How did the filming of “Rust” go so wrong?

How did the filming of Rust go so wrong?

Heath Alexander, Editor

On Thursday, Oct 21, Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and injured another crew member when what was supposed to be a “cold gun,” meaning not loaded, went off during filming.

The gun was supposed to be completely unloaded and Baldwin, who himself is anti-gun and a proponent of only using prop guns on sets, was instructed to draw the firearm for this shot. Somewhere in this process the gun unexpectedly went off and a single bullet hit both victims. Understandably, many people are wondering how could something like this even happen?

The set of rust was a disaster, by all senses of the word. The working conditions have been described as “terrible,” the cast and crew were unsatisfied with the leadership, safety concerns had been raised multiple times before, and many workers quit just a day before the fatal accident. This isn’t even the first time this specific gun has misfired.

The onset armorer responsible for checking and making sure the weapons are safe to use was reportedly irresponsible and underqualified, making this mistake before on the set of “Rust.” Hannah Gutierrez, the armorer, has since been named in a search warrant for the fatal shooting. She reportedly had been extremely irresponsible on and off set, firing the prop guns on break for her own enjoyment, not properly checking weapons, and on the set of another movie she even gave a young child a loaded gun.

A source told CNN that Nicolas Cage stormed off set during the filming of “Old Way” when she, without warning, fired a gun on set. On that same set, she reportedly walked around pointing pistols at people and carrying them in her armpits.

Alec Baldwin has only commented briefly on the accident due to an ongoing investigation not allowing him to speak on the matter in depth, but he did say that he and Halyna were friends and he is in a state of grief. He argues that guns should not be allowed on sets for exactly this reason. Baldwin said that he has met with the family and all are in a state of shock and disarray at the situation.

So, it seems like an irresponsible armorer is to blame for the death of Halyna Hutchins. The real question is why, after her terrible record, was she still allowed to work on Hollywood sets? Most likely because of her parentage, one of her parents being famous Hollywood armorer Thell Reed.

So, among terrible working conditions and constant safety concerns, hopefully the set of “Rust” will serve as a warning to directors and crew to make sure something like this never happens again.