Author Topic: SAFETY: Stage weapon safety (split from Can't do that on stage)  (Read 3036 times)

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loebtmc

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You don't punch someone like this, because it looks like you're punching them in the shoulder. You actually have to aim for their face!  When you shoot off a stage gun, you should actually aim it at the intended target.

um, not sure if you are being cynical or not, but no, you never, ever aim at your intended target with a weapon - and the whole point of fight choreo is to make it look as if you are hitting X while actually doing Y - in tiny houses that are less forgiving, the compromise between sightlines and safety can be a challenge but still require precision and technique since safety will always trump
« Last Edit: Dec 15, 2009, 01:27 am by Rebbe »

Bwoodbury

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Re:
« Reply #1 on: Sep 15, 2009, 07:55 pm »
I've always been taught with stage firearms aiming at the target is absolutely the safest way to go. The end is stopped, but there is still powder spraying from the sides. That makes in front the safest.

loebtmc

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Re:
« Reply #2 on: Sep 15, 2009, 08:00 pm »
I have always been taught to point a weapon above or to the side (depending on who you are supposed to be aiming at) - so in case there ever is an accident, the trajectory is not AT the person. I am not a weapons master, and perhaps things have changed since I did 10 years of plays in a row each with guns and knives a little bit ago, but everyone I ever worked with insisted on that point - you never, EVER point a weapon directly at someone. Ever.

« Last Edit: Sep 16, 2009, 02:40 am by loebtmc »

hbelden

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Re:
« Reply #3 on: Sep 15, 2009, 08:52 pm »
I'm with you 100% loebtmc.  Yes, with a prop gun the front is blocked and the powder is expelled out the side of the gun - but that just means that you hold the gun away from your body (or from anybody else's)!  Always aim a gun - any gun, even a water pistol, unless it's being used as a water pistol - off line, slightly upstage of your target.

If I were an actor, I would not take even a .005% chance that I could actually shoot a scene partner.  Think what nightmares I would have for the rest of my life!  However, as the actor I am not constantly in control of the firearm; I didn't select the prop or the round that went into it; I have no way of knowing if the prop was somehow switched backstage accidentally or with malice.  The way I, personally, as an actor, make certain that I could never shoot an actor is I don't aim at my scene partner.
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Re:
« Reply #4 on: Sep 16, 2009, 12:28 am »
Yes, with a prop gun the front is blocked and the powder is expelled out the side of the gun - but that just means that you hold the gun away from your body (or from anybody else's)!  Always aim a gun - any gun, even a water pistol, unless it's being used as a water pistol - off line, slightly upstage of your target.

<cut>
 I have no way of knowing if the prop was somehow switched backstage accidentally or with malice.  The way I, personally, as an actor, make certain that I could never shoot an actor is I don't aim at my scene partner.

We are distinctly off-topic (perhaps a mod could break this out into a new thread.) but just wanted to add an additional 2cents.

Yes, you want to aim slightly UPSTAGE of the target/person.  In addition to not pointing at your weapon (gun, knife, sword) at the person, you also want to avoid pointing at the audience.  Even if it is a gun that you KNOW doesn't have bullets/blanks in it, the audience can't be sure and it can subconsciously cause them anxiety.

And yes, there is a discharge from the side of the gun and want to make sure other actors are a safe distance away or are otherwise protected when at the side of the gun. 

Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee's son, was killed on set during the filming of The Crow.  This was a major studio film, with trained experts and THEY made a mistake; it's folly to think that you couldn't too.

maximillionx

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Re:
« Reply #5 on: Sep 16, 2009, 10:52 am »
Apologies for getting the thread off topic...just to clarify:

When blocking a "right hook" type punch in an upstage downstage type scenario (like in a proscenium theatre), you have to aim at the face of the person, also called the ZMD, Zone of Maximus Destruction.  Your fist is 12-16 inches away from their face, as well as an understanding between the two combatants.  Aim and accuracy is important, otherwise it's sloppy and dangerous.

And the firing the weapon, I am aware of not firing it directly at a person and am quite familiar with the "Crow" story.  The specifics of my story, which I should have included, were when working on Les Mis, an actor unconvincingly fired the gun.  It was supposed to be pointed at a specific target against a wall, and he fired it towards the ground, without miming the correct kickback or holding it properly.  These were cap-gun type rifles, no ammunition.  It took a few rehearsals to teach him how a real rifle would fire.

Again, apologies to the forum for the bit of lash-back that was created by my post.  Got to be more specific next time. Thanks and appreciation for the discussion on safety everyone.

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