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Thread: Rust: accidental shooting of Halyna Hutchins

  1. #1
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    Tragic

    Good statement from Brandon Bruce Lee's twitter. Brandon was the first person I thought of when I heard this news.

    Sheriff: Alec Baldwin Discharged Prop Firearm That Left Cinematographer Dead and Director Wounded
    An investigation is underway and no charges have been filed, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department.

    BY TRILBY BERESFORD, RYAN PARKER
    OCTOBER 21, 2021 4:56PM

    JIM SPELLMAN/GETTY IMAGES

    A prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin on the New Mexico movie set of Rust, killing a cinematographer and wounding the director, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department.

    Director of photography Halyna Hutchins, 42, died Thursday after being injured when the prop gun was “discharged” by Baldwin, the Western’s producer and star. Hutchins had been transported by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the sheriff’s department said.

    A spokesperson from Rust said in a statement: “The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones. We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.”

    The Ukraine-born, Los Angeles-based DP graduated from the American Film Institute Conservatory in 2015. Her credits included indie films Archenemy, Blindfire and The Mad Hatter.

    The second victim was the film’s director, Joel Souza, 48, who was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. Juan Ríos, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, told THR on Thursday evening that he was in critical condition, However, on Friday morning, Ríos said his condition is unclear and referred to the hospital for that information.

    An update on the investigation will likely not occur until next week, Ríos said, as interviews are ongoing and evidence is being collected. Baldwin was interviewed Thursday by investigators at the sheriff’s department, Ríos said.

    Directors Guild of America president Lesli Linka Glatter said in a statement that the DGA is “incredibly saddened” to hear of Hutchins’ death and Souza’s injuries. “We await further details and a full investigation. Our hearts go out to Halyna’s family, to Joel, and to everyone impacted.”

    Ríos told The Hollywood Reporter that an active investigation was underway and no charges have been filed.

    “According to investigators it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”

    Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Bonanza Creek Ranch set near Santa Fe, New Mexico, at 1:50 p.m. MT after a 911 call indicated an individual had been shot on set.

    A spokesperson from the production said the “accident” involved the misfire of a prop gun with blanks. “Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority,” the initial statement said.

    The Local 600 labor union, of which Hutchins was a member, said in a statement, “The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event. This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild’s family.”

    Firearm accidents on Hollywood sets are extremely rare, but do occur. In 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of famed martial arts star Bruce Lee, was accidentally shot and killed on the set of The Crow by another actor who fired a revolver that had been improperly prepared.

    In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum was involved in a prop gun incident on the set of CBS’ Cover Up. During a break in filming, Hexum accidentally shot himself while playing with the firearm, not realizing a blank was still in the prop gun. He died from his injuries six days later at the age of 26.

    The official Twitter page for Brandon Bruce Lee posted: “Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on “Rust”. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”

    In Rust, Baldwin stars as infamous Western outlaw Harland Rust. When his estranged grandson is convicted of an accidental murder and sentenced to hang, Rust travels to Kansas to break him out of prison. The two fugitives must then outrun U.S. Marshal Wood Helm and bounty hunter Fenton “Preacher” Lang.

    The film also stars Frances Fisher, Jensen Ackles and Travis Fimmel.


    Oct. 22, 7:51 a.m. Updated to reflect Joel Souza’s condition is unknown.
    10:10 p.m. Updated with statement from the DGA.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    Ernie Hudson

    I'm splitting this off from the Stunts-injuries-amp-deaths into its own indie thread - Rust: accidental shooting of Halyna Hutchins - and tagging our Brandon-Lee thread too because this triggers that memory so much.

    Ernie Hudson Heartbroken Over ‘Rust’ Shooting, Says He Can’t Watch ‘The Crow’
    The iconic actor, who was in the Brandon Lee film, agrees with those who are calling for Hollywood to ban real guns from sets after the latest tragedy.

    BY RYAN PARKER

    OCTOBER 25, 2021 12:27PM

    Ernie Hudson in 'The Crow' EVERETT COLLECTION

    Ernie Hudson, like the rest of Hollywood, is reeling from last week’s deadly shooting on the set of Rust where a gun discharged by Alec Baldwin killed director of photography Halyna Hutchins and wounded the film’s director.

    The iconic Ghostbusters star knows firsthand about the devastation left in the wake of such a tragedy as he appeared in The Crow, the 1994 film in which Brandon Lee was fatally wounded.

    Hudson told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday he was heartbroken for Hutchins’ family and for Baldwin, whom he has known for years after the pair worked on 1985’s Love on the Run.

    “It just doesn’t make any sense,” Hudson tells THR. “It bought back a lot of memories of Brandon. We go on, we keep moving forward — but there is always that space in your life. You’re heartbroken. You have no control, but you still have to process it and how do you do that? I am just so heartbroken that anything like that can happen again.”


    Brandon Lee in ‘The Crow’ EVERETT COLLECTION
    The son of legendary martial artist and film star Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee was fatally wounded in March 1993 on The Crow set by a prop gun. He was 28. His sister, Shannon, told THR last week that the family supports a growing initiative to ban real guns from sets. Hudson says he also supports that move.

    “If that’s the answer, then I would like to see real guns removed from sets,” Hudson concurs. “I don’t think it is necessary to have real guns and live rounds on the set. We have the technology now to put flashes in without the [blank cartridge] rounds. I thought we found a way to do it safer.”

    The Rust investigation is ongoing and Hudson notes all the facts need to come out. However, he can speak to being on productions that felt rushed. “The problem is when they start cutting budgets and they start being in a hurry,” he says. “That is what happened on The Crow. They were pushing to get it done. You put lives at risk.”

    Hudson also expressed grief for Baldwin, nothing that the late Michael Massee was devastated after he fired the gun that killed Brandon Lee. “There is nothing worse than something like that happening,” Hudson says. “I remember Michael, his life was never the same.”


    Rochelle Davis and Hudson in ‘The Crow’ EVERETT COLLECTION
    In The Crow, Hudson plays police Sgt. Daryl Albrecht, who responds to the scene where Brandon Lee’s Eric Draven and Shelly Webster (Sofia Shinas) are brutally murdered on Oct. 30, the informal Devil’s Night. Draven rises from the grave with mystical powers a year later to avenge their deaths and seeks the help of Sgt. Albrecht.

    “I can’t watch The Crow,” Hudson admits. “It breaks my heart, and I can’t get past it. So much of it was action stuff, but Brandon and I got a chance to act together.”

