Camera operator Reed Russell claimed that Baldwin also made sure a child was clear on set during the previous scene with the prop gun.
Alec Baldwin was reportedly very wary of firearms on the set of “Rust” prior to the accidental shooting incident in which cinematographer Halyana Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was injured.
Reed Russell, a camera operator working on the film’s set that day, told detectives in a newly released affidavit that Baldwin was very careful in his use of prop firearms while filming prior to the incident.
According to the warrant affidavit, which was obtained by Granthshala News, Russell actually commended the 63-year-old actor for his conduct during a prior scene, which involved discharging a firearm. He added that the actor followed all the safety protocols and also did an extra check-in with the crew to ensure that no one is near them. Notably, he ensured that a child present on the set that day was nowhere near him while discharging the weapon.
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Unfortunately, Baldwin was reportedly told by assistant director Dave Hall that the gun he was working with when he shot Hutchins was a “cold gun”, a term used when a The shotgun operating on the set is not loaded with any live ammunition. Unfortunately, it looks like the gun was actually loaded. When Baldwin pulled the trigger, working with Souza and Hutchins to set the shot, it went off, resulting in one of the worst on-set tragedies in recent memory.
In a warrant from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Souza explained that he heard “what sounded like a whip and then a loud pop,” and saw Hutchins, who was standing behind him at the time. stumbled, then caught the middle part of it. She was “assisted on the ground” by other crew members and Russell recalled Hutchins saying that she could not feel her feet.
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“The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company,” Rust Movie Productions said in a statement to multiple outlets. “While we were not made aware of any official complaints related to weapon or prop safety on set, we will conduct an internal review of our procedures during the shutdown of production. We will continue to cooperate with Santa Fe officials in their investigations and offerings . Mental health services for the cast and crew during this sad time.”
Although police are currently investigating the incident, the failure appears to be with communication as to whether a live round was loaded into the gun. Film and prop historian Michael Corey previously told Granthshala News that there are procedures in place on film sets to make sure this doesn’t happen.
“The person responsible for loading and ensuring that the firearm is ready for the scene is called an armorer. [or weapons master], and you must have an armorer and an assistant armorer. Then there are several steps you must go through to make sure a weapon is loaded correctly with the correct type of blanks,” explained Corey. “Because there is more than one type of blank, there is less power. And then there’s mid-power and then high-powered spaces, and they create different visual effects.”
In the affidavit, Souza said that the three men were actually handling guns for the spot. Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reid reportedly handles a prop gun left on a car outside the structure they were shooting due to coronavirus restrictions. Assistant Director Dave Hall handed one of those guns to Baldwin.
According to the Santa Fe Court, Hall declared it was a “cold gun” before giving it to the actor. Therefore, it is not immediately clear how one round entered the revolver. Neither Souza nor Russell believed that a live round was involved with the scene in question at all.