“The actor violated rule number one”

“The actor violated rule number one”
“The actor violated rule number one”

«Cold gun», unloaded gun. The scream on the set had given the green light to the filming of Rust. The crew was lined up, with director of photography Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza standing nearby watching the scenes on a screen. As expected from the script, Alec Baldwin he had to get out of the church and take the weapon out of its holster. The actor did it a first time without problems. The second, however, something tragically went wrong and a shot went off from the gun, only one, which he hit Hutchins in the chest first and Souza in the collarbone then.

The tragedy took place like this. Preliminary information gathered by police in Santa Fe, New Mexico, therefore exonerates Baldwin, unaware that the gun was loaded, although it remains to be clarified whether he handled it safely or not. Based on the available data, set weapons expert Bryant Carpenter speculates that the actor has violated rule number one, that is, never point a loaded or unloaded stage weapon at another human being. Also unaware of the bullet was assistant director David Halls, who had handed the weapon to the actor after picking it up from a gray cart positioned near where Baldwin was to film the scene.

The guns had been prepared by the on-set gun safety officer, 24-year-old art daughter Hannah Gutierrez Reed. The girl was on her first assignment and in the past few weeks she hadn’t hidden doubts about her ability to carry out the job of gunsmith in a podcast. He had talked about his fears and the advice he had received from his father, Thell Reed, a famous Hollywood gunsmith who worked in big productions such as ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ by Quentin Tarantino.

It is precisely on Halls and Gutierrez Reed that the ongoing investigation would focus at the moment, since they were the last to touch the weapons before the fatal accident. The detectives continue interrogating the witnesses: at the moment no one has been indicted. The authorities confiscated all the weapons on the set but also Baldwin’s stage clothes, as well as the films and videos, even those taken with cell phones. The goal is to understand if someone, even inadvertently, may have filmed the accident from different angles, thus clarifying the dynamics better. Meanwhile, details emerge about working conditions at Bonanza Creek Ranch.

According to some rumors, a few hours before the drama a group of operators and technicians belonging to the trade union had left the set to protest against the too long working days and too low wages. But also for the excessive travel: the crew were promised hotel rooms in Santa Fe, but then lodgings were booked in Albuquerque, 80 kilometers away. The complaints also concerned poor security on set, which Hutchins would also complain about. In fact, in the days leading up to the accident, Alec Baldwin’s stunt double had accidentally fired two shots after being told that the gun had no ammunition, not even blanks.

In all, there were three prop gun incidents before the Hutchins tragedy: “We’ve had three cases. This is not absolutely sure, ”one operator complained to the production manager. In place of the crew belonging to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, non-union workers were employed to continue filming, which has now reached the twelfth day of the 21 scheduled. According to industry experts, it is clear that the protocols have not been respected, not even the minimum safety distance of more than six meters. «Safety is our priority. And even if we are not aware of any on-set safety complaints, we would conduct an internal investigation into our procedures, ”said Rust Movie Productions, the film’s production company.

Meanwhile, Hollywood mourns its rising star Hutchins, remembered with a love message on social media by her husband Matthew: «He inspired us with his passion and his vision – he wrote -. Our loss is enormous ». Matthew Hutchins and his eight-year-old son would have been spotted with Baldwin in Santa Fe, at the exit of the hotel that hosts them. From snaps snatched from the New York Post, the actor – dressed in dark suits – appeared evidently dejected. Souza is also said to be “destroyed” who, breaking the silence after her injury, praises Halyna Hutchin, a “friend and colleague who has always pushed me to do better.”

Last updated: Sunday 24 October 2021, 11:24


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