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Actor Accidentally Uses Loaded Gun In Play (FL)

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davepc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:34 PM
Original message
Actor Accidentally Uses Loaded Gun In Play (FL)
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) Tragedy nearly struck a group of Florida actors when authorities say a loaded gun was accidentally used during a dress rehearsal.

It was the final practice run by a seniors theater group for their production of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men." One actor picked up a pistol he had borrowed from another cast member and fired it at the head of fellow actor Fred Kellerman.

The bullet only grazed Kellerman's ear. The 81-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Just two hours after the shooting, the play went on as scheduled with another actor performing Kellerman's part.

...



http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jXjHm...
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FLAprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. that's just being stupid. I'm sure this will be used as yet another Brady rallying cry.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. That happened once when my mother was doing makeup
There was supposed to be a shot offstage, followed by a shout of "My god! They shot the queen!"

The gun turned out to be loaded with real bullets. There was a new hole in the roof. The guy was so flustered, he couldn't get the line out.

"My queen, they shot the god!"
"My god, they quot the sheen!"
"Aw hell, somebody plugged the old broad!"

I think that was my mother's favorite experience in showbiz.
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Auggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. Aren't there prop guns made incapable of firing real bullets?
You would think...
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yes, and starter pistols which have solid barrels
But real firearms with blank rounds are sometimes used in theater and film. If proper protocols are followed, nobody gets hurt.
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. No reason in theater
There's really no reason in theater to use a "real" gun. The vast majority of the audience can't see well enough to see the difference, everyone knows it's fake anyway, and it's the sound you really want. Movies have different demands, but they also tend to have protocals that would make most theater casts blanch (and probably go broke).
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raimius Donating Member (201 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Agreed
Real firearms should not be used in theater. There are usually no safe directions to fire, and real firearms are loud enough to cause hearing damage.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. And even then there have been accidents
Brandon Lee(Son of Bruce Lee) in The Crow. Watching Dragon gives me chills - almost makes me think Bruce and Brandon Lee had some kind of Chinese curse hanging over them. BTW, the Dragon was filmed before Brandon Lee was killed filming The Crow.

Because the movie's second unit team was running behind schedule, it was decided that dummy cartridges (cartridges that outwardly appear to be functional but contain no gunpowder or primer) would be made from real cartridges by pulling out the bullet, dumping out the gunpowder and reinserting the bullet. However, the team neglected to consider that the primer was still live and, if fired, could still produce enough force to push the bullet off the end of the cartridge. At some point prior to the fatal scene, the live primer on one of the constructed dummy rounds was discharged by persons unknown while in the pistol's chamber. It caused a squib load, in which the primer provided just enough force to push the bullet out of the cartridge and into the barrel of the revolver, where it became stuck.

The malfunction went unnoticed by the crew, and the same gun was used again later to shoot the death scene, having been re-loaded with low-power black powder blanks. However, the squib load was still lodged in the barrel, and was propelled by the blank cartridge's explosion out of the barrel and into Lee's body. Although the bullet was traveling much slower than a normally fired bullet would be, the bullet's large size and the point-blank firing distance made it powerful enough to fatally wound Lee.

When the blank was fired, the bullet shot out and hit Lee in the abdomen and lodged in his spine. He fell down instantly and the director shouted "Cut!." When Lee did not respond, the cast and crew rushed to him and found that he was wounded. He was immediately rushed to the hospital. Lees heart stopped once on the set and once in the ambulance. Following a six hour operation to remove the bullet, and despite being given 60 pints of blood, Lee was pronounced dead at 1:03 pm on March 31, 1993. He was 28 years old.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Lee
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jaksavage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. I fear this
I am playing Dr Miranda in Death and the Maiden in May at our local theatre. A gun wielding crazy woman,I was thinking about this same thing.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. Sounds like a number of murder mysteries I have read or watched.
At least it keeps the understudies on their toes.
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louis-t Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. Oh fer....
:banghead:
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. Florida

Quelle surprise.


One actor picked up a pistol he had borrowed from another cast member

Kinda like borrowing a hat if you need it for a play, I guess.

At least, in the land of anybody can get a gun without breaking a sweat.

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Ready4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. No. No it is not.
"Kinda like borrowing a hat if you need it for a play, I guess."

No. No it is not.

If I'm backstage and someone asks to borrow my hat for the play, I'll say sure.

If they ask to borrow my personal handgun? No way. No way in hell. Not if I unload it and clear the chamber before handing it over. Not if I disable the firing mechanism. Not if you ask and beg and plead. The show must go on? Not with my gun.

Have the killer point his finger and have someone backstage clap 2 2x4s together for a 'bang' sound. 'Cause you will not be using my gun.

Allowing my personal sidearm to be used in this manner would be a careless act on my part. Period.
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
11. Even prop guns can injure or kill at close range...
On October 12, 1984, in between filming scenes on the set of Cover Up, Hexum was critically wounded after he placed a .44 Magnum prop gun loaded with blanks to his temple and pulled the trigger. The accident happened during the filming of a scene where Hexums character (Mac Harper) was supposed to unload a handgun and replace the bullets with blanks as the script required. However, the shooting was delayed and Hexum being overworked and tired due to his tight filming schedule and various TV appearances fell asleep. Hexum awoke, realizing that the scene still was not ready to be shot, and put the gun to his head. Of all the crewmembers in the studio that day, no one claims to have seen the shooting.<5>

Hexum was apparently not informed that blanks use paper or plastic wadding to seal gun powder into the shell, and that this wadding is propelled out of the barrel of the gun with enough force to cause severe injury or death if the weapon is fired within a few inches of the body, especially if pointed at a particularly vulnerable spot, such as the temple or the eye. Although the paper wadding in the blank that Hexum discharged did not penetrate his skull, the wad struck him in the temple with enough blunt force trauma to shatter a quarter-sized piece of his skull and propel the pieces into his brain causing massive hemorrhaging.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon-Erik_Hexum
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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
12. Wasn't this episode on "Murder She Wrote?".....n/t
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
14. If I were an actor...
If I were an actor involved in any scene involving firearms, I would not do the scene unless I, or a consultant I trusted, examined the firearm each and every time it was to be pointed at me.

This sort of thing has happened too many times.
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
15. There are two types of shooters...
Those who have had an accidental discharge and those who will.

In most cases the accidental discharge a causes only embarrassment (as long as the shooter follows the basic rule never point a firearm at something you're not willing to destroy.

Firearms handled by actors during rehearsal or in a performance present an interesting problem. You often do have to point them at another actor.

A prop gun or a blank pistol is a better choice for actors than a real firearm. Especially amateur actors in a community play.

The movie industry does take on set firearm safety seriously. Firearm safety courses are offered, for example:

http://www.motionpicturearmourer.com/safetycourse.htm
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