Is the axe about to fall on THE PROJECT? | Guns in Hollywood | Allison Langdon


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The team are down a member, but Allison Langdon swings by for a chat about her relationship with Today co-host, Karl Stefanovic, and new series Parental Guidance | TV Blackbox S06E15

Peter Helliar, Carrie Bickmore, and Waleed Aly

Is The Project in danger after repeated low ratings, and concerned bosses in the US?

The world has been watching as investigations continue after Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun, which killed a cinematographer and injured a director – what could this mean for the future of weapons use on film and television sets?

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Plus, as the tight ratings race continues between Seven and Nine, which Channel 10 show surprised everyone, and even had Rob McKnight admitting he was wrong?

All that, and more, in the edition of the TV Blackbox Podcast.

In this episode:

  • 1.22 – Inside the TV ratings war
  • 9.21 – Production paused on Alec Baldwin film
  • 14.50 – The future of The Project
  • 20.15 – The ratings race
  • 28.10 – TV Blackbox Awards finalists
  • 30.01 – Hatches & Dispatches
  • 31.40 – Allison Langdon interview
  • 45.58 – TV Bingebox
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Abbey Mikkelsen
Abbey Mikkelsen
Abbey Mikkelsen is a producer of the ANJ, ROB & ROBBO SHOW, having worked previously at STUDIO 10 as the Production Assistant. She is a writer and producer of the TV BLACKBOX podcast, and contributor to the TV Blackbox website. She is also the host & executive producer of the PLAYING IT BY EAR podcast. For all media enquiries, please contact Abbey via: [email protected]



  1. I fully agree with Ms Mikkelsen in regards to the substitution for using post production techniques used in movies especially in the case of weapons.

    CGI is employed when pretending the actors are in space, on a tall building or in far reaches of the world which is inaccessible to name a few scenarios.

    ADR is used when the original recording of the actor’s voice is unsatisfactory, for example the background noise interferes with the actor’s voice. Example, in the 1980s, the ABC made “Captain Cook” and filming was on board a sailing ship owned by Dino Di Laurentis. The sailing ship was meant to be “The Endeavour” sailed by Captain Cook. The ship used in the filming had diesel engines and these engines were in operation, made noise and the dialog had to be re-enacted post production. Even then the dialogue was out-of-sync with the picture.

    Foley is another post production technique developed from radio sound effects days. It’s basically dubbed sound effects. Foley artists are at liberty to use any means to synthesise the sounds: examples include coconut shells on gravel to simulate horses trotting. Even in radio, the ABC’s radio cricket coverage of the 1930s, the commentator used a pencil and block of wood to simulate the sound of the bat hitting the ball.

    So it follows that the feel and sound of weapons can be synthesised using post production. Take an extreme example of explosions during war movies. I doubt that a cannon has actually been discharged in front of the camera. The sound and movement is all post production including the explosions. That is in addition to the post production artists using equipment for surround sound, Dolby Atmos to make the sound come from all directions.

    Thus it follows that post production techniques in sound and vision can be employed for a simple gun. This can avoid any accidental discharge of any blanks and real ordinances causing injury or fatality.

    Remember that explosions that are seen on movies are handled by pyrotechnic experts not actors. But where there are weapons handled by actors, the weapons must be fake. Smoke and momentary bright lights as a result of the discharge of a weapon can be made post production.

    As Ms Mikkelson said, it’s all fake anyway.

    Thank you,
    Anthony of exciting Belfield

  2. The whole Ally joining to talk about relationship with Karl screams damage control from nine and is a PR stunt. Sorry not a fan of the podcast being used as a PR tool for Nine to clean up its mess.

  3. I’ve worked on location sets where guns were used, and so much of what happened here rings alarm bells. It’s so tragic.

    This is my experience:

    If you have guns on set, there should be a chain custody. Unless the gun is specifically required in shot, then it should be locked away in a case, with the case on someone’s person. (if nothing else, so they don’t get stolen). Every cylinder should be checked with two people present, to cross check. Even if a gun is “cold”, you still don’t stand in front of it and you don’t pull the trigger if anybody is in the line of fire (regardless of it being cold or not). If it’s really that important to get a barrel shot, use a remote camera. If you really need a bullet being fired and CGI won’t do, go to a range with an experienced gun handler to film then shooting multiple rounds from multiple angles and then overlay the footage.

    Between (1) chain of custody, (2) crossing checking the cylinder, (3) not standing in front of a gun or (4) not pulling the trigger if people are in the line of fire, there are multiple fail safes.

    A lot has been said about the armorer being inexperienced and juggling two jobs on set. That’s fair. But whilst arguably that stinks of Producers wanting too much from too little, there is more to this tragic event. So many people, from the armorer, the prop master, the AD, the actor, and even the two victims who were tragically shot – all arguably contributed towards this death by ignoring basic safety protocols.

    Beyond that, non-firing replica antique pistols are plentiful in the US. Compared to hassle of live guns on set, non-firing replicas overlaid by range shots is cheaper and safer.

    We forget there are a lot of ways to get badly hurt on sets, stay safe everybody!

  4. I agree with B Polmer that if an authentic firing of a firearm be required for the movie, like explosives being handled by professional pyro technicians, use professional gun handlers, take the firing from all angles and CGI (the verb) it into the movie.

    As an aside, I will never forget as a student at a religious school in year 8 going on an excursion to the Holsworthy Army Barracks, where the soldiers who are experienced firearms people said “….even if the firearm has no bullets, treat the weapon as if it was loaded….”

    In other words, if using an empty weapon don’t point it at people and pull the trigger. Treat the weapon as if it was loaded.

    Put it in other words, don’t be cheapskates. Let the actors use fake weapons and CGI effects to ‘dub’ in the vision and sound of firearms discharged whether ‘animated’ or from experienced firearms specialists.

    Thank you,
    Anthony of exciting Belfield

  5. “The Project” is soooooooo dated 90s and the editing style aka “Chicken Nugget Bite” sized – trying to explain complicated arguments in 5 seconds click-baitish segments does not work. Plus its virtue signaling wokeness is beyond most average punters.

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