What Happened to Alec Baldwin? Keeping “Rust” Shooting under Scrutiny
Something unfortunate and unwanted event that took place during the shooting of the western movie Rust at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico, has made the whole film industry question the occupational safety measure.
The movie Rust is a small-budget movie written and directed by Joel Souza and they were still shooting the movie in a far away ghost town in Mexico. The movie was said to be the passion project for actor and producer Alec Baldwin who was the main cast of the film.
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The crew of Rust was doing a gunfighting scene rehearsal inside a church at the shooting location of Bonanza Creek ranch on October 21, 2021, and during the rehearsal, there was one scene where Alec Baldwin will be pointing his gun toward the camera.
During the Rust shooting of this scene, both the victim Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza were just behind the camera looking at the monitor and were not wearing any protective gear. Then when the shooting began Baldwin took out his gun from the holster and the gun fired a live shot, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring Souza.
During the interview with ABC George Stephanopoulos Baldwin said,
“I didn’t pull the trigger.”
Then he said that he cock the gun and then he let go of the hammer of the gun and the gun went off.
To this Stephanopoulos questioned, “So, you never pulled the trigger?”
Baldwin answered, “No, no, no, no, no, I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them.”
After Alec Baldwin’s gun shoot everyone was shocked and horrified and the situation was confusing at the time.
Then Baldwin said, “Hutchins goes down. I thought to myself, ‘did she faint’, the notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me till probably 45 minutes to an hour later.”
He was still not sure what had happened the moment she was shot. He was wondering if Hutchins was hit by a wad of a malfunctioning gun or if she had a heart attack.
Later when the emergency helicopter arrived he just stood there in shock at what had happened.
Then when he went to the sheriff’s office for interrogation, Baldwin said,
“At the very end of my interview with the sheriff’s department…they said to me, ‘We regret to tell you that Hutchins didn’t make it,’ they told me right then and there.”
There also seemed to be some complaints from the crew members regarding the shooting of the movie and many crew members also left the set as a form of protest. But Baldwin was never informed about any safety issues from the crew but he only received complaints about hotel room issues and accommodation.
Aside from Alec Baldwin another person who is the target of critical examination is the armorer and prop master of the film Hannah Gutierrez Reed. Reed, 24, was responsible for maintaining and handling weapons on the set. When Baldwin was asked if he thought Reed was up for the job, he said,
“I assumed because she was there and she was hired, she was up for the job. I mean, I’m not a producer who hires the crew.”
And from the Reed side, her attorney said that she had no idea where those live bullets came from.
Baldwin then added that it was “overwhelmingly likely that it was an accident.”
He said, “That’s an enormous charge to make, that someone came and did something, for what purpose? To attack who? To discredit who? To harm me? The production? What was their motive in doing that, if somebody did that?”
Baldwin said that the incident left him shocked and scared, he just can’t seem to get it out of his head and continues to weigh on him. He said,
“I go through my day, and I make it through the day. Then I collapsed at the end of the day. Emotionally I collapse.”
Baldwin also met with Hutchins’s family, her widower, and her nine-year-old son. He said it was tough for him and he didn’t know what to say. Baldwin now all want is the answer from the criminal investigation and is eagerly waiting for the result, he said that until then all he can do is reflect.
Now, is there any new news on the Alec Baldwin’s Rust shooting? The movie was suspended just after the tragic event and recently on Monday 25, 2022, the Santa Fe sheriff’s department released a series of video evidence.
The videos include the recording of the time when the sheriffs appeared at the shooting spot and how the medics were attending to the wounds. Apart from this, the videos also include the footage of the time when Alec Baldwin was debriefed by the investigators. The video also shows a part when Alec made a frantic call and he seemed distraught and panic struck.
The investigation is still ongoing and so far nobody is being charged with any criminal accusation for the Rust shooting but sheriff Adan Mendoza said that charges could still be filed against Alec Baldwin. There was an announcement from New Mexico’s safety department, that the movie Rust production company would be fined approximately $139,793 for safety failure while Rust shooting.