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Friday, March 31, 2023

Assistant Director on Set of Rust Fired After 2019 Failure

Posted by Morgan Lee, Cedar Attanasio and Hillel Italy | Associated Press

SANTA FE, New Mexico – The assistant director of a film that Alec Baldwin filmed when he fatally shot a cameraman was fired from his previous job in 2019 after a gun was fired on set and lightly injured a member of the production team. said Monday.

The disclosure came when the producers of Baldwin’s film officially ceased filming, and court records showed that investigators seized more than two dozen items from the set the day after filming.

In an email statement to the Associated Press, Freedom Path producer confirmed that Dave Halls was fired from the set in 2019 after a crew member sustained minor injury “when a pistol was suddenly fired.” The producer, who asked not to be named, wrote that Halls was “immediately removed from the set.” Production did not resume until Halls left.

His dismissal from Freedom Path was first reported to CNN. Halls did not return phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.

The producer is the second person to question Halls’ safety record. On Sunday, another crew member who worked with Halls said she had raised concerns about him in 2019.

Maggie Goll, a props maker and licensed pyrotechnician, said in a statement that she had filed an internal complaint with the executive producers of Hulu’s “Into the Dark” about Halls’ behavior. Goll said in a telephone interview that Halls ignored safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics and tried to continue filming after an observing pyrotechnician, who was diabetic, passed out on set.

The fatal shootings and previous experience point to more serious safety concerns, Gaulle said, adding that crew safety was a major concern in recent contract negotiations between the union representing film and television workers and a group of major producers.

“This situation is not about Dave Halls. … In no case is one person to blame, ”she said. “This is a more serious conversation about safety on set and what we are trying to achieve with this culture.”

In an email sent to members of the Rust crew over the weekend, the film’s production team confirmed that work on the western is on hold, at least pending an investigation. The team said it is working with law enforcement and conducting its own internal security checks. The production company also offers soulful advice.

The letter said that work on the film could resume at some point.

“Although our hearts are broken and it is difficult for us to see beyond the horizon, at this point it’s more of a pause than the end,” the email said.

The sheriff’s investigation continued on Monday, and new court documents revealed that authorities had confiscated three black revolvers, ammunition boxes, an ammunition belt bag, several used cartridge cases, two leather belts with holsters, garments and blood smears. …

No charges were filed. Prosecutors and law enforcement officials are expected to provide an update on the investigation on Wednesday.

Moments before the shooting, Baldwin explained how he was going to pull the revolver out of the holster and where his arm would be located, the court records show.

The tapes said the actor was told the gun could be safely used to rehearse a scene in which he had to draw a weapon while sitting on a church pew and point it towards the camera.

Operator Reed Russell told the detective that he was not sure if the weapon was checked before being handed over to Baldwin, and he does not know why the gun was fired.

The camera did not rotate when a pistol shot killed camera operator Halina Hutchins, Russell told authorities, according to an affidavit released Sunday.

Authorities said Halls handed the weapon over to Baldwin and declared “melee weapons” indicating that they were safe.

When asked about how Baldwin handled firearms on set, Russell said the actor was safe, referring to a previous incident where Baldwin made sure the child actor was not near him when the pistol was fired.

The affidavit released Sunday also included statements by director Joel Sousa, who stood behind Hutchins and was injured.

He detailed the moments before filming and showed that there was a turmoil on the set on the day of filming. Russell said several crew members left the set due to a dispute over payment and accommodation, and he had a lot of work to do. There was only one camera available for shooting, and it had to be moved because the light shifted and a shadow appeared.

Souza said he focused on how the scene would look on camera. He said he remembered hearing the phrase “cold steel” before the shooting, the affidavit said.

World Nation News Desk
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