‘Rust’ kills

Isabella Anderson, A&E Writer

Bang! This was the noise heard across the set. On October 21, 2021, a fatal shot occurred on the set of actor Alec Baldwin’s new movie, Rust. During the filming of a gunfight scene, Baldwin was instructed to pull a gun out of a holster, which had already been determined to be a “cold gun”, a gun without ammunition, by crew members. This assertion of it being a “cold gun” was wrong. Once Baldwin pulled the gun from the holster, a bullet went flying toward cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, leading to her passing. The shot also injured director Joel Souza. “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Baldwin said. Since this incident has happened,manycrewmembers working on Rust have shared their experiences while working on set. Previously, many crew members had several qualms regarding safety, with many statinghowthelowbudgetofthe film caused a lot of cut corners. There had also been several complaints about working conditions, such as working long hours, long commutes and long waits for paychecks. One of the members advocating for safer conditions was Hutchins herself. “I feel like I’m losing my best friends,” Hutchins, after many union members walked away from the set due to growing safety concerns, said. Crew members have also shared that this has not been the first time a gun-related safety problem has occurred on set. Previously, Baldwin’s stunt double had fired two rounds on accident after being told that the guns were not loaded. “There should have been an investigation into what happened,” one of the crew members said. “There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush rush.” Although, a handful of other members have refuted the statements about unsafe conditions. Some of these people include costume designer, Teresa Magpale Davis and Baldwin. Davis brought her thoughts to social media, which Baldwin also reposted. “I’m so sick of this narrative,” Davis said. “I worked on this movie. The story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is (expletive).” This accident has brought into question safety issues regarding the film industry. Many are beginning to advocate for better treatment of crew members, hoping this will lead directors to start making a change. One of those hoping that this will help bring about change is the assistant director of Rust, David Halls. He voiced his concerns and sorrows in a statement shortly after the incident occurred. “It’s my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process,” Halls said. This accident has brought to light ongoing complaints about treatment of crew members within film and may bring about a change in the treatment of all those working within production.