3 Myths about Injuries on Movie Sets

Lights, camera, action!

Accidents, injuries, and deaths happen in the movies, just as they do in real life. One thing we do not expect, though, is to hear that a famous actor, producer, or their crews have either been seriously injured or died while filming a movie or television show on the set. Here are few myths about accidents, injuries, and deaths that have occurred while filming movies or television shows, as well as some surprising statistics.

movie set injuries

Myth #1: Acting is a Cushy Job

Most people think that acting is a high-paid, no-risk, cushy job, but actors actually put their lives on the line in many of the movies that we flock to the theaters to see. Think about it: most of us enjoy watching movies with lots of action in them. High speed chases. Cops-on-foot chases. Gun fights. Generally, the more action and excitement in a movie, the better.

Myth #2: All Actors Have Stuntmen  

Continuing with the misconception that acting is a cushy job, another fallacy is that all actors have stuntmen so that they do not have to put their lives on the line. On the contrary, that is one of the reasons producers pick specific actors for their movies – they will perform their own stunts. Unfortunately, this has led to numerous famous actors getting injured and killed while filming movies.

Most of us have heard about the death of Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son. It happened in 1994, on the set of The Crow, when a prop gun accidentally discharged a bullet instead of a blank. While filming Django Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio crushed a glass with his hand accidently when he slammed his hand on the table over and over again. He smashed a crystal cordial glass and required stitches to fix it up, but it did not prevent him from staying in character, and that scene made it into the actual movie. Brad Pitt severed a tendon in his hand when he put his arm through a window in the movie Se7en. The injury had to be worked into the script so Pitt could continue the movie with his arm bandaged.

Myth #3: Actors are Most at Risk of Injury or Death on Film Sets

While it would be easy to assume that actors are the most at risk on film sets of suffering injury or death, the actors usually have safety harnesses or other equipment to protect them during the stunts. However, cameramen run with their cameras and usually have nothing in place to protect them in the event something goes wrong. Quite often, they are the ones who are right in the middle of the action. While plenty of actors have been injured or even died on film sets, over the past decade, camera personnel for movies and television shows have suffered more than four-fold the number of deaths than stuntmen.

Cameramen Killed

Actors who perform stunts are not the only people who get injured or killed on the set of a movie. Cameramen are often in the line of hazards, as well. For example, in 2011, a helicopter crash in Pennsylvania killed cameraman Greg Jacobsen. This happened amidst filming footage for G4’s Campus PD. In 2007, on the set of The Dark Knight, Conway Wickliffe was killed in Surrey, England, during a car chase. The truck he was filming from crashed into a tree when it missed a turn, killing the cameraman.

Whoever said filming movies and television was not dangerous?

It does not matter if you are an actor, a cameraman, a producer’s assistant, or the water boy. If you have been injured on the set of a film, it is important that you obtain a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer immediately. Call the law offices at Solnick & Associates, LLC today at (877) 958-7010 for a risk-free consultation.