General Question

jerry68's avatar

What do you think of the Alex Baldwin story?

Asked by jerry68 (7points) 1 month ago

it is unusual.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

kritiper's avatar

As is usually the case, someone broke (at least) one of the rules of proper gunplay.

filmfann's avatar

Following a walkout by many in the crew over safety concerns, which included the very gun that killed the cinematographer.
All the Union employees were dismissed, and replaced with non-union scabs.
Ever since the accident on the set of The Crow, there has been a call for an arms master on any set involving firearms.
Was Baldwin to blame?
He is a producer on the film.

Zaku's avatar

I think the investigating detectives are in a vastly better position than I am to judge. The little I’ve read about it says they’re treating it as an accident, which makes sense to me.

It was an actual bullet, though, which is a serious mistake by someone… or possibly sabotage.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It’s horribly sad but ironically humorous, too. Suspicious about the union in my opinion.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Maybe sabotage by union . . . there should not have been a live round within two miles. Somebody killed with malice.

chyna's avatar

@KNOWITALL Why do you find this humorous?
I’m suspicious that it is sabotage also. It’s all too coincidental with the walk out just 2 hours prior. I feel very bad for Alec Baldwin. Though I don’t think he is at fault at all, he has to live with the fact that he killed someone.

mazingerz88's avatar

Only found out here that it’s an actual bullet that got fired! If it’s maliciously planted and not some stupid yet deadly tragic mistake, I sure hope they catch that heinous killer.

janbb's avatar

I think it’s a profound tragedy.

omtatsat's avatar

Sabotage is also a possibility.

flutherother's avatar

Alec Baldwin must bear some responsibility for this incident. The gun was in his hands and in his control at the time and he was the film’s producer. Ironically, the film they were shooting was about an accidental murder.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@chyna Because he’s an anti-gun liberal and has now killed more people than most conservative gun owners with extensive collections.

canidmajor's avatar

@KNOWITALL, ironic, perhaps, but in no way humorous, and a bit warped to think so.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@KNOWITALL that is poor taste on your part.

jca2's avatar

When Alec was handed the gun, he was told “cold gun” which means it had no live rounds in it.

I feel bad that the accident occurred and I’m sure if there is going to be blame, the detectives will figure it out. I think there will probably be a lawsuit from the family of the deceased and a settlement out of court.

I’ve seen interviews in the past few days, where professionals say that there should never be live rounds on a set. How that happened will all be figured out in the investigation.

seawulf575's avatar

I consider it a tragedy. It is likely that safety rules were ignored somewhere along the way that led to this. I am not investigating so I cannot say who is at fault. I’m pretty certain Mr. Baldwin did not purposely load the gun with live ammo and start blasting away. But who knows? That might be exactly what happened. Hopefully a good solid investigation will tell the whole tale.

kritiper's avatar

After further thought, I think it was a set up to make a point, possibly by the prop master who loaded the gun and said it was “cold.” Why? Because there was no reason to have live, actual ammunition on the set. And some members of the crew were concerned about safety.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Anyone handling a firearm is personally responsible for safe behavior. EVERYONE knows a gun should not be pointed at a person, even if the gun is presumed to be empty.

Filming was not in progress at the time of the shooting. They were between takes, and Alec intentionally pointed at the person, and the trigger was pulled. Supposedly he was playing, but why pull the trigger? Every aspect of his actions was irresponsible.

There were numerous complaints preceding the incident. Safety and accomodations were the main complaints.

No matter how much he may regret the outcome, his actions were reckless in various ways. He is personally responsible and should be held accountable.

jca2's avatar

According to today’s New York Times (10/24/2021), the gun was discharged during a rehearsal. It didn’t say anything about the actor playing around.

In a separate article in today’s NY Times, they said fingers are being pointed at the Assistant Director.

chyna's avatar

@Patty Melt I have not read anything about Alec Baldwin “playing around“. Can you provide a link?
@jca2 I can’t read your link. I have to have a subscription.

kritiper's avatar

@chyna He was rehearsing a scene where he draws the gun and points it at the camera. Colt 45’s of that era were single action and had to be cocked before the gun could be fired. For an accurate portrayal, the gun would have to be cocked while being drawn from the holster.

chyna's avatar

@kritiper So he was rehearsing and not playing around? Big difference.

jca2's avatar

@chyna: NY Times, 10/24/2021

ALBUQUERQUE — In the frantic moments after Alec Baldwin shot the cinematographer and the director of a Western being filmed in New Mexico, a script supervisor on the set called 911 with a desperate plea for help.

“We’ve had two people accidentally shot on a movie set,” the caller, Mamie Mitchell, told the 911 operator. Then Ms. Mitchell singled out the film’s assistant director as she described how it was his responsibility to make sure such mishaps never happen. “He’s supposed to check the guns,” Ms. Mitchell said in the emergency call.

After the 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died following the shooting on Thursday, detectives from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office began examining the role that the assistant director, Dave Halls, among others on the set, had in the incident. They learned that Mr. Baldwin was told by Mr. Halls, who handed him the firearm, that it was a “cold gun,” according to court documents. A cold gun on a film set typically refers to a gun that’s unloaded.

Investigators have not charged anyone or placed blame on any individual in the incident. They also have not indicated what kind of projectile killed Ms. Hutchins.

On the issue of overseeing set safety, Mr. Halls, an industry veteran who worked on movies like “Fargo” and “The Matrix Reloaded,” has been the subject of complaints from various film professionals for years. The complaints, which largely revolve around his regard for safety protocols and on-set behavior, are fueling questions about the New Mexico production, which was marked by at least two accidental gun discharges just days before the fatal shooting.

