Hollywood is still reeling from the tragic events on the set of Rust last week. Star Alec Baldwin was handed a prop gun that, according to court records, was deemed safe to use. The on-set incident let to the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the wounding of director Joel Souza.
That incident has opened up many conversations about gun safety on set, with disquiet beginning to build over corners being cut on Rust and dire warnings from union members prior to the incident that they were playing with fire. We’ll likely get a clearer picture of exactly what went wrong as the investigation continues, but even before then, we’re seeing a pushback against prop guns firing blanks.
A leading voice in this new movement is The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke, who says in future he’ll only use CGI muzzle flashes and calls for others to stand with him:
The Boys VFX supervisor Stephan Fleet also contributed to the thread, saying custom-designed screen guns would be ideal and that “a totally fake handgun with spring loaded kick, a slide, shell discharge, vapor smoke, and an LED flash light” should be developed.
Other supportive responses came from The Boys star Jack Quaid, Supernatural and The Twilight Zone’s Keegan Connor Tracey, and The Sandman creator Neil Gaiman, who indicated that any future production he’s a part of will ban prop guns firing blanks.
It sounds as if this is a well overdue change, particularly as off-the-shelf effects software can convincingly simulate gunfire on screen. It’s just a shame that it took a tragedy to give Hollywood the push forward.
The Boys will return on Amazon Prime in 2022.