Alec Baldwin repeated the words with increasing urgency as the sound of the shot echoed through the wooden church.

Just seconds earlier, the actor had prepared a scene in which he was a grizzled outlaw from the 1880s gets involved in a church shooting in Kansas. He just went through the movements and gave the camera crew the opportunity to adjust their angles.

“So,” he had said and put his hand on the Colt .45 revolver in the holster, “I suppose I’ll take this out , pull it out and say: ‘Bang!’ “

There should be no projectile in the weapon. Just a dummy cartridge that contained no gunpowder. Baldwin only showed the director and cameraman of Rust, a low-budget indie western film, what he would do when the cameras started.

A lead bullet flew out of the gun that Baldwin assures became that it is a “cold weapon”. It hit cameraman Halyna Hutchins, who stumbled back and fell into the arms of the chief electrician. When she was laid on the ground, she could see the blood flowing from her chest. Behind her, director Joel Souza was also down, clutching his shoulder; the bullet had penetrated his through Hutchins’ body.

Baldwin put the gun on a pew. He looked down at his two injured colleagues in horror and repeated his initial question like a mantra.

“Medicine!” someone shouted as various crew members crowded around Hutchins, trying to stop the bleeding. A boom operator looked her in the eye. “Oh, that wasn’t good,” said the sound engineer.

At 1:49 pm on October 21, emergency teams from Santa Fe County were on Bonanza Creek in response to a shooting that would rock the entertainment industry Ranch called. Hollywood loves nothing more than a good war story, a story about the tough conditions cast and crew are exposed to, the daring chance a director took to get the shot, the film made on a tight budget, the becomes an unexpected success.

But this wasn’t a war story; That was any filmmaker’s worst nightmare. A “one-in-a-trillion episode” was described by Baldwin paparazzi who tracked him down in a small town in Vermont on Saturday, a week later.

“There are occasional accidental accidents on film sets, but nothing like that, ”he told the photographer on Saturday. “We were a very, very well-rehearsed crew who made a movie together and then this terrible event happened.”

The death of Halyna Hutchins and the wounding of Souza came just days after the Hollywood union Crews had threatened to strike if producers didn’t take their safety concerns seriously, and everyone had the question repeated that Baldwin had wept into the chaos.

Detectives are still investigating important issues, including who had live ammunition in the FD Pietta Colt .45 that Baldwin fired.

“I think there has been some complacency on the set, and I think there are some safety issues that need to be addressed by the industry and possibly the state of New Mexico,” said Adan Mendoza, Santa Fe County Sheriff, at a press conference last week.

Mendoza said New Mexico 1st Judicial Dist. Atty. Mary Carmack-Altwies would decide whether to bring charges.

A reconstruction of the events leading up to Hutchins’ death in the Los Angeles Times has new details about this Thursday and the days leading up to the shooting in this wooden church on Nov. uncovered km south of Santa Fe. As the Times previously reported, the armorer’s inexperience was a concern from day one of the set, as were conflicts between the production managers and the camera crew. A cascade of wrong decisions seemed to create chaos even with his low budget status. A set in which, contrary to all production regulations, not only sharp bullets were present, but several were loaded into a propeller pistol.

“The safety of our actors and crew is the highest for Rust Productions and everyone who is associated with the company Priority, “Rust Movie Productions said in a statement the day after Hutchins’ death. “While we have no official complaints about gun or prop safety on set, we will conduct an internal review of our procedures during the production stoppage.

This report is based on interviews with 14″ Rust “crew members, including nine who are The day Hutchins was shot at Bonanza Creek Ranch, Santa Fe County records, Santa Fe movie permits and emails, text messages, and internal communications from “Rust” production. It is the most comprehensive report yet of a day that ended in tragedy and raised concerns about decisions regarding the safety of the set. New laws and regulations on the use of firearms on sets have already been called for.

Most of the crew members who spoke to The Times asked to remain anonymous, given the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation. The scenes described in this article are based on the reports of at least two people, unless otherwise noted. Two members of the Rust camera team delivered on-file interviews.

“It always felt like the budget was more important than the crew members,” said Lane Luper, the first assistant to the A camera, on Saturday in one Interview with the Times. “Everything revolved around the schedule and the budget.”

On October 21 at 6:10 am, the first camera assistants and technicians for the film “Rust” arrived at Bonanza Creek Ranch. It was the 12th day of the 21-day film production.

