I was watching a documentary on William Wellman and he was talking about The Public Enemy (1931) ant the narrator talked about using live ammunition and sharp shooters after showing a scene where machine gun bullets hit the face of a brick wall in a kinda D pattern at the edge of an alley where a gangster stands with a gun, his head poked out, looking around the corner. The hits are literally less that a foot from his face. The next scene in the doc. shows a still of a man with a tommy gun on a platform (like a low all wooden parallel) on one knee aiming at the wall and the camera and crew off to one side.
I ALSO have the book by Robert E. McCarthy called Secrets of Hollywood Special Effects in which he diagrams and describes shooting arrows with a specially constructed crossbow that uses surgical tubing in place of the bow at an actor Martin Mull wearing a heavily padded iron breast and back plate body armor with a regulation 1 and 1/2" hardwood facing and leather and sheep's wool padding. He also mentions spears and knives being shot at actors with the same rig, some wire guided others...a...not. He also mentions that he recommends against actually throwing the knife at the actor unless you are excellent at throwing knives....which I also feel is a fairly important attribute if attempting this effect as well.
Well on another subject, I really enjoy reading this book and having it in my collection, can anyone recommend any other good books on floor, live or practical movie special effects (however you want to characterize them) ?
Edited by James Steven Beverly, 29 December 2007 - 12:19 AM.