Make Movie Prop Gun Realism Without Breaking the Bank
We've all seen amazing movie prop gun fx and blank gun shootouts that look and sound amazing. Think of the gun battle scene in Michael Mann's 'HEAT' or the beach scene in 'SAVING PRIVATE RYAN'. Ok, these films used mega budgets and real weapons with blanks, managed by skilled weapons handlers and not little Indie films. Small productions can however achieve similar results with a few small and inexpensive methods:
Talent Firearms Training
Talent who are not comfortable or don't know how to realistically handle prop firearms are both unsafe and look bad (unless the character is supposed to be a gun noob!). Our tips are:
Realistic Prop Guns
Obviously a dollar store $2 plastic toy is going to look like an el-cheapo film prop. Different weapons have nuances when the operated. Automatic pistols have a slide that moves back and forwards when fired; automatic rifles have a bolt that moves; hunting rifles need a bolt to be operated and so on.
Help your Post FX Artist
As seen in the image above, some real weapons have a massive muzzle flash in low light conditions. In daylight, the same weapon may have zero or minimal muzzle flash.
Check out the folks at ParaLightWorx in Germany who do great work with replica weapons for WW2 short films. Their 6 minute single take video is one of the best we've seen lately for weapon effects (all 5.1M views!) which are all VFX (except the grenade explosion).