Other crew members who had parked their cars near the base camp, about half a mile from the security gate, had already lined up in the catering tent. Standing in the 37-degree cold, the early arrivals got their breakfast rolls in the dark. The crust on the bread was so hard it broke off. But at least there was food; it was known to run out on a few days.

The camera crew skipped the meal, thinking it was tasteless given their upcoming resignations. The cameramen went straight to the trucks on the edge of the set. After more than a week of fighting with the film’s producers about working conditions and safety, six members of the camera team wanted to leave the set.

The Bonanza Creek Ranch is a 1,000-acre high desert near the site of an old silver mining ghost town, Bonanza City, which dried up a few years after it was founded in 1880.

The privately owned property has been a popular destination for film productions since the early 1950s. Jimmy Stewart’s “The Man from Laramie” was filmed there in 1955. Paul Newman flirted with Katharine Ross near a ranch barn in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” in 1969.

Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the 24-year-old armorer from “Rust”, also fell in love at the Bonanza Creek Ranch. in the movie. Her father, an industry-renowned gun expert, brought his daughter, who was then in fifth grade, to the location when he was working on the outlaw film “3:10 to Yuma” in 2007.

In this part of New Mexico are yellow signs that lead the crew to the productions, just as part of the landscape as the shaggy green mugwort. Many members of the New Mexico-based crew of “Rust” live in Albuquerque, almost 50 miles away.

Early on, cameramen – members of IATSE Locals 600 and 480 – asked the Atlanta-based production managers of the film about hotel rooms. They didn’t want to drive an extra two hours to and from Albuquerque on Interstate 25, a rural four-lane highway with a speed limit of 75 mph.

They had been assured that hotel rooms would be made available, and during the first During the first week of production, the rooms were available for those who wanted them.

But at the beginning of the second week, the members of the camera team were told that they would no longer receive hotel rooms, according to Luper, the department head of the camera team. Others from production were relocated to Coyote South, a former Super 8 motel, where rooms cost about $ 55 a night. Luper and one other crew member each received a night at a different hotel during the second week of production, he said.

Late Saturday, a spokeswoman for the producers said hotel rooms were being made available to the cameramen and other crew members. However, according to the IATSE contract, producers are only required to provide space if the workers spend more than 13 hours a day on the job – or if a single crew member lives more than 60 miles away. The Albuquerque crew members lived 49 to 54 miles from the set.

During the second week of production, the producers consulted the IATSE Local 600 Shop Steward, who wrote in an email on October 13 that the accommodations offered were “fair” appeared, said a person close to the production.

Luper discussed the hotel situation with Hutchins over dinner on October 15; she spoiled Luper and others with sushi. She said the problem was solved; Hutchins had forfeited a day’s rental of a techno crane that allowed photographers to take aerial photos to increase the budget for the accommodation.

Other worries plagued “Rust” from the start. Crew members weren’t paid, Luper said, and many described an overly rushed mentality on set. Even production directors raised concerns about the skills of the set’s only armorer, Gutierrez Reed.

She was responsible for all weapons on the set and had previously only worked on one film as head armor. The unit’s production manager, Katherine “Row” Walters, said that “apparently props and armor must be held in hand,” according to a screenshot of an internal Slack message dated October 8th.

Before Hutchins was killed , according to the crew, there were three accidental gun discharges on set. Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally fired a void after being told his gun was “cold”. A young woman from the props department “actually shot herself in the foot,” said Luper, adding that the round was empty.

“Rust” crew describes gun safety issues on set and misfires days before fatal shots

At least one of the cameramen complained to production managers about gun safety on the set last weekend.

According to her lawyers, Gutierrez Reed “struggled for training, days to wait for guns, and the right time to prepare for shots, but was ultimately overruled by production and their department … All production was down due to various factors unsafe, including poor safety safety briefings. “

There had been other red flags. No paramedic was on site during preproduction; a paramedic is common in the film industry when crew members are building sets. A spokesman for 3rd Shift Media, who ran the unit production, declined to comment.

“Someone dropped a countersink and it stabbed me in the hand. I had to take care of it myself and am still healing from it,” one person said, describing an accident that occurred during the construction of the hanging gallows on set.

When filming began, Luper and other crew members discovered that safety tsbulletins were not sent with call logs, although this is also common in Hollywood. The manufacturer’s spokeswoman said the “call sheet” contained notes on the weapons to be used that day.

