Hawaii’s Healthy Film Industry Checks Protocols After New Mexico Tragedy


HONOLULU (KHON2) – Hawaii’s growing film and television industry is overhauling safety regulations following the fatal shooting involving Alec Baldwin in a movie set in New Mexico.

Authorities say the film’s assistant director handed Baldwin a gun and told the actor it was safe to use, just before he accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

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Propeller guns are actually mostly real guns that use either blank cartridges or dummy cartridges. In Hawaii, anyone who leases guns for use in the film industry must register them with the ATF, which is part of a broad set of rules that keep people safe on set.

Prop Master Alvin Cabrinha has worked on sets in Hawaii since 1978. He says over 90% of these featured firearms.

“The first thing we stress is the lack of live ammunition on the set,” Cabrinha said.

On set, the firearms are kept in a safe, and once the gunsmiths and master props have them prepared for a scene, they are checked by the assistant director, an actor, and the person on whom the gun is set. The gun is pointed before being handed over to the actor for the scene.

“Protocols have been in place since the Brandon Lee incident, and as long as they are followed the guns on the set are very safe,” Cabrinha said.

Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee, was shot dead while filming The Crow in 1993.

Many popular shows filmed on the islands will do so in neighborhoods, but if scenes involving guns are scheduled, neighbors will be notified.

“With Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum PI, the state has asked production companies to set up message boards in neighborhoods where filming is taking place and where guns and gunshots will take place,” he said. declared Cabrinha.

The incident in New Mexico shook the entire industry.

“I just know it’s times like this – and we’ve had them in our past – where the industry, they shut down, they re-evaluate, they re-engage and re-evaluate safety on any film set because it’s of paramount importance, ”said Hawaii State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson.

Now some across the country are calling for gun cartridges to be added in post-production.

“There is nothing that can beat a blank firearm. It’s just hard to fake, ”Cabrinha said. “But to prevent more accidents from happening, maybe this is the way the film industry needs to go.”

Overall, the film industry remains very healthy in Hawaii, which is set to break records in 2021 with four TV shows in production and more expected.

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“We’re likely to exceed the half a billion direct production expenses associated with all of this production in the field,” Dawson said. “That’s a lot more once those dollars start pouring into our economy. And also, probably over 5,000 jobs would be the estimate. “

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