The fatal accident on the set of “Rust” could never have happened if at least four people did not neglect to check it, says the location manager.
Evans said safety protocols were thorough enough to prevent such a tragedy on the Rust movie set on Oct. 21. As movie actor Alec Baldwin fired the prop gun he thought was emptied of live rounds, he unwittingly killed 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
“There are multiple checks for it,” she said, listing the armorist, the assistant director, the key grip, and lastly, the person who would use it during his rehearsal, Baldwin himself.
“So there are four to five people in this stage. Somehow there was a failure,” she said.
Court records revealed that the prop gun was left outside the building by an armorer responsible for tending the weapons. An assistant director took it from the cart and handed it over to Baldwin, confidently telling him it was a “cold gun”—meaning it was emptied of live rounds.
The gun fired as Baldwin directed it at the camera that Hutchins was standing behind, with Souza behind her.
“This was obviously a real weapon, and this particular weapon was supposed to be loaded with blanks,” Evans continued, noting the process that allowed the prop gun to go unchecked.
“That is what everyone thought, that it was checked and double-checked and triple-checked …,” she said. “That obviously didn’t happen.”
The dangerous accident was a wake-up moment for Evans, who calls for a stop in having real firearms used in movie sets and relying on technological advances to handle the effect.
“Listen, we have [computer-generated imagery], we have green screen—we can do all of these things these days,” she said. “… Let’s have fake weapons, rubber weapons and use CGI.”
“Why do we actually have to have a weapon that is loaded on a set with all of these people around?” The location manager asked.