Director Joel Souza, who suffered a shoulder injury after being shot Alec Baldwin in the movie Rust with a gun he thought was bulletproof, he said “Catapulted” by the death of the director of photography, Halina Hutchins, while more evidence that sees the light of day shows that there were problems in production before the tragic event.
Souza broke his silence as the investigation continues for a third day, with many questions remaining about how the incident happened during the shooting of this western film in the State of New Mexico.
“I am devastated by the loss of my friend and colleague, Halina. “She was polite, dynamic, incredibly talented, she fought for everything and she always pushed me to get better,” Souza said in a statement.
The bullet hit 42-year-old Hutchins in the chest and Souza, who was sitting behind her, on her shoulder, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. Hutchins succumbed to her injuries and Souza was taken to hospital and later discharged.
A few hours before Thursday’s event, Many members of the production team of this low-budget film resigned in protest of poor working conditions, according to many news networks.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Last week, Baldwin’s life stuntman accidentally fired two bullets with a “prop firearm” after being told it was a “cold gun”. a term used by the industry for weapons that are not loaded with bullets, including gaps. At least an employee complained to a production manager about gun safety on set, the newspaper reported, citing members of the production team, who were not named in the article.
The same mistake could have happened on Thursday, according to court documents. An assistant director, Dave Halls, gave Baldwin the replacement weapon and told him it was a “cold weapon.”, according to an affidavit written testimony of the sheriff’s office submitted under an investigation warrant.
Halls could not be reached for comment.
A Santa Fe judge on Friday approved a warrant, allowing authorities to seize firearms, clothing, cameras, film and ammunition from Bonanza Creek Rhodes outside Santa Fe.
The film’s production company said in a statement on Friday that it was not aware of any safety concerns but was investigating the incident.
“Although we have not been informed of any formal complaints about the safety of the weapons or their substitute weapons during filming, we will conduct an internal investigation of our procedures while production is not continuing.”, the company reported. Baldwin is the co-producer of the film.
It is not clear why the weapon contained real bullets. The person in charge of weapons in filming is known as a gunsmith. The gunsmith for the movie “Rust”, Hannah Gutierrez, had set the gun and two more, according to the affidavit.
Gutierrez could not be reached for comment.
No charges have been filed in the case and police said the investigation remains open. Security guards were deployed on Saturday along the road leading to the ranch where the film was being shot.
The International Cinematographers Guild was planning a candlelight vigil for Hutchins on Saturday night in Albuquerque, about 60 miles (64 km) from the ranch. Another vigil is scheduled for Sunday in the Los Angeles area.
“Halina inspired us with her passion and vision and the legacy she leaves is too important to be described in words. “Our loss is enormous,” Matt Hutchins’s husband wrote on Twitter.
The American Film Institute has created a scholarship program in honor of Hutchins for women filmmakers.
Baldwin, 63, known for his roles in the TV comedy series “30 Rock” and extremely popular in recent years in the US, mainly for imitating Donald Trump on the satirical show Saturday Night Live said Friday shocked and devastated by Hutchins’s death and fully cooperates with authorities.