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World 'Rust' shooting: assistant director previously sacked over gun safety

03:06  26 october  2021
03:06  26 october  2021 Source:   afp.com

Alec Baldwin's 'Rust' movie conducting 'internal review' after reported complaints of set conditions

  Alec Baldwin's 'Rust' movie conducting 'internal review' after reported complaints of set conditions Rust Movie Productions, the company behind the movie "Rust," has launched an "internal review" after an on-set accident left one dead and another wounded after Alec Baldwin accidentally discharged a prop gun.On Thursday, the 63-year-old actor discharged a prop gun during a rehearsal, resulting in the death of Halyna Hutchins, who was working as the film's director of photography.

The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin the loaded weapon that killed a cinematographer had been sacked from a previous production for gun safety violations, the company said Monday.

US actor Alec Baldwin has said he is cooperating with police investigating the killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins © Angela Weiss US actor Alec Baldwin has said he is cooperating with police investigating the killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

The news came as it was reported that crew members had used that same weapon for live-ammunition target practice on the day Halyna Hutchins died.

Hutchins was killed Thursday on the set of low-budget Western "Rust" when Baldwin fired a weapon that assistant director Dave Halls had told him was safe, using the industry lingo "cold gun."

'Someone will be fatally hurt': What to know about prop guns on movie sets

  'Someone will be fatally hurt': What to know about prop guns on movie sets Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died Thursday after Alec Baldwin fired a loaded weapon that was handed to him by an assistant director who mistakenly believed it was safe to use on the New Mexico set of Rust. Director Joel Souza was also hit and injured but has since been released from the hospital. While many things still aren't known — police are investigating — the AP looks at the use of firearms on film and television productions and the safety protocols in place.

"Dave Halls was fired from the set of 'Freedom's Path' in 2019 after a crew member incurred a minor and temporary injury when a gun was unexpectedly discharged," a producer for the as-yet-unreleased movie told AFP.

A candlelight vigil in Burbank, California, for cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was accidentally killed by a prop gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin © DAVID MCNEW A candlelight vigil in Burbank, California, for cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was accidentally killed by a prop gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin

"Halls was removed from set immediately after the prop gun discharged. Production did not resume filming until Dave was off-site. An incident report was taken and filed at that time."

Attention has focused on Halls and 24-year-old armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in the wake of the tragedy on the set near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

An armorer is tasked with supplying and keeping weapons safe on set, ensuring that they are accounted for at all times, and locked away when not in use.

Rust crew member says he held Halyna Hutchins 'while she was dying' after prop gun shooting

  Rust crew member says he held Halyna Hutchins 'while she was dying' after prop gun shooting Halyna Hutchins' colleague has shared his account of the on-set shooting that claimed the cinematographer's life last week, saying he "held her" as she was dying. Hutchins, 42, was accidentally shot and killed by actor Alec Baldwin on Thursday while the actor was rehearsing a scene for the film Rust that involved him pointing a revolver in the direction of a camera lens. Serge Svetnoy, the film's 'gaffer' or chief electrician, wrote in a Facebook post titled "My vision of the RUST tragedy" that he was standing next to Hutchins when she was killed.

But entertainment trade website The Wrap reported Monday that crew members had been using the weapons just hours before Hutchins was killed.

"A number of crew members had taken prop guns from the New Mexico set of the indie Western -- including the gun that killed Hutchins -- to go 'plinking,' a hobby in which people shoot at beer cans with live ammunition," the website said, citing an unidentified individual with knowledge of the set.

A photo of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is seen above the shadows of people approaching a memorial table during a candlelight vigil after she was killed by a prop gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin © DAVID MCNEW A photo of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is seen above the shadows of people approaching a memorial table during a candlelight vigil after she was killed by a prop gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin

The producers of "Rust" did not respond to multiple AFP requests for comment.

- Gun pointed at camera -

The developments came as a narrative of the tragedy emerged from an affidavit submitted by Santa Fe sheriffs as they sought a search warrant.

