Last week, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died on the set of the production. Rust, when Alec Baldwin pointed the gun at the camera lens, during rehearsal. The accidentally triggered weapon contained real bullets and when fired it claimed the life of the 42-year-old cinematographer and also seriously wounded the film’s director Joel Souza.
At first the reports were not clear regarding the facts of the accident, but now an affidavit that was published last Sunday, October 24, detailed that the event occurred during a camera rehearsal. The statement belongs to the filmmaker Joel Souza, who despite being convalescent at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, is out of danger for now.
According to Souza, both he and the production team had been assured that the device in Baldwin’s hands was what is known as a “cold weapon,” meaning it had no actual bullets or rounds. Security protocol on set required that the film’s armory department, headed by Hannah Gutiérrez-Reed, would make sure the pistol was empty and the device had to be checked twice before being handed over to the actors.
During rehearsal Souza and Hutchins were behind the camera to fix the angle and frame of the image. In front of the lens, Baldwin sat on a wooden bench facing the camera and wearing his own film attire. After Hutchins and Souza noticed a shadow, they set out to set up the equipment. At that time they were interacting with Baldwin who showed them how he planned to draw during the scene, when the weapon was unloaded.
One of the cameramen standing next to them told police that “Joel had blood on his clothes and Hutchins was talking and saying he couldn’t feel his legs.” Souza also told investigators that Hutchins grabbed him around the waist and it was at that moment that he noticed that he was bleeding from the shoulder.
Secondly Variety reported that prior to the accident the production of Rust he had been through various work problems. Several members of the production on the New Mexico set abandoned production because they felt that the producers were not following the appropriate safety measures. On that there are several reports that coincide. In fact, according to Souza, the filming of last Thursday, October 21, began later than expected because the main camera crew resigned and another had to be urgently found to begin filming.
That same day, the filming stopped after lunch, at approximately 12:30 p.m., and when it resumed, the director said he was not sure that the weapon handed over to Baldwin had been searched again. It seemed to Souza that the shot sounded like a “whip and a very loud bang.”
Following the death of Halyna Hutchins, a wave emerged calling for greater security protocols on film sets. It was even published a petition on change.org to ban the use of real firearms in movie productions. So far it has more than 27 thousand signatures.
Meanwhile production of Rust has been suspended until further notice while the police finish investigating the case. So far no charges have been brought against Baldwin, or any other member of the production, but the case remains active.
The entry Halyna Hutchins died when Alec Baldwin was rehearsing for the camera was first published in Cinema PREMIERE.