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Old April 28, 2020, 11:59 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Gun handling in films: Extraction

Many cite the John Wick films as examples of skilled, yet authentic gun handling. Personally I also like "The Way of the Gun" as a film with realistic firearms portrayal.

Last night I watched a Netflix release called Extraction. Ex Spec-Ops turned mercenary goes on mission to rescue kidnap hostage.

Now, to my untrained eye, the way the lead, Chris Hemsworth, handled the fire arms seemed very well done. In fact, I would be tempted to say its the same trainer as Keanu Reeves' in the Wick films.

I'm curious as to the opinions of other members who have seen it.

One bit that seemed wrong was when a guy got hit by a sniper yet at the point of impact the distant gun shot was heard before the bullet strike and that seems to be the wrong way around. Maybe, maybe not: gladly no personal experience can corroborate!
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Old April 29, 2020, 12:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond
One bit that seemed wrong was when a guy got hit by a sniper yet at the point of impact the distant gun shot was heard before the bullet strike and that seems to be the wrong way around. Maybe, maybe not: gladly no personal experience can corroborate!
The laws of physics apply without the necessity of being shot to prove the point.

The speed of sound at sea level and at 68 degrees F. (20 degrees C.) is 1,125 feet-per-second (343 meters-per-second). What's a typical sniper rifle? How about a McMillan .338 Lapua? A typical round for .338 Lapua might be the 250-grain Partition, which has a muzzle velocity of 3,020 feet-per-second (921 meters-per-second). That's almost three times the speed of sound.

What's the target distance? Let's use 1,000 feet to make the math easier. Ignoring loss of velocity due to aerodynamic resistance, the bullet will cover that 1,000 feet in 0.331 seconds. The sound will reach the target location in 0.889 seconds (half a second after the bullet). Kick the distance up to 1,000 meters and the bullet will reach the target in 1.086 seconds. The sound will arrive in 2.915 seconds.
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Old April 29, 2020, 02:03 AM   #3
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So my inner physicist was correct.

Makes a change!
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Old April 29, 2020, 02:10 AM   #4
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My understanding is that sound effects, from walking up stairs latching a door, to gunshots and beyond, are added "post production" meaning after the filming and during the editing process. AND, the sound of gunshots that are added are generally not actual gunshots, but some sound effect that simulates enough of the sound of a gunshot that we recognize it as such.

Real gunshots cannot be accurately copied or reproduced due to the limitations of the recording equipment. You can easily see this in all the U tube videos, every shot is some kind of "pop" some louder than others, but nothing like what you hear, and feel in the real world.

So it may be just the simple situation of the sound tech watching the film, with instructions that when a guy gets shot, add a gunshot sound to the soundtrack.

In the real world, there are two components to the "gunshot" sound from the bullet and sound from the gun. Bullets do make sound, but you'll only hear the really close ones...that miss...

Having worked the "target butts" one can hear the bullets, "the slap" when they hit the paper and the buzz when they don't, THEN you hear the gunshot, when it arrives later.

When you are far enough away from the muzzle that the speed of sound makes a noticeable difference, a bullet passing close enough sounds like the biggest bee you've ever heard, seeming to fly past your ear. (or so it seemed to me). The gunshot is a "boom" you hear what seems like half second or so, later (varies with distance).

AND, this is leaving out the "crack" you hear when a supersonic bullet passes close enough to solid object.

SO, a long range rifle shot, hitting a target should have the sound of the impact, FOLLOWED by the sound of the shot some time afterwards.

Think of it like "counting lightning" to figure how far away it is. Number of seconds between seeing the lightening and hearing the thunder times speed of sound = how far away it was...

Some films are making a point to use/show good gunhandling, but they're still in the minority. Modern made westerns have shown an increase is the use of proper, period correct firearms, but its still far from universal.

One thing that has always bugged me, and they ALL still do it, is the lack of realism of people hearing gunfire at close range. Gunfire inside buildings, rooms, halls, even cars and everyone still hears normally. VERY rare to have them show reality there. Sometimes, in war movies, close explosions make the camera/audience "deaf" BRIEFLY...but most of the time, hearing loss due to close gunfire is ignored.
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Old April 29, 2020, 03:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
My understanding is that sound effects, from walking up stairs latching a door, to gunshots and beyond, are added "post production" meaning after the filming and during the editing process. AND, the sound of gunshots that are added are generally not actual gunshots, but some sound effect that simulates enough of the sound of a gunshot that we recognize it as such.
You mean like the "gun racking" noise you hear every single time the character even looks at a gun?