Tensions continued to build. On the Sunday before the fatal shooting, the schedule had run from noon to midnight. The film permit stipulated that the chaparral-covered arroyo had “no significant disruption to the terrain and / or vegetation,” requiring the crew to haul heavy equipment – a piece weighing 140 pounds – through a narrow area vehicles were not allowed. The afternoon sun was a punishment. Gusts of wind pelted their equipment with fine powdery dirt.

The camera crew stayed until 1:30 am and collected their equipment that was scattered around the site. Then they drove home for an hour. A camera assistant spent part of the night in his car in the parking lot, said Luper.

On Wednesday, the camera assistant, who lives in Albuquerque, asked for a hotel room. The problem is a sensitive issue for cameramen because after the “wrapping time” they usually have to spend 30 minutes to an hour collecting and cleaning the cameras. During a separate film project in 2018, Luper said he fell asleep behind the wheel.

“We said, ‘Okay, they really don’t care about us,'” said Jonas Huerta, a digital utility technician. </ In fact, in the “Rust” production office, the request for hotel rooms for crew members was treated like a joke. So much so that someone from the production department ordered tailor-made black long-sleeved T-shirts with the words “Error 404: Housing Not Found” and “ABQ is an hour away” printed on them. A photo of the shirts, which someone with knowledge of the situation said had arrived at the production office Thursday morning, was shared with the Times.

None of this was known to the camera crew, five of which were emailed to Walters late Wednesday evening in which they said that they wanted to resign.

“I have to get up early and commute to the set, my job is very physically demanding and I am more than exhausted when changing diapers,” wrote Huerta in his email Walters. “I found myself nodding off or taking a nap on the side of the road to get home safely.” hurried to take recordings and he skips important logs, ”wrote Huerta in his email. “He often rushes to shoot, and I’ve had more than a few occasions where I’ve been around the guns being fired regardless of my hearing. Sometimes he rushes so fast that the props [department] didn’t even have the opportunity to bring earplugs, and he rolls and the actors fire anyway. “

” If it hadn’t been for the hotel, we would have made it through, “said he of the Times.

On Thursday at 6:30 am, the camera team from “Rust” hopped into the 10-ton truck that contained all of the camera equipment after the lack of breakfast and separated their personal equipment from the equipment rented by the production managers. They worked for over an hour dismantling cameras, monitors, and carts.

Hutchins seemed confused that her camera crew was packing up. She had the impression that the problem with the hotel room had been solved.

“We felt bad about Halyna,” recalls one of the camera technicians. “I was torn. We liked them all very much. ”

Hutchins tearfully hugged Luper. “I feel like I’m losing my best friends,” she told him.

Rating: It was a supernova. Filmmaker Rachel Mason on her friendship with ‘Rust’ DP Halyna Hutchins

They met through their children and worked together on their art. Filmmaker Rachel Mason writes about Halyna Hutchins, who was killed on the set of Alec Baldwin’s “Rust”.

But Gabrielle Pickle, the production manager, was not moving fast enough. She was the last to join the producers, who stood in a semicircle behind the truck with their arms crossed and watched the technicians packing their equipment.

At around 7:50 am, Pickle ordered the camera team to “work faster” said Huerta. Pointing at Luper, she said, “You have to get out of this property right now or I’ll call security,” Luper recalled.

The sun was up now and four replacement cameramen, including three non-unionized, had arrived. At least two looked like “fresh out of high school,” said Luper.

The Ukrainian-born cinematographer had made an unusual route to Hollywood while working as an investigative journalist for British documentaries before leaving turned to the film. She graduated from the prestigious American Film Institute Conservatory in 2015 and was named one of the American Cinematographer’s Rising Stars four years later. At 42, she was on the cusp of a breakout career.

“Did you hear the camera go?” Someone whispered to a friend as people gathered around the heaters in the cold. The actual exit of the group was quiet, with no public scene, and some crew members did not notice that anything had happened. The only difference some of the actors noticed was that only one camera was used to film them.

The first setup of the day only required a single camera. But the staging was complicated, with all the main cast members except Baldwin, who rode to the old western town together. The setup took longer than expected.

At around 8 a.m. everyone gathered for a security meeting in the middle of the faux western town.

“It was no different from any other security meeting and no different from a security meeting I would have expected in a film like this, “recalled one participant.

