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View Full Version : Why do TV Stars hold flashlights oddly on cop shows?



Bob
August 2nd, 2007, 07:46 PM
Next time you watch a television cop show, or any such similar "drama," pay attention to the way the actors/actresses hold their flashlights. They hold the flashlight by forming an "L" with their arms, and by holding the flashlight with an overhand grasp. I don't know anybody who holds a flashlight like that. So...that's my question. What's up with this odd way of holding a flashlight?

(On a related note, why is it every cop/lawyer show on TV features a supervisor's office festooned with venetian blinds?)

NYatKNIGHT
August 2nd, 2007, 11:24 PM
Everyone knows that holding the flashlight in front of you is so 20th Century.

User Name
August 3rd, 2007, 09:43 AM
IIRC it has to do with not wanting to be shot...

Schadenfrau
August 3rd, 2007, 11:03 AM
The camera is usually focused on the actor carrying the flashlight, so I imagine they have to hold it strangely to allow for a tight shot. A fully extended arm would take up a lot of the frame.

Hof
August 3rd, 2007, 12:25 PM
Why do TV street thugs always hold their pistols at a 90 degree angle,seemingly ready to shoot someone sideways?
If you ever shot a pistol like that,the kickback would cause you to whack yourself in the face with your own fist.

ZippyTheChimp
August 3rd, 2007, 02:45 PM
Next time you watch a television cop show, or any such similar "drama," pay attention to the way the actors/actresses hold their flashlights. They hold the flashlight by forming an "L" with their arms, and by holding the flashlight with an overhand grasp.Looks like the directors are doing their homework.

For law enforcement, an ice-pick grip, not a screwdriver grip, is the preferred method of holding a flashlight.

The flashlight can more easily be used as a defensive weapon.

In a search situation, you can easily vary the location of the flashlight to draw less attention to yourself (overhead, arm extended out, across your body).

Even in the Harries Technique (Michael Harries), which has the flashlight forward, the overhand grip is used. The flashlight hand is crossed under the gun hand, with the backs of the hands pressed together. This creates a triangle that helps support the gun.

This is more useful if the location of the threat is known. Otherwise, your body is directly behind the light source.

Bonus: The overhand grip looks cool.

ablarc
August 4th, 2007, 12:34 PM
^ Are you a cop?

ZippyTheChimp
August 4th, 2007, 12:51 PM
Just because I rant against handguns doesn't mean I know nothing about them.

I do know a few cops though, city and state. And my uncle was a Nassau County Police detective.

Ninjahedge
August 6th, 2007, 09:38 AM
Looks like the directors are doing their homework.

For law enforcement, an ice-pick grip, not a screwdriver grip, is the preferred method of holding a flashlight.

The flashlight can more easily be used as a defensive weapon.

In a search situation, you can easily vary the location of the flashlight to draw less attention to yourself (overhead, arm extended out, across your body).

Even in the Harries Technique (Michael Harries), which has the flashlight forward, the overhand grip is used. The flashlight hand is crossed under the gun hand, with the backs of the hands pressed together. This creates a triangle that helps support the gun.

This is more useful if the location of the threat is known. Otherwise, your body is directly behind the light source.

Bonus: The overhand grip looks cool.

I was just going to say that Zip.

The overhand position for things like Mag-lights make them easily used to club someone if they make a move. I have seen it used like that mostly with traffic cops or cops that are using the light in close proximity to a suspect or other person.

Otherwise, I think it is as people are saying. An easy way to get a facial shot on dark-set scene.

mothproof
August 15th, 2007, 01:59 AM
....

Bonus: The overhand grip looks cool.


as in Mulder and Scully-cool with their super-duper flashlights.. :)

ZippyTheChimp
August 15th, 2007, 11:57 AM
Otherwise, I think it is as people are saying. An easy way to get a facial shot on dark-set scene.Don't know why it's done that way in a movie, but it's true to life.

What's ridiculous is searching around corners and into doorways with the gun held out stiff arm.

Ninjahedge
August 15th, 2007, 02:51 PM
Or trying to sneak up on someone in a hallway wearing dress shoes (hard heels).

You would think that the FBI, or the cops/detectives would have the sense to wear rubber soled shoes... :p

lofter1
August 15th, 2007, 06:03 PM
As any fan of Bye Bye Birdie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bye_Bye_Birdie) / Maureen Stapleton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maureen_Stapleton) can tell you:

Rubber souled shoes can be just as noisy as the hardest heeled high heels ...

http://dannymiller.typepad.com/blog/images/birdie2_1.jpg

ZippyTheChimp
August 15th, 2007, 07:59 PM
Gumshoe

lofter1
August 15th, 2007, 08:24 PM
^^^ precisely (http://www.word-detective.com/030299.html#gumshoe)

Ninjahedge
August 16th, 2007, 09:18 AM
Then why do they make so much noise when "sneaking" down the hall in an office or hospital, with their gun held out at full length, still wearing their suit jackets? ;)

My point was fiction, not reality guys!!! :D

lofter1
August 16th, 2007, 09:48 AM
Then why do they make so much noise when "sneaking" down the hall in an office or hospital ...

Blame the floor wax, not the gumshoe ;)

Santafe
October 27th, 2010, 01:55 PM
Here's an answer from a police officer: http://www.imponderables.com/archives/000152.php