On October 21, in the moments after she was fatally shot by actor-producer Alec Baldwin on the set of “Rust,” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins spoke her final words on a movie set: “That was no good at all.”
According to a lengthy report in The Los Angeles Times based on interviews with 14 “Rust” crew members detailing the incidents before and after the shooting on the movie set, prior to firing the shot that ultimately killed Hutchins, Baldwin held the .45 caliber Colt revolver, saying, “So, I guess I’m gonna take this out, pull it and go, ‘Bang!’”
The Times stated that a B-Cam operator was standing with the film’s director Joel Souza and Hutchins when Baldwin fired the gun, adding:
During the scene, Baldwin’s character was supposed to fast-draw his weapon and shoot at a rival. [First assistant director Dave] Halls had not pulled the gun’s trigger during the run-throughs he performed. But when Baldwin entered the church to do a quick rehearsal, he apparently did. The bullet barely missed Russell before hitting the DP and the director. The trio was about two feet from the muzzle of the weapon.
After Hutchins was hit and fell back into the arms of the head electrician, then laid on the ground, the Times reported, a boom operator told Hutchins, “Oh, that was no good.”
With blood pouring from her chest, Hutchins replied, “No. That was no good. That was no good at all.”
Souza, who had been shot in the shoulder as the bullet passed through Hutchins’ body and hit his, screamed, “What the f***was that? That burns!”
Baldwin put the gun down on a pew and repeatedly said, “What the f*** just happened?”
The Times pointed out, “A dummy round, which contains no gunpowder and doesn’t fire, would look nearly identical to a bullet when the camera peered down the barrel of the revolver Baldwin was holding, with none of the lethal capabilities. If the rounds had been checked as they went into the gun, Halls would have seen that at least one lacked the small hole or indent that visually differentiates dummies from bullets. He would have also noticed that it didn’t make the signature rattling that proves there’s only a BB — and no gunpowder — in the dummy round.”
“Rust” A-camera first assistant Lane Luper told the Times, “It always felt like the budget was more important than crew members. Everything was about the schedule and the budget.”
The night before the shooting, Jonas Huerta, a digital utility technician, emailed unit production manager Katherine Walters, “I have to wake up early and commute to set, my job is very physically demanding and I am beyond exhausted by the time I wrap. I’ve found myself nodding off or having to take micro naps on the roadside just to get home safe.” He added, “I also feel anxious on set, I’ve seen firsthand our [assistant director] rush to get shots and he skips over important protocols. He often rushes to shoot, I’ve had more than a few occasions where I have been close to the weapons being fired with no regards to my hearing. Sometimes he rushes so quickly that props [department] hasn’t even had the chance to bring earplugs and he rolls and the actors fire anyway.”
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