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Director of photography killed, movie director injured after Alec Baldwin discharged prop firearm on movie set


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35 minutes ago, Uli Meyer said:

Why would there be any live rounds in that gun in the first place? Someone loaded real bullets into a prop gun and laid it out on a props trolley? Why have live bullets on a movie set in the first place?

 

The only reason i can think of is if they shot a scene previously where someone loaded more rounds in the gun in closeup. But it is incredibly stupid to leave that kind of gun laying around unattended without even removing the live rounds from it.

If the live rounds were for somekind of target practice for entertaining the actors during breaks, then it is even less understandable that an accident like this happened. I mean, all the Americans are supposed to know how to handle guns safely by default (and if not knowing then it is not a good idea to touch them at all for any reason)

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And Baldwin was also the producer on this film so it is absolutely mandatory for him to burn for this accident. As a producer he is directly responsible for the safety issues on set especially when he was the lead actor too and saw all the issues first hand without doing anything to correct them

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Just to add, I gather it's possible to be seriously injured or even killed by a blank round. Material does come out when they're fired and at a close distance this can be fatal. Even the blast can kill, which happened when an actor put a pistol to his head, while playing around at suicide and pulled the trigger.

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19 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

The only reason i can think of is if they shot a scene previously where someone loaded more rounds in the gun in closeup.

But why would you use real bullets for that?

20 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

Baldwin was also the producer on this film

Hmm, I'm always a bit skeptical when I read about actor's producing titles. Often that is in name only and the real producing work is done by a line producer. But who knows, this is all speculation. I'm just astounded that real bullets were on a set for no apparent reason.

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It's been confirmed that members of the cast and crew were using a gun for target practise after hours. Hence the live rounds on set. Apparently, there were three guns on standby when the fatal accident occurred. And one of those guns was still loaded with live rounds (from the target practise.) The assistant director grabbed that particular gun (thinking it was 'cold') and handed it to Baldwin. 

And yea I know that blanks can be dangerous in certain circumstances. There was an actor who died from a shooting involving blanks on the set of an Australian music video a few years ago. But I don't think there's any doubt that real bullets were used in this latest accident on the Rust production. After all, the projectile passed right through the cinematographer (Halyna Hutchin) and then hit the director (Joel Souza) who was standing behind her. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Patrick Cooper said:

It's been confirmed that members of the cast and crew were using a gun for target practise after hours.

There were complaints that working hours were too long on this set but there was still time to fire real bullets into a target after hours? And then they just left a loaded gun lying around? The mind boggles.

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Having directed a film that involved the use of a number of guns, I'm aware of the craziness that can happen when they're around. In this case, the focus puller - gun owner, after about 6 misfires of the blanks in the prop gun, suggested that he would stand in for the victim actor and the armourer would stand in for the executioner and they would use a live round with a bullet. Needless to say, this crazy idea was stopped in its tracks.

BTW A blank worked on the 7th attempt.

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32 minutes ago, Patrick Cooper said:

It's been confirmed that members of the cast and crew were using a gun for target practise after hours. Hence the live rounds on set. Apparently, there were three guns on standby when the fatal accident occurred. And one of those guns was still loaded with live rounds (from the target practise.) The assistant director grabbed that particular gun (thinking it was 'cold') and handed it to Baldwin.

maybe the Americans should have some kind of mandatory gun safety training for everybody if gun carry is allowed by the Constitution. they should teach proper handling in elementary schools for everybody if everybody is allowed to carry a gun by default...  and maybe a refresher course for every 5 years or so?

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There seem to be aspects of the AD's regard towards safety, which could result in an incident/accident was just waiting to happen.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/24/entertainment/rust-shooting-assistant-director-halls-complaints/index.html

I haven't come across a source for that either, only the Patrick Cooper message.

Edited by Brian Drysdale
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35 minutes ago, Phil Rhodes said:

Confirmed by who, how?

This article explains more.

https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/prop-gun-used-by-alec-baldwin-was-used-by-crew-for-fun/news-story/ce9ced9ac9612921f2f67691dd43805c

I'm sure this is going to haunt Alec Baldwin for the rest of his life. 

Edited by Patrick Cooper
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6 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

The only reason i can think of is if they shot a scene previously where someone loaded more rounds in the gun in closeup. But it is incredibly stupid to leave that kind of gun laying around unattended without even removing the live rounds from it.

If the live rounds were for somekind of target practice for entertaining the actors during breaks, then it is even less understandable that an accident like this happened. I mean, all the Americans are supposed to know how to handle guns safely by default (and if not knowing then it is not a good idea to touch them at all for any reason)

There’s absolutely no excuse to use live rounds to sell a closeup and it’s literally what dummy rounds are for. 

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21 minutes ago, Travis Shannon said:

There’s absolutely no excuse to use live rounds to sell a closeup and it’s literally what dummy rounds are for. 

Dummy rounds can still lose the bullet and one can then have another brandon lee incident if using blanks after the loose bullet got stuck into the barrel.

People playing with guns and ignoring any safety considerations is the issue here which causes accidents to happen no matter where the guns are used or handled. 

Some idiot could put a rock or a piece of metal in the barrel of a props gun just as a joke and then accidentally kill somebody with it just like there would be a normal bullet

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26 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

Dummy rounds can still lose the bullet and one can then have another brandon lee incident if using blanks after the loose bullet got stuck into the barrel.

People playing with guns and ignoring any safety considerations is the issue here which causes accidents to happen no matter where the guns are used or handled. 

Some idiot could put a rock or a piece of metal in the barrel of a props gun just as a joke and then accidentally kill somebody with it just like there would be a normal bullet

My original statement was that live ammunition should never be used on a set. A dummy behind a blank can obviously kill which is why the armorer is to check the chamber, a live round is something completely different that requires an appallingly fewer amount of things to go wrong that again has no place on a film set.