    Noting that one of his favorite scenes in the film is an emotional moment when Draven comes to visit Sgt. Albrecht after he arises from the grave, Hudson laments: “He was such a great guy. And you think about all the potential.”
    Gene Ching
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    Hannah Gutierrez-Reed must take responsibility

    Armorer on Baldwin set said guns are dangerous only 'in the wrong hands'
    “I think the best part about my job is just showing people who are normally kind of freaked out by guns, like, how safe they can be,” Hannah Gutierrez-Reed said on a podcast.

    Police at the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set near Santa Fe, N.M., on Friday. Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal via Zuma
    Oct. 25, 2021, 2:56 PM PDT
    By Andrew Blankstein and Corky Siemaszko
    Guns are “not really problematic unless put in the wrong hands,” the rookie armorer on the set of Alec Baldwin’s ill-fated movie “Rust” said last month on a podcast.

    “I think the best part about my job is just showing people who are normally kind of freaked out by guns, like, how safe they can be,” the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, said on the Voices of the West podcast. “A lot of it, for me, is just being able to show the world, like, you know, guns are awesome.”

    Gutierrez-Reed, 24, a former model, is at the center of a death investigation after actor Alec Baldwin, using a gun that was supposed to be safe, shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set Thursday and badly wounded director Joel Souza.

    Police in New Mexico, where the Western was being shot at the Bonanza Ranch outside Santa Fe, have not charged anybody.

    The deadly shooting has raised questions about whether, in the age of computerized visual effects, there is a need for real armaments, along with calls to outlaw potentially lethal firearms on movie sets.


    Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Swen Studios via Reuters
    Gutierrez-Reed, who could not be reached for comment and who has made no public statements about the deadly mishap, was in charge of weapons on the set of “Rust.”

    In the podcast, she said her father, stuntman Thell Reed, began teaching her about guns and gun safety when she was 16. But she acknowledged that she was still learning the ropes.

    “I think loading blanks is like the scariest thing to me, because I was, like, ‘Oh, I don’t know anything about it,’” she said.

    As the armorer on the set, Gutierrez-Reed was supposed to make sure that the guns being used in “Rust” were secure and safe to use, industry experts have said.

    After Baldwin shot Hutchins and Souza, Gutierrez-Reed “took the spent casing out” and handed the prop gun over to investigators, according to a newly released affidavit from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

    Nine spent shell casings and three black revolvers were among the 28 items that were seized from the set, the sheriff’s office said.

    Gutierrez-Reed “set up” the prop gun and gave it to assistant director David Halls, who, in turn, handed it to Baldwin during a rehearsal and yelled “cold gun” to indicate that there were no live rounds in it, according to warrants released by the sheriff’s office.

    Baldwin was sitting in a pew on the set of a church and “practicing a cross draw” when the gun went off, according to warrants.

    In the podcast, Gutierrez-Reed said she had not always intended to become an armorer.

    “I used to do modeling a bit, and then I decided modeling didn’t really have any sustenance and people didn’t really see you for anything more than face value, so I decided to get more into this line of work,” she said.

    Gutierrez-Reed said that before she joined the “Rust” crew, she had just wrapped up her first job as armorer on the set of “The Old Way,” which stars Nicolas Cage as a retired gunslinger.

    “I was really nervous about it at first, and I almost didn’t take the job, because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but doing it, like, it went really smoothly,” she said. “It was a really badass way to start off a really long and cool career, I’m hoping.”


    Andrew Blankstein
    Andrew Blankstein is an investigative reporter for NBC News. He covers the Western United States, specializing in crime, courts and homeland security.

    Corky Siemaszko
    Corky Siemaszko is a senior writer for NBC News Digital.
    This is the ultimate fail in terms of gun safety.
    Gene Ching
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    Eliza Hutton, Brandon Lee's fiancée

    Eliza Hutton Breaks Silence 28 Years After Fiancé Brandon Lee's Death in the Wake of Rust Shooting
    Eliza Hutton, Brandon Lee's fiancée, is urging "those in positions to make change to consider alternatives to real guns on sets"
    By Dan Heching
    October 25, 2021 11:04 PM

    Eliza Hutton is coming forward for the first time since her fiancé Brandon Lee died following last week's tragic accidental shooting on the set of the Alec Baldwin film Rust.

    Brandon died at 28 in a similar accident in March of 1993 on the set of his film The Crow. Hutton, 57, tells PEOPLE that the accident on the New Mexico set of Rust that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza is yet another "avoidable tragedy."

    "Twenty eight years ago, I was shattered by the shock and grief of losing the love of my life, Brandon Lee, so senselessly. My heart aches again now for Halyna Hutchins' husband and son, and for all those left in the wake of this avoidable tragedy," Hutton tells PEOPLE.

    "I urge those in positions to make change to consider alternatives to real guns on sets," she says.

    Also this week, Hutton posted a photo of herself with Brandon taken in Venice, Italy, in October 1992 when they got engaged to her private Instagram account.

    "There's no such thing as a prop gun," she wrote in the caption.


    CREDIT: COURTESY ELIZA HUTTON
    The pair had planned their wedding for April 17, 1993, after The Crow was scheduled to wrap production. Lee, son of martial arts star Bruce Lee, was killed on set on March 31st during the final week of production.

    Brandon was killed when another actor shot him using a gun that was supposed to have only been loaded with blanks.


    Brandon Lee, Eliza Hutton | CREDIT: COURTESY ELIZA HUTTON
    On Friday, Brandon's sister Shannon Lee shared a statement in the wake of the Rust shooting.

    "Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on Rust. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period💔" she wrote on her brother's Twitter page, where she tweets on behalf of his legacy.

    As investigations into what happened on the Rust set continue, a Change.org petition has been launched calling for the ban on all real firearms on film and television productions.

    The petition was created by Bandar Albuliwi, a director who graduated from the American Film Institute Conservatory, where Hutchins was also an alumnus.

    "Halyna was a talented cinematographer and a good friend whose life was taken tragically due to a real firearm being used on set," Albuliwi said. "We need to make sure this never happens again. There is no excuse for something like this to happen in the 21st century. Real guns are no longer needed on film production sets. Change needs to happen before additional talented lives are lost."

    On Monday evening, the petition had been signed by almost 29,000 people out of the 35,000 requested signatures.
    threads
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    Hannah Gutierrez-Reed must take responsibility

    People
    Rust Armorer Sues Ammunition Supplier for Allegedly Providing 'Both Dummy and Live' Rounds on Set
    Alexia Fernández
    Wed, January 12, 2022, 6:36 PM·3 min read
    In this article:
    Halyna Hutchins
    Ukrainian-American cinematographer and investigative journalist
    Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer at the center of the Rust shooting investigation, is suing the ammunition supplier for the film.

