Alec Baldwin case: firearms, what are the rules on filming?

► What do we know about the Alec Baldwin affair?

The drama happened Thursday, October 21 at the Bonanza Creek ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the western United States, on the set of Rust, a western recounting an accidental homicide in which American actor Alec Baldwin stars.

Director of Photography, Halyna Hutchins, and Director, Joel Souza, “Were shot and wounded when Alec Baldwin unloaded a gun used for filming”Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Services said. Halyna Hutchins, 42, is dead, and Joel Souza, 48, has been admitted to intensive care.

A production spokesperson said it was a ” accident “ involving an accessory to be blank loaded. The investigation continued on Friday and no prosecution has been initiated at this point.

► What types of firearms are used on film shoots?

In France, the shootings call on “Real firearms transformed for blank shooting”, explains Frédéric Cauvy, director of the company Armes Cauvy, specializing in the rental of this type of accessories for cinema, television and theater, which recently worked on the series HPIor the movieBlack Box. As a reminder, blank cartridges do not send projectiles.

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“Instead of fixing a removable metal blank firing cap on the weapons, as the military do for exercises, we permanently insert inside the barrel a large metal part intended to block a possible real bullet in the barrel. charger. “ For this operation, it is necessary to remove locks on the moving parts of the weapon. “Only an armory specialist can manufacture these parts and put them back in place”, specifies Frédéric Cauvy.

► What are the safety rules for shooting on set?

The use of firearms is strictly regulated. “We are checked every six months by the defense ministry and by the prefecture, like a normal armory”, emphasizes the specialist in these accessories, who regularly sends his teams of gunsmiths to the shoots to ensure good safety conditions.

These specialists explain to the actors how to hold a weapon, how to shoot, what safety distances must be respected to avoid any accident due to the flame caused by the detonation. “When firing, details Frédéric Cauvy, there is never nobody in the axis, not for fear of a real bullet, but to avoid the projection of possible grains of powder which have not had time to be consumed and which can burn the skin or damage the camera. If the shot is made in the direction of it, it is protected and we ask the operators not to stand behind it. “

“As for a stunt for which the safety conditions are not guaranteed, our teams can refuse to shoot if the rules are not respected”, points out Frédéric Cauvy.

It is possible that this protocol is different in the United States, where the tragedy took place. The professional specifies that he has worked with many American actors, “Most of whom are well trained in handling weapons” within the framework of the exercise of their profession. The investigation will tell if there has been a malfunction or malice.


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