There have been deaths on film sets in British Columbia, but no deaths from gun prop.

Prop masters say that while live ammunition is not allowed on Canadian film sets, they treat each weapon as if it were a loaded weapon to ensure safety.

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British Columbia’s Hollywood North has had its share of accidents and even deaths on film sets, but there have been no firearm deaths.


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Last year, a woman was paralyzed after a serious accident on the Vancouver set of Batwoman.

Amanda Smith, a Vancouver comedian, was working as a production assistant under the Georgia Viaduct when the bucket of a telehandler was placed over her head.

The Warner Bros. production of Batwoman has also been criticized lately by actress Ruby Rose, who alleges unsafe working conditions on set. Rose, who worked for a season as superhero Kate Kane and uses hers / them pronouns, alleges they left after an on-set injury left them with broken necks and ribs, according to a report from CNN.

Postmedia contacted Warner Bros. Television to comment on the allegations, but did not receive a response.

Nevertheless, in a statement to CNN , Warner Bros. disputed Rose’s claims, saying the company “had decided not to exercise its option to hire Ruby for the second season of Batwoman based on multiple complaints about workplace behavior that were thoroughly reviewed and handled. privately out of respect for everyone involved. “


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Also in Vancouver, stuntman Joi “SJ” Harris died in 2017 while working on the set of Deadpool 2. Witnesses said the stunt driver had been carrying a motorcycle down some stairs in Jack Poole Plaza when she lost control of his bike. jumped a sidewalk and crashed into a glass window in Shaw Tower.

In 2014, an unidentified security guard was killed on the Invasion Productions television series Falling Skies after a truck rolled backwards and pinned him against a tree.

There have been several other vehicle-related injuries on sets in BC

In 2019, one person was injured in a car accident at the Netflix production Brand New Cherry Flavor filming in Burnaby, while another was injured when a truck driver on the Okanagan set of the Ron Perlman film The Last Victim lost the control when the driver stepped on the accelerator. pedal instead of brake while filming a scene.


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Still, gun deaths, like the death of Halyna Hutchins on Thursday on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust, are rare. Brandon Lee, son of the late martial artist Bruce Lee, died in 1993 after he was shot in the abdomen after a gun misfired while on the set of The Crow.

But no cases of prop gun accidents have been reported in British Columbia, which is home to a film and television industry worth more than $ 3 billion.

Vancouver Propmaster Dustin Lange says that’s because while live ammunition is not allowed on Canadian movie sets, propmasters and gunsmiths start with the assumption that each gun is loaded as one. first layer to ensure safety.

Sometimes they will use replica weapons for safety, but usually if there is a close up shot of the gun they will use a real firearm that shoots blank rounds.


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“We have very strict firearm laws here that we comply with. It is against the law in Canada to have live ammunition on set, ”he said, adding that they have several security steps they must follow, including opening the gun to show actors and crew members that there are no bullets.

“We clean and secure the firearm even before it reaches the set,” he said. Every time the camera shows a close-up shot with a handgun, it is not an actual live shot, he added.

Under the Canadian Firearms Act, anyone operating a firearm on a movie set requires a commercial firearms license and must be trained.

Dean Goodine, a Summerland-based prop master who has worked on the set with Baldwin, said the news of what happened to Baldwin was harsh.

“There have been a couple of sleepless nights thinking about what happened,” he said.


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Goodine, who has never seen a gun accident on set in her 36-year career, said there is a very strict five-step security check for all guns on set.

“If we determine that we cannot fire a target correctly, then we will say that we should CGI this muzzle flash,” he said.

Shooting targets, which are cartridges designed to simulate shots that don’t have projectiles on the end, can still be dangerous, he said, so they never have the actor point the gun at someone else.

“You don’t want anyone in front of him because little pieces of brass particles can come off,” he said. “But there is no lethal projection.”

Goodine also said that he will open the firearm and show crew members that it is safe.

“I always check the barrels to make sure there is nothing there. Always. I shine a light on the barrels to show people that there is nothing that can come out. “

Baldwin received what was described as a safe “cold gun” on the set of his movie “Rust,” but the gun contained real bullets when it was fired, according to details of the police investigation into the fatal shooting released Friday.

The shot struck Hutchins in the chest and Principal Joel Souza, who was sitting behind her, on the shoulder, according to a county sheriff’s affidavit filed in Santa Fe magistrates court.

Hutchins died from her injuries and Souza was injured, but has since been released from a local hospital.

—With Reuters files



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