When filming began, Hutchins was standing in the middle of the street, her eyes fixed on the monitor.

” I can’t mine imagine what it was like for Halyna to continue with what she did and maintain a positive attitude, ”said one crew member that morning.

He liked to drive himself to the set with his assistant in the passenger seat. The actor was a feared but respected presence on set, and crew members said the energy shifted every time he arrived. Everyone tried to stay out of their eye-line so they weren’t distracted.

Filming moved to the wooden church for a handful of setups in the late morning. After the final Baldwin recording was in the can, lunch was announced.

The actors stayed in costumes in the huge catering tent, taking great care not to spill any of the Thai noodles on their border-style clothes while they ate. (Though the good thing about a western, one said, was that you could always just rub it in and hope that if you got some food on your pants it would pass as dirt.)

The meat of the day’s shooting, including a shootout that would require pyrotechnics and smoke was planned after the meal break.

After dinner, caretaker Sarah Zachry retrieved the guns needed for the crime scene from a truck, with the guns in a locked safe were kept. The ammunition was also in the truck, but was left unsecured on a truck during recess, as evidenced by a search warrant affidavit filed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office on October 27th.

Baldwin had made an effort to make his gun work seem realistic. He had gone to church a few days earlier to discuss what it would be like to use the gun on the scene. The sharp shots he fired contained spaces but were still making enough noise to startle the crew members.

“He wanted to know where I would be if he pulled his gun,” said this person. “I told him I would be in a different location and he said ‘Good’.”

That Thursday, the crew began preparing for the scene before Baldwin returned from his lunch break. Gutierrez Reed entered the church with the guns and did a security check with the Colt .45 outside Halls. He believed he saw three shots in the gun, but he didn’t check them before picking up the gun.

He told investigators that “he should have checked them all, but he didn’t and couldn’t remember if she was turning the drum, “the affidavit reads.

There were no deputies on site, so the first assistant director ran through Baldwin’s blockage and pulled the gun three times. Russell, a b-cam operator, was watching from a monitor on his dolly. Hutchins stood over his shoulder, flanked by Souza.

Because of the strike, the team worked with fewer monitors than usual. The 10-inch screen in the Video Village was of poor quality, so the filmmakers decided to use the optics on the Checking the monitor of the dolly, which was seven inches tall but had a higher resolution.

During the scene, Baldwin’s character was supposed to quickly draw his gun and shoot a rival. Halls hadn’t pulled the trigger on the gun during the runs he made.

The bullet narrowly missed Russell before it hit the DP and the director. The trio were about two feet from the muzzle of the gun.

A dummy cartridge that contained no gunpowder and did not fire would look almost exactly like a bullet when the camera looked at the barrel of the revolver Baldwin was holding, without the deadly abilities.

If the cartridges had been checked when the gun was aimed, Halls would have seen that at least one of them was missing the small hole or indentation that visually distinguishes the dummies from the bullets. He would also have noticed that it didn’t create the characteristic rattle that proves there is only one BB – and no gunpowder – in the dummy lap.

Shock spread through the church. Sixteen crew members were stationed between the pews. Nobody wore protective gear – the noise-canceling headphones, goggles, or furniture transport blankets that were often offered for scenes with guns.

Someone screamed and Hutchins instantly fell to the ground, as did Souza, although it wasn’t immediately obvious that he had been hit .

“I looked straight at her, I could see an exit wound that had blood immediately flowing out of it, and then [people] screamed ‘She’s shot!’ and everything went crazy,” said one crew member.

“Let’s get everyone who doesn’t have to be here out of here,” Halls urged the crew.

Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor of the film, ran outside and called 911 from her cell phone. It was 1:46 am.

“Bonanza Creek Ranch. Two people were accidentally shot by a prop gun on a film set. We need help immediately, “said Mitchell.

Less than 13 minutes after she hung up, the first rescue workers from the Santa Fe County Fire Department arrived.

Crew members screamed. Sob. Shell shocked. Production assistants, some in their early twenties, were busy guarding the church to keep out unnecessary parties. Other young workers were told to clean the street of crew vehicles, power cables and stray pews so the ambulances could drive straight to the church when they arrived.

