Hours before actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of “Rust” with a prop gun, a half-dozen camera crew workers walked off the set to protest working conditions.
The camera operators and their assistants were frustrated by the conditions surrounding the low-budget film, including complaints of long hours, long commutes and collecting their paychecks, according to three people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment.
Safety protocols standard in the industry, including gun inspections, were not strictly followed on the “Rust” set near Santa Fe, the sources said. They said at least one of the camera operators complained last weekend to production managers about gun safety on the set.
Three crew members who were present at the Bonanza Creek Ranch set that day said they were particularly concerned about two accidental prop gun discharges on Saturday.
Baldwin’s stunt-double accidentally fired two rounds Saturday after being told that the gun was “cold” — lingo for a weapon that doesn’t have any ammunition, including blanks, one of crew members who witnessed the episode told the Los Angeles Times.
“There should have been an investigation into what happened,” said the crew member. “There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush.”
A colleague was so alarmed by the prop gun misfires he sent a text message to the unit production manager. “We’ve now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe.”
Shooting began on Oct. 6 and members of the low-budget film said they had been promised the production would pay for their hotel rooms in Santa Fe. But after filming began, the crews were told they instead would be required to make the 50-mile drive from Albuquerque each day, rather than stay overnight in nearby Santa Fe. That rankled crew members who worried that they might have an accident after spending 12 to 13 hours on the set.
The cinematographer who was accidentally killed, Halyna Hutchins, had been advocating for safer conditions for her team, said one crew member who was on the set and was tearful when the camera crew left.Read more here: https://citizenfreepress.com/breaking/update-alec-baldwin-rust-camera-crew-walked-off-the-set-in-protest-before-the-fatal-shooting/