Got the first of three visits from the Brown Truck of Happiness this week. Inspired by a friend's upcoming Western short shoot, I've decided to round out my prop box with stuff to augment my movie wardrobe and armorer's inventory. Included in the shipments are a few blank-firing six-guns, and some blanks. After these come in, I'll conduct some tests and post reviews for most of the items.
Last month, my film-making friend had asked me if I had any blank-firing six-guns (which prompted me to get some) he could rent/borrow for his Western movie, but I was immediately concerned whether blank-firing guns were the answer to his cinematic problem. You see, even real gunfire sounds cheesy on quality audio equipment (almost all movie gunfire is dubbed), and I wasn't sure whether common, commercially available blanks for non-firearms could properly approximate the gun smoke generated by a historically appropriate black-powder cartridge six-gun. Also, at the time of his inquiry, I questioned whether we could get away with shooting blanks within city limits or whether we'd have to jump through all the legal hoops with the local po-po. One solution I put forth was to use dummy guns and insert all the bang, flash, and smoke in post-production (Adobe After Effects is a good animation program for this). Turns out the post-production folks are okay with this idea, but now that we're shooting on a dedicated film set, we might end up doing a little bit of everything, depending on my video tests on the flash and smoke of my acquisitions later this week.
I'm really stoked to help out with this bit of movie-making, especially since this semester, the only camera I'll get to touch (besides sneaking a fondle on the school's new Sony EX-3s) is the 16-mm film Bolex that will record all the thousands of frames of my Film Animation movie.