Alec Baldwin's 'Rust' shooting being independently investigated by Gloria Allred: 'Many unanswered questions'

  Alec Baldwin's 'Rust' shooting being independently investigated by Gloria Allred: 'Many unanswered questions' High-power attorney Gloria Allred has announced that she is launching her own investigation into Alec Baldwin's "Rust" shooting incident on behalf of her client, script supervisor Mamie Mitchell.The famed lawyer confirmed to Fox News via email that she is representing Mamie Mitchell, a script supervisor for the film who placed the 911 call after a firearm was discharged.

The document explains how Baldwin was practicing drawing his gun from his holster and pointing it at the camera when the accident happened.

The 63-year-old was "sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practicing a cross draw," director Joel Souza said in the affidavit, "pointing the revolver towards the camera lens."

Souza told investigators he was looking over Hutchins' shoulder "when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop."

The director said he remembered the 42-year-old Hutchins "grabbing her midsection."

"Halyna began to stumble backwards and she was assisted to the ground," the affidavit said. "Joel explained that he was bleeding from his shoulder and he could see blood on Halyna."

Hutchins was declared dead in hospital a short time later. Souza, 48, was treated by doctors and sent home.

No one has been charged and no arrests have been made.

The incident happened after a lunch break, Souza said in the affidavit, and the director wasn't sure if the gun had been checked again for safety after the break.

Halls handed one of three prop guns to Baldwin that had been set up on a cart by Gutierrez-Reed, the document says.

Timeline of events: How the fatal Rust shooting unfolded, moment by moment

  Timeline of events: How the fatal Rust shooting unfolded, moment by moment The cast and crew of Rust had just returned from lunch when it happened. One minute, producer-star Alec Baldwin and a handful of others were rehearsing a scene in a wooden church on a dusty Old West movie set meant to look like 1880s Kansas. The next minute, two people were bleeding from gunshot wounds — one of which would prove to be fatal — and everyone was reeling from confusion and shock. Here, based on a search warrant affidavit and 911 calls, is a moment-by-moment account of what happened that day.

"(Halls) yelled 'Cold Gun,' indicating the prop gun did not have any live rounds," it said. "(Halls) did not know live rounds were in the prop-gun."

- 'Negligence and unprofessionalism' -

The film's gaffer -- or chief electrician -- said he held Hutchins in his arms as she was dying, writing an angry Facebook post which alleges the shooting was a result of "negligence and unprofessionalism."

"There is no way a twenty-four-year-old woman can be a professional with armory," Serge Svetnoy wrote, adding: "Professionals are the people who have spent years on sets, people who know this job from A to Z."

"To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people who are close and your lives as well," he said.

Veteran Hollywood armorer Guillaume Delouche told AFP he was "very surprised" that somebody of Gutierrez-Reed's age and inexperience "could be a chief armorer on a movie that has to have a lot of gunfighting scenes."

"Rust" was only her second film as chief armorer. She is the daughter of expert Hollywood armorer Thell Reed, whose credits include "Django Unchained."

Gutierrez-Reed could not be reached for comment, and has deleted her social media profiles.

Baldwin's wife Hilaria on Monday took to Instagram to convey her sorrow over the fatal shooting.

"My heart is with Halyna. Her husband. Her son. Their family and loved ones. And my Alec," Baldwin posted. "It's said 'There are no words' because it's impossible to express the shock and heartache of such a tragic incident."

"Heartbreak. Loss. Support," she wrote.

hg/amz/bgs

'Rust' first camera assistant claims Alec Baldwin shooting a result of lack of gun safety protocols .
“Rust” first camera assistant Lane Luper is speaking out about a lack of gun safety on set that he says contributed to Alec Baldwin discharging a gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Luper appeared on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, where he explained why he resigned from the movie that was being filmed in Santa Fe, New Mexico. "What I put in my resignation letter was lax COVID policies, the housing situation driving to and from Albuquerque, and specifically, gun safety, a lack of rehearsals, a lack of preparing the crew for what we were doing that day," Luper said.

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This is interesting!