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Film producers defend safety in Alec Baldwin shooting



SANTA FE, N.M. – A movie manufacturing corporate is contesting sanctions through New Mexico officers for alleged place of job protection violations at the set of “Rust,” the place actor and manufacturer Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer in October, consistent with filings posted Wednesday through state regulators.

Rust Movie Productions is difficult the foundation of a $137,000 effective in opposition to the corporate through state occupational protection regulators who say manufacturing managers at the set of the Western movie did not observe usual trade protocols for firearms protection.

At a ranch at the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021, Baldwin used to be pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins within a small church all through setup for the filming of a scene when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

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Baldwin mentioned in a December interview with ABC News that he used to be pointing the gun at Hutchins at her instruction when it went off with out his pulling the cause.

“The law properly permits producers to delegate such critical functions as firearm safety to experts in that field and does not place such responsibility on producers whose expertise is in arranging financing and contracting for the logistics of filming,” Rust Movie Productions said in its filing. The company “did not ‘willfully’ violate any safety protocol, and in fact enforced all applicable safety protocols.”

In April, New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau imposed the maximum fine against Rust Movie Productions and distributed a scathing narrative of safety failures, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two misfires of blank ammunition on set prior to the fatal shooting.

The bureau also documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.

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Rust Movie Productions responded in its filing by saying that misfires prior to the fatal shooting of Hutchins did not violate safety protocols and that “appropriate corrective actions were taken, including briefings of cast and crew.”

“In fact, a safety meeting was held the morning of the incident,” the company said, apparently referring to the shooting of Hutchins. The filing does not elaborate further.

Rust Movie Productions also is challenging allegations that film set armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed was overburdened, asserting that she had sufficient time to properly inspect and safeguard all firearms and ammunition on set. The production company cites comments by a costume designer who said Reed had “plenty of time” to do her job properly.

State investigators say that Gutierrez Reed was limited to eight paid days as an armorer to oversee weapons and training, and was assigned otherwise to lighter duties as a props assistant. As her time as an armorer ran out, Gutierrez Reed warned a manager and was rebuffed.

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The sheriff investigating the fatal film-set shooting has described disorganization and neglected safety measures in the making of the low-budget movie. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza has said he is waiting on a forensic analysis of the weapon, projectile, fingerprints and more from the FBI and state medical examiners before turning the case over to prosecutors to decide whether criminal charges will be filed.

State findings and sanctions against Rust Movie Productions hold implications for at least five lawsuits that have been filed over the shooting, including a wrongful death suit brought by Hutchins’ family against Baldwin and the movie’s other producers.

The lawsuit on behalf of widower Matt Hutchins and his 9-year-old son alleges a “callous” disregard in the face of safety complaints on the set.

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The state fines would apply to a film with a budget of about $7 million. Baldwin was assigned a salary of $250,000 as an actor and producer and may have put some of that money back into the production.

Rust Movie Productions says in its submitting that every one group of workers on set had been advised that they’d authority to stop actions at any time till protection issues had been resolved, with movie union stewards on website online to make sure compliance with labor-union protection protocols.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This subject material might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.



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