So I never watched but a few episodes of the new Battlestar Galactica when it was on. I remedied that with DVDs.
For those 3 people that read this blog but are unaware of the world of television program, a diaspora of space humans is fleeing annihilation at the hands/servos of robot cylons in ragtag fleet and is seeking earth as a new homeland. They have the one military asset remaining to shepherd them to the promised land in the form of a space-Nimitz, the Battlestat Galactica.
Now, because it is SciFi and military there are sidearms. And they can't use something TOO familiar to wider audiences, so they characters end up carrying guns that are real, but relatively odd looking and futuristic and often slightly modified. Thing Harrison Ford's blaster in Star Wars, which was a Mauser C96 (update/correction, thanks Clint) with a compensator on the muzzle, or his funky revolver in Blade Runner which was a Charter Arms bulldog with a Steyr bolt-receiver glued onto it and lucite grips.
In BSG we see LOTS of different stuff. My favorite is a heavily modified S&W 686. So modified that you can't even recognize it as a revolver.
The Beretta CX4 Storm is a prominent rifle, mostly unmodified because it looks uncommon and unconventional enough.
Another solution they used is unmodified pistols that are conventional, but kinda furren. Like the South African Vektor.
The movie trick with more recognizable designs, like AK patterns rifles, is not figure them prominently.
I like this method of problem solving. And it's sort of necessary due to the sheer number of firearms required in filming. It would be much more expensive and less realistic to invent stage props out of whole cloth in the variety and numbers required. Have you noticed that when good production companies DO go the whole "invent a raygun" look they like to base it on most of an actual firearm. This allows the prop to be heavy enough to look substantial when held, and is easier for the actors to wield it in a realistic way. Carving something out of styrofoam and coating it in resin and painting it black you end up with something that doesn't FEEL like a weapon to the actors and then they don't tote like one. Like something they've seen throughout their lives in other movies, even if they have never handled a firearm before this movie/TV role.
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