Alec Baldwin’s filming highlights the lack of uniform safety regulations on filming across the country

The safety standards developed by film studios and the entertainment industry unions are what protect other groups from a similar incident to Alec Baldwin recording on recording “Rust. ”

Although the industry standard in all areas seems to be the handling of weapons, even those loaded with ammunition, as there have been deadly, shootings and deaths nonetheless. The most recent is the death of Halyne Hutchins, who was killed when Baldwin’s gun fired during the filming of “Rust,” which hit her in the chest and wounded the director. Joel Souza.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing and they are in charge primarily focused about how the combat ammunition not only broke through on the shoot, but into the gun in question in general. Despite some industry reforms following previous tragedies, the U.S. Federal Workplace Safety Agency is silent on the issue of gun safety on set. Some countries that are best suited for film and television production generally have an independent approach in favor of allowing the industry to regulate itself.

Georgia and Louisiana, where the film industry has expanded rapidly, regulate pyrotechnics at film venues, but have no specific rules regarding the use of weapons.


“We have nothing to do with firearms. We only handle things that relate to the specific effects of the explosion,” said Captain Nick Manale, a spokesman for the Louisiana State Police, where the film industry last created more than 9,600 jobs. year and generated nearly $ 800 million for local businesses, he told the Associated Press. “I’m not sure who’s doing it or if anyone is doing it.”

District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies speaks at a news conference on Oct. 27.
(REUTERS / Adria Malcolm)

New Mexico has no special security laws for the film industry. Much of the legislative debate on the industry, as in other countries, has focused on tax breaks and incentives to attract a lucrative entertainment business, rather than on the set.

In addition to attracting some large film productions, the country is home to large production centers for Netflix in NBCUniversal. From July 2020 to June this year, it had a record $ 623 million in direct spending on productions.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat and ardent supporter of the film industry, mentioned the industry’s precautionary measures over the pandemic over the summer and said she put safety first and paved the way for continued work.

Workplace safety is the most important in every industry in New Mexico, including film and television, Gov. spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said Friday.

“State and federal workplace safety regulations apply to industry just like any other workplace, and the state’s Office of Occupational Health and Safety is investigating,” Sackett said of the tragedy that occurred at a film ranch near Santa Fe. “This is an ongoing investigation, and we are waiting for additional facts to understand how something so horrific and heartbreaking could have happened.”

New Mexico workplace safety officials have confirmed they will examine whether the crew has followed industry standards. The agency does not routinely perform security checks on sets and studios unless they receive complaints.


Instead regulating the use of firearms on films and TVs, some countries leave it to the industry to follow its own guidelines. These recommendations, issued by the Industry-wide Committee on Safety and Labor Management, require limited use of live ammunition and detailed requirements for the handling and use of firearms of all kinds. Safety meetings should be organized, players should keep their fingers away from triggers until they are ready to fire, and weapons should never be left unattended, the guidelines state.

Baldwin has since spoken out about the incident and labeled it as

Baldwin has since spoken out about the incident, calling it a “tragic accident” and praising Hutchins as a “deeply admired colleague.”
(Jim Weber / Santa Fe New Mexican)

IndieWire has already reported that a non-profit organization called Contact Services is responsible for ensuring that union crew members follow well-set safety guidelines on filming. According to the website, Contact Services is dedicated to implementing “the required provisions of collective agreements between local film and television industry unions West Coast Studio Local Union and the Film and Television Producers Alliance. It offers 35 safety education courses, including” Firearms Security for the Entertainment Industry, “A 90-minute video with an accompanying test. One of the first rules it sets out is that live ammunition should not be used on a recording, except under very special circumstances.

Although it’s not clear if the “Rust” production was specifically the subject of these guidelines, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department found that the bullets were indeed found on set and that the bullet that killed Hutchins and wounded Souza was indeed alive.

Sheriff Adan Mendoza said in an interview for the show “TODAY” that the investigation now focused on live circles.


Without special state or federal regulations, it is primarily up to the people working in production to ensure the safe use of weapons. Brook Yeaton, vice president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which represents workers in Louisiana and parts of Mississippi and Alabama, said his approach is to act as if all weapons are real, and never allow live ammunition on set. .

“We shouldn’t be in the truck. We shouldn’t be in the same car,” Yeaton told the Associated Press. “You really need to make sure your inventory is completely separate from the real world and that everything you bring to the recording is safe.”

At one of the world’s leading film centers in New York, productions must adhere to a code of conduct that sets rules for parking, notifying neighbors, and other details, including stating that the sound of gunshots should not ring outdoors between 10 p.m. and 10.00 For the use of a weapon or firearm, the city also requires permission from the police administration and the police officer to be on the set.

The Texas Film Commission’s website states that productions that use props – which can be replicas or real rifles that shoot with snow instead of live ammunition – must have security shelves, professional gun handlers and proof of insurance.


California, which is still the capital of the film industry, requires a firearms license for entertainment, although it is not clear how license requirements are enforced.

Aerial view of a film set on the Bonanza Creek ranch, where Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Aerial view of a film set on the Bonanza Creek ranch, where Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

New Mexico lawmaker Antonio “Moe” Maestas, an Albuquerque lawyer and advocate for his country’s film incentives, wondered if any security legislation could prevent a fatal shooting on the set of “Rust”.

“How can you deter an involuntary act?” he asked.


Maestas said production companies might consider using post-production effects to mimic the scenes and sounds they now rely on props.

“This is the only way to really ensure that this never happens again,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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