The Alec Baldwin shooting incident calls into question the safety of low-budget films like ‘Rust’

Accidental shooting involving Alec Baldwin that cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has died has highlighted the conditions and potential undercutting of the film ”Rust«In question.

On October 21, Baldwin rehearsed a scene for a film in which he had to cross-pull a revolver that assistant director Dave Halls convinced was a “cold gun,” a term used to describe a safe gun. edit. However, the live bullet somehow broke into the firearm. When he fired, Hutchins was hit by a fatal shot and the same bullet hit director Joel Souza’s shoulder, where she was later found.

After the tragedy, several conversations are taking place regarding the use of live ammunition and real weapons on films and TV sets. Meanwhile, “Rust” gunwoman Hannah Gutierrez Reed, one of the few people who handled firearms before the shooting, warned in a statement through his attorneys that the low budget and pressure from manufacturers to act quickly led to the failure of safety protocols.

With a budget of about $ 7 million, Western “Rust” was not a micro-budget indie. The previous winner of the best picture at Oscar, “Nomadland” was made for less. However, given the current atmosphere of filmmaking it represents coronavirus Because of the pandemic, indie productions like “Rust” are really facing a lot of pressure to move quickly as restrictions are lifted and the theater market is hungry for things that will put viewers back in their seats.


Alec Baldwin was involved in a shooting accident on the set of the movie ‘Rust’.
(Gilbert Carrasquillo / GC Images)

“Production is exploding, edges are shrinking even more, and budgets are shrinking even more,” Mynette Louie, a veteran independent film producer, told the Associated Press. “Something needs to be given.”

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said it exists “some complacency” in handling weapons on set. Investigators found 500 rounds of ammunition – a mixture of ammunition, fake ammunition and alleged live ammunition, although a firearms specialist, armored personnel carrier Gutierrez Reed, said real ammunition should never be present.

Rock reported earlier this week that lower-budget film sets are often prone to error when it comes to safeguards to prevent such accidents. While studios and television networks are reviewing these protocols after Hutchins ’death, the publication reports that there is a mood among Hollywood insiders that existing safeguards are sufficient. However, it is about enforcement and the means to implement them.

“It was incompetence, inexperience and – I hate to say it – a lack of care for my work. If a whole bunch of ammunition is stacked in a box, it’s not done that way,” said Mike Tristano, a longtime professional armored car. Associated Press.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a shot from a gun hit director Joel Souzo and director of photography Halyna Hutchins, killing him later.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a shot from a gun hit director Joel Souzo and director of photography Halyna Hutchins, killing him later.
(AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

In fact, there were concerns about the safety of the crew members before the filming of “Rust”. In an initial sworn statement, Souza told investigators that there was a new film crew on the morning of the fatal accidental shooting after several previous workers left the filming due to disputes over working conditions, including safety procedures.


A chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) in New Mexico called the reports of apprehension of non-union workers “unjustifiable.” The union will soon vote on a new standards agreement that will cover 60,000 members of the film and television team – an agreement reached with major studios after the IATSE prepared for the first strike in its 128-year existence.

In a previous statement, executive producer of “Rust” Allen Cheney challenged the idea that inexperience was to blame for the problems that arose on set. Cheney said the six film producers together have more than 35 years of experience in film and television. “Rust” called it “union-certified production.”

Halyna Hutchins was a rising star in the world of cinema when she was hit on set by a missile that eventually killed her.

Halyna Hutchins was a rising star in the world of cinema when she was hit on set by a missile that eventually killed her.
(Photo by Fred Hayes / Getty Images for SAGindie)

Interviewer on “Rust”, Serge Svetnoy accused the producer of the film of “negligence”.


“To save some cents, you hire people who aren’t fully trained for complex and dangerous work,” Svetnoy said in a Facebook post.

Veteran props master Neal W. Zoromski said Los Angeles Times that he turned down an offer to work on “Rust” because the producers insisted that one person could serve as an assistant props master and armored personnel carrier.


Investigators are still investigating whether a criminal complaint is possible for anyone involved in the “Rust” production. However, several industry connoisseurs, including Gutierrez Reed, seem to point to the budget and protocols on set as one of the important factors contributing to this.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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