Nobody should ever die on a film or TV set. No one should ever get injured either but physical things happen (stunts, for instance). Injuries should should be rare. Death should be a complete stranger. With hundreds of hours of produced film and TV content under our belts, Gil Adler and I had the exact same reaction when the news dropped from the set of the movie “Rust”. It made our heads explode. How could that have happened?
On Oct. 21, 2021, actor/producer Alec Baldwin – on the set of “Rust” outside Albuquerque, New Mexico – discharged a prop firearm that had a live round in it. The bullet killed the film’s director of photography Halyna Hutchins and wounded its director Joel Souza. On the one hand, this was a tragic accident. On the other, it didn’t happen in a vacuum. People made this happen via a combination of carelessness, incompetence and ineptitude.
New Mexico Makes A Move
Yesterday, New Mexico added the potential for criminal behavior to the mix. They announced that they intend to prosecute Alec Baldwin and the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed. Uncharged: the movie’s 1st assistant director, Dave Halls. He, apparently, reached a plea deal.
Gil and I aren’t the only ones scratching our heads over the latest developments. Most everyone in the business is perturbed by it. To help us get our heads around it, we’ve invited two guests. We just sat down with our good friend Tony Adler in S2E18 – Who’s The Boss. Tony is an accomplished 1st AD with a long, illustrious bio. Leigh Webb also had a long, illustrious career as a 1st AD. He worked for us on Tales From The Crypt (and shows like “Moonlighting”). Both Tony and Leigh have dealt with guns on their sets more times than they can count.
There’s a protocol. All one has to do is follow it. And yet…
Rust Makes Our Heads Explode!
Accidents on film sets make us angry. They should never happen though they do. What happened on the set of Rust makes our heads explode.