Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ shooting: ‘cutting corners’ on weapon safety is ‘a recipe for disaster,’ says expert


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Cinematographer Helena Hutchins was fatally shot with a prop gun on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust.

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Brian W. Carpenter believes that the tragic death of Helena Hutchins reveals an ongoing problem in Hollywood.

Authorities are investigating after confirming that a prop firearm left by Alec Baldwin during the production and acting of the Western film “Rust” killed the cinematographer and injured the director.


Santa Fe County Sheriff’s officials said Hutchins and Joel Souza, 42, were shot on pastoral film set in the desert on the southern outskirts of Santa Fe. The sheriff’s department said Hutchins was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where he was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance to Christus St Vincent Regional Medical Center, where she has been released. Production has been stopped.

“We all know film sets are very busy, so following safety protocols becomes even more paramount at that time,” Weapon Arsenal told Granthshala News. “There’s no reason a live round should ever take place within any distance of a movie set.”

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Carpenter is the founder and president of the New Orleans-based Dark Thirty Film Services, LLC, which has been involved over the years in a number of high-profile projects including “The Expendables,” “Bad Country,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Queen of the South,” and “22 Jump Street.”

“The primary role of an armorer on set is to maintain the safety of the firearms being used,” he explained. “That’s the most important thing. Secondary responsibilities are to work with talent and make sure they look perfect when using a firearm during filming. We also work with the director to make sure the shot is done properly.” And be a safe distance.”

“I’ve worked on a few low budget shows, but I pick and choose the people I work on and I know the crew is nice and safe,” he shared. “You need to work with good quality studios, production offices and prop masters who properly follow safety protocols.”

Once a weapon reviews the weapon script, Carpenter states that appropriate firearms that complement the time period or character are ordered from reputable “prop houses” in the United States. Multiple security checks are required whenever they are being used.

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“You check them to make sure they’re all clear,” he said. “You’re checking for blank rounds. It should never be thought that there’s a live round. When you’re checking blank rounds, you’re always looking for the possibility of something else happening. You locks weapons. In the safe when they are not in use and they should remain there. Those guns cannot be used for anything else. I always prepare what I will use in the safe the next day I’m leaving. I take everything apart and keep it locked. And above all, every time you open the safe, you check them.”

“You can never have too many checks,” he said. “If you think you’ve checked too much, check again. No one touches those weapons or uses them for anything else. Weapons only come out of the safe if they’re taken from a scene.” And the talent, just before it’s handed over, is a verification process. You make sure there are no obstructions in the barrel and that the cylinders, chambers are clear. At least two to verify that People must be present that the weapon is in the condition you say it is.”

The production of “Rust” was having problems even before 63-year-old Baldwin’s fatal shot. Hours earlier, a camera crew for the film left work due to protesting conditions and production issues, including safety concerns.

There were security concerns before the tragic passing of Helena Hutchins.

The brawl began approximately in early October and ended with seven crew members running away several hours before Hutchins was killed. Crew members had expressed dissatisfaction over matters that ranged from security procedures to their housing accommodations, according to one of the dropouts.

According to court records, at a rehearsal on the set of the film, the gun Baldwin used was one of three Armor had placed on a cart outside the building. An assistant director, Dave Hall, grabbed a prop gun and handed it to Baldwin, falsely indicating that the weapon did not carry a live round by shouting “cold gun”.

Carpenter said he has been vocal over the years about requiring actors to attend safety training when handling weapons on set.

“It’s a dollar and cents thing,” he said. “They don’t want to spend time getting the personnel to do it. They don’t want to spend the time paying the actor to come out and go through a training class and then bring their staff with them. Maybe it’s not in their contract. And if you think they were cutting corners before COVID, just imagine how bad it is when they’re trying to save money because of all the dollars they all Spending on COVID rules. Taking out again.”

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On social media, Alec Baldwin said he was

Carpenter recalled how he was part of a “gun-heavy show” months ago when he asked the studio “several times” if he could take the actors out for safety training. Carpenter alleged that he was refused because “we don’t have that kind of money.”

“They just won’t do that,” he said. “So on my own time, I met with the actors in person… One told me, ‘I want to know how to do it safely.’ So they took their time to take a security training class. You have studios that care and want to do it right. But other people want to get it and move on. But I think security training must be mandatory.”

In addition, Carpenter said that armorers require a national certification. Some places, such as New York and California, certify armorers, he said. However, “there isn’t much in the rest of the country.”

“If you’re down in the South and you’re hiring an Armor, anyone can convince the studio they could potentially work to get it,” he explained. “There needs to be a vetting process where a professional armorer can provide their certifications, the security schools they attended, their previous job and what led to it, and why they are considered a safe person to handle the job. “

Alec Baldwin stars in disbelief over deadly prop gun shooting: ‘Mismanaged set’

Mourners attend a candlelight ceremony for Halyana Hutchins at the IATSE West Coast office on October 24, 2021 in Burbank, California.

Without national certification, studios, especially those with a minimal budget, may be tempted to “save a dollar” and hire someone who has a lower rate but who fully qualify. does not fulfill, he pointed out.

“It’s a recipe for disaster if you ask me,” said Carpenter. “I did a show a few years ago, a low-budget show. A line producer asked me if I would come in and work. I gave her my quote … She came up to me a few days later and said, ‘ Got a quote from some manufacturers from another person which is at the bottom of your quote.’ It’s a little circle. They called the boy’s name and I had never heard of him. I called the Sangha to check if they had ever heard of him and they hadn’t. With a little research , I learned that he had worked as an extra in two movies at Alabama State. After working two shows as an extra, he is now bidding on a job as a professional Arsenal, and I quote, ‘Bringing my guns.’”

Carpenter claimed that he dropped out of the project and that the person in question was hired.

“By the grace of God no one got hurt,” he said. “But it gives you an idea of ​​how things are when people are ready to save money but don’t care. [the individual is] Has been properly trained or even has any experience. Three things can kill you fast on a film set – stunts, effects and armor. And generally, they’ll cut the budget on those three more than they’ll cut on anything else.”

The lead electrician of the film ‘Rust’ says he held Halyana Hutchins in his ‘arms’ while she was dying.

Helena Hutchins was a rising star in the world of cinematography when she was hit on set by a projectile that eventually killed her.

New Mexico workplace safety investigators are investigating whether film industry standards for gun safety were followed during the making of “Rust.” The Los Angeles Times, which did not name the two crew members, reported that five days before the shooting, Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally fired two rounds, after it was reported that the gun had no ammunition.

According to a copy of the message reviewed by the newspaper, a crew member who was concerned about the misfire told a unit production manager in a text message, “We now have 3 accidental discharges. It’s super unsafe.” The New York Times also reported that there were at least two previously accidental gun discharges; It cited three former crew members.

One crew member said he never saw any formal orientation regarding the weapons used on set, which usually happens before filming begins. He also said that only minimal COVID-19 precautions were taken, even though the crew and cast members often worked in small enclosed spaces on the farm.

Hannah Gutierrez Reid, the film’s Armour, gave an interview to the “Voice of the West” podcast in September in which she said that she had just finished her film debut in the role of Head Armour, a project starring Nicolas Cage in Montana titled ” The Old Way.” As for Hall, he was fired from a different project in 2019 after a crew member on “Freedom’s Path” was hurt by a prop gun.

As the investigation continues, Carpenter expects Hollywood to complete its task.

“This should never have happened,” he said.

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