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


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  • Sustaining Member

NY Times published a great article today: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2021-10-31/rust-film-alec-baldwin-shooting-what-happened-that-day

I'm happy to report, this explains some of the issues in greater detail, which is good. There was a lot of noise floating around last week, this kinda helps refine it. It's sad to hear the count by count of what happened because you can see how unavailable it all was. 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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1 hour ago, Chris Burke said:

And now the ridiculous allegations of sabotage!!!

a competent professional armorer would have noticed this type of sabotage immediately and prevented the tragedy from happening.

It is generally the arrogant and complacent people with not too much experience who trust their luck too much and don't double check things when they really should to. Add some ill power dynamics, bad communication, time pressures and taking shortcuts on routine checklists and you have an accident just waiting for happening no matter what industry you are working in

Edited by aapo lettinen
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6 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

It is generally the arrogant and complacent people with not too much experience who trust their luck too much and don't double check things when they really should to. Add some ill power dynamics, bad communication, time pressures and taking shortcuts on routine checklists and you have an accident just waiting for happening no matter what industry you are working in

Have you watched the show Mayday (Air Crash Investigation) ? If you haven't seen it, do watch couple of episodes and you'll understand completely what I'm talking about. Most mission critical industries have learned from aviation industry practices and analysis and greatly enhanced safety but in film industry it is still all over the place because of the outdated work culture, ill power dynamics and the lack of "just culture" where the mistakes would be possible to detect early on and correct them rather than trying to hide them which just lets them to escalate to more serious incidents and accidents   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_culture

Quote

Just culture is a concept related to systems thinking which emphasizes that mistakes are generally a product of faulty organizational cultures, rather than solely brought about by the person or persons directly involved. In a just culture, after an incident, the question asked is, "What went wrong?" rather than "Who caused the problem?".[1] A just culture is the opposite of a blame culture.[1] A just culture in not the same as a no-blame culture but is a culture where individuals are accountable for their willful misconduct or gross negligence.[2]

A just culture helps create an environment where individuals feel free to report errors and help the organization to learn from mistakes. This is in contrast to a "blame culture"[3] where individual persons are fired, fined, or otherwise punished for making mistakes, but where the root causes leading to the error are not investigated and corrected. In a blame culture mistakes may be not reported but rather hidden, leading ultimately to diminished organizational outcomes.

In a system of just culture, discipline is linked to inappropriate behavior, rather than harm.[4] This allows for individual accountability and promotes a learning organization culture.

In this system, honest human mistakes are seen as a learning opportunity for the organization and its employees. The individual who made the mistake may be offered additional training and coaching.[5] However, willful misconduct may result in disciplinary action such as termination of employment—even if no harm was caused.

Work on just culture has been applied to industrial,[6] healthcare,[7][8] aviation[9][10] and other[11] settings.

In film industry we DON'T have a "Just Culture". The whole film industry is based on "Blame Culture" where witchhunts are more preferable than openly discussing from mistakes and learning from them

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is some news on the Baldwin case about a recent lawsuit.

Alec Baldwin ‘intentionally’ fired deadly shot on ‘Rust’ film set, script supervisor claims in suit

Alec Baldwin “intentionally” fired a gun toward cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the “Rust” movie set, disregarding set protocol in the deadly shooting, according to a new lawsuit filed Wednesday.

“I saw Alec going through his movement with the gun for the camera,” said Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor on set who called 911 when Baldwin shot and killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza on Oct. 21.

“I was holding my script in my left hand and had taken out my iPhone and opened up my photos to check the continuity on his shirt and vest.,” she said.  “Then an explosion. Deafening loud gunshot.”

“I was stunned. I heard someone moaning and I turned around and my director was falling backwards and holding his upper body and I turned around toward Alec and saw Halyna going down to the left of me.”

rust-lawsuit-34.jpg?quality=90&strip=all

In the suit, Mitchell claimed, “Alec Baldwin intentionally, without just cause or excuse, cocked and fired and loaded gun even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for the cocking and firing of a firearm.” 

She also said every safety protocol designed to ensure safety with a firearm on set was ignored, such as the presence of live ammunition on set, and that “actions that were taken” that day “were against all industry norms.”

baldwin-responsible-for-checking-gun06-1

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when a live round was accidentally fired by Alec Baldwin on the set of the film “Rust.” VIA REUTERS

...lots more at the link

Alec Baldwin 'intentionally' fired deadly shot on 'Rust' film set: suit (nypost.com)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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  • Sustaining Member

At least three have already been filed. I’m sure there will be many more. I really appreciated what George Clooney said in a recent interview about the serious responsibilities everyone has, including actors, when handling firearms on set. He was 100% correct!
 

