Basic things to understand about filming with prop guns:
Prop guns are either fake rubber props that do not discharge anything, or real guns that are loaded with blanks.
Blanks, which consist of gun powder and paper, can still cause injury or death. No blanks should ever be used in close range and no real ammunition should ever even be anywhere on set.
When a prop gun is on set, it is only to be handled by the armorer when it is not in the hands of the actor for the scene
Before a prop gun is handed to the actor, it must be checked by the armorer that there is no ammunition. If there is no ammunition, the armorer says, "cold gun," and the cast and crew confirm they heard this by repeating, "cold gun."
Actors using prop guns are required to rehearse with the armorer and stunt coordinator and/or fight choreographer several times just before filming any scene it is used in.
Basic things to understand about the Rust film set shooting:
Rust is a western film about an accidental killing and it's aftermath starring Alec Baldwin and Jensen Ackles, filmed in Santa Fe on the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a place known for western films.
There were at least 2 other confirmed misfire incidents during filming prior to this incident, one of which involved Baldwin's stunt double, who fired a gun that he had been told was cold.
A production unit manager received a text before the incident: "We've had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe."
Several crew members had walked off the set just hours prior, citing unsafe working conditions including COVID and gun safety violations. Several who did not walk off were ordered off by producers. Many of these crew were replaced with nonunion workers.
Assistant Director David Halls picked up a prop gun from a cart prepared by Armorer Hannah Guttierez Reed and said, "cold gun," before handing it to Baldwin. The cast and crew repeated "cold gun" as per the rule.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was crouched behind a camera operator on a dolly, setting up the camera angle for the scene. Director Joel Souza was crouched behind her.
Baldwin, Hutchins, and Souza rehearsed the scene once without incident.
They rehearsed the scene a second time when a live round fired, narrowly missing the camera operator, striking and passing through Hutchins' chest before finally hitting Souza in the shoulder.
Baldwin dropped the gun and cried out, "Why did you give me a hot gun?" presumably at Halls or Reed.
Reed took the weapon and removed the spent bullet casing before giving it to police.
Souza was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was released later that day.
Hutchins was airlifted to the hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
Baldwin has been cooperating with police in the investigation.
The American Society of Cinematographers president Stephen Lighthill stated, "This was not an accident. This was a preventable incident... Somebody didn't do their job."
EDIT: an ask I answered about live rounds in prop guns
18K notes · View notes