Gun Safety on Film Sets – Podcast & Open Letter

November 3rd, 2021 Jump to Comment Section 2
Gun Safety on Film Sets – Podcast & Open Letter

In the wake of the recent tragic accident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, we’ve come across some interesting (and important) contributions from fellow filmmakers: a podcast from the Go Creative Show on gun safety and an open letter signed by 214 members of the filmmaking community.

The latest episode of the Go Creative Show podcast bears the very name of this article: Gun safety on set and it features armorer Bryan W Carpenter who discusses current safety standards and what protocols were missed leading up to the tragic shooting.

Podcast on gun safety

Bryan and Go Creative Show host, Ben Consoli, discuss pros and cons of practical firearms vs visual effects, the difference between “blanks” and “dummy” ammunition, and what a “prop gun” actual is.

As mentioned in this episode, you can find the Halyna Hutchins Scholarship Fund here.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Role of an armorer  (01:21)
  • Types of prop guns (05:27)
  • What happened on the set of RUST (08:39)
  • Round types and safety distances (12:27)
  • Steps to ensure safety on set (23:28)
  • Certification for armorers (36:26)
  • Replacing prop guns with vfx (39:26)
  • America’s gun obsession (47:14)
  • Preventing this tragedy from happening again (48:51)
  • And more

The question is: Do we really need real guns on set? This question leads me to an open letter signed by a large number of members of the cinematographic community. Read the full letter here:

Open letter regarding guns on set

Halyna Hutchins

Halyna Hutchins was an incredible rising-star cinematographer who passionately loved her job and cared deeply about the images she created. She was a friend, a colleague, a part of our cinematography community. Her death by shooting on Oct. 21, 2021, by a live firearm expelled on the set of the film “Rust” was senseless, negligent and avoidable.

We are Halyna Hutchins’ fellow directors of photography and we vow to not let her death be in vain.

We are calling for immediate action from our union leadership, our producers and our lawmakers to affect unified change on our behalf:


We vow to no longer knowingly work on projects using FUNCTIONAL FIREARMS for filming purposes.

We vow to no longer put ourselves and our crew in these unnecessarily lethal situations. We have safe alternatives in VFX and NON-functional FIREARMS.

We won’t sit back and wait for the industry to change. We have a duty to effect change within the industry ourselves.

Halyna Hutchins was a spirited artist who would take action if this tragedy happened to a member of her cinematography community. Please honor her by signing the vow alongside us and by spreading her name. 

Let us effect lasting change in her honor. 

#HalynasLAW #HereForHalyna #NoFunctionalFirearms #BanBlanks


That’s a strong message, and it’s also long overdue, in my opinion. No one should be forced to risk working near a real firearm on a film set that is supposed to be a place of entertainment, not fatal accidents.

Link: Go Creative Show Podcast

What is your take on this? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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