Let computers do it: Film set tragedy spurs call to ban guns

Let computers do it: Film set tragedy spurs call to ban guns 5

With computer-generated imagery, it seems the sky’s the limit in the magic Hollywood can produce: elaborate dystopian universes. Trips to outer space, for those neither astronauts nor billionaires. Immersive journeys to the future, or back to bygone eras.

But as a shocked and saddened industry was reminded this week, many productions still use guns — real guns — when filming. And despite rules and regulations, people can get killed, as happened last week when Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after he was handed a weapon and told it was safe.

The tragedy has led some in Hollywood, along with incredulous observers, to ask: Why are real guns ever used on set, when computers can create gunshots in post-production? Isn’t even the smallest risk unacceptable?

For Alexi Hawley, it is. “Any risk is too much risk,” the executive producer of ABC’s police drama “The Rookie” announced in a staff memo Friday, saying the events in New Mexico had “shaken us all.”

There “will be no more ‘live’ weapons on the show,” he wrote in a note, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter and confirmed by The Associated Press.

Instead, he said, the policy would be to use replica guns, which use pellets and not bullets, with muzzle flashes added in post-production.

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