Saturday, November 28, 2009

Prop weapons

Gun nuts are everywhere. Even in countries where guns are illegal. Consequently, there's a large international market for adult-sized toy guns. Cheap plastic "airsoft" guns are a boon to the extreme low budget filmmaker. That and software to add muzzle flashes and shell casings popping out to your movie. And blood spatter.

Blanks are loud and dangerous. People have been killed by them.

One director told the story. He loaded a blank cartridge into a high powered rifle and handed it to the actor who immediately aimed it at him. The director dived for cover.

"Aw, I wanted to shoot you!" the actor said.

The poor actor had only worked with very low powered blanks on stage. The blank loaded into that rifle would have been deadly at that range. And if the director hadn't dived for cover, the actor would have pulled the trigger.

Today, the only danger we face is that of being humiliated by people spotting us acting out scenes with toy guns.

We live in a golden age! Almost.

I did watch A Fool There Was a while back, the 1915 silent movie, a story of lust and seduction. Theda Bara plays a "vamp" who takes revenge on a snooty bourgeois woman's sleight by taking her husband away from her. He gets weaker and weaker as Theda sucks the life out of him. The wife tries to get him back, but he's unable to pry himself away.

It looked so easy! Anybody could make a movie back then! If only film hadn't cost so much! And average income wasn't so low!

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