Seven crew members walked out of "Rust," a Western film about the conflict between the producers and the director in October. This was hours before Halyna Hutchins, a 42-year-old cinematographer, was killed.
According to one of the crew members who left, they had voiced their discontent over matters ranging from safety procedures to housing accommodations. Because he was afraid of losing his future job prospects, he requested anonymity. Rust Movie Productions didn't respond to emails Saturday and Friday requesting comment.
According to court records, Baldwin used a gun that an "armorer" had placed on a cart outside Bonanza Creek Ranch, Santa Fe during a rehearsal for the film. This cart was where the scene was being rehearsed.
According to court records, an assistant director, Dave Halls grabbed a gun from a cart and gave it to Baldwin. He indicated incorrectly that the gun didn't have live rounds by shouting "cold gun"
Baldwin accidentally killed Hutchins when he pulled the trigger. He also injured director Joel Souza who was standing beside her in a chapel-like wooden building.
Baldwin, 63, is best known for his roles on "30 Rock" (The Hunt for Red October) and his portrayal of former President Donald Trump ("Saturday Night Live"), and has described the death as a "tragic incident."
Halls did not immediately respond to email and phone messages that were sent in search of comment.
Santa Fe County Regional Emergency Communications Center released a recording that hints at panic on the set of the film set following a 911 call alerting authorities to the shooting at Bonanza Creek Ranch.
Mamie Mitchell, script supervisor, told an emergency dispatcher that two people were accidentally shot by a prop gun on a movie set. "We were practicing and the gun went off. We all ran for our lives." The dispatcher inquired if the gun had a real bullet.
"I can't tell you. Mitchell responded, "We have two injuries." Mitchell replied, "And this (expletive AD) (assistant director), that yelled at my lunch, asking about revisions He's supposed check the guns. He is responsible for everything that happens on the set.
Hannah Gutierrez was not able to reach the Associated Press and several messages were sent to "Rust" production companies did not receive any responses on Friday.
According to court records, Halls took the gun from the cart and brought the firearm inside to the actor. He was also unaware that the firearm contained live rounds. A detective filed a search warrant application.
It is not known how many rounds were fired. Gutierrez took out a shell casing and turned it over to police upon arrival, according to court records.
Sometimes, guns used to make movies can be real weapons that can fire bullets or blanks. These are gunpowder charges designed to produce only a flash and bang.
New Mexico workplace safety investigators are investigating whether film industry standards for gun safety were observed during "Rust." The Los Angeles Times reported that Baldwin's stunt double accidentally fired 2 live rounds five days prior to the shooting after being told it didn't have ammunition.
Crew member, who was concerned by the misfires, sent a text message to a unit production manager saying that "We've now experienced 3 accidental discharges." According to the newspaper, this is extremely dangerous. The New York Times reported that at least two other accidental gun discharges had occurred; three crew members were also cited.
Mitchell, the script supervisor, said to The Associated Press that she was right next to Hutchins at the time the cinematographer hit.
Mitchell stated, "I ran to 911 and said, 'Bring everyone, send everybody.'" "This woman has died at the start of her career." She was an exceptional, rare, and very rare woman.
In a statement to NBC News, Souza, a filmmaker, stated that he was thankful for the support he received and devastated by the loss Hutchins. He said, "She was kind and vibrant, incredibly gifted, and fought for every inch. She always pushed me to do better."
Matthew Hutchins, Hutchins' husband, posted on social media to grieve his wife, request privacy for his family and to thank his mentors at American Film Institute for helping him "nurture the success we had just begun to see flourish."
In response to Hutchins' passing, the conservatory at the institute cancelled cinematography classes Friday.
Around 200 crew members gathered Saturday night for a candlelight Vigil. They shared their grief over the loss of their loved one and their fear of accidents on their film sets.
Many were present to light candles, hold a moment's silence, read poetry, and make brief comments, including one testimonial about her artistic spark.
Liz Pecos, president IATSE Local 480, stated that "her death shouldn't be happened. Union sets should have been safe sets."
After the shooting, production on "Rust," was stopped. According to the Internet Movie Database website, the movie centers on a 13-year old boy who must care for his younger brother and himself after the deaths of his parents in Kansas in 1880s Kansas.
A crew member who spoke with the AP stated that he had never seen any formal orientation regarding weapons on set. This would normally take place before filming starts.
He stated that COVID-19 precautions were not taken, even though cast members and crew often worked in enclosed areas on the ranch.
According to a crew member, the crew initially lived at the Courtyard By Marriot in Santa Fe. They were informed four days later that they would be staying at the Coyote South budget hotel. Some crew members refused to stay there.
Crew member: "We packed our stuff and left that morning," he said about the Thursday walkout.
The walkout was also covered by Variety and the Los Angeles Times.
Gutierrez is the film's armourer and the daughter of a Hollywood firearms expert. In September, she spoke to Voices of the West about how she learned to use guns from her father as a teenager.
Gutierrez revealed that she had just completed her first movie as a head armorer. It was a Montana project starring Nicolas Cage, called "The Old Way."
She said, "I was nervous at first, and almost turned down the job because it was too risky, but it was actually really easy."
Another on-set gun shooting resulted in the death of Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, martial arts legend. The bullet was left in a prop pistol after a previous scene. Similar shootings occurred with stage weapons loaded with live ammunition during historical reenactments.
Steven Hall, a British veteran director of photography, stated that gun-safety protocols on American sets have improved in recent years. He said that the most dangerous position to be in was behind the camera, as this person is often in the line-of-fire in scenes in which an actor seems to point a gun at the audience.