The issue of safety on the sets of Hollywood films was launched into the national conversation this week after Alec Baldwin pulled the trigger on a prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while filming an indie Western, “Rust,” at a New Mexico movie ranch.

The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also hit during the incident but is recovering in a Santa Fe hospital. He said he was “gutted” by the loss of Hutchins in a statement issued to DeadlineOn Saturday.

“She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch, and always pushed me to be better,” the director said.

Baldwin also expressed shock, saying Friday that his “heart is broken” for Hutchins’ loved ones. He was photographed Saturday leaving a Santa Fe hotelMatt Hutchins was her husband and she shared a hug with their son before they parted ways.

Here’s what we know about what happened, how it happened, and what is being done to prevent future tragedies like it.

Alec Baldwin, distraught after being interrogated in the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office Parking Lot
Source: Associated Press

Is it possible for a prop pistol to become deadly?

Baldwin was attempting to engage in a gunfight. the Los Angeles Times reportedCiting production notes, Baldwin is supposed to pull a gun out of her holster and back out from a church. Although the crew of film would usually watch the scene from distance, L.A. Times stated that Hutchins was still planning her next photo with Souza and another person. Baldwin is reported to have pulled out the gun once and the firearm discharged the second.

Hutchins sustained a hit to the chest, while Souza was injured in the shoulder. Helicopters were used to transport the cinematographer to hospital. However, he died from his injuries.

There are many details that remain unclear about the incident, such as what gun was used and what projectile struck the crew. Also, the number of projectiles, the person who prepared the gun to be used on the set, and whether they followed safety protocol.

Weapons on movie sets are supposed to be managed by an armorer ― someone with experience handling guns who knows the difference between live ammo and blanksIt is. Each consist of a cartridge that has been filled with gunpowder. However, the live round contains a projectile at its tip while the blank doesn’t. Even blanks are deadly when fired close to the target.

Proposer master with experience told CNBCBallistics shields can be used to protect the crew and actor from shots in which they aim a gun at the camera.

Why were crew members unhappy on the set of “Rust”?

Hollywood union workers are broadly frustrated with the state of their industryIt is. Nearly 60,000 people affiliated with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts ― or IATSE ― threatened to walk off the job earlier this week if their demands concerning their schedules, health and safety were not addressed. They are a union managed to avert a strikeFor the moment, there are still frustrations.

Multiple outlets reported that six of the unionized workers walked out of the film set hours prior to the shooting, protesting the working conditions. The camera crew was upset about the long commute — having believed they would be provided hotel rooms near the set — and about having to wait weeks for their paychecks.

Film has an extremely modest budget of $7 Million.

Importantly, workers also voiced concern that safety protocols weren’t being adhered to on-set, according the report. the Los Angeles Times and The Associated PressThey were. They were particularly alarmed because someone had allegedly fired two rounds on accident in the days leading up to Thursday’s tragedy. According to the L.A. Times, a third accidental discharge occurred even earlier.

“There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush,” one crew member told the newspaper. A text message from a crew member before Hutchins’ death reportedly complained of the conditions: “This is super unsafe.”

A source told The Daily BeastHannah Gutierrez Reed was 24 at the time and did not have the experience necessary to keep the environment safe.

Is there anyone responsible?

The police are continuing to investigate and have not brought any charges.

IATSE Local 44, which covers prop masters, sent an email to members saying the “Rust” prop master was not a Local 44 member, IndieWire reported We don’t know what background prop master came from.

Baldwin did not know the prop gun contained a live round, according to records from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office obtained by news outlets including The Washington Post

An assistant director, Dave Halls, took the gun off a cart, handed it to Baldwin and yelled, “cold gun,” according to the APThis is the definition of cold. (“Cold” means that the weapon did not have live ammunition and was therefore safe.)

A record of script supervisor Mamie Mitchell’s subsequent 911 call illustrates the panic that ensued: “We had two people accidentally shot on a move set by a prop gun, we need help immediately,” she told the dispatcher. “We were rehearsing and it went off, and I ran out, we all ran out.”

Asked whether the gun fired a real bullet, Mitchell said, “I cannot tell you. Two injuries have occurred. This is the second. [expletive] AD [assistant director] that yelled at me at lunch, asking about revisions … He’s supposed to check the guns. He’s responsible for what happens on the set.”

A statement by the Assistant Director stated that the prop gun was not loaded with live rounds. The New York Times cited an affidavit. reported

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office told the TimesThe company hopes to provide more details by next week.

Halyna Hutchins was who?

Hutchins, 42, was born in Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle, where she was “surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines,” according to her websiteIt is. She was just starting to make a name for herself in the industry, having worked on independent films including “The Mad Hatter,” created by Armando Gutierrez, and “Archenemy,” featuring Joe Manganiello.

She became a mother in 2019. selected as one of American Cinematographer’s rising stars.

Mitchell, the 911 caller, told the AP in an interview, “This woman is gone at the beginning of her career. She was an extraordinary, rare, very rare woman.”

Matt Hutchins was her husband and reflected on her personal life via social media.

“Our loss is enormous,” he wrote Saturday.


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