Down at base camp, a handful of actors were preparing for their scenes that afternoon before. Through the window of his trailer, a performer heard a crew member receive an urgent sounding message over the walkie-talkie: “There has been an incident. We called 911. ”Even so, the actor wasn’t particularly concerned. There was usually an excessive amount of caution on film sets. A production assistant asked Talent to stay in his trailers. “Don’t take photos. Don’t write to your friends. Let’s keep that in check, ”advised the staff member.

But after about 10 minutes the actors got restless. Some went to the doors of their trailers for advice. “Two people were shot? As? What the F-? “

Back in Santa Fe, Rust production workers, who worked in a peach-colored office park, trudged forward with payroll and travel logistics without realizing anything was wrong.

At Slack, an internal messaging system used in the office, a production secretary peded her bosses at 2:03 am to say she had a quote from a supplier but still needed to know how to send a truck, to get the equipment. In the same minute, the chief of the fire brigade battalion called the dispatchers to request a medical transport helicopter.

At around 2:08 p.m., two ambulances arrived. After they had passed the rusty white ranch gates on unpaved field and gravel roads, the emergency vehicles all slowed to about 32 km / h.

Also when the helicopter began to hover over the ranch at 2:15 am. AM – just as Souza’s ambulance was preparing to leave for St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe – the gravity of the situation was hard to bear.

A crew member who had gone to run errands was found at the front gate stopped when she tried to drive back to the ranch.

“Nobody is allowed up there, except policemen and ambulances,” someone from the traffic department told her. They had to be joking, she thought.

While the first responders were working, the police officers asked for an interview with all crew members who had seen the shooting Sending log noted. Everyone else was sent home, and detectives sealed off the church area with yellow tape.

The plane stayed on the ground until 2:50 p.m. It seemed like a long time to the actor. If the helicopter stayed on the ground for over half an hour, how bad could the injury really be?

Hutchins would eventually be pronounced dead at the University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque to which she was flown. </ Back at Bonanza Creek Ranch, Baldwin and a dozen or so others sat in the back of a 5-ton truck, waiting for their interrogation with the police, who were in a fake saloon.

They were down at base camp People scared but tried to stay calm. Trained to use food, a craft assistant began handing out homemade trail mix.

At around 3:30 am, Baldwin returned to base camp. He had taken off his costume and was wearing his street clothes. “I’ve never been given a live weapon – never,” he told his colleagues who circled him. Nobody there tried to comfort him because nobody knew how bad the accident had been.

In the late afternoon, the news that someone was being shot on a film set in Santa Fe echoed through the close-knit New Mexico film community. People were trying to make sure they were safe to text family and friends on other nearby sets.

Russell, the b-cam operator who almost got hit by the bullet, was driving to the UMN hospital to check on Hutchins.

Luper, the first A-camera assistant who stopped that morning, picked him up. They were at Luper’s house together when they learned of Hutchin’s death from the news.

At around 5:30 p.m., production asked the remaining crew members, who had driven themselves, to line up their cars and go to the ranch masse.

A few local newspaper reporters had gathered in the street, and leaving completely would make it difficult for the media to reach anyone.

International media would come to Santa Fe in the following days, with TV crews were constantly stationed in front of the sheriff’s office and the entrance to the ranch.

The production team gathered on Friday night in Santa Fe for a private memorial to Hutchins. At much larger vigils in Albuquerque on Saturday and Los Angeles on Sunday, the memories combined with a broader assessment of the safety of the set.

The producers officially announced their decision in an email to crew members on Sunday evening, “The At least complete the set until the investigation is over. ”

They were quietly trying to shut down production while the investigation was in progress. There were trips to book, rental equipment returned, and a seemingly endless list of things to scan, send, or donate.

To-do lists were written and shared in Slack, where Pickle, the line producer, tuned in: “Everyone remaining alcohol was donated to Rowing and Gabby! ” Someone responded with a thumbs-up emoji.

In another message, the line producer’s assistant hired a PA to donate the office lights to Goodwill.

Meg James is a corporate media reporter for the Los Angeles Times, reporting about television and the digital disruption in the entertainment industry. She has been on the Company Town team for more than a decade. She previously wrote for the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post. She is from Wyoming and is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Columbia University.

Senior entertainment writer Amy Kaufman covers film, celebrity, and pop culture for the Los Angeles Times. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure.

Julia Wick is a Metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She was previously the author of the Essential California newsletter. Prior to joining The Times in 2019, Wick was editor-in-chief of LAist and senior editor at Longreads. She is a native of Angeleno.

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