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Actress Shannon Lucio has just overpowered two rogue cops using everything from a pants belt to a shard of glass. She applied the “one mind, many weapons” technique taught to her by former Marine Sgt. Jon Barton, who was watching the action unfold as the cameras rolled inside a former shoe warehouse in North Hollywood on Sunday night.

Barton trained Lucio, who plays a CIA-trained assassin in an indie action feature called “Insert,” in various combat techniques and the proper way to fire handguns. Lucio wasn’t playing with toy replicas but was instead using a real Glock and a real Beretta that Barton had designed to fire by compressed gas rather than with blanks, which can be hazardous when fired at close distances.

It’s all part of a day’s (or night’s) work for Barton, 33, whose Hollywood company, Tactical Media Group, provides military training and equipment to film and TV producers looking to inject violent authenticity into their movies and shows.

The proliferation of action-packed crime dramas such as “NCIS” and the upcoming “Hawaii Five-O,” as well as movies with elaborate stunts and gun scenes, has created a cottage industry for former soldiers like Barton who can use their real-world combat experience to train actors in the proper use of firearms and in stage fights that resemble the real thing.

Although Hollywood has always attracted entrepreneurial veterans looking to trade on their technical expertise gained in the armed services, seven years of the country fighting two wars has produced a cadre of former soldiers seeking to become military advisors for film and TV.

Source: Richard Verrier for the Los Angeles Times.

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