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Arming and Training Hollywood

Hollywood armorer Nic Johnson recently wrote an interesting article about what goes on behind the scenes of an action film. Weapons, training, tactics, safety…it's all obviously a huge concern, although realism is of course less important than a visually appealing scene with great sound effects.

Why else would an M67 frag have approximately the same explosive power of a GBU-12, or a flashbang the ability to blow out all the glass in a skyscraper?

Johnson writes,

“As a former armorer, I have a ton of respect for the men and women that keep the actors and crew members safe during the filming of feature films, television programing [sic], commercials, and other creative media productions.”

Training and Arming Hollywood 1

He also mentions what he calls the Hollywood Conundrum.

“Firearms and Hollywood politics can be like oil and vinegar. One side is all about gun control,the other about the action and suspense of a well-rehearsed gunfight. (And the classic gas ball explosion) Yes, they completely contradict each other and it's a complicated case of love & hate.  Being a pro-firearm advocate in Hollywood isn't easy.  The professional armorers involved in Hollywood productions have the experience and dedication to take the discussion head on.”

Another thing he touches on are the inaccuracies that so frequently aggravate movie-goers who know anything about guns.

“Sometimes the vision doesn't quite meet reality.Hollywood is famous for bending the truth and sometime misrepresenting reality.  There is a lot of “tea cupping”, “chicken winging”, “flagging” and overall bad technique in the respect to firearm handling and behavior. I guarantee you that many of the on set armorers are doing their best to prevent these actions. Ultimately no matter how hard they try correct an actors bad habits or advise and correct the director's expectations, the final cut don't often reflect the expectations of the viewing audience.”

You can read Johnson's whole article about arming and training Hollywood here on Linked In.

[The image from True Detective Season 2 above is courtesy of the website moviepilot(dot)com; the screenshot from Way of the Gun courtesy criticspeak(cot)com.]

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