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'Rust' movie director Joel Souza discussed the incident with Alec Baldwin in a new affidavit. Should we increase safety on movie sets?

Who was responsible for ‘Rust’ movie shooting with Alec Baldwin?

The tragic death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins continues to haunt Hollywood. After all, there are supposed to be checks on-set to make sure that tragic accidents don’t happen when filming movies. While Alec Baldwin will need to spend the rest of his life coming to terms with the fact that he had accidentally killed someone, people still want to know: what happened here.

While Hutchins tragically perished, director Joel Souza was also injured in the accident as well. Now, we’re getting a better idea of what exactly happened as affidavits about the shooting on Rust are continuing to come out. What’s the latest news about this tragic movie accident with Alec Baldwin? What can we learn going forward from the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins?

Let’s take a look at what we’ve learned so far from the Rust shooting along with any new information about the next steps in the investigation.

What Souza says

According to Souza, the cast & crew was assured prior to the accident that Alec Baldwin would be handling a “cold gun”. Basically, it’s a gun with no live rounds of ammunition in it. The movie’s armorer, Hannah Guiterrez-Reed, checked to make sure that the barrel was empty. As per safety protocols, Rust assistant director, Dave Halls had double-checked her work as well.

The firearm was then handed to the actors, specifically Alec Baldwin. Hutchins & Souza were behind the camera to see the angle. Baldwin was sitting on a wooden pew that faced south toward the camera & crew. Hutchins & Souza noticed a shadow in the shoot, repositioned their gear, and talked with Baldwin about his plans for how he was going to handle the scene.

Baldwin showed them how he planned to pull the gun from the holster and shoot it. That’s when the gun discharged. Reid Russell, a cameraman who was standing near Hutchins & Souza, said that he “remembered Joel having blood on his person, and Ms. Hutchins speaking and saying she couldn’t feel her legs.” Souza said that Hutchins grabbed her mid-section and he was bleeding from his shoulder.

A dangerous set?

The affidavit said that in the lead-up to the accident, crew members on Rust were concerned about the film’s safety standards. Several IATSE members quit the production over it. In his affidavit, Souza also referenced the issues, saying “. . . started off late due to a camera crew that had quit and they had to find another camera crew to help film the movie.”

On the day of the shooting, Souza said that the cast & crew broke for lunch. When they returned to set, he wasn’t sure if the gun had been checked again before they started to film. Currently, the sheriff’s department is investigating the Rust shooting as Hollywood mourns Hutchins’ death. Rust has suspended production until the investigation into the accident is complete. 

What next?

The tragic accident has led to a greater push for strict safety practices and banning the use of real firearms on the set of movies. Currently, there’s a petition about banning real firearms in movies that has gathered 25,000 signatures. Given that these tragic accidents do happen, someone definitely has to do something in order to make sure everyone on a set can be safe.

Will it be a perfect system? No. From the death of The Crow star Brandon Lee to stunt-people getting killed, something needs to be done in order to protect cast & crew on movie sets and in all productions. People deserve to be safe at their jobs. Full stop. 

What do you think about the Rust investigation? Should this movie with Alec Baldwin & Jensen Ackles even be released? What do you think about Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death? Let us know in the comments below. 

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