Members of the film industry are calling for change following the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed on set when actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun.
New Mexico workplace safety investigators are looking into whether safety regulations were followed on set
An assistant director handed the prop gun to Baldwin, after indicating it was not loaded with live rounds
Crew members had raised concerns with safety procedures in early October
Associate Dean and Chapman University Professor Daniel Leonard hoped the incident would be an “agent” for better safety regulations.
There were ways to “mitigate the risk” of using a gun on set, he added.
Court records indicate that an assistant director, Dave Halls, grabbed a prop gun off a cart and handed it to Baldwin, indicating incorrectly that the weapon didn’t carry live rounds by yelling “cold gun”.
When Baldwin pulled the trigger, he unwittingly killed Ms Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her inside a wooden, chapel-like building.
Cate Devaney, a director and former colleague of Ms Hutchins, said there was an “aesthetic argument” for the use of guns in filmmaking, but she was now “questioning” those views.
New Mexico workplace safety investigators are examining if film industry standards for gun safety were followed during production of Rust.
Production on the film was halted after the shooting.
Crew indicated problems in early October
There were disputes on set almost from the start of production in early October, culminating in seven crew members walking off several hours before Ms Hutchins was killed.
The crew members had expressed their discontent with matters that ranged from safety procedures to their housing accommodations, according to one of those who left.
He requested anonymity for fear that speaking up would hurt his prospects for future jobs.
The Los Angeles Times, citing two crew members it did not name, reported that five days before the shooting, Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally fired two live rounds after being told the gun he was using did not have any ammunition.
Rust Movie Productions did not answer emails on Friday and Saturday seeking comment.
In another on-set gun death from 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, was killed by a bullet left in a prop gun after a previous scene.
Similar shootings have occurred involving stage weapons that were loaded with live rounds during historical re-enactments.