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Messages - The Legendary Shark

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Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: Today at 01:12:13 AM »

No wine, then. Only vinegar.

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 02 December, 2021, 11:39:14 PM »
Sorry, lagging behind - been a bit busy.

So, to Hell with the victims? It was too complicated a task to protect them? I'm not buying that.

Absolutely nobody in this thread has suggested that, so why are you pretending they have?  Everybody (even you) is saying that the armourer is responsible - the only disagreement until you said that was that some (well, you) think the actor should also be held responsible.

Hawkmumbler said, "I sincerely say this from the heart as someone who has spent a lot of time on film sets dude, you have no bloody idea how complicated they are and why your notion of shared responsibility just does not gel with them."

This, I believe, moves the discussion into a more utilitarian realm, a more cost/benefit analysis type thing. Hawkie is saying, as I interpret his words, that film sets are complicated places and that adding yet another complication to an already complicated environment wouldn't be efficient. Or something like that. Whilst I think it's wise to take utility into account, I would not prefer to use it as a primary indicator. I find it inherantly distasteful and dangerous to let mathematics and spreadsheets decide the value of a human life. (And note here also that it's Hawkie's post that moves us away from the question of the actor's personal and shared responsibilities by focusing on their utility.) This attitude has "to Hell with the victims" baked into it - they're just a couple of variables amongst a whole lot of other variables on the spreadsheet. Personal or shared personal responsibilities have no place on that spreadsheet.

The thing is, I know that film sets are complicated. True, I don't know the exact nature of that complexity through first-hand experience but so what? Making a film is self-evidently complex, as the 45 minutes' worth of credits on the tail end of every modern blockbuster amply demonstrate. And those are just the names, the bare bones of the complexity supporting all the interpersonal and interdepartmental virtual and real life interactions required to put the film together. Complexity. I get it. But so what? Running a country is complicated. Organizing a supply chain is complicated. Running a shop is complicated. Filling a can with baked beans is complicated. Everything's complicated. (We had an issue with our electrical hook-ups one day last week that had us scratching our heads for an hour.) Something being complicated is a thin excuse as a bar to realising self responsibility, because complicated doesn't mean unchangeable.

Using the case under discussion as a template, and with the obvious benefits of hindsight, here is a possible way around Hawkie's objection that complexity is a barrier to self responsibility and shared responsibilities (if I've understood his objection properly, that is). In this fictional scenario I place myself in the role of the actor hired to pull the trigger and ask myself, "what would be the best way for me to handle this?" I start with my core belief - "Harm Nobody." There are riders and exceptions and fuzzy bits, like the coma of a comet, but its nucleus is solid. From the first time I see the script I know that it requires me to fire a gun at somebody. I know that guns are dangerous and that I'll be the one pulling the trigger. So if I truly believe that I should harm nobody, then that must mean by accident as well as on purpose. It is my responsibility, then, to do all I can to minimise the chance of any mishap. If I were to further learn something like the gun I'm going to be using will be a real one loaded with blanks for my shooting scene but will be used elsewhere in the film firing live rounds so shots can be taken of bullets slapping into doors, walls, dirt, and a side of ham, then that's going to heighten my awareness. I'd bring it all up with the armourer as soon as possible, maybe by 'phone or at rehearsal. It would be a fairly simple proposal - the armourer teaches me about the gun and how to tell the difference between live rounds and blanks (from what I gather it's generally pretty straightforward in that live rounds have big lumps of pointy lead at one end and blanks don't). I'd organise to double check the load with the armourer (and the actor who's going to be shot at might be interested to see, as well, and maybe the director, and undoubtedly a gaggle of lawyers...) on the day of shooting the shooting. It would take, like, a minute or two tops and could easily be done when the actor would otherwise be waiting around for everything to get set up. This check would be part of my set up, a little extra complexity in an ocean of complexity that just might, in that one in millions chance, catch a mistake at the last minute. Because it will be my finger on the trigger, so I want to be as sure as I can be that nobody's going to get hurt. The only danger then is from some cunning murder plot involving live rounds altered to look like blanks, I suppose - so nothing's infallible.

But all of that is beside the point, as I said. Hawkie opened the door to discussing bars to implementation, which I walked through. For three admittedly terse sentences. Because I thought this argument was drifting off point I dismissed it with three sentences because I didn't want to wade through all that stuff I've just had to wade through anyway.

So yes, you're absolutely right - nobody said to Hell with the victims. I said it, as a terse interpretation of Hawkie's utilitarian point. I then tersely refuted the idea that complexity is a bar to self responsibility.

Next up is Jim with his customary ad hom. What is he calling me this time? A troll? Oh no, this time I'm a contrarian. That must mean that my views on self responsibility are invalid. Because Jim thinks that if one can grind down the arguer, one can grind down the argument, that belittling the arguer belittles the argument. It's his entire schtick. My entire schtick is freedom, as Jim well knows. It's about taking more personal responsibility and seeing experts and authorities as guides rather than dictators. In this case is an opportunity for me to suggest how more libertarian philosophies might prove to be not quite the frothing mania Jim believes them to be but actually quite sensible. Given that I believe most of my posts on similar topics derive from the same philosophy, it would only have been contrarian of me to accept the armourer as solely responsible view. But no, Jim says I'm just a contrarian (an accusation I can only accept by denying and deny by accepting), so all my views must simply be arbitrary negatives and therefore invalid. Hrrgh.

The space gun idea sounds real good about now because next comes Gordon. Seriously? You're going to crack jokes based on that subject? Seriously, Dude, eww. Just, eww.

And as that seems to be the nadir, this seems like a good place to get off. Maybe there's a wine cellar down here...