    Gutierrez-Reed, 24, claims Seth Kenney's company PDQ Arm and Prop, LLC supplied a mix of live and dummy ammunition prior to the fatal shooting that took the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

    In the complaint filed on Wednesday in New Mexico, Gutierrez-Reed said Kenney's company "distributed and sold prop ammunition which presented an unreasonable risk of injury, without warning of the risks that could have been avoided."

    Furthermore, the armorer said in the documents that the ammunition supplier "prepared dummy ammunition cartridge boxes from surplus ammunition stockpiles that comprised of both dummy and live ammunition."

    PEOPLE has reached out to Kenney and the Sante Fe District Attorney's Office for comment.

    "These false representations caused live rounds to be introduced on set, resulting in a foreseeably catastrophic outcome, and causing damages to persons on the Rust set," the complaint continued. "The introduction of live rounds onto the set, which no one anticipated, combined with the rushed and chaotic atmosphere, created a perfect storm for a safety incident."

    Gutierrez-Reed is asking for a jury trial, as well as damages and attorneys' fees.


    Halyna Hutchins
    James Gourley/Shutterstock Halyna Hutchins

    On Dec. 2, Kenney told Good Morning America that the live rounds found by investigators on the set of the film were not supplied by him or his company.

    "It's not a possibility that they came from PDQ or from myself personally," Kenney said at the time.

    ​​In early November, Gutierrez-Reed's attorneys, Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence told Today they were looking into the possibility that someone intentionally "sabotaged" the set before Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed Hutchins with a prop gun.

    Bowles said Gutierrez-Reed loaded a bullet into the prop gun that killed Hutchins from a box of dummy rounds and only found the live round later.

    He explained, "We don't know whether that live round came from that box. We're assuming it did. We're assuming someone put the live round in that box."

    Bowles told Today anchor Savannah Guthrie that someone placing a live round in the dummy box would "have to have the purpose of sabotaging the set," adding, "There's no other reason you would do that." The lawyer did not address the possibility that the live round could have been placed in the dummy box unintentionally.

    When Guthrie asked if his theory was that "somebody intentionally placed a live round into a box of dummies for the purpose of it ending up in a weapon that would be used on set," Bowles said he and Gorence did not have a theory yet, but were considering sabotage as "one of the possibilities."


    set of rust
    Jae C Hong/AP/Shutterstock Set of 'Rust'

    "I believe that somebody who would do that would want to sabotage the set, want to prove point, want to say that they're disgruntled, they're unhappy," Bowles said. "And we know that people had already walked off the set the day before."

    Gutierrez-Reed previously said "no live ammo is ever kept on set," a statement later rebutted by Sante Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza, who told Today that was incorrect.

    Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

    "That was a live round that struck and killed Ms. Hutchins, so that's not an accurate statement as far as I'm concerned," he said.

    At a press conference, Mendoza said investigators discovered "500 rounds of ammunition" on the set, including, "a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting are live rounds."
    Seems like a CYA move. The armourer should've know which were blanks and which were live.
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    strange

    Alec Baldwin Describes Return to Set for First Time Since ‘Rust’ Shooting as “Strange”
    Baldwin opened up about his return to work on the U.K. set of independent feature '97 Minutes' — his first job since the death of Halyna Hutchins on Oct. 21, 2021 — in an Instagram video.

    BY ABBEY WHITE

    FEBRUARY 9, 2022 3:01PM

    Alec Baldwin MEGA/GC IMAGES

    Alec Baldwin described the experience of returning to a movie set as “strange” while recalling the death of Rust director of photography Halyna Hutchins briefly in a four-minute video diary posted to his Instagram.

    Back working for the first time in nearly four months, the actor recorded and published the video diary Tuesday. In it, he reflects on his first day of filming the independent film about a hijacked plane that will crash in 97 minutes, which is how long it will take for fuel to run out.

    “We had our first day today, which is always … tricky,” he began. “I don’t work as much as I used to. I said this before maybe, but you go to work and you forget what you’re supposed to do. I just was like, ‘What do you do? What is acting or any of this nonsense I ended up doing?’ It’s strange to go back to work.”

    Immediately after, Baldwin references the last time he was on a set — filming Rust on its Bonanza Creek Ranch set in Santa Fe, where he discharged a firearm with live rounds that accidentally struck and killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. The incident has been under investigation by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s department and district attorney, with the most recent development seeing Baldwin hand over his cellphone to investigators a month after a search warrant had been issued for the device.

    “I haven’t worked since October 21 of last year when this horrible thing happened on the set of this film and the accidental death of our cinematographer Halyna Hutchins,” he said, solemnly. “I still find that hard to say. But I went back to work today for the first time in three and a half months.”

    The former 30 Rock star went on to say that the experience of working on movies is “nearly always the same,” pointing specifically to how frequently he works on projects where “everbody’s young compared to me.” That’s especially true, he said, on independent films, which both 97 Minutes and Rust are.

    “Everyone’s young, especially in independent film, where there are good people, there are very good people, but everybody’s chasing all the good people and a lot of the best ones get gobbled up by projects that have more money,” Baldwin said. “When you have a very limited budget, you’re filling positions with people who are good, but they’re probably early in their career and … young.”

    He went on to say that while everyone is young, “the crew of movies are very hardworking,” before pointing to the filming conditions he and his current film crew were working under.

    “They’re very hardworking, on their feet all day — in an unheated building, I might add,” he said. “The building had no heat. It was tricky to try to get everything done. Many, many independent films now can be very tricky in terms of giving the amount of work you have from the time you have are definitely not in sync.”

    While Baldwin didn’t directly reference anyone while speaking about young crewmembers and, as he sees it, their tendency to work on independent films, the comment could be related to Rust, whose armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed had only had a few projects under her belt when she joined the production. She, like Baldwin, is currently under investigation by the sheriff’s department and district attorney for the shooting death of Hutchins.

    In January, Gutierrez-Reed sued Seth Kenney, the man whose company supplied ammunition to the Rust production, in a claim that he introduced live rounds on set.
    Gotta be so many PTSD issues for him.
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  7. #7
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    reckless?

    Alec Baldwin & ‘Rust’ Producers Declare Wrongful Death Lawsuit “False”; Slain Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ Estate Sued Earlier Tuesday
    By Anthony D'Alessandro, Dominic Patten
    February 15, 2022 12:55pm

    Mega; AP
    Mere hours after a wrongful death lawsuit was filed over the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, lawyers for Alec Baldwin and fellow producers are declaring that “any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false.”
    This morning Hutchins estate attorney Brian Panish put blame on Rust producers and Baldwin for their negligence with safety during production of the Western that led to Hutchins being shot and killed by a prop gun discharged by the Oscar-nominated actor, an incident that also saw the pic’s director Joel Souza injured. Using an animated video to reconstruct the alleged incidents that occurred, Panish showed Baldwin cross-drawing and firing the gun straight at crew during a “line-up”.

