ROME – Italian producers are up in arms over the introduction of allegedly inapplicable new rules regulating the use of prop firearms on movie sets. These new norms are causing local film and TV productions to grind to a halt and could reportedly pose a problem for the upcoming Italo portion of the 24th James Bond film, expected to shoot in Rome in January of 2015.
Italy’s motion picture association ANICA has issued a statement calling the regulations, which went into effect last week, “technically debatable and objectively inapplicable.” Producers are also lamenting that, since they are impossible to apply, these norms will cause “major economic losses” if they are not voided.
Meanwhile, Italian companies which provide prop guns and weapons to film and TV productions have stopped working and pulled their armaments from the sets of ongoing productions because they claim they cannot comply with the new norms, and don’t want to risk being fined or worse. The norms set out new technical specifications of how real firearms and other weapons must be modified and handled in order to be licenced for use on film sets in Italy.
Italy’s previous regulations are said to have been in line with those in effect in the the rest of Europe. But an Italian commission recently established a set of different measures which are now causing the uproar.
As for how this mess could impact the new Bond pic, Italian media are reporting that director Sam Mendes was recently in Rome scouting locations for an Italo segment of the pic, expected to shoot in January. They are speculating the firearms regs could impact the pic, if they are not voided by then. That’s assuming weapons would be part of that segment, which is likely but not certain. Cameras are expected to start rolling on the 24th James Bond film in early December in London’t Pinewood Studios. In Italy the film will tap into two different types of recently introduced tax incentives.
“The efforts of our film commissions and our incentives, which seek to attract international action movies to come shoot on our territory, will become useless,” Italy’s producers warned.
Italian productions currently halted by the inapplicable regs include Cattleya-produced gangster pic “Suburra,” by Stefano Sollima, helmer of gritty “Gomorrah” TV series about the Neapolitan mob (pictured), aired in Italy by Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Italia, which has recently become Italy’s all-time biggest TV export.