“Dave doesn’t always follow the rules,” said Antonia Bogdanovich, a director who worked with Mr. Halls on the crime caper “Phantom Halo.” Ms. Bogdanovich described how tempers had flared on the set after Mr. Halls, who was an assistant director on that film, pressured the crew to work beyond established timetables.

Mr. Halls didn’t respond to several attempts to reach him.

Similar problems plagued the set of “Rust,” the Western upended by the shooting, when six camera crew members walked out over late pay and working conditions just hours before the tragic episode. Ms. Bogdanovich said she was alarmed to find out about both the labor strife and that, according to the affidavit, Mr. Halls had handed a gun to Mr. Baldwin that resulted in the actor fatally shooting Ms. Hutchins.

A candlelight vigil was held for Ms. Hutchins on Saturday night in Albuquerque.
A candlelight vigil was held for Ms. Hutchins on Saturday night in Albuquerque.Credit…Sharon Chischilly for The New York Times
“I’m a film director, and from what I know, there has to be several steps before actors are handed a gun,” Ms. Bogdanovich said. “Dave Halls needed to check if he’s going to tell an actor that it’s a cold gun. He needed to open up the chamber and check.”

In his affidavit, Detective Joel Cano said that Mr. Halls had grabbed one of three guns set up by the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. The guns were on a cart left outside a wooden structure because of Covid-19 restrictions, the detective said, before Mr. Halls handed one of the guns to Mr. Baldwin during a rehearsal. Ms. Gutierrez-Reed didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The disclosures are offering a glimpse into how guns are supposed to be handled on movie sets. Several professional armorers, who are experts in the handling of weapons, said it was their job to procure firearms and ensure they are safe to use, while assistant directors are supposed to inspect the guns and make sure they are not loaded; usually it is the armorer who then hands the gun to an actor.

Larry Zanoff, an expert in the use of firearms on film sets who worked on the set of “Django Unchained” as an armorer, said that under industry standards, the first assistant director is the lead safety person on set, and commonly inspects a gun to ensure it is unloaded and safe to use.

Lisa Long, who worked with Mr. Halls as first assistant camera on a film shoot earlier this year, said she complained to her superiors several times throughout the process about what she had perceived as a lack of proper safety meetings and her concerns about breaches of Covid-19 protocols.

“Normally I’d go to the first A.D. with safety concerns,” Ms. Long said, referring to Mr. Halls’s role as assistant director, “but the safety concerns were about the first A.D.”

While shooting the film, “One Way,” starring Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Fimmel, Ms. Long said that the crew shot a scene on an active highway without the proper preparation, and two of the vehicles narrowly avoided a crash.

“I don’t ever recall having a proper safety meeting,” she said of the production.

Similarly, Maggie Goll, a licensed pyrotechnician who works on television sets, said in a statement on Sunday that Mr. Halls “did not maintain a safe working environment” in 2019 when he was first assistant director on the Hulu horror series “Into the Dark.”

According to the statement, which was reported earlier by CNN, safety meetings were “nonexistent” on set. She cited a particular instance in which another pyrotechnician was experiencing a health episode related to diabetes, saying that Mr. Halls and another production team member sought to push the filming forward despite the medical emergency.

“I continued to stand my ground as Dave kept trying to call for us to restart,” she wrote. Ms. Goll said she reported that situation to the production company, Blumhouse Television, and the Directors Guild of America.

A statement from Blumhouse said Mr. Halls had worked on two films that were part of the “Into the Dark” series and was not rehired. It said any complaints received by the studio regarding safety issues were “dealt with promptly.” The D.G.A., which counts Mr. Halls among its members, did not respond to a request for comment.

Clay Van Sickle, a movie industry armorer who worked on “Into the Dark,” said he was aware of the recent news of Ms. Goll’s complaints but had no problems himself with Mr. Halls during the production. Mr. Van Sickle also said that there is a culture of rushing and cutting corners from production in movies generally, and that the job of the armorer is to stand up to that.

On “Rust,” as on any film, Mr. Van Sickle said, there should be a direct chain of custody of the gun from the armorer to the actor, which apparently was not the case, according to a sequence described in the affidavit. “So many protocols were clearly missed,” he said.

chyna's avatar

@jca2 Good article. Thanks.

omtatsat's avatar

But he must have somehow pointed the gun at the woman who was killed? And how was the other person injured?

chyna's avatar

@omtatsat As @kritiper stated above, he was rehearsing a scene where he is drawing his gun and pointing it at the camera. The other person was standing slightly behind the woman who was killed from what I’ve read, so the bullet must’ve gone through her and hit the other person.

SABOTEUR's avatar

As a new gun owner I find this especially tragic. Two of the rules repeatedly…I say REPEATEDLY emphasized regarding safe gun handling is:

A gun is ALWAYS considered loaded until you (the user) determine the gun is NOT loaded


Never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy.

Apparently in film making they follow rules that seemingly streamline film production… one of which is allowing someone other than the gun user to determine the safety status of a weapon someone else will use.

And for the life of me…and the life of the woman that lost her life…I don’t understand why live ammunition was on site or in close proximity of the blanks authorized for use in the film.

They teach these gun rules to prevent such accidents. The apparent lax in gun safety was an accident waiting to happen.

And, it did.

seawulf575's avatar

@SABOTEUR Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. Except I might go one step further on your rule #1. The gun is always loaded. It doesn’t matter if you checked it unloaded, you never point it at anyone.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@seawulf575 True, but you can understand pointing a gun at someone if guns are involved in making a movie. Having said that you would think more care would be exercised because of the danger involved.

I’ll tell you what, though. Everytime I dry fire practice now I’ll remember this horrible incident.

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