Quote:
One thing that has always bugged me, and they ALL still do it, is the lack of realism of people hearing gunfire at close range. Gunfire inside buildings, rooms, halls, even cars and everyone still hears normally. VERY rare to have them show reality there. Sometimes, in war movies, close explosions make the camera/audience "deaf" BRIEFLY...but most of the time, hearing loss due to close gunfire is ignored.
Yep. Bugs me too.
I've heard a 9mm indoors without hearing protection: no thank you. I certainly was not continuing with pleasant small talk in the seconds that followed.

By-standers may have heard expletives from a collection of languages.
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Old April 29, 2020, 03:22 AM   #6
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The more knowledgeable gun people nowadays in movies, is a huge advancement on yesterdays!
In my job as a self-employed gun handler, Ontario Canada. I delivered firearms to film sets (And babysat the actor's use of same) I delivered a lever-action rifle to a film set, that they decided they were not going to use after all!

I had the privilege to watch an actor menace three individuals with single-action Colt 45, in a saloon! As they were wrapping up the scene, I pointed out to the producer, the revolver would not fire, with the hammer down?

He was not pleased to find out he had to do it all again. I slunk off with my rifle.
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Old April 29, 2020, 10:51 AM   #7
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Only loosely related but I thought it interesting that the sound of brass hitting the floor was included in "Under Siege". Maybe it was considered more noticeable because of the shooting occurring inside a battleship with metal decks.
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Old April 29, 2020, 10:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brit
I had the privilege to watch an actor menace three individuals with single-action Colt 45, in a saloon! As they were wrapping up the scene, I pointed out to the producer, the revolver would not fire, with the hammer down?
None other than the archetypal American hero, the Lone Ranger, always did this. I never noticed it when I was a kid. Now it drives me bonkers.


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Old April 29, 2020, 11:06 AM   #9
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I watched "Extraction" a couple of nights ago. Thought it got a technical A-, and an A for story. Hope they do a sequel.
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Old April 29, 2020, 01:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
You mean like the "gun racking" noise you hear every single time the character even looks at a gun?
Don't forget almost every semi auto slide locked back empty going "click, click, click" as the shooter pulls the trigger several times before "realizing" the gun is empty....

The sound of cocking the hammer...on a striker fired pistol (Glock, etc)

to name just a couple...
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Old April 29, 2020, 02:27 PM   #11
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Real gunshots cannot be accurately copied or reproduced due to the limitations of the recording equipment.
From what I've read this is true. I remember reading that the gun shots of Harry Callahan's S&W .44 magnum in the first "Dirty Harry" movie were done by the sound guy using some combination of a 12 gauge shot gun firing into a big old metal milk container. (Disclaimer: my memory might suspect on this detail.)
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Old April 29, 2020, 03:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Real gunshots cannot be accurately copied or reproduced due to the limitations of the recording equipment. You can easily see this in all the U tube videos, every shot is some kind of "pop" some louder than others, but nothing like what you hear, and feel in the real world.
The gunshots in Hickock45's YouTube videos sounds pretty much like a "Bang," not a "Pop."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W7sb9Zp-8o

I will admit, the gunshots in that Hickock45 video are louder than the shots in a video I took last year at an IDPA competition a friend was shooting in -- but I was just using a consumer grade video camera, not even a "prosumer" camera, and I didn't use an external microphone. Hickock45 is making money on his videos and I suppose it's possible that he's doing post production, but I'd be surprised if he's dubbing in the sounds of gunfire. I think he just uses a parabolic microphone.
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Old April 29, 2020, 10:02 PM   #13
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I'll admit I'm a long way behind current tech, and digital probably allows better than the older systems, back when we had Vu meters (watching the needles was fun) and later green/red LEDs, but none of them can fully accurately reproduce gunshots, and really, you don't want them to!

We wear HEARING PROTECTION when shooting, do you WANT a system recording and speakers that can reproduce the ringing in your ears from a gunshot? I don't.
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Old April 30, 2020, 02:03 AM   #14
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I watched "Extraction" a couple of nights ago. Thought it got a technical A-, and an A for story. Hope they do a sequel.
Glad you think so too. Not just me, then!

I remember how Val Kilmer's mag change on an AR (M4?) in "Heat" was cited as technical excellence, and then I saw a similar mag change by Chris Hemsworth as he squatted with his back against a car in the last 20 min of the movie and I remembered thinking how that was very smoothly done.
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