VIDEO: shooting on the set of the cop drama King


King returns for a second season Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 9 p.m. on Showcase. Amy Price-Francis returns as a ballsy police detective booted upstairs to head a Major Crimes division, where she butts heads–among other things–with Alan Van Sprang’s moody cop character.
I was invited to the south Etobicoke set a few weeks ago, along with fellow critic Rob Salem, to fire some guns. Critics love taking aim at things and firing away with abandon so naturally we both jumped at the chance.
A makeshift firing range was set up in a loading dock. A couple of ammo experts, Charles Taylor, Russ Cook and Paul Wassill, schooled us on how to fire a gun properly.
These guys from Movie Armaments Group in Toronto are all ex-cops and know their way around a pistol. Taylor reminded us all about Jon-Eric Hexum, the young TV stud who tragically took his own life. Hexum was on the set of the CBS series Cover Up. Between takes, he held a gun which still contained one blank, up to his temple and pulling the trigger. Dumb move–the force of air from the gun alone can bore a hole right through you. Even if he had survived, his eardrums likely would have been blown out. Hexum was taken straight to a hospital but was declared brain dead and expired six days later.
That warning got everybody’s attention on the set of King. Hexum’s death literally changed how guns are handled on TV and movie sets. There are always experts around whenever firearms are used now.
The above video captures all of our safe little bangity-bang action. Cut from the tape were scenes of me flinching like a little girl as Price-Francis confidently blared away at her target.
Thirteen new episodes will air this winter and spring. The series has more of an ensemble feel in Season Two thanks to a couple of key casting additions, introduced on Wednesday’s episode. Read more about it in this feature I filed this week for The Canadian Press.

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