G

Edited by Gregory Irwin
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  • Sustaining Member

“She (Mamie Mitchell) also said every safety protocol designed to ensure safety with a firearm on set was ignored, such as the presence of live ammunition on set, and that “actions that were taken” that day “were against all industrynorms.”

Hallelujah! Finally it has officially been said! We all, who have been involved with gun movies, have stated with conviction that when the firearms safety protocols are observed and practiced, guns are extremely safe on set. RUST was the perfect storm of miscues and ignorance. 
 

G

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23 hours ago, Gregory Irwin said:

“She (Mamie Mitchell) also said every safety protocol designed to ensure safety with a firearm on set was ignored, such as the presence of live ammunition on set, and that “actions that were taken” that day “were against all industrynorms.”

Hallelujah! Finally it has officially been said! We all, who have been involved with gun movies, have stated with conviction that when the firearms safety protocols are observed and practiced, guns are extremely safe on set. RUST was the perfect storm of miscues and ignorance. 
 

G

 

You know, artists need room to work, they have to explore things and artists don't like to follow confining rules. The gal working as armorer looked like an artist to me. Certain jobs I don't want artists to do. For instance...I don't want a bohemian managing my money or running the country. But they are very entertaining to watch when doing things that won't lead to widespread disaster.

With guns, you can't F around. Been around guns for 58 years. When we dry fire practice there is no live ammo allowed in the room. For me, my dry fire guns are marked and never used with live ammo. Even so, EVERY time I pick it up I check it. 

 

Iconic%20Sodbusters%20of%20the%20Prairie

Selection from Iconic Sodbusters Solomon D. Butcher 1880s /1890s L.O.C.

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Sustaining Member

Taken in part from the recent ABC interview, then compared the statements with the SAF/AFTRA Safety Bulletin:

George Stephanopoulos asked Alec Baldwin, a Screen Actors Guild member, what responsibility the actor has on the set to ensure (gun) safety. 

Baldwin:

"The actor's responsibility is to do what the prop armorer tells them to do."

 

 

SAG/AFTRA Safety Bulletins and Industry Standards:

 

AS AN ACTOR, YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF YOUR FELLOW CAST MEMBERS…

 

FIREARMS & OTHER WEAPONS

Treat all weapons as though they are loaded and/or ready to use. Do not play with weapons and never point one at anyone, including yourself…

 

He’s a total scumbag!

G

Edited by Gregory Irwin
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Well said Greg!  He is a total and utter scum bag! His public image is more important to him than the facts. If he didn't pull the trigger, who did? Can a gun just go off like that?  I have not watched the recent interview, but I hope it serves to convict him. May he rot in prison or at least be black balled.

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  • Sustaining Member

In general I agree with what's being said here.

There is one thing I think is worth a closer look, though.

Quote

Treat all weapons as though they are loaded and/or ready to use. Do not play with weapons and never point one at anyone, including yourself…

Assuming this really is from the actors' union's own paperwork, SAG/AFTRA is quoting standard gun safety procedures. These procedures are reasonable and essential in the context of normal firearms handling.

However, in the very unique circumstances of filmmaking, it is patently obvious that actors will sometimes be required to point weapons at other people, perhaps deliberately as in the case of a scene where one actor appears to shoot at another, or, very commonly, toward camera or other parts of the environment where there will be people.

This is the unique risk of a film set; people are often required to break some of the most cardinal, fundamental, inviolable rules of firearms handling. This is why there are special procedures, and this is why so much caution is required.

As such, what we have here is a major organisation blindly parroting procedures which are at least sometimes impossible to follow. This does not help the cause of risk management, provokes the normalisation of deviance, and risks putting safety culture in a bad light.

P

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On 12/4/2021 at 11:08 PM, Brian Drysdale said:

The investigators will test the weapon involved as part of their case. Apparently there are certain scenarios with a weapon's condition which can cause it to fire unintentionally, whither or not that's the case here will no doubt be revealed in the court cases.

The fact that they haven't already tested the weapon after almost two months is beyond me...

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3 hours ago, Amber Rout said:

The fact that they haven't already tested the weapon after almost two months is beyond me...

I suspect that even if they had, the results would not become public until after any associated legal action was complete - which could take months or years.

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