It has been more than a week since the filming of Rust jumped to the forefront of the media for what happened during one of his rehearsals. Alec Baldwin , the leading actor in this independent western , received a pistol that he had been assured did not contain live ammunition and accidentally opened fire on cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the film’s director, Joel Souza .
Although he was discharged hours later, Hutchins did not survive, and his death has so accelerated a necessary dialogue about the presence of weapons on the sets.of filming as an investigation sustained by the New Mexico police department, in conjunction with another process initiated by the producers themselves to clarify what happened.
There are three main figures when it comes to reconstructing the events. One, Baldwin himself, who was also a producer after collaborating with Souza on his previous film, While the City Sleeps . Another, gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed , who recently claimed to have no idea how those real bullets got into Baldwin’s pistol.
And the last one is Dave Halls , first assistant director and very controversial figure who aims to concentrate a good part of the responsibility for what happened. Halls was the one who told Baldwin “cold weapon” (that is, lacking live ammunition) before handing it to him, and has already admitted that he had not checked what was in the chamber at the time.
According to Variety , prior to the filming of Rust Halls, he already had a disturbing resume, and the producers were alerted to it. Thus, it has just emerged that Thomasville Pictures and Short Porch Pictures had hired him months before for another independent film, One Way , produced in Georgia last February. Several employees have confirmed that this shoot suffered from severe vehicle safety problems, since professional drivers were not appointed for stunts in stunts, but extras. Likewise, Jay Graves , set designer for the project, states that he was almost run over twice because the setit was not properly closed to traffic, and that two vehicles were on the verge of colliding.
“It was the least secure set I’ve ever worked on in my life,” he says. “This man is a drag. Someday someone is going to die, and you are going to be responsible, ”they came to tell Halls. Producer Molly Mayeux , however, has denied these allegations: “I can attest with 100% certainty that One Way took care of security and all protocols were followed . ”
It should be noted that Halls is not a member of the Director’s Guild of America; Although he has received the relevant training, this external nature has made it easier for him to participate in productions without a standard syndication, and marked by an irregularity that clearly also characterized Rust .
The Bonanza Creek Ranch
This new information comes after it was learned that the security measures of the sustained filming at the Bonanza Creek ranch were so meager as to have led to the abandonment of much of the equipment hours before the shooting took place.
The employees had organized a strike to protest their working conditions, but the producers wanted to move on and hired new employees in the same area, who were apparently not unionized. All in order to maintain the schedule for Rust , a low-budget production (between 6 and 7 million dollars) that was due to conclude filming in a few weeks.
That the producers were aware of Halls’ laxity and still ignored the warnings is the latest blow to a doomed production, whose officials could face legal consequences very soon. Baldwin, who at all times has shown his willingness to collaborate with the police, spoke to the media in the last hours and, in addition to showing his condolences and assuring that he was a good friend of Hutchins, declared that he doubted that the filming of Rust could continue go ahead even after the case was settled.