The Theatrical Firearms Handbook  book cover
1st Edition

The Theatrical Firearms Handbook

ISBN 9780415733984
Published April 4, 2014 by Routledge
352 Pages

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USD $46.95

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Book Description

The Theatrical Firearms Handbook is the essential guide to navigating the many decisions that are involved in the safe and effective use of firearm props for both the stage and screen.

This book establishes baseline safety protocol while empowering performers and designers to tell their story of conflict in a way that makes the most of both established convention and current tools of the trade. Within these pages are practical instruction couched in the language of theatre and film, making firearms technology and concepts approachable to dramatic artists without any dumbing-down of the subject material. It contains over 100 illustrations

This handbook is equally at home within the worlds of academic training, professional performance, and independent or community theatre and video productions, and is an invaluable resource for fight choreographers, props designers, backstage crew, directors, actors, stage managers, and more, at all levels of experience.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Basic Firearms 101

Chapter 2: Choose Your Weapons!

Chapter 3: Acquiring Props

Chapter 4: Backstage Protocol & Gun Wrangling

Chapter 5: Looking the Part

Chapter 6: Staging Your Shootout

Chapter 7: Shooting Your Shootout

Chapter 8: Troubleshooting

Chapter 9: Consequences

Chapter 10: Realities of Modern Combat

Chapter 11: Covering Yourself (Legal Issues)

Appendix A: Glossary of Terms

Appendix B: Labeled Diagrams

Appendix C: Additional Resources

Appendix D: Sample Checklist & Waiver

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Kevin Inouye has over 15 years' experience in theatre, film, prop weaponry and especially stage combat choreography. He holds Teacher Certification and Theatrical Firearms Safety Instructor rank with the Society of American Fight Directors, an MFA in Theatre Pedagogy, SAG-AFTRA union performer membership, is sole proprietor of a prop weapons rental business, and has taught acting, movement, and stage combat at colleges, theatres, and workshops across North America. He is now based in Laramie, WY where he serves as Assistant Professor of Acting, Movement, and Stage Combat at the University of Wyoming.


My hat is off to Kevin for all the fine work on what is an invaluable addition to any theatrical library. It is the next and vital component in the continuing effort to provide a safe and effective theatrical experience for performers and audience alike.

– Chuck Coyl, President, S.A.F.D.

Practitioners of all experience levels have something to gain from this book… Mr. Inouye covers this serious topic with all the intricate depth of a university professor, the colloquial frankness of a trusted colleague, and the no-nonsense clarity of an industry professional. The combination allows him to simultaneously let his readers know when they might be out of their depth, and provide them with information on how to tread water until they figure it out. A must read for anyone in the theatre or independent film scene who is considering the use of a prop that goes "bang!"

– Adam Noble, Associate Professor, University of Houston; Fight Director, S.A.F.D.

Kevin Inouye belongs to a culture of professional fight directors, stunt coordinators, choreographers and teachers, many of whom are true experts (geeks, even) on weapons, combat and most topics related to fighting. Yet, even amongst his peers, Kevin stands out when it comes to firearms. His knowledge is surpassed only by an enthusiastic commitment to teaching those around him about correctly handling what are the most dangerous and vital props in the industry, and he manages to do so in a straightforward and accessible manner. Readers with all levels of experience will benefit from (and I daresay enjoy) this book which lays out a plethora of information on every aspect of utilizing theatrical firearms and should grace the bookshelves of every professional involved in the theatre/film industry.

– Robb Hunter, Certified Fight Director and Teacher, Society of American Fight Directors, President/CEO, Preferred Arms, Inc.

Mr. Inouye would be the first to admit that this one book cannot possibly cover every topic, nor be everything to everyone, but he has successfully created a handbook that has something for everyone. I would go so far as to say a significant amount...Whatever your personal feelings about firearms, we cannot deny their popularity and widespread usage in film, television, and the theatre. Mr. Inouye's terrific book is an important treatise on their safe and proper usage as well as a call for all of us to continue forwarding our artistic understanding of these tools, which have become so ubiquitous in our business.

– Adam Noble, The Fight Master