The announcement of The Locksmith could mark the beginning of a shift in the way firearms are handled in American filmmaking.

The upcoming production of The Locksmith, an indie film set to shoot in New Mexico, has announced that it will not be using real firearms following the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, on the set of Rust (another New Mexico independent production).

The Locksmith stars Ving Rhames, Kate Bosworth and Ryan Phillippe, and its producers released the following statement, telling Deadline that it”will be using rubber guns and adding flash and sound by computer during post production. … The recent events caused us to go in the direction of rubber guns.”

For independent films at least, for whom finding insurance anyway is more of a hurdle – especially in the wake of such an alarming and preventable tragedy – this seems to be the direction that things may be heading. Indie filmmaker Kevin Smith, speaking on his Fatman Beyond podcast this week about it, has been one of many wondering why productions simply aren’t using rubber weapons with CG enhancements as a matter of course.

Whether Hollywood goes in the same direction with major studio pictures remains to be seen, but according to Deadline, ‘Dave Cortese, a Democrat elected to the California Senate, has vowed to introduce legislation that would ban live ammunition on sets in California. Meanwhile, a petition to ban real guns on film sets has attracted more than 100,000 signatories’. So it seems that even major Hollywood studios may find themselves having to adopt this approach.

Smith, who is of course no stranger to the world of film, seemed genuinely taken aback on the podcast when he learned that dozens of people have died on film sets due to firearms-related incidents in the decades since Brandon Lee tragically lost his life in the same manner on the set of 1994’s The Crow. Perhaps with Hutchins’ tragic passing, and the decision of films like The Locksmith to move in another direction, a positive industry-wide change is on the horizon.


Lead image: BigStock

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