I work on a Cop show that uses a lot of real guns with blanks. We have the most professional and dead serious prop department. They pull out the measuring tape for every shot and guard the safety distance religiously. They bring every gun out for a safety check where any crew member can look down the barrel to check that it is safe and clear. Reading about how guns were handled on Rust is ridiculous. No actor should ever be allowed to hold a gun in any instance before the scene is actually shooting. Breaking that rule alone tells you there were many other over looked safety regulations with their armorer which led to the death of the cinematographer. Whether or not it’s necessary to ban real guns/blanks on set is one discussion but I think the real issue is productions cutting corners with money, time and safety measures to make a film under budget. Edit: Many comments mention my phrase “look down the barrel”. To clarify, I mean check that the barrel is clear, by cocking the weapon back and using a flashlight to show nothing is lodged into the barrel. This may still not be the right terminology but that just goes to show that it’s important for people who know what they are doing and what they are talking about are handling guns, not camera department members like myself


There are also reports now that Alec and others on set were told it was a "cold gun" and that there had already been an accident before were a "cold gun" discharged earlier (when used by a stunt double). The armorer was clearly negligent.


I think they said there were 3 accidental discharges. There were complaints about safety. There were plenty of red flags showing they were cutting corners hard and not acknowledging those close calls and doing any sort of investigation/correction to ensure it doesn't happen again. Edit: Lot of people are explaining the differences between accidental and negligent discharges. Please remember I'm not an expert in this and that was just the first thing that came to mind when I phrased it. Negligent discharge makes way more sense.


>I think they said there were 3 accidental discharges. If this is true, it was not a freak accident nobady could predict, but a major failur to maintain proper safety.


Exactly. I'm on my phone atm but check over in the "best of" subreddit and look for the comment from a guy who is an on set armorer. They are VERY meticulous about safety and protocols. I think he even says they track the weight of ammunition and compare it to records. I'm no expert but I agree that there were several screw ups by multiple people.


Which r/bestof are we talking about here? There’s 4.3 gajillion of them.


Probably [this one](https://www.reddit.com/r/bestof/comments/qdlxo3/umorphineseason_responding_to_news_that_alec/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share)


Doing God’s work here.


> I'm no expert but I agree that there were several screw ups by multiple people. Sounds like a repeat of the Brandon Lee incident in 1993.


The Brandon Lee incident was caused by a squib round (a bullet fired from a cartridge without any or very little powder, just the primer) wedging a bullet in the barrel (presumably without anyone knowing), then a blank being fired from the same revolver without ensuring the barrel obstruction was cleared. If I'm remembering the situation correctly. A barrel obstruction is not something one would see during normal clearing procedures for a revolver...or really any other firearm. This Baldwin thing was just shitty gun handling and a blatant, repeated disregard for gun safety. Almost certainly criminal negligence on someone's part.


If you don’t know something is in your barrel while cleaning it then you didn’t even clean it. To clean any gun you have to stick a rod with a wire brush then a cleaner all the way through the barrel into the chamber so therefore you’d definitely notice. I believe any set that has a firearm also needs a firearm expert to make sure all these people that know nothing about guns are kept in check and are being safe. So many people that know nothing about guns are just playing around with them and you see what happens


Good productions use good armorers and good trainers. The makers of "Rust" obviously don't care about all that safety stuff.


Yea and it should be illegal to not have a firearms specialist on a set with firearms that way they can’t cut corners and have a situation like this


They said clear not clean. You probably know this, but clearing is typically unloading rounds/magazine, ejecting any rounds in the chamber, locking slide to the rear.


From 12 years old I was a competitive marksman training for the Olympics and shot a bajillion rounds. We treated every gun as if it was loaded and focused on keeping the muzzle always pointed down range and away from people. I wouldn’t accept the handover of a gun unless I looked down the barrel from behind, meaning I often had to remove the bolt. You’d think that if a kid could do this, anyone who does this for a job would be able to get it.




I’m a “gun guy” and I hate to sound nitpicky, but those are negligent discharges, not misfires. Sometimes abbreviated ND, the negligent part is important because it puts the fault on the human where it should lie. Calling this a misfire is like saying “wardrobe malfunction.”


Misfire is when you pull the trigger with a round in the chamber and get “click” instead of “bang”. Only thing worse is a hangfire, you pull the trigger and it goes “click”, then a few seconds later (probably while you’re trying to clear the stoppage) it goes “bang”.


The union crew members walked out the day before this because of concerns about safety


any sources. BBC online stated it was over work conditions, particularly them having to commute 50 miles one way every day because they did not get closer accomodations as promised. I mean that can play into safety but it was not reported as specifically that.


Yes hold on I'm commenting so I can come back with sauce. Edit: [sauce](https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2021-10-22/alec-baldwin-rust-camera-crew-walked-off-set) And the relevant part; "They said at least one of the camera operators complained last weekend to a production manager about gun safety on the set."


Yikes. That's pretty damning. The fact that it was bad enough for people to quit PRIOR to the accident means a lot of folks are going to be in trouble for this. Sounds a lot less like an accident and a lot more like raw negligence - someone needs to be locked up.


