Local director talks movie set safety, prop guns

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– The incident on set of “Rust” has put the focus on safety on movie sets across the country. NewsChannel 6 spoke with a local director about how they keep their actors and crew members safe during filming.

Stephen Gilliam is a producer and director at Wages of Cine, a local production company. He says safety on set is their top priority.

Gilliam says unlike major production companies, all the weapons used at Wages of Cine are fake.

“Everything that we use is built as a prop,” Gilliam said. “There’s no way they can fire at all. That’s why we use them, for that safety purpose.”

He says it’s the job of the director and crew to handle all props, but if they were to use real weapons, they would need to hire an armorer.

“That’s their job, to make sure weapons are safe to use. They’re either loaded with blanks or not loaded at all. And that’s their position…safety,” Gilliam said.

While they don’t have the same weapon precautions as bigger production companies, there are other aspects of set safety to keep in mind, especially when actors are wearing costumes or prosthetics in the Georgia heat.

“In the heat, you always make sure you give your actors breaks, plenty of water. Same thing when it’s cold, you make sure breaks and everyone stays warm,” Gilliam said.

On a set big or small, if an actor or crew member has a safety concern, Gilliam says he encourages them to speak up.

“You’re making something that’s important, but it’s not as important as someone’s life,” Gilliam said.


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