Alec Baldwin: Greek with the rare specialty of managing “shooting weapons” explains

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Specialty “armourer”… It is one of the many required to complete the shooting of a film. This is a very widespread job abroad and concerns the special “that it provides for the cinema specialized prop weapons (non-functional, safe copies) for Greek and international audiovisual productions “.

One of the few professional armourers in Greece, Gabriel Gourgouris, spoke on the radio station of the Athenian / Macedonian News Agency “Agency 104.9 FM”. As he explains, with the arrival in Greece of high level film and television producers, the industry needs Greek experts who will be used more and more instead of professionals from abroad.

“Armourer is a specialty that until today could not be developed in Greece, due to the peculiar legal status that exists in the country in terms of the objects described as”arms“. As in the last three years there is a great interest with the big foreign productions that want to come here and return their projects in Greece, those of us who have this specialty, we try -always within the framework of Greek legislation- to give a variety of items ” , emphasizes Mr. Gourgouris.

These “shooting weapons” will be combined with the visual and sound effects that will be added to the final audiovisual product and thus “one will be able to have a realistic result in order to finally prepare a” good movie scene “., adds the Greek professional, with the rare specialty.

How does such an object “reach” the stage?

On the occasion of the recent unfortunate incident in the USA, Mr. Gourgouris emphasizes that getting a gun and putting it in a set is not at all simple. “There is staff, from the stunt coordinator, to the safety marshal and a host of other people, who check the armament in the set so that it is empty. They know and they determine when it will be filled, when an actor will take it in hand, after an exchange with the fake, with which he / she has done all the rehearsals before. “Everything is governed by a regulation that must absolutely define this whole sequence”, explains the Greek armourer.

Outside of Greece and in the countries where the entertainment industry has been set up, the space operates with absolute professionalism. Abroad, in every production and where, for example, police adventures, war movies are shot, there is a multitude of objects, which are translated with the definition “weapons”, whether they are functional or non-functional, whether they are copies or from plastic, rubber, or even real weapons, which have been processed so that they can be used safely in the shooting “, comments Mr. Gourgouris.

The incident with the actor Alec Baldwin

Flowers at the set where the tragic incident with Alec Baldwin took place

According to the expert, This is a very rare event. “Numerous films that are shot every year use real weapons that have been modified to use bulletproof cartridges – that is, they do not fire missiles but only the gases inside the ammunition.

Fatalities are counted on the fingers. Less than five years have passed, most notably the unfortunate death of Bruce Lee’s son in 1993 in “The Crow.” “There was a sequence of mistakes by the armourer, those who checked the guns, those who gave the guns to the actors”, explains the professional of the show.

“The rule is that you never actually turn the gun you give to an actor to another person on set or an actor. What one has to “steal” with the camera, from a different angle, to have the result visually. “Then with the editing, it ‘looks like someone is shooting someone else,” he emphasizes.

The types of “non-real” weapons

The place where the shooting of the new film with Alec Baldwin took place

Why are real weapons used in movies? “Real – always processed – weapons that can only put bulletproof cartridges are used precisely because they are plausible. The movement of the mechanical parts you have, the recoil of the weapon on the actor, the gases that come out together with the glow, the calyx that is discarded give a specific image to the shot. “No matter how good today’s special effects are, the computer cannot reach the realism that a weapon gives to the camera”, Mr. Gourgouris answers.

He explains that the “props” are made of rubber, foam and other lightweight materials, which never cause injury. On the other hand, there are the so-called “replicas”, convincing copies, but they are not converted in any way to work like the real ones. “These weapons – they are also relatively free on the world market – look amazing on a regular one. We have, especially in the US, events that were misunderstood because of the veracity, but they are false. It is impossible for them to cause damage, even if the weapon is aimed at a person “, describes the Greek armourer.

Mr. Gourgouris emphasizes that in any case the transfer to public view of any fake weapon is prohibited, even if it is a replica, “since no citizen has the knowledge or time to understand if it is a replica.” This is because “from the moment that one can perceive this false, due to the plausibility, as an aggressive object”, there will be the corresponding psychological result, as the Greek expert points out.

Demand in Greece for armourers

Is it a field of work with a future? “The interest exists and existed to some extent in the past, but then there was no budget to support such a specialization, while the legal framework is very restrictive. This specific difficulty is important, but there is now a great demand “, Mr. Gourgouris answers. Examples are this year’s Greek productions, such as the series “Eteros Ego”, “Silent Road”, the film “My Beloved Smyrna”, as well as the Apple TV series “Tehran”, whose first season was filmed last year with the second season in production this year, but also the series “Jack Ryan”, which came to Greece for shooting.

“Real weapons were used there, but they came from abroad as in Greece no one has the right to have processed weapons with ammunition for shooting,” replies Mr. Gourgouris.

The time of “Expendables 4”

«What will be done for “Consumables 4” will be impressive, I think we are very lucky that such a production is coming to Greece and especially to Thessaloniki. “Together with the previous film,” The Enforcer “, the shooting of” Consumables “shows that these shootings are the beginning and (s.s. the Hollywood producers) came to stay in Greece”, comments the Greek armourer, when asked for the large production that arrives in Thessaloniki and with which he has agreed to cooperate.

“Foreigners want Greece, they prefer us and we take care to show our best because we really want foreign productions here. It is a tremendous financial benefit, when budgets of this size come to Greece and now put us on the world map of audiovisual producers of this range “, the Greek expert comments on this collaboration.

“It will be something I hope will be a start. The beginning for much bigger things, whether it’s war movies or adventures. For those who are interested, the space (s.s. of this specialty) is large and today we do not have people to staff this big wave of international film production coming to Greece “, concludes the Greek professional shooting armourer.

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