We take scripts and read them for the story and the feel for the drama. We then re-read them and make judgements on the appropriate weapons for the action. We look for the need for stunt weapons in the action sequences; special purpose builds for weapons that have to fly apart, potential problem areas for safety and costume issues such as tight fitting suits concealing a weapon or gloves when used with a small trigger guard. We reread the script again and look for character related weapons, anomalies and inconsistencies. We take ‘back bearings’ on action sequences and relate weapons to characters in earlier scenes to reduce the likelihood of continuity problems. Time spent on the script in the breakdown phase of the production is time well invested on the ‘floor’.
Health & Safety Risk Assessments
We always prepare a written Risk Assessment for each production. We are justifiably very proud of our unblemished safety record over the last 20 years of film making and we will continue to make safety our first concern. Our Risk Assessments and our ‘on set’ protocols are based on a collaborative approach with all the other Heads of Department. On the floor we work through the First Assistant Director at all times. Producers should be aware that there are many potential hazards when film making but should remember that few other properties apart from firearms are designed to kill and maim.
- THE GENERAL RISKS ARE:
- BLAST INJURY - Caused by burning gases, unburned propellant, wadding and debris discharged from the barrel.
- NOISE INJURY - Blank and live rounds provide very high impulse noise levels in excess of 100 decibels.
- SPENT CASES - injuries and possible DAMAGE from ejecting spent cases.
- SECURITY - The loss or theft of weapons.
- PUBLIC DISTRESS - breach of the peace (misuse of weapons on location)
- THE GENERAL RISKS ARE:
Worldwide Shipping and License Requirements
As a rule, the BERR requires: an official production order, the details of the consignee, the shipper and the route before they will issue a Licence. It is always better to overestimate a need. You can choose not to ship an item on the Licence but you cannot add to it. Without a valid export Licence the shipper is unable to get CAA flight approval or RORO sea approval. CAA approval can take 14 working days. Ammunition is sent to the shipper one week before shipping for special packing. Firearms are collected from Bapty and taken via the shipper (for documentation) to the airline or haulage company by a specialist company who has the authority to carry prohibited weapons. The shipper cannot hold the weapons in store. Once the goods arrive in the country where we are filming they will be inspected and processed by Customs before being handed over to the consignee – usually the resident SFX/firearm supplier working with us. The return journey is a reverse of the above process. The good news is that if all the paperwork is in order then shipping guns is simple, the authority of the licences at both ends tends to help.
Military & Technical Advice
Bapty provides extensive and comprehensive advice and information regarding accurate usage of weapons and equipment. Our armourers have long-term military experience and in depth knowledge of military usage of particular weapons, ranging from the historical to those used in the most modern conflicts. We have personal experience in combat operations, internal security operations and peace support operations. We provide an invaluable source of information about kit, weapons and equipment carried and used by armies all over the world. We will help you to get those all important details right. We also provide technical advice and practical first hand knowledge. We can advise and tutor on correct usage, firing positions and carriage of weapons, and help directors decide on weapons selection appropriate to the scenario. We provide a full training facility for artistes. (see ‘artiste firearm training’)
With the ever increasing demand for realism in productions it has become more and more popular to train the Artistes before they arrive on location. The advantages of training are not just limited to enhanced realism. A few hours on the range away from all the other pressures of a location can help to give Artistes confidence in themselves and improve their weapon safety skills, awareness and handling in an environment where they can concentrate exclusively on firearms. Bapty armourers have many years of experience as weapons instructors, and are used to helping Artistes bring out the best in themselves.
Hire of Weapons & Accessories
We only hire our weapons and accessories - We do not sell to the public. We hire on a weekly basis. We have our own extensive stock - which covers the many centuries of firearms development. We have our own stock of webbing, accessories, bladed and non-practical weapons. We always supply our practical weapons with an armourer and usually supply our non practical weapons with an armourer although in very rare cases there may be exceptions.
Custom Weapons Design & Manufacture
As well as our own extensive range of stock items, Bapty can manufacture weapons both practical and non-practical to the Production Designer’s specifications. Using Computer Aided Design systems and advanced engineering techniques we can help bring to life ideas and produce firing weapons for movies and TV. Our manufactured weapons are tried and tested before being submitted to the London Proof house.
We don’t just walk away at the end of the filming day…........ Bapty provides a full post production foley service. We provide the same weapons as used on the shoot and work with the post production team to give the movie that special sound. For example we can provide the authentic sounds for: Magazines loading and ammunition belts being loaded Weapons cocking Safety catch and selector lever sounds Ball ammunition firing Bullet strikes Magazine removal Weapon unloads