Lights, Camera, OH NO an Accident


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In the event of a fall from a large height, the EMS responder will hold C-spine to prevent any further damage to the neck.

Action movies are a thrilling part of the Cinema we know and love today. Everyone loves to watch a good fight scene or a good car chase. These scenes, however, do come with a price…stunts. Actors don’t do all of the dangerous things they do in the movies, but stunt actors do a less dangerous form of the action scene they are trying to do in the movie. For example, if you need someone to fall from a 60-story building, a stunt actor will fall from a two or three-story ledge, and then the movie makers will make it seem like more. Although these stunt actors know the risk, accidents still occur, obviously. Many stunt actors suffer concussions and other head injuries; with TBI (traumatic brain injury) awareness being pushed in athletics, medical professionals have begun looking into TBIs in other areas of life, such as stunt actors.

While head injuries may be common with certain kinds of stunts, there are many different accidents that can occur on the set of a movie. This past January of 2023, there was an accidental shooting where actor Alec Baldwin mistakenly shot a cast member, leading to her death. Jared Hess, a Pennridge high school senior and avid movie watcher, stated that while the Rust incident was tragic, it was a fluke accident. However, he went on to explain that “extra medical presence on set would have helped for sure. With how extreme they can make movies now, it makes room for a lot of error like what happened.” In contrast, Zach Gobrecht, a Pennridge Senior and avid movie watcher, stated that in an emergency, resources are everything; therefore, taking more precautions to prevent and treat emergencies would likely be helpful in the long run.

In addition to the Alec Baldwin shooting, in the past few years, there have been various on-set injuries that did not involve firearms. For example, in the filming of the movie ‘midnight rider,’ an actress named Sarah Jones was killed when a train came rolling through the set at a high rate of speed after the crew failed to check the rails thoroughly.

Fortunately, for most actors, there is a set medic who is on the scene. A set medic is an EMT or paramedic who provides on-set care for actors and actresses. Set medics fill a variety of safety roles within the movie industry. Some of their most important roles are to provide immediate medical assistance in the event of an accident, coordinate advanced medical transport for actors and actresses who become critically injured, and lookout/advocate for their patients or possible patients. Zach Gobrecht, a Pennridge Senior and avid movie watcher, stated that in an emergency, resources are everything; therefore, taking more precautions.

One thing that we noticed while looking at different accidents is that a majority of accidents are related to carelessness compared to random chance. Because one person neglected their role in some way, shape, or form, another person was injured. In conjunction with more medical personnel on set, we believe that accidents can be prevented through a more thorough checking of scene safety and the weapons used on scene.