An on-set mix up during the filming of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight led to the destruction of a priceless Martin Guitar.
A 145-year-old authentic Martin was on loan from the guitar company during the shoot last year. It was used for a scene in which Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character Daisy Domergue plays the guitar before it’s snatched out of her hands and smashed by John Ruth, played by Kurt Russell. During a recent screening of the film, sound mixer Mark Ulano explained that there were six duplicate versions of the guitar made to be smashed in the scene. This was never communicated to Russell, who ended up instead destroying the original by mistake during filming.
Apparently, the details on how the guitar was destroyed never reached C.F. Martin & Co.’s director Dick Boak, who just released a stern statement in response to Ulano’s revelation.
“We were informed that it was an accident on set,” Boak said. “We assumed that a scaffolding or something fell on it. All this about the guitar being smashed being written into the script and that somebody just didn’t tell the actor, this is all new information to us. We didn’t know anything about the script or Kurt Russell not being told that it was a priceless, irreplaceable artifact from the Martin Museum.”
The guitar was found to be unfixable, leaving the Martin collection without one of its most prized possessions. This incident has caused the company to make some big changes with the hopes of reminding everyone of the importance of preserving historic pieces.
“As a result of the incident, the company will no longer loan guitars to movies under any circumstances,” Boak explained. “We want to make sure that people know that the incident was very distressing to us, we can’t believe that it happened. I don’t think anything can really remedy this. We’ve been remunerated for the insurance value, but it’s not about the money. It’s about the preservation of American musical history and heritage.”