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 29 November, 2021, 09:06:42 PM »

So, to Hell with the victims? It was too complicated a task to protect them? I'm not buying that.

Just because someone is educated and paid does not make them responsible, infallible or, indeed, even competent - again as this incident clearly demonstrates.

Baldwin pulled the trigger. Sure, he was handed an incorrectly loaded weapon by an armourer who seems to have been incompetent (as well as trained and paid), and so the armourer bears the brunt of the responsibility, but Baldwin pulled the trigger. I'm not saying he (Baldwin) must be prosecuted, I'm saying that this incident, isolated though it is, highlights a need for actors pulling triggers to be competent, responsible and involved.

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 29 November, 2021, 08:41:34 PM »

Films are a collaborative effort, nobody should be expected to do everything.

Hence the shared responsibility.

But how? By firing it into the air? At which point you have ruined the take and they need to reset the gun again.

Actor and armourer work on setting up the weapon together before the scene is shot? Actor learns to tell the difference between blanks and live rounds? I'm not a fan of the ad-hoc, "oh, the scene's about to start, maybe I should check this thing now at the worst possible moment" scenario you suggest. There are myriad ways in which such procedures could be worked into a (probably already wide-ranging) production schedule.

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 29 November, 2021, 07:33:58 PM »

I think that's an over-simplification.

To put a statist spin on it, people do not need to be experts on cars to drive a car but they do need a driving license, people do not need to be experts on gas boilers to install a gas boiler but they do need to be certificated to install them - so perhaps actors required to fire guns should be licensed also, or at least trained to a sufficient standard.

To me, the two major poles of this argument seem to be that a) the armourer bears sole responsibility (Jim's position, I think - I don't want to put words in your mouth so please accept my apologies if I've misunderstood) and b) armourer and actor share the responsibility, which is my position.

There is no need to go straight to the extreme of demanding that everyone become an expert at everything they intend to do but, especially when another life is in potential jeopardy (in this case the actor who was shot), some level of proficiency would seem to be in order. The argument "how was he supposed to know, he's only an actor?" holds no water for me. I'm a campsite handyman and gardener's assistant with no special training or in-depth knowledge but I know that guns are dangerous, even toy guns, and should never be taken lightly.

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 29 November, 2021, 05:35:47 PM »

That's a false equivalence - you're comparing the pilot, who has responsibility for the 'plane and the safety of the passengers ("Is the aircraft I'm responsible for safe?"), with the passenger, whose only responsibility is personal ("do I want to trust my life to this airline?").

The person holding the gun is responsible, as TJM's post demonstrates. Had the muppet with the water pistol been shot at, his defence could never be, "well, the guy in the toy shop's an expert on toys and told me this water pistol was safe so the sentry had no right to shoot at me." A gun is a gun and demands respect from everyone who handles it.

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 29 November, 2021, 04:48:27 PM »

I'm arguing the point because I believe in personal responsibility. If an expert handed me a gun, assured me it was safe and then told me to shoot somebody with it, I'd check that gun first. I hope you would too, if only to prove the expert right.

And yes, I'd check scaffolding too, at least give it a shake and keep an eye out for faults. Just blindly trusting people is not always the best policy - as the case we are discussing demonstrates.

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 29 November, 2021, 02:52:03 PM »

The pilot is not an aviation engineer, just as the actor is not an armourer, but the pilot is expected to check the 'plane before flying it just as the actor (the person pulling the trigger), in my view, is expected to check the weapon before firing it even if it was handed over by the best armourer in the world.

Given the number of films/shows in which guns are used, it's impressive how few incidents like this happen. Still, one is too many so an extra layer of safety (the actor checking the gun) would be pointless ~99.99% of the time but still good practice in order to try and get that pointlessness down to 99.999%.

Further, I don't say that the armourer is blameless in this case, far from it, but neither is the actor.

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 29 November, 2021, 12:23:01 PM »

If I get on a plane, I assume that both the pilot and co-pilot are capable of getting the plane off the ground, keeping it on course to its intended destination, and getting it back on the ground without killing everyone. It's really not an unreasonable assumption.

Pilots are expected to check their aircraft before take off, even if it's just come out of the maintenance hangar after being worked on by expert aviation engineers.

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 29 November, 2021, 12:19:51 PM »

...why would you expect a weapon to be the genuine article?

Why would you expect a mix-up to be impossible? All the situation requires is a day's (or even half a day's) training for any actor expected to "fire a gun."

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 29 November, 2021, 12:11:21 PM »

And the actor being handed the gun should always assume that the person handing it to them is a human being capable of making mistakes.

Off Topic / Re: Real life accidents on film/tv sets
« on: 29 November, 2021, 10:20:35 AM »

This is not the same thing as being handed a prop weapon that has been declared safe by the person whose job it is to certify a weapon as safe to handle.

I grew up around guns (mainly shotguns and airguns), and being handed a gun and told that it's safe is no excuse. The person who is going to pull the trigger is, in my view, entirely responsible for making sure the weapon is safe. (Checking the load and firing a couple of test shots at an inanimate target would suffice - even if this had to be done under close supervision.)

Off Topic / Re: Threadjacking!
« on: 22 November, 2021, 09:50:00 PM »

Off Topic / Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« on: 20 November, 2021, 02:34:03 PM »

Doesn't really matter when you're being smothered. Whether it's Love the silverback's hairy bum or a Love is... snuggly pillow, the result is ultimately the same.

Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 20 November, 2021, 12:34:04 PM »

If, like me, you've ever lain awake at night fretting over how Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) might look if Quentin Tarantino ever got his hands on it then fret no more and throw your eyeballs at the undiluted arseomeness that is Marvel's Hit-Monkey.

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