    “Everyone’s hearts and thoughts remain with Halyna’s family as they continue to process this unspeakable tragedy,” said Baldwin and Rust attorneys Aaron Dyer, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, “We continue to cooperate with the authorities to determine how live ammunition arrived on the Rust set in the first place.”

    To date, the Sante Fe Sheriff’s Department hasn’t made any charges in the Rust tragic incident which occurred on Oct. 21, 2021.

    “He (Baldwin), Halyna and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a ‘cold gun’ – meaning there is no possibility of a discharge, blank or otherwise,” the statement continued from team Rust.

    “This protocol has worked on thousands of films, with millions of discharges, as there has never before been an incident on a set where an actual bullet harmed anyone,” concluded team Rust‘s remarks, “Actors should be able to rely on armorers and prop department professionals, as well as assistant directors, rather than deciding on their own when a gun is safe to use.”

    Attorneys for the Hutchins’ estate argued that armorer Hannah Reed-Gutierrez wasn’t onsite in the church when Hutchins was shot, and that assistant director Dave Halls wasn’t qualified in weapon safety. In addition, they argue that Baldwin refused weapons training, and should have used a rubber prop gun. Additionally, there should have been protective glass in front of the crew, who were four feet away from Baldwin, or they should have been wearing protective gear, Panish argued this AM during a press conference.

    “Defendant Baldwin, the Producers, and the Rust Production Companies were aware of firearms safety issues that had occurred on the set of Rust and did not take action to correct the situation and ensure that basic gun safety rules were followed on October 21, 2021,” the suit this morning from the Hutchins’ estate said. “Had Defendant Baldwin, the Producers, and the Rust Production Companies taken adequate precautions to ensure firearm safety on the set of Rust or if basic firearm safety rules had been followed on the set of Rust on October 21, 2021, Halyna Hutchins would be alive and well, hugging her husband and nine-year old son.”

    Interwoven in the animated video that was shown by Hutchins’ family attorneys this morning were notes from crew members indicating tension on the set over the alleged misappropriation of safety. Prior to Hutchins’ death and Souza’s injury there were already two accidental weapon discharges and an explosive that went off between takes, per research amassed by Panish.
    This is such a **** show...
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  8. #8
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    Matt Hutchins

    Husband of fatally shot Rust cinematographer says idea of Alec Baldwin not being responsible 'is absurd'
    "Are we really supposed to feel bad about you, Mr. Baldwin?" Hutchins asks in a new Today interview with Hoda Kotb.

    By Nick Romano
    February 24, 2022 at 10:16 AM EST

    Matt Hutchins, the husband of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot on the set of the western film in October, expressed his anger over what he considers Alec Baldwin shifting blame off himself for the tragic incident.

    "The idea that the person holding the gun causing it to discharge is not responsible is absurd to me," Hutchins told Today show host Hoda Kotb in a new interview that aired on NBC Thursday morning.

    "Every individual who touches a firearm has a responsibility for gun safety," Hutchins continued. However, he added, "gun safety was not the only problem on that set. There were a number of industry standards that were not practiced, and there's multiple responsible parties."

    During a rehearsal on the set of Rust, Baldwin held what he thought was a harmless prop gun towards the camera in the direction of Halyna and director Joel Souza, but the gun discharged a live round that injured Souza and fatally wounded Halyna.

    Baldwin spoke about the incident in December with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, saying he "didn't pull the trigger" when the gun went off — something that police determined could have been a possibility. Though Baldwin, who's also an executive producer on Rust, expressed remorse over Halyna's death, he said he isn't culpable.

    "I feel that someone is responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me," the actor said.

    "Watching him, I just felt so angry," Hutchins told Kotb. "Just so angry to see him talk about her death so publicly in such a detailed way, and then to not accept any responsibility after having just described killing her."

    "Almost sounds like he was the victim," he added, "and hearing him blame Halyna in the interview and shift responsibility to others and seeing him cry about it, I just feel like, are we really supposed to feel bad about you, Mr. Baldwin?"



    Hutchins filed a wrongful death complaint in February against Baldwin and multiple other crew members on behalf of himself and his 9-year-old son, Andros. The complaint alleged that Baldwin "recklessly shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust" and called out "others responsible for the safety on set."

    Baldwin's attorney told EW in a statement, "Any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false."

    "We're pursuing justice every way we can with the lawsuit, seeking to hold accountable the people who are responsible for Halyna's death, which was totally preventable," Hutchins told Kotb. "In the end, justice won't bring Halyna back, but maybe the memory of her can help keep people safe and prevent something like this from ever happening again."

    Watch the interview segment in the video above.
    She was from Ukraine.
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    at the Boulder International Film Festival

    Alec Baldwin Addresses ‘Rust’ Tragedy, Shares Hope for Future Modification of Safety Regulations
    The actor's remarks came during a conversation at the Boulder International Film Festival on Saturday night.

    BY ABBEY WHITE, TRILBY BERESFORD
    MARCH 6, 2022 11:10AM

    Alec Baldwin JIM BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES)

    Alec Baldwin has once again addressed the on-set tragedy that occurred last October during the production of western movie Rust and resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

    In remarks made during a Saturday evening conversation at the Boulder International Film Festival, where the actor/producer is serving as the event’s first ever special guest programmer, Baldwin briefly referenced the investigation and lawsuits surrounding the on-set shooting and the future of safety regulations. Hutchins, along with Rust director Joel Souza, was shot on Oct. 21 after a prop gun Baldwin was holding discharged on the movie’s Santa Fe, New Mexico set, killing her and wounding Souza.

    After the moderator, BIFF’s special event programmer Ron Bostwick, opened the floor to Baldwin, Baldwin launched into a lengthy and somewhat fragmented statement about there being just “two victims” in the Rust shooting, while also implying some individuals who have filed lawsuits are financially motivated and just going after people they assume “are deep pockets litigants.”

    “From the beginning, from the moment this happened, everybody has put out — besides all the anguish and the suffering, horrible feelings we have and, of course, there are two victims and nobody else is a victim, so to speak — we have dealt with a situation where specific people are not as interested in finding out what really happened,” Baldwin told the festival audience.

    “What you have is a certain group of litigants on whatever side, who their attitude is, well, the people who likely seem negligent have enough money. And the people who have money are not negligent, but we’re not gonna let that stop us from doing what we need to do in terms of litigation,” he added. “Why sue people if you’re not going to get money? That’s what you’re doing.”

