Dozens and dozens to date!
"We want it to go into a second day."
"This was such a safe space to learn in..."
TESTIMONIALS FROM PARTICIPANTS AND FANS OF THE WORKSHOPS
"I cannot express just how much I learned during the course. It was an absolute blast and I really enjoyed how hands-on the experience was.
It makes you truly understand the procedures and pitfalls of having prop guns on set and learn how to work around the issues to ensure everyone handles them safely. Overall, I could not have asked for a more in-depth course on prop gun safety and eagerly await the next level!"
-Dani K. Art Dept. 6/5/22
"IA#800 & longtime shooter, experience with guns and onset, and still, I took away so much from the class content, but also from the style of learning which included members of all the depts in my class. So, situations were examined from multiple Dept perspectives and it really helped me see not only what I saw that they didn’t, through experience and contact… but also those same situations from the differing perspectives of crew from closer and farther away from the action….. really informative on so many levels….. great class Dutch!"
-Sam G. Production Designer/ Art Director 6/5/22
"Thank you again for creating this class. It has entirely changed my perspective and comfort level around prop guns. It’s a game changer. I was, as I mentioned during class, completely against the use of any gun with firing capabilities on a set that I am prop mastering. This is no longer true. I feel so much safer and more confident. I know I have much more to learn, but I couldn’t imagine a better first step than this. Thank you so much."
-Laura S. Prop Master 7/10/22
“I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed yesterday’s workshop. The 8 hours flew by as we gained valuable safety information as well as hands-on experience. I highly recommend this experience to those in the industry!”
-Jo Ann S. Set Teacher/ Child Welfare Officer 7/24/22
"Recommended to me by an Emmy Award winning Stunt Coordinator, I had pretty high expectations going in, and Dutch met them all. I've been on the job as a First AD for almost two decades, and although I considered my ability to work with an Armorer to create a safe on set environment to be solid, the additional information and insight I gained from my eight hours with Dutch has certainly raised that to a higher level. Looking forward to seeing a course like this be mandatory for many DGA and IA members, but until that time, I would direct to anyone involved with prop firearms on sets towards Prop Gun Safety training."
-Lyon R. First Assistant Director/ DGA 9/3/22
"This past weekend I took Prop Master @dutchmerrick's @propgunsafety course. The information I learned in his course was invaluable and I cannot recommend it enough.
I was in Albuquerque filming the pilot for Die Pretty when the tragic accident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins happened on the set of "Rust." I was shocked and I had to leave set for a while to process what had happened. I have very little experience with guns; but I've worked on countless films and TV shows all involving various degrees of gun use. I felt safe at work during those scenes, because I trusted that those in charge of handling the guns knew what they were doing. I've been lucky to work with some of the best armorers and prop masters in the business. There has typically been an inherent sense of safety on set - I was working with professional, experienced and responsible crew. Then Halyna was killed, and I started thinking about all the times I had been around gunfire on set and how much I had possibly overlooked. That tragic accident could have just as easily happened to me, or my crew or my friends on any of those past shows, had the circumstances been different.
It occurred to me that I've never had training on proper gun safety on set. Contract Services, the company in charge of administering industry standard safety courses, doest not require training for gun safety outside of Local 44. My union, @icglocal600 doesn't require its members to be trained on proper gun safety.
I want everyone in camera department to take this training. It should be required, and I'm hoping that eventually it will be. We all need to know how recognize safety issues, know what questions we should be asking during safety meetings, and know how to protect ourselves if we end up on set with inexperienced crew. We deserve to feel safe on set. We deserve to know how guns should be handled, and by whom, so that we can recognize a safety issue. Most importantly we need to know that we have a right to speak up when we see something unsafe, know we have a right to refuse to film a scene, and most importantly to know when to walk away.
What happened to Halyna cannot happen again.
-Grant M. Camera Operator 7/10/22 via Instagram