Alec Baldwin was pointing at the camera when the gun was fired

The director of ‘Rust’, Joel Souza, declares how was the incident that ended the life of Halyna Hutchins who after the shooting was able to speak with the team.


Alec Baldwin I was rehearsing a scene from ‘Rust‘, in which he had to point his gun at the camera. Sitting on a wooden church bench, he had to make the gesture of drawing a cross with his gun before firing it. On the other side of the camera, the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and behind her, checking the camera angle, director Joel Souza. It was the second attempt, because a shadow had covered the initial shot. However, when actor Alec Badwin removed the pistol from its holster, the weapon went off.

“It sounded like a whip and then a bang,” film director Joel Souza, also injured in the incident, in which 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed, said in his affidavit.

According to the New York Times and Variety, the shot hit Hutchins, he put his hands to his abdomen, tripped falling backwards, and told his teammates: “I can’t feel my legs.”. The director also explained that he then realized that he also had blood on his shoulder.

Alec Baldwin kills the cinematographer of his latest film, ‘Rust’ in an accident

Souza’s testimony clarifies why the actor was targeting the cinematographer when the incident occurred, although it does not explain how a supposedly blank gun, which was not supposed to contain live ammunition, ended up killing her.

Although the director did explain that both he and the actor believed that the weapon was safe, since the advertisements of the technicians who managed the weapons of the film announced it shouting before leaving it in the corresponding tray “Cold Gun” (unloaded weapon).

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The judge granted an order so that the investigators in the case could seize all the material necessary to continue investigating, from camera memory cards to bone fragments and firearm casings. Although Souza clarified to the detective that as they were rehearsing the scene, the shot was never filmed.

“Baldwin was very careful with his weapons”

In addition to Souza’s testimony, the statement includes the account of Reid Russell, a camera operatorthat he was right next to the actor and directors when the shooting occurred. He also confirmed that the assistant director, Dave Halls, had shouted “cold gun”, it was this who gave it to Alec Baldwin for the test.

Russell further added that Alec Baldwin had been “very careful” with the firearm in previous scenes. In an earlier scene, the cameraman explained that the actor had tried to ensure safety on set, making sure there was no child near him when he was about to fire the gun.

These testimonies come in the middle of shadows relating to safety on the set. According to several technicians present on the set, there had been three accidental shots before the incident in which the cinematographer died.

The technicians warned of the insecurity in the Baldwin shoot: “We have had three accidental shots”

Hours before a bullet accidentally killed Halyna Hutchins, dozens of workers left the Rust set to protest dire working conditions. It was his way of saying ‘enough is enough’ to strenuous days of more than 12 hours, defaults and multiple failures in security protocols.

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Even Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally fired two rounds after being told the gun was already unloaded. “There should have been an investigation,” says one worker, “There were no safety meetings and no guarantee that it would happen again.”

Production suspended

At the moment the production of Rust it has been suspended until what happened is clarified. And several productions have chosen to take measures to avoid accidents like this. One of the first was The Rookie. The ABC series has been blunt and banned real guns on the set and swapped them for compressed air guns. “Any risk is too much,” creator Alexi Hawley declared in a statement.

Alec Baldwin accident starts to change the industry: ‘The Rookie’ bans ‘real’ guns

Eric Kripke, ‘showrunner’ de The Boys has announced that they will never use blank bullet weapons again. “Someone injured or killed on my set is my worst nightmare. In memory of Halyna Hutchins a simple and easy promise: No more blank bullet pistols in any of my sets. We will use VFX, who is with me?”