A local filmmaker hopes to see safety guidelines change so ‘Halina’s death was not in vain’
Santa Fe, NM – The shooting of the film “Rust” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which left its rising star cinematographer, Helena Hutchins, dead – and also sent director Joel Souza to the hospital – left local film buffs amazed at the alleged lack of safety protocols. done. Bonanza Creek Ranch Set.
“The first thing you learn in first grade is safety,” Dr. Jim Wysong, dean of the Santa Fe Community College School of Art and Design, told Granthshala News on Tuesday.
The school houses the college’s film department where, for years, it trained students to work in the film industry, and Wysong says they have many current and former students employed by certain production companies in New Mexico.
“It’s a very tight-knit community,” Wysong said. “What surprised all my faculty the most is that security is absolutely paramount and obviously there were some breaches in their protocol on this.”
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Higher education administrators – whose film programs have been linked to Hollywood in various capacities – explained that they were working with the local International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) to help develop training programs and meet the union’s staffing needs. The president works closely with Liz Pacos. He acknowledged the alleged concern that some crew members had worked weeks and days for the shoot.
Wysong said of the reports, “Soon before this happened, IATSE avoided the strike over certain concerns raised about working hours and working conditions, which may contribute to accidents.” “So of course there was a lot of discussion about that issue. And then, of course, there was the tragedy, which underscored some of the concerns that the union was raising about the impact of working conditions on security.”
Wysong insisted that given the level of protection required for the use of any type of firearm on set – whether loaded or not – left many locals nodding their collective nods at the tragic end of Hutchins’ life. was given.
“Again, we don’t know all the facts yet, but what has been uncovered clearly had a serious flaw in how it was handled,” he said. “With live ammunition being on a set … everyone I’ve talked to just rolled their eyes and said, ‘This is just unimaginable.’”
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Santa Fe has been the home of many film and television productions, and as it mourns the loss of a filmmaker, Wysong hopes that the event will lead to real change and a mandate centered on an evolving style of production, which he believes in. Believes all but eliminates the need for projectile-firing prop weapons.
“The union already does a great job on emphasizing security. I mean, they’re really big on it,” he explained. “In fact, it’s one of the things that sometimes creates tension when, especially on independent productions, they choose not to use union personnel.”
Wysong suggested that the studio should just “use CGI to flare up your muzzle and do things like that and there’s no need for any sort of blank space and you’re not shooting anything with a gun. “
“I think for some time people have been saying that the state of the art on digital effects is such that it’s no longer even necessary to have live-fire on set – that you can shot close-up replicas or even. That with real pistols that don’t come loaded,” he said.
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Wysong said implementing a universal set of safety standards that all cast and crew members must certify would do wonders for the entire industry.
“I think building on what the union has done, building on the curriculum of various schools, including ours – what we are doing – is some more, if not universal, recognized some well-established standards. In the industry, across the country and elsewhere – I think that’s an important thing,” he said.
“But the irony is, everything that drives it ultimately comes down to money. And if you’re going to get insurance, I think the underwriters will have a lot to say about that. And so on.” Maybe it will be how people are forced to come to certain standards in terms of training,” he continued. “So, we will see but I hope something comes out of it and that Halina’s death was not in vain and that improving security will be a legacy.”
Hutchins was pronounced dead on Thursday after being taken to a nearby hospital. The cinematographer was shot during a rehearsal by Baldwin on the set of the indie film “Rust” after being handed a “cold” or “unloaded” gun by assistant director Dave Hall. According to the record, Hall was unaware that the shotgun was loaded.
Production on the film has been halted until the Sainte Fe Sheriff’s Office completes an investigation into the incident.
On Tuesday, the Sainte Fe Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Granthshala News that no one from the set had been asked to stay in town, including Baldwin. Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Juan Rios said, “Nobody has been charged or arrested. So, you don’t impose these kinds of things on people.” “And we’ve always been of the mindset that if people don’t live here, they’re going to continue to cooperate with investigators.”
A warrant obtained Tuesday by Granthshala News revealed that the sheriff’s office conducted a search of the film’s set, where officers collected ammunition and several firearms.
The production company itself also claimed to have conducted a separate investigation and “internal review”. [its] processes during production shutdown.”
“The safety of our cast and crew is a top priority of everyone associated with Rust Productions and the company. Although we were not made aware of any official complaints regarding weapon or prop safety on set, we will be reviewing our processes internally. While production is closed. We will continue to cooperate with Santa Fe officials in their investigation and provide mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time,” the producer said in a recent statement obtained by Granthshala News.