”some idiot could put a rock in the barrel as a joke”

This is an absurdly hyperbolic what if that frankly I’m not even going to entertain.

I’m not sure why you’re parsing definitions on this- do you think live ammunition should be used on film sets?

 

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37 minutes ago, Travis Shannon said:

I’m not sure why you’re parsing definitions on this- do you think live ammunition should be used on film sets?

I think that all guns should be treated as loaded and lethal weapons at all times unless it is proved every time immediately before using it that it does not contain any live ammunition or other dangerous like a blockage in the barrel when using blanks etc.  I see it very problematic that people handle and use guns carelessly, even playing with them, and that action flicks and other media encourage this attitude too. they are not freaking Legos or something even when you can buy them from the same store than the children's toys

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2 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

I think that all guns should be treated as loaded and lethal weapons at all times unless it is proved every time immediately before using it that it does not contain any live ammunition or other dangerous like a blockage in the barrel when using blanks etc.  I see it very problematic that people handle and use guns carelessly, even playing with them, and that action flicks and other media encourage this attitude too. they are not freaking Legos or something even when you can buy them from the same store than the children's toys

Again, my question was in response to your original statement excusing the presence of live ammunition on a film set in service of a closeup. Your inability to answer a very basic question about a very clear film set safety standard is equal parts problematic and telling. 

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9 hours ago, Uli Meyer said:

Why would there be any live rounds in that gun in the first place? Someone loaded real bullets into a prop gun and laid it out on a props trolley? Why have live bullets on a movie set in the first place?

 

That’s the entire point Uli. There shouldn’t have been ANY live ammo on set and the gun should have NEVER been left unattended. We have several protocols in place to prevent this from ever happening. 
 

G

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8 minutes ago, Gregory Irwin said:

That’s the entire point Uli. There shouldn’t have been ANY live ammo on set and the gun should have NEVER been left unattended. We have several protocols in place to prevent this from ever happening. 
 

G

Thank God someone else finally said it, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here. 

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10 hours ago, Uli Meyer said:

Why would there be any live rounds in that gun in the first place? Someone loaded real bullets into a prop gun and laid it out on a props trolley? Why have live bullets on a movie set in the first place?

 

Uli, 

As far as I know, they were blanks, not actual rounds. So unless there have been developments, no one was irresponsible enough to put actual live rounds in the gun. Though, safety still should have been on.

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7 minutes ago, Amber Rout said:

Uli, 

As far as I know, they were blanks, not actual rounds. So unless there have been developments, no one was irresponsible enough to put actual live rounds in the gun. Though, safety still should have been on.

Blanks don’t travel through humans and then go into other humans, Pretty much every news source has indicated they were live rounds. Further stories have indicated the armorer had live rounds mixed in with blanks which is even more irresponsible. 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Amber Rout said:

Uli, 

As far as I know, they were blanks, not actual rounds. So unless there have been developments, no one was irresponsible enough to put actual live rounds in the gun. Though, safety still should have been on.

most of the media sources specifically stated them being actual rounds, NOT blanks. the most probable explanation for that (if it not being intentional sabotage) is that someone used the gun for target practice (aka playing with it) and just left in laying around when getting bored to it and then the AD just grabbed the nearest gun when it got hasty to shoot the next scene. It tells a lot about the safety culture of the production that there is just random guns laying around with unknown contents and NO ONE checks what is in them before starting using them as props. that is insane on so many levels 

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1 hour ago, Travis Shannon said:

Again, my question was in response to your original statement excusing the presence of live ammunition on a film set in service of a closeup. Your inability to answer a very basic question about a very clear film set safety standard is equal parts problematic and telling. 

I can see why a corner cutting indie production would use real rounds for close ups: no need to specifically get non operational but real looking props rounds made which would cost more than use the same rounds the gun's owner already has. I never said this was OK, I just said that it is easy to see why this could happen in a small production when corners are cut enough to make things difficult to do safely.

Using live rounds would be possible if shooting content where the guns are used on a shooting range and handled just the same way than when used for normal target practicing (not pointing them at people, treating them with respect, no one touches any guns when there is people in the target zone, etc.) . That would work for a documentary style content but for a full scale feature film it is not practical and not safe enough whether shooting on a shooting range or not

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14 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

I can see why a corner cutting indie production would use real rounds for close ups: no need to specifically get non operational but real looking props rounds made which would cost more than use the same rounds the gun's owner already has. I never said this was OK, I just said that it is easy to see why this could happen in a small production when corners are cut enough to make things difficult to do safely.

Using live rounds would be possible if shooting content where the guns are used on a shooting range and handled just the same way than when used for normal target practicing (not pointing them at people, treating them with respect, no one touches any guns when there is people in the target zone, etc.) . That would work for a documentary style content but for a full scale feature film it is not practical and not safe enough whether shooting on a shooting range or not

Thank you for finally answering my question, I appreciate it. While I can see the theoretical logic in your statement I can not in any way agree that it’s an acceptable solution and there should be multiple people stopping this from happening, there should never be a live round on set, dummy rounds look exactly the same and also have no primer thereby making them inert. That is what you use for a closeup, full stop. Also if these are corner cutting indie sets it’s reasonable to assume corners would be cut on safety as well, the combination of that and a live bullet is in a word, terrifying.

As for your secondary possibility it does happen and I’ve worked as a camera assistant on exactly those reality jobs focusing on firearms where we document the weapons being fired at the range- the difference is that they are always in the care of esteemed professionals who know every basic of firearm training which is why they are entrusted with live rounds, they are in no way similar to an in character actor with no generally next to no firearms training so honestly it’s not comparable in my mind.

Bullets don’t belong on film sets. 

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