    Last month, Hutchins’ husband Matthew gave an interview with NBC’s Today show, during which he expressed that past statements made by Baldwin had seemingly victimized himself and shifted responsibility for the cinematographer’s death onto her and others.

    “Almost sounds like he was the victim,” Hutchins said at the time, of comments Baldwin made in a recent interview. “And hearing him blame Halyna in the interview and shift responsibility to others and seeing him cry about it, I just feel like, ‘Are we really supposed to feel bad about you, Mr. Baldwin?'”

    The Hutchins family filed a wrongful death suit in February against Baldwin as well as “others responsible for the safety on set and whose reckless behavior” led to Halyna’s death. Script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who originally called 911 following the on-set shooting incident, additionally sued Baldwin in November and is claiming assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and deliberate infliction of harm.

    Later during the panel, the Rust actor compared deaths on film sets to deaths while working in other industries, asking the audience to “think of all the billions of rounds of ammunition that were fired on movie and TV sets in the last 75 years and four people have died” and then “compare that record to the opioid industry, the airline industry, the automobile industry, the gun industry itself.”

    Baldwin championed “the safety record of the film and television industry,” and pointed to how on-set safety protocols establish a chain of command when it comes to weapons handling. After calling breaking that chain of command “illegal” and “against the rules,” he acknowledged that checking could “be done with” an actor, but that all his career he’s “been without incidents.”

    “When someone whose job it is to ensure the safety of the weapon hands someone else whose job was to be the secondary layer of protection for safety and they hand it over to and you declare that that weapon is safe — that’s how I’ve lived my whole life,” he said. “I’ve relied on the safety experts there to declare the gun is safe and hand me the gun. Never had a problem.”



    At another point, the actor suggested discussions with the unions and others will take place to address new set protocols around guns. The producer and former 30 Rock star pointed to the use of plastic or weighted weapons, as well as “in all likelihood” the elimination of “all live weapons” in favor of CGI, though Baldwin stated guns are still appearing in films because “that’s what audiences want.”

    “The thing to remember is that guns are fired in films because that’s what audiences want. Maybe not this crowd. Maybe not a festival crowd where you want to watch something that’s a little more complicated,” he said. “There’s a place to modify the safety regulations we have to deal with and I’m very much looking forward to our decisions.”

    Towards the end, Baldwin spoke to Halyna as a cinematographer, as a woman who had broken glass ceilings in the industry and who wasn’t just “loved by people, she was admired” — before sharing his hopes for the investigation and the impact the entire tragedy has had on him.

    “I’m very hopeful when the facts come out. We will not be held criminally responsible but it has changed my life, and I don’t mean this in the ordinary sense that I was involved in something or somebody passed. I mean, I was involved in a situation with somebody was killed. It’s changed my life just in terms of the function of weapons in films and television.”

    Since the on-set shooting in October, Baldwin has returned to work in the U.K. on an independent feature titled 97 Minutes. He addressed this move in a recent Instagram video, commenting how it felt to resume his acting career. “We had our first day today, which is always … tricky,” he began. “I don’t work as much as I used to. I said this before maybe, but you go to work and you forget what you’re supposed to do. I just was like, ‘What do you do? What is acting or any of this nonsense I ended up doing?’ It’s strange to go back to work.”

    Amid the ongoing investigation into Hutchins’ death, which includes determining how live ammo made its way onto the set, Baldwin has expressed that he’s maintained cooperation with the Santa Fe authorities. He handed his phone over to officials in mid-January, nearly one month after they requested it, for the purpose of an examination of its contents and communications.
    If the prop master hands an actor a gun, is it the actor's responsibility to check the weapon?
    Gene Ching
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  10. #10
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    $136,793

    Apr 20, 2022 9:45am PT
    ‘Rust’ Production Company Handed Maximum Fine for Firearm Safety Failures

    By Jordan Moreau

    AP

    The production company behind the movie “Rust,” where actor and producer Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on set, has been given the maximum possible fine for firearms safety failures on set.

    New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau gave a $136,793 fine to Rust Movie Productions.

    The bureau heard testimonies that production managers took little or no action after two previous misfires on set before Baldwin’s accidental shooting of Hutchins, and there were documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unaddressed. Weapons experts were not allowed to make decisions about extra safety training, the bureau found.

    Notably, the production company had not developed any process to make sure live rounds were not present on the movie set — a clear violation of industry safety standards.

    “What we had, based on our investigators’ findings, was a set of obvious hazards to employees regarding the use of firearms and management’s failure to act upon those obvious hazards,” Bob Genoway, bureau chief for occupational safety, told AP.

    The new report details how assistant director David Halls, who also served as safety coordinator, had handed a large-caliber revolver to Baldwin without consulting on-set weapons specialists, either during or after the gun was loaded.

    “Management was provided with multiple opportunities to take corrective actions and chose not to do so. As a result of these failures, director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were severely injured. Halyna Hutchins succumbed to her injuries,” the report said.

    A lawyer for “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed said in a statement that “OSHA found that Hannah Gutierrez Reed was not provided adequate time or resources to conduct her job effectively, despite her voiced concerns. Critically, OSHA also determined that production failed to call Hannah in to perform her armorer duties and inspect the firearm right before its use in the impromptu scene with Baldwin.”

    Gloria Allred, who represents “Rust” script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, said in a statement, “Everyone responsible for what happened on that production which led to the tragedy should hang their heads in shame. The report by OSHA is a stinging indictment which goes way beyond mere negligence. In issuing its penalty it finds that the violations were willful. There are no stronger words which New Mexico OSHA could have used to describe the production company’s failures.”

    The New Mexico agency spent 1,500 hours investigating the fatal accident, including at least a dozen interviews. New Mexico official James Kenney said separate investigations into possible criminal charges are still underway.
    Wait, so Reed isn't at fault?
    Gene Ching
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  11. #11
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    Sb 829 & 831

    Reckoning With ‘Rust’: Dueling California Bills Tackle Set Safety
    Two state legislators are offering different approaches to prevent future firearm hazards, one focused on gun regulation and one on broader set issues, with Hollywood backers on both sides.

    BY KATIE KILKENNY

    MAY 11, 2022 6:45AM

    ADOBE STOCK

    On Jan. 3, two Democratic state senators in California introduced separate bills that would come to represent distinct approaches to tackling safety on film and TV sets in the wake of the Rust tragedy. Sens. Anthony Portantino and Dave Cortese introduced Senate Bills 829 and 831, respectively, which both propose further regulating the use of firearms and blanks during production and the safety training required for cast and crew, essentially prohibiting live ammunition except in ultra-specific scenarios (831, however, also requires the institution of a set safety supervisor role and the performance of a preproduction “risk assessment”). Both legislators have been clear that their legislation was motivated by the Oct. 21 shooting on a New Mexico set that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead.

