Day after day, revelations come out about the circumstances and people involved in the drama that claimed the life of the film’s cinematographer on Thursday Rust, at the shooting location, in the United States. The assistant director, who gave Alec Baldwin the gun that was supposed to be empty but accidentally killed Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, had previously been fired from a previous film for an accident involving a gun fire, the production company reported on Monday (October 25th).
Dave H. “Was fired from the shooting of Freedom’s Path in 2019 after a team member was slightly injured when a weapon was accidentally fired ”, said a producer of the film, which is yet to be released.
The “Was kicked off the set immediately after the accessory shot. The production didn’t start running again until Dave left the scene ”, added this source to Agence France-Presse (AFP), specifying that a written report had been carried out at the time.
The weapon was previously used “to pass the time”
The police investigation into the October 21 tragedy is still ongoing, and has not yet clarified the responsibilities of those present on the ranch in Santa Fe (New Mexico) where the tragedy took place.
No prosecution has been initiated at this point but attention is focused on those who handled the weapon before the fatal shot, in particular Dave H., and the chief gunsmith of the shoot, Hannah G., 24 years old. , whose role is to constantly watch over the firearms present on the set and to check at all stages whether they are loaded or not.
According to The Wrap, a site specializing in entertainment, which quotes sources close to the filming of Rust, the weapon that killed Halyna Hutchins had been used just hours before the fatal shot by members of the team ” to pass time “ shooting at beer cans. The very strict rules of the film industry in this area, however, prohibit any presence of live ammunition on a film set, precisely to avoid this type of accident.
The investigators were able to clarify the course of the events after hearing the various witnesses. According to early depositions, Alec Baldwin “Was sitting on a bench in a church setting, and he was practicing drawing” facing the camera. Director Joel Souza was looking over the shoulder of the 42-year-old cinematographer, who was shot in the torso on Thursday and was pronounced dead hours later.
Wounded in the shoulder by the shot, Mr. Souza said he heard what it looked like “Sound of a whip, and a big ‘pan'” as he stood behind the victim. After the shot, the filmmaker “Grabbed the abdomen” and said she couldn’t feel her legs anymore, the director said, adding that she had “Started to stagger backwards”.
The assistant director had announced that the weapon was “Cold”, that is to say supposed to be empty and therefore harmless in cinema jargon. Joel Souza however said “Not to be sure” that the weapon underwent another security check after the team’s lunch break.
According to investigators, Dave H. said he did not know that live ammunition was in the weapon. It was Hannah G., a 24-year-old film gunsmith, who had prepared the gun, and placed it on a cart with two other guns.
The chief electrician of the shooting, Serge Svetnoy, castigated on Facebook a tragedy caused by “Negligence and lack of professionalism”, feeling that she was too young to “To be a professional in matters of weapons”.
“To save money, we sometimes hire people who are not fully qualified for a complicated and dangerous job”, he accuses.
Guillaume Delouche, gunsmith for Hollywood for nearly 30 years, said to himself ” very stunned “ that someone of this age and with only two films to his name, “Could be the chief gunsmith on a film which must contain a lot of combat scenes with firearms”.
“A pause, rather than an end”
Asked how Baldwin treated guns on set, Reid Russell, a cameraman on the set, assured the actor was cautious, citing a previous case where he made sure a child actor was not not near him when a firearm was used. Reid Russell also clarified that the scene had not been filmed because the team was preparing to shoot.
The drama revived the debate on the safety of teams and the use of weapons on the sets. A petition on the change.org site, calling for a ban on live firearms on filming and for better working conditions for teams, had collected nearly 29,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
In an email sent to members of the film crew of Rust over the weekend, the film’s production team confirmed that work on the western was on hold at least until the investigation was completed. The email suggests it could resume at some point. “Although our hearts are broken, and it is difficult to see further, it is, for the moment, a pause, rather than an end”, is it written.