In a major change to the way Hollywood movies and TV series are made, live ammunition will be banned from production sets under a new agreement reached by the Directors Guild of America and studios.
The new tentative contract, which was announced over the weekend, includes provisions for increased compensation for directors as well as a promise that studios won’t use artificial intelligence technology to replace directors. Juneteenth will also become a paid holiday for guild members.
Among the new safety measures is “the ban of live ammunition on set.” The guild didn’t elaborate on a timeline or provide further details. But it appears that real fire arms will continue to be allowed.
Hollywood has been moving toward a ban on live ammo since the fatal shooting involving Alec Baldwin on the set of Rust in 2021. In that incident, a live ammunition round apparently found its way into a gun being used by Baldwin during the rehearsal of a scene.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when Baldwin’s gun was discharged. Baldwin initially faced criminal charges but prosecutors in New Mexico eventually dropped the involuntary manslaughter claims against the star.
Since the shooting, lawmakers in California and New York have tried to get live ammunition banned from movie and TV sets. Numerous cinematographers have separately tried to push a blanket ban on functional firearms. Despite the growing outcry, Hollywood had not adopted an industry-wide standard until now.
Under the proposed DGA contract, productions will likely have to rely more heavily on post-production visual and sound effects to simulate the firing of a gun and other kinds of weapons.
The DGA’s board still has to ratify the contract, which is expected to happen on Tuesday. Much of Hollywood is currently in a state of limbo due to the writers’ strike, with numerous productions on hold as various guilds align behind the Writers Guild of America’s work stoppage.