    But it’s the differences between their approaches that shed light on industry groups’ lack of consensus over how to make production safer. While both senators have spoken with guilds like the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and IATSE as well as the Motion Picture Association — the trade group advocating for the major studios and Netflix — the MPA is supporting SB 829, and many unions back SB 831. Now, as the bills are en route to the same Senate committee, the questions they raise — about whether the Rust tragedy should lead to firearms regulation specifically (SB 829) or a larger overhaul of set safety practices (SB 831) — are coming to a head, and a familiar tension between employers and labor leaders, independence and oversight, is simmering beneath the surface. “The crux of the situation comes down to, is there a distinction between the firearms issue and other issues?” says Portantino, a former art director and prop master who has overseen armaments on set.

    Portantino’s SB 829 requires a fire code official to be present during the use of firearms and blanks on set and tasks the Office of the State Fire Marshal with developing safety courses for crewmembers in collaboration with the industry’s joint labor and management safety committee. (That committee’s safety bulletins, which are decided by major studios and unions but not mandatory for productions, have long set safety standards, including for firearms, on major titles; Rust did not follow their own safety guidelines based on these bulletins, an April 19 New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau report said.)

    MPA vp state and local government affairs Melissa Patack says the organization is supporting SB 829 because “the focus is on training, and the MPA member companies believe that that needs to be the priority.” The MPA is also supporting making their members’ and union projects’ best practices and policies “a legal standard for all productions in California,” she says.

    Cortese’s SB 831 takes a more wide-ranging approach, calling for the institution of a “set safety supervisor” — an independent employee who would make a risk assessment in preproduction that is specific to the project and attend set every day — on all productions. As the bill is currently written, the supervisor would have the power to shut down production “for further review” if they deem it necessary. Though not a common position on American sets, such supervisors are used in Australia, the U.K. and New Zealand, advocates say.

    Cortese, chair of the California Senate’s Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee, also requires the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) to enforce the bill and propose a standard for the use of firearms on set to be adopted by January 2024.

    Cortese — who in the immediate aftermath of the Rust shooting called for a ban on live ammunition and firearms capable of shooting live ammunition on sets, but modified that approach after industry feedback — says it was a conversation with the DGA about larger safety concerns that led him to extend his bill beyond firearms regulations. He says his bill creates “checks and balances in the system so that it’s much, much, much less likely that somebody will get away with disregarding the very rules that we’ve promulgated here.”

    A long list of unions and labor groups, including the DGA, several IATSE locals, SAG-AFTRA and the Hollywood Teamsters, have come to formally support Cortese’s SB 831. “There are a lot of protocols in our industry, there are a lot of safety bulletins,” says Rebecca Rhine, national executive director of IATSE Local 600, the union that Halyna Hutchins belonged to and which has also lost members Sarah Jones and Brent Hershman in the past few decades. “What we think is that there’s a need to connect all of those rules and protocols to the actual on-the-ground workflow. And we believe that the safety supervisor is the piece that does that.”

    Though neither the MPA nor labor groups have come out in opposition to each other’s favored bills, the set safety supervisor position as written in SB 831 may be one issue for management: Studios might not take kindly to an employee retaining the power to autonomously — and expensively — stop production.

    On the flip side, Portantino may face resistance from some who think SB 829 “doesn’t quite go far enough in terms of having a penalty,” says Dario Frommer, a partner at Akin Gump who is a former majority leader of the California State Assembly. Outgoing IATSE Local 600 national president and seasoned cinematographer John Lindley (Snowfall, Field of Dreams) maintains that he doesn’t have criticisms for any legislators “trying to make the set a safer place” but believes a full-time set safety supervisor is “the simplest way forward for [management]. They can afford it, they know how to do it around the world, and they should just get on board doing it in North America.”

    While the bills are still in the early stages of the legislative process — if they make it through the Senate, they will then follow a similar path in the State Assembly before landing on the governor’s desk — they will reach a critical point by entering the Senate Appropriations Committee (chaired by Portantino) in May. The senators say the language of their bills isn’t set in stone, and conversations with stakeholders are ongoing; labor and management leaders are also currently in talks.

    Portantino says he hopes labor and management “continue to talk and that the final product represents more of a common ground.” Cortese adds: “We’ll take under consideration any proposed amendments that are consistent with the current intent of the bill.” If one or both of the bills continue to progress, the governor may receive legislation for consideration in August or September.

    However these bills land, property person Karl Weschta, a member of the nonprofit American Entertainment Armories Association, hopes that they lead to greater standardization of practices across the country. “California typically will start this sort of thing, and then others will look to California’s way of doing things, and potentially [this could] be better for everybody,” he says. While legislation aiming to tackle film set safety training was postponed indefinitely in New Mexico earlier this year, a bill sponsored by New York State Sen. Kevin Thomas, which bans live ammunition at film production facilities and requires firearm training, is making its way through New York Senate committees.

    Frommer says he would “not be surprised” if California’s two bills tackling the Rust tragedy were combined into one in the near future. “If you’re having two bills go on the floor, you’re making members choose between two really strong constituents in the legislature — organized labor and the motion picture [industry].” He believes the end result will likely be “something that maybe both parties won’t love but they can live with.”
    Now I'm wondering why such legislation didn't emerge when Brandon Lee died.
    Gene Ching
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  12. #12
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    Settlement

    Alec Baldwin reaches settlement with Halyna Hutchins’ family
    By Chloe Melas, CNN
    Updated 9:49 AM EDT, Wed October 5, 2022

    Halyna Hutchins, here in 2019, was killed on the set of the film "Rust" in 2021.
    Fred Hayes/Getty Images
    CNN

    The family of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer killed on the “Rust” movie set in 2021, and Alec Baldwin have reached an undisclosed settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against the actor and others, according to a statement released by the actor’s attorney.

    The lawsuit, filed in February in Santa Fe, against Baldwin, the film’s production companies, its producers and other key members of the crew, alleged numerous industry standard violations.

    Matthew Hutchins, widower of Halyna Hutchins who was killed on set, will be an executive producer on film and receive a portion of the profits, the statement adds.

    “We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust, including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC. As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed. The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023. I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin). All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work,” Hutchins said in a statement.

    “Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation,” Alec Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, said in a statement.

