege", Denzel Washington uses a fake gun, etc.) But in most states in the USA, there is no specific HAND GUN LICENSE. After all in nearly all states, you don't need a license to POSSESS, but some require a permit to purchase a NEW GUN. There is no illegality of having a real gun on set (we don't live in a police state .... yet) Now as for gun SAFETY, that's a completely different matter. Considering there ARE laws against having a weapon that's loaded with LIVE ROUNDS in a public area, is supposed to be a moot point since a movie set should NEVER have live rounds EVER. (blanks are not considered live rounds) You need to have that weapon under the control of a knowledgeable person at all times.


Question: What have others done in this situation?
Answer: Well, for one, I think that REAL GUNS with real blanks are the Bomb. Most digital flashes look like crap and don't do several important things (a) there is no gas or slight smoke (there's always a little smoke) from the gun firing, (b) there is no cartridge ejecting (c) the slide is not moving (d) the actor is not reacting realistically (e) there is no ambient light reflecting off the actor (and other surfaces) from the flash of the gun (f) there is no recoil evident. Due to your inquiry, you seem to have very little knowledge of weapons or weapons law (which is not a bad thing, but it means that you really should have someone KNOWLEDGEABLE on set to advise you, regardless of what you try to do. )

If there is NO ONE who knows guns well and knows their safety and common sense regarding weapons in films, you may have to use fake guns and put in the flash later. It's too bad. Dealing with guns on set is a daily occurence for me and it's second nature. :D

[edit] sorry that I misread the DATE of your original post. I am interested to see what you did in the film. But I am still keeping this post to offer a varied viewpoint to those who eschew live guns. They are right about one thing, which is good advice for all filmmakers. "If you don't know jack about live guns, don't play with them. If you can, get a professional or expert to help you if you want to use live guns. :D

phoenix2005
05-10-2008, 09:38 PM
Get better fake guns or use the ones you have.
Melt the real ones.


DUMB statement from someone who obviously has a hate for guns..... :D