- The assistant director of “Rust” spoke out for the first time since the accidental fatal shooting.
- On Oct. 21, Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun while rehearsing a scene on-set, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
- AD David Halls said he hopes the shooting will prompt the industry to “reevaluate” its practices.
The assistant director of “Rust” said he hopes the accidental shooting that killed a cinematographer on-set will prompt change within the film industry, the New York Post reported Monday.
On October 21, actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun while rehearsing a scene on the set of the upcoming Western film “Rust.” Halyna Hutchins, a cinematographer on the film, was killed, and director Joel Souza was injured in the incident.
In a statement to the Post, David Halls, the assistant director for the movie, spoke out for the first time on the incident, saying he was “shocked and saddened” by Hutchins’ death.
“Halyna Hutchins was not just one of the most talented people I’ve worked with, but also a friend,” Halls said.
“It’s my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again,” he added.
According to an affidavit, Halls told authorities investigating the incident that he didn’t check all the rounds in the Colt revolver used by Baldwin, saying he “could only remember seeing at least four ‘dummy’ casings with the hole on the side, and one without the hole,” when he was first shown the firearm by the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed before rehearsal.
Halls “advised this round did not have the ‘cap’ on it and was just the casing,” according to the affidavit. The assistant director also “advised he should have checked all of them, but didn’t and couldn’t recall” if Gutierrez-Reed “spun the drum” of the gun, according to the affidavit.
Halls said he did not know the gun contained live rounds when he handed it to Baldwin, the document says.
Regardless of whether the gun is loaded with a blank or real ammo, a firearm is considered “live” when it contains gunpowder. Blank cartridges, or blanks for short, contain gunpowder but no solid projectile and are commonly used on movie sets, according to a report by The Wrap.
Last week, a California state lawmaker announced that he intended on proposing legislation to ban “live” guns on movie sets in the wake of the accidental fatal shooting.
State Sen. Dave Cortese, a Democrat representing Silicon Valley, announced Saturday he is set to introduce legislation to ban “live” guns on movie sets, citing an “urgent need to address alarming work abuses and safety violations occurring on the set of theatrical productions.”
Police recovered about 500 rounds of ammunition – including blanks, dummy rounds, and suspected live rounds – from the “Rust” set as part of their investigation, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said last week. Mendoza said last week that they had recovered an apparent lead projectile.