Actor Alec Baldwin accidently kills one, injures other.

Alec Baldwin

Actor Alec Baldwin accidently kills one, injures other.

Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin misfired a prop, killing a cinematographer and injuring a director on the sets. The unfortunate incident happened on the sets of the movie “Rust”. The event took place at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a popular filming location amongst the Hollywood filmmakers, near Santa fe, New Mexico.

Halyna Hutchins, a cinematographer aged 42, was fatally injured on the sets. She was transported to a hospital through a helicopter. However, she succumbed to her injuries. Meanwhile, Joel Souza, a director aged 48, was transported to a hospital in an ambulance to receive treatment. A sheriff’s spokesman informed that the director was in “critical condition.”

 So far, no official charges have been filed over the incident. However, the incident is being investigated with witness interviews. A production spokesperson said the “accident” involved a misfire of a prop gun with blanks.

 Alec Baldwin, 63, is also the co-producer of the movie. Alec plays the role of Harland Rust, a bandit whose grandson has been convicted of murder. In the movie, Harland Rust(Alec Baldwin) absconds with his grandson and is on the run when the grandson is sentenced to be hanged for the crime. “Rust” also stars Jensen Ackles (“Supernaturals”) and Travis Fimmel, best known for playing Ragnar Lothbrok in “Vikings”.

Alec Baldwin has portrayed numerous high-profile roles since the 1980s. He has starred in movies like “The hunt for Red October” and two editions of the famous franchise “Mission: Impossible”. Mr. Baldwin has voiced animated characters in hits like “The Boss Baby”. He donned the role of former President of The United States Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”. The portrayal annoyed the former President, but received a lot of appreciation and helped him gain a lot of new fans. The caricature helped him win a Primetime Emmy.

Accidents on sets

This was not the first incident where fatal accidents took place on movie sets. Most famously, Brandon Lee, son of Hollywood star Bruce Lee, died while shooting for the film “The Crow”. He was killed when a gun fired a shot which was supposed to fire blanks. The untimely demise of Mr. Lee grabbed attention from around the world and prompted change on how firearms are treated on sets. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration levied a miniscule fine of just USD 84000 (dollars), which was later reduced to USD 55000(dollars). The Crow went onto gross USD 50 Million(dollars).

In 1982, three actors – two of them children – were killed on the set of Twilight Zone, when special effects explosions caused a helicopter to crash. Their deaths have forever marred the sets of movies and goes to show the need for safety on movie sets.

Since 1990, At least 43 people have lost their lives while working on the sets of American Movie and TV show sets, according to an Associated Press Investigation from 2016. Meanwhile, approximately 150 people have been left with life-altering injuries in the same timeline, said the same investigation team in its reports. 

Safety on movie sets

When shooting an action movie or a scene involving use of gun, a lot of conscious decisions are to be made including the extent of usage of a gun, props and special effects. There is also the choice of using replica guns or real guns or a mix of both. But most importantly, everyone present on the sets needs to know how to work with a gun.

A gun with no ammunition – that is, a gun with neither a bullet nor blanks – is not dangerous. But even so, on set there is always an armourer, a safety officer, and a stunt coordinator: at least three people who always have an eye on the guns on set. – informed a filmmaker in an interview.

Since real guns are not used while filming a movie, blanks are used. Blanks are wads of paper, plastic or cotton balls used instead of actual gunfire to simulate a flame out of the gun. To make sure the feel of a gunshot is created, the guns are loaded with enough gunpowder to create a bang on the muzzle of the gun. Ironically, real guns rarely have any muzzle flash. The gunpowder in a real firearm is designed to burn down before reaching the muzzle of the gun. So, in order to “have a bang” at the muzzle of the gun, a lot more gunpowder is used than a real firearm.

While blanks are considered a safer option than actual firearms, many injuries have taken place due to blanks.

In 1984, the actor Jon-Erik Hexums put a gun filled with blanks to his head, and jokinglyhe pulled the trigger. The force of the wadding was enough to fatally injure him.

Reactions

The world mourns the demise of Halyna Hutchins and wishes for a speedy recovery of Joel Souza. Fans have expressed their displeasure with the safety on movie sets with many questioning how such a thing can happen even after “so much care’ taken by the filmmakers.

“Like obviously it’s the story but it is really not fair to have Alec Baldwin be the face of this tragedy. He wasn’t in charge of loading that gun. Safety on set needs to be taken so much more seriously”

-Tweeted Caitie Delaney(@caitiedelaney), writer of Rick and Morty.

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