    Film director Joel Souza, who was also injured in the shooting, is expected to return to the film. “Those of us who were lucky enough to have spent time with Halyna knew her to be exceedingly talented, kind, creative, and a source of incredible positive energy. I only wish the world had gotten to know her under different circumstances, as it surely would have through her amazing work. In my own attempts to heal, any decision to return to finish directing the film could only make sense for me if it was done with the involvement of Matt and the Hutchins family. Though certainly bittersweet, I am pleased that together, we will now complete what Halyna and I started. My every effort on this film will be devoted to honoring Halyna’s legacy and making her proud. It is a privilege to see this through on her behalf,” said Souza in the statement.

    Rust Movie Productions, LLC, attorney Spadone of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, said: “We are pleased the parties came together to resolve this matter, which, subject to court approval, marks an important step forward in celebrating Halyna’s life and honoring her work.”

    The lawsuit also claimed the production companies and producers “cut corners” and “chose to hire the cheapest crew available,” specifically noting that they “knowingly hired a wholly unqualified armorer,” and required her to split time in a second role as assistant props master.

    Deadline first reported news of the settlement.

    This story is developing and will be updated.
    So, who's going to see Rust now that it supports the bereaved?
    Gene Ching
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  13. #13
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    low budget

    A Year After ‘Rust,’ Alec Baldwin Is Busy in the Low-Budget World
    The actor has multiple projects brewing with talent behind the controversial Western, with one collaborator noting: "You don’t abandon your good friends at the drop of any trouble."
    BY ETAN VLESSING

    OCTOBER 21, 2022 10:58AM

    Alec Baldwin DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES


    One year after Alec Baldwin was involved in a tragic shooting on the set of Rust, the star says he has lost multiple acting opportunities, noting in an interview with CNN in August that five roles disappeared. Yet since the Oct. 21, 2021, death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died when Baldwin pulled the trigger of a prop gun that was not supposed to contain live rounds, the actor has maintained a steady stream of work not all that different from the low-budget fare he appeared in before Rust.

    In part, he has benefactors involved in Rust to thank for his continued employment, with upcoming titles including the sleep-walking-centric False Awakening and 97 Minutes, his first acting gig after briefly retreating from film sets.

    “You don’t abandon your good friends at the drop of any trouble,” 97 Minutes screenwriter Pavan Grover tells The Hollywood Reporter of continuing to work with Baldwin.

    The disaster thriller, shot in the U.K. in February, with Rust producer Anjul Nigam also onscreen and executive producing, faced pressure to switch Baldwin out for another actor, Grover recounts.

    “He’s had a rough year with all the fallout that happened. A lot of projects dropped him because of all the controversy,” Grover says.

    But the screenwriter and producer, whose day job is as a spinal surgeon in Houston, Texas, says he penned 97 Minutes with Baldwin in the lead role and never considered writing him out of the script. Grover also says that returning to work on 97 Minutes helped Baldwin heal. (The actor has called the death of Hutchins the worst thing that has ever happened to him.)

    “Getting out of the country, getting away from that 24/7 media storm and connecting with his cast and connect with the crew was very therapeutic for him,” Grover recalls.

    97 Minutes is in postproduction ahead of an expected February 2023 release by Vertical Entertainment.

    As Baldwin looks to line up other gigs, many are low-budget action pics that will keep the veteran actor collecting paychecks amid possible legal woes. He and fellow Rust producers are named in a civil suit brought by the film’s script supervisor, though another suit brought by Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, settled on Oct. 5.

    Meanwhile, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office criminal investigation continues. Insiders note that the results of the investigation could have an effect on Baldwin’s career prospects. But observers note that regardless of the outcome, he likely could continue to star in the low-budget independent features that have made up the majority of his credits, as of late. Actors like Baldwin who are no longer at the peak of their careers can still find seven-figure paydays, sometimes for just a few days of work, on such projects.

    Elsewhere, Baldwin and Rust producer Nigam, who recently launched Persona Entertainment as their indie banner, are aiming to restart production on the Western in January 2023, possibly in California, after reaching the settlement with Hutchins’ husband (who will now be an executive producer).

    At Cannes, Baldwin and Nigam unveiled their banner’s first project, False Awakening, and began preselling writer-director Ben Tomson’s psychological thriller, now in preproduction. Baldwin would executive produce and play a psychologist who helps the film’s main character navigate sleep-walking episodes that hinder his life.

    Other possible movie gigs for Baldwin include Wayne Kramer’s indie Blue Before Blood, a cop thriller set against the backdrop of a divided NYPD. That would reteam Baldwin with Kramer, who wrote and directed 2003 film The Cooler, which earned Baldwin an Oscar nomination for portraying the volcanic Shelly Kaplow, considered among his most successful roles.

    Baldwin is also set to star as a former CIA station chief alongside Olga Kurylenko and Alex Pettyfer in the action spy thriller Chief of Station, which is scheduled to shoot in Budapest later this year.

    Baldwin has a number of projects in the can, including Supercell — a Twister-style disaster movie about storm chasers — which Rust’s Nigam also executive produced and starred in. The project, which filmed in 2021, hailed from Rust producers Thomasville Pictures and marked the final film performance by Anne Heche. It’s from director Herbert James Winterstern and the Highland Film Group.

    And in March, Baldwin was in Italy to star alongside brother Daniel Baldwin in two animated comedy family films, Kid Santa and Billie’s Magic World, from Minerva Pictures and ILBE. Both films, which combined live-action actors with animated characters, were directed by Francesco Cinquemani, who directed Baldwin in the 2015 dystopian sci-fi thriller Andròn: The Black Labyrinth.

    Baldwin’s résumé, even before the Rust tragedy, was a comedown for a Hollywood actor who starred in classic films like Beetlejuice and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, as well as the TV series 30 Rock. He more recently earned an Emmy nomination for playing former President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.

    Baldwin says it’s gotten worse amid the Rust fallout. Said the actor to CNN in August: “I got fired from another job yesterday. There I was all set to go to a movie, jump on a plane. … I’ve been talking with these guys for months and they told me yesterday, ‘We don’t want to do the film with you because of this.’”
    Baldwin really shouldn't be held accountable. It was the responsibility of the weapons master.
    Gene Ching
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  14. #14
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    Rust restart

    ‘Rust’ Makes Early Plans to Restart Production in California
    The production is currently planning not to return to New Mexico in 2023, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

    BY KATIE KILKENNY

    OCTOBER 19, 2022 6:29PM

    Rust Movie Set PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

    The filmmaking team behind Rust is making early plans to move production from New Mexico to California when filming resumes, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

    Production on the Western is set to pick up again with “all the original principal players on board” in January 2023 as part of a settlement with the family of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was shot and killed in 2021 during the initial filming of the movie at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sources tell THR that early plans are for production to continue in California rather than New Mexico, though it’s not clear yet where in the state it will be filmed or whether plans could shift. Matthew Hutchins, Halyna’s husband, is set to executive produce.

