Director of Photography Helena Hutchins dies while director Joel Souza is injured
Rust Movie Productions, the company behind Alec Baldwin’s film “Rust,” is conducting an internal review following an on-set incident that resulted in the death of a crew member.
On Thursday, the 63-year-old actor discharged a prop gun during a rehearsal, resulting in the death of Helena Hutchins, who was serving as the film’s director of photography.
The film’s director Joel Souza was also injured, but has since left the hospital.
Since the shooting, reports have emerged that prior to the incident crew members were unhappy with the working conditions – with special mention of gun safety. Granthshala News has not independently verified these accounts.
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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.”
However, the crew members walked out a few hours before the shoot. Los Angeles Times.
The outlet reports that six camera crew workers left the set to protest the working conditions.
Three people familiar with the matter told the Times that complaints from crew members included issues with pay, long travel and long take-offs.
Additionally, standard safety protocols such as gun inspections were reportedly not performed on the “Rust” set. At least one camera operator spoke to a production manager and complained about gun safety on set, per outlet.
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According to the outlet, the scene during which the shooting took place featured a shootout that began in a church and Baldwin had to leave the building.
Hutchins was reportedly preparing for his next shot when he was hit with a projectile, while Baldwin was preparing for a scene in which he draws his gun from a holster.
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According to the Times, the shot hit Hutchins’ shoulder and continued to hit Souza. The B-camera operator was not harmed, but Hutchins immediately fell to the ground as crew members attempted to stop the bleeding.
The authorities have started their investigation but have not filed any charges yet. Baldwin has since said that he is “cooperating fully with the police investigation.”
Production on the low-budget indie flick has been put on hold.