Alec Baldwin involved in accidental shooting death on set of "Rust"

TimMc

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But wouldn't that tell us something extremely important if they did? (I say quite facetiously)
Possibly. It might weed out some bullshit artists but would also penalize folks whose most recent tests involve doctors and bodily fluids rather that calculations and regulations. Hell, the hardest test I've taken in years is at the optometrist... Some "test anxiety" would be present, I'm sure. It would be embarrassing to forget how to work formulae that are part of our automated or app-based work flows and flunk a test.

That said, certification is something viewed with favor by insurers and regulatory bodies. Anyone on the fence about taking training or just sitting for tests should keep that in mind. In some locations certifications are already required for certain crafts; it's a matter of fairly short time before requirements arrive in places they do not currently exist.
 

MPowers

Well-Known Member
Just a brief update as of 11:30am CDT, 10/27/21. In a 45 minute debriefing with both the local police and prosecutors, aired on CNN, the following information was given:
A lead projectile was recovered from the shoulder of Joel Souza, the wounded film maker. It is assumed at this time it is the same projectile that killed Halyna Hutchins.
Approximately 500 rounds of ammunition have been removed from the set and placed in custody. The rounds are an unspecified mix of blank rounds, dummy rounds (rounds with a “bullet”, a cartridge case, a spent primer, and containing BBs or loose shot to create a rattle sound if shaken, to differentiate the round from a live round), and an undetermined number of suspected live rounds.
3 weapons were recovered, one from Mr.Baldwin, two from a weapons cart. The weapon recovered from Mr. Baldwin was a fully functional F. Lee Pietta Long Colt .45 revolver. The other two weapons were a .45 revolver, altered to accept only blank ammunition and a plastic/rubber dummy weapon.
There have surfaced “Rumors” that some members of the crew had been engaged in “Plinking” (shooting at cans and bottles for fun) during off time earlier in the week and that the the weapon that fired the live round “may” have been involved in that activity. Investigation into the rumors is ongoing.

I won’t speculate at this time on exactly what went wrong and when and who might be at fault. What I will say, drawing on 50+ years of working as a gun wrangler/armorer/weapons manager (all different names for the same job), mostly for live stage productions but also for some film and broadcast work, is that MANY very obvious and blatant mistakes were made and it will be difficult if not impossible to narrow it down to any one action or person.

(If there’s a way, we should merge the two parallel threads following this incident.)
 

SteveB

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Certification is a bitch as its all at state level and with 50, hard to get passed without every legislative moron and his uncle deciding to add their own 2 cents. Hate to get political, but red states tend to want to leave things to the corporations to decide, where as a hard core blue state and city like NY have codes and rules up the ass.
 

MPowers

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Certification is a bitch as its all at state level and with 50, hard to get passed without every legislative moron and his uncle deciding to add their own 2 cents. Hate to get political, but red states tend to want to leave things to the corporations to decide, where as a hard core blue state and city like NY have codes and rules up the ass.
You are obviously referring to a different thread.
 

derekleffew

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You are obviously referring to a different thread.
(If there’s a way, we should merge the two parallel threads following this incident.)
CB Mods do have the power to merge threads, and often do so to prevent multiple threads on the same/similar topic(s). However, unless I'm somehow seriously impaired, the only thread I see on Control Booth regarding the topic is the one you are viewing, titled Alec Baldwin involved in accidental shooting death on set of "Rust" .
 

MPowers

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gafftaper

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So it all seems to be coming down to Hall the Assistant Director, Zachary the prop master, and Gutierrez-Reed the armorer. Gutierrez - Reed released a statement through her lawyer today saying she has been slandered, she did her best to keep the set safe, she has no idea how a live bullet got on set, she doesn't know anything about target practice rumors, the weapons were properly secured, and it's not her fault.

So here comes the finger pointing phase.