    A representative for Rust Movie Productions, attorney Melina Spadone, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: “The production of Rust will not return to New Mexico. The production is considering other locations, including in California, but no decisions have been made.”

    Major crew union IATSE confirmed Wednesday that its initial plan for the resumed production is to staff safety personnel on the set, assuming the production companies involved are under a union contract. (The Rust Movie Productions representative declined to comment when asked about the companies involved in the upcoming continuation of production.) Hutchins belonged to IATSE Local 600, the International Cinematographers Guild. Before the shooting that killed Hutchins occurred on the Rust set in 2021, seven workers in the camera department walked off set over what former A-camera first assistant Lane Luper told THR was an unsafe work environment.

    In March, the Directors Guild of America ordered members off of Oak, a film backed by Rust producer Thomasville Pictures after, according to the DGA, producers failed to meet “specific safety requirements” in the DGA agreement. (In a statement at the time, Thomasville Pictures spokesperson Stefan Friedman said the film was “proud” to still be working with IATSE and SAG-AFTRA and with those two unions and the DGA on a separate film.) While IATSE, which had members on the shoot, did not follow suit, it sent an international safety representative to the set.

    When the civil settlement over Rust first went public in early October, containing the news that its filmmakers planned to finish the movie starting in January, it took several Hollywood unions by surprise. “No one has contacted us from the production. I have not spoken to anyone related to the production since that tragic accident happened, so everything I’ve seen has been in the press. No one has said a word,” Teamsters Local 399 secretary-treasurer Lindsay Dougherty told THR at the time. THR reached out to Teamsters Local 399 to determine whether the union has heard from the production since.

    Hutchins’ death after a prop gun held by actor Alec Baldwin went off during a rehearsal for the film became a rallying cry for Hollywood to make set safety a priority. In the aftermath of her death, two California state senators introduced bills attempting to reform industry practices. One bill was backed by entertainment unions (SB 831) and the other by the Motion Picture Association (SB 829) — both eventually failed last spring when the two sides didn’t reach a compromise.

    In a statement to THR after the Rust settlement announcement revealed production would continue, the office of SB 829 champion Sen. Anthony Portantino said, “Senator Portantino continues to be committed to finding a sensible solution to outstanding set safety issues. He was disappointed in the inability of stakeholders to craft a compromise last year but is optimistic one will be developed during this legislative session.”

    The New Mexico district attorney’s office has yet to reveal whether they will file criminal charges against anyone connected to the Rust accident.

    Kim Masters and Winston Cho contributed reporting.

    Oct. 19, 8:38 p.m.: Updated with the latest statement from Rust Movie Productions.
    I imagine they'll get a bump from the morbidity factor...
    Gene Ching
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  15. #15
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    EP Hutchins


    Inside the Secret ‘Rust’ Settlement: Why Did Halyna Hutchins’ Widower Drop His Suit to Become an Executive Producer?

    Legal experts detail what the estate and the producers stand to gain by calling a truce and teaming up to complete the movie on which star Alec Baldwin fatally shot the DP in October 2021.

    BY GARY BAUM, WINSTON CHO
    OCTOBER 25, 2022 1:05PM

    The entrance to the Bonanza Creek Ranch where 'Rust' was filming in Santa Fe, New Mexico. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

    A year after Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of Rust, the producers, still facing civil litigation and under a cloud of potential criminal liability, are looking to finish the film in the next few months. Key to this gambit is a private settlement with Hutchins’ estate, announced Oct. 5, which is pending court approval. The plan both ends the wrongful death action brought by Hutchins’ family on Feb. 15 and makes her widower, Matthew, an executive producer on the movie.

    The settlement marks a public about-face for Matthew Hutchins. After filing suit, he told Hoda Kotb on NBC’s Today show that “there were a number of industry standards that were not practiced, and there’s multiple responsible parties,” adding pointedly of Baldwin, “The idea that the person holding the gun and causing it to discharge is not responsible is absurd to me.” Yet in tandem with the settlement announcement, he stated: “I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Baldwin). All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”

    The Hollywood Reporter spoke with legal experts about what might have precipitated Hutchins’ public reconciliation with the producers, and what both sides stand to gain in the settlement.

    Rust’s producers have included Ryan Smith and Allen Cheney, whose checkered history with financial and safety issues on earlier films came to the fore after Hutchins’ death on the Western drama. Also party to the Rust producing consortium: Baldwin’s manager, Matt DelPiano, as well as actor Anjul Nigam, who later co-starred with Baldwin in disaster thriller 97 Minutes, which shot in the U.K. in February. It’s yet to be determined which of these producers will remain on board through completion of photography and potential release.

    The film’s producers, operating under Rust Movie Productions (RMP), declined to answer questions about the proposed deal. “The terms of the settlement are confidential, and its approval is proceeding apace,” said their attorney Melina Spadone, in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter. Representatives for the Hutchins family did not respond to inquiries.

    Veteran entertainment attorney Bryan Sullivan, who regularly works with independent productions as their legal strategist in business affairs, notes that “the whole point of creating [Rust Move Productions] is for liability purposes.” On independent productions, such special-purpose entities are created as financial vehicles that offer management, accounting and tax advantages, acting as an umbrella that essentially allows producers to treat productions as though they are companies. Critically, they protect their owners, whose liability is limited to the amount invested in the movie.

    The only assets RMP has are the rights to the movie, the footage and any forthcoming proceeds. If there is a judgment against the company in any of the civil suits it’s facing, damages would be limited to those assets. Finishing and distributing the movie is likely the sole path available to compensate the victims. For Hutchins, an EP credit — along with a piece of the backend — was one of his few options in a settlement.

    “Rust doesn’t have a lot in the way of assets outside of the rights to the picture, and the only way that’s worth anything is for it to get done,” says entertainment attorney Nick Soltman. “It’s less a question of what Rust Movie Productions wanted and more a question of what they could offer to him.”

    In the event Hutchins refused to settle and plans for the movie marched forward regardless, Rust’s financiers would have had first dibs on the proceeds as unsecured creditors. By attaching his name to the production that he initially faulted for negligence in the death of his wife, he now stands among the first in line, unlike those continuing to pursue their lawsuits against RMP.

    It remains unclear what rights are conferred by Matthew Hutchins’ EP title, including where he will be situated in the financial “waterfall,” which is a project’s payment distribution agreement. Other open questions include whether the Hutchins family will separately be compensated outside of RMP, and if the settlement terms included Hutchins’ publicly absolving Baldwin and the other producers.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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