 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
Attorney and legal YouTuber Devin 'Legal Eagle' Stone has -- as is his wont -- waited to say something about this until there was enough actual information to have opinions about (though he does disclaim how much is yet to be learned), and here's that 30 minutes or so:

 

TimMc

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gafftaper

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From everything I've read, this all comes down to four industry safety practices not being correctly followed: First, real ammo should never get onto a set. Second, the Armorer and the 1st AD both verify that the gun is clear, then both shake each dummy round to verify they are non-firing, and then they carefully load the gun together, verifying every step. Third, tight chain of custody of the gun must be maintained at all times. Fourth, a real gun should only be used when it's critical for filming a shot. Rubber replica guns should be used for rehearsing, camera setup work, and times when the gun is just casually in the scene (for example a cowboy walking around with a gun in the holster doesn't need to be real). If those four practices are always followed religiously, you can make a mistake in one area (for example a real bullet accidentally gets on set) and everyone would still be safe.

Which takes me back to my own safety practices on the job. I don't deal with weapons, but I do deal with a fly system, rigging, electricity, working at heights, crowds, fire safety, etc... Where do you and I cut corners on safety? Where do we do things that we know are not up to industry standard safety practices? When do I say, "Yeah this isn't very safe but the show needs to go on and I can't take the time to do it the safe way?" Where do you and I cut corners that could potentially open up a pathway for tragedy to strike? What can I do today to make my theater a little safer?
 

MPowers

Well-Known Member
You are absolutely correct. The largest single error in this incident was the broken chain of custody for both the weapon and the ammunition.

In my mind, the second biggest error was the fact that the production company, most likely to cut costs, gave and expected Ms. Reed to perform two separate jobs at the same time. I feel that because of her relative youth and limited experience, both as an Armorer and in the entertainment industry, Ms. Reed felt sure she could do both jobs. Also, for those same reasons, Ms. Reed probably did not feel that she could refuse to do both jobs and that after she had agreed to take on both positions, she didn’t know how to say no.

Of course there is much more to this story yet to be told. Whether or not we will ever know all the details is yet to be seen.
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
Tight chain of custody.

I don't even do that for a living, but if I did, the pistol would live *in a holster on my own belt*, and get handed to the actor before the shot, and handed back to me after cut. Ammo locked in a box at all times.

Didn't have the gravitas to say NO is the other thing, yes.

And, really, don't you want someone who's been a shooter as a hobby for 10 or 20 years doing this job?

Well, just like Sarah and location permits, this is another type of fail that won't happen again for 20 years or more.
 

TimMc

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Premium Member
Tight chain of custody.

I don't even do that for a living, but if I did, the pistol would live *in a holster on my own belt*, and get handed to the actor before the shot, and handed back to me after cut. Ammo locked in a box at all times.

Didn't have the gravitas to say NO is the other thing, yes.

And, really, don't you want someone who's been a shooter as a hobby for 10 or 20 years doing this job?

Well, just like Sarah and location permits, this is another type of fail that won't happen again for 20 years or more.

20 years? You give humans a far longer memory impact than I do. Outside of a handful of IATSE and Director's Guild of America folks, and the persons directly involved in Rust (and their families) I doubt most in our industry remembers this more than 5 or 6 years out. Interestingly I've encountered a number of folks in film/video production who've yet to give this attention at all, other than to say "yeah, I kind of think I heard something about that." :(
 

Jay Ashworth

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20 years? You give humans a far longer memory impact than I do. Outside of a handful of IATSE and Director's Guild of America folks, and the persons directly involved in Rust (and their families) I doubt most in our industry remembers this more than 5 or 6 years out. Interestingly I've encountered a number of folks in film/video production who've yet to give this attention at all, other than to say "yeah, I kind of think I heard something about that." :(
Well, my appraisal is this:

1) It only really has to affect armorers (couple hundred people) and directors (a thousand, tops?)
2) Ok, maybe 10. Though people dying does have a greater impact than other outcomes.
 

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