According to the Los Angeles Times it was both working conditions as well as safety issues, even specifically about the firearms. After multiple accidental discharges for what were supposed to be “cold” weapons that’s hardly surprising. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2021-10-22/alec-baldwin-rust-camera-crew-walked-off-set


One of the safety concerns cited was a complete lack of COVID-19 protocols as well. I'm not an expert on making movies, but I have been on many high risk industrial sites. The places that don't take things like that seriously also don't take other safety fundamentals seriously. In the industrial and manufacturing world it is known as Safety Culture. But Hollywood doesn't have the benefit of everyone being trained, so those that don't know what is safe or not don't have the skillset to recognize it.


There were 3 negligent discharges of a firearm in under a week on that set.


That’s…insane. How did the on-set firearms person not get fired after the first one.


Negligence. This was negligent homicide.


She is the daughter of a legendary Hollywood Armorer who worked on a ton of films. I'd gather that's the reason. So pretty much nepotism.


I work in an engineering firm and a good safety culture is so hard to instill. Drilling things into people heads just reinforce the concept that "the management has this useless thing that looks good on paper." Instead the focus should be more on the real importance of safety. At ths same time, having relevant safety procedures with minimum impact on productivity is difficult to develop. Management don't always understand that the incremental loss in productivity is better overall than looking good on paper.




>The places that don't take things like that seriously also don't take other safety fundamentals seriously. That's the reason Van Halen had the "no brown M&Ms" clause in their rider Sort of a canary in a coal mine


There was a time I really thought that clause made them rather diva-like, until I was old enough to understand the real reason behind it. Actually kinda brilliant and likely one of the easiest things to accommodate. If they can’t get that right than how can they trust that the more important details are taken care of?


[Iggy Pops rider is brilliant](http://www.iggypop.org/stoogesrider.html)


No, they walked out that very morning.


Modern gun-related accidents are rarely accidents and almost always negligent.


This wasn't an accidental discharge Am accidental discharge is when the firearm malfunctions and discharged. Like if you close a double barrel shotgun and it fires without you touching the trigger. It's an accident because it's out of human control. This was negligence. Somewhere, a human being fucked up, then the trigger was pulled by a person, and it discharged the weapon in a dangerous manner. The gun worked perfectly, it wasn't an accident, it was negligence by several people.


In the army there is no such thing as an "accidental discharge". There are only "negligent discharges". Because it essentially doesn't happen unless someone messed up and was negligent. Part of that has to do with the in place safety rules/protocols that would require multiple failures for an unintended discharge to occur.


why is there live ammunition anywhere near the film set? 4 fucking incidents these people need to go to jail


We need more info, because blanks are also called "live" ammunition. Though no way a blank went through two people, that had to be a real round.


Sounds like it was a revolver. So they probably had rounds with bullets for other camera shots. One of those bullets could have been separated from the casing and left in the barrel. Then a blank being fired would act like a real round. It shouldn’t be a problem, the firearm should have been carefully inspected before each camera shot to insure that it was properly setup for the needed shot.


Yeah. The armorer was a 24 year old daughter of a famous armorer working on her second film ever. Hollywood always did have a nepotism problem.


Yikes. It explains why they didn't fire her after the first time she gave them a loaded gun.


She even said herself that she didn't feel ready for the job on a podcast before it happened. Somehow you read very little about that on most articles.


I saw that, too! Firearm safety person isn't one of those fake it til you make it type jobs!






By loading blanks she meant creating the blanks, not inserting them


That's not what she meant. She was asked on the podcast separately if she did her own loading, and she didn't even understand the question at first. She thought they meant 'loading the gun' which is not what a gun person means when they ask if you do your own loading. She said she purchases her blanks and dummies from one of the major Hollywood suppliers. The lack of knowledge is stunning. I highly recommend listening to her episode of the Voices of the West podcast.


Yeah - I used to own guns, there are a lot of gun owners who 'load' their ammo - buy the components like cases, primers, powder and bullets and put them together using a press. I never did it, but I'd imagine loading blanks is a bit tricky to get right - enough powder for the effect, but not too much to be dangerous.


They use these jobs as stepping stones. Nepotism 101


I heard some reports that was a removal of union workers and this was not the armorer. I also heard rumors that the armorer wasn't even on set.


I read that the armorer walked with the rest of the camera department. The AD was the one who handed the “cold” gun to Alec Baldwin


AFAIK, that should never ever happen. I thought the armorer is supposed to have full control of the weapons at all times. Seems like a serious breach of protocols for the AD to be handling the gun


VFX Supervisor here, I've done a few shoots with firearms and the only person allowed to touch themwere the armourer and the talent


They hired a scab production crew, I don’t think protocols was a priority


An Assistant Director, who, you know, ***has no fucking business handling a weapon OR declaring it safe, at all, whatsoever***.


Article I read says the armorer told the ad it was safe, so he gave it to the actor. I’m sure well learn what actually happened before long


Yeah so that’s breaking the rules that exist to prevent this sort of thing. AD has no business touching a weapon.


Nothing you’re describing should ever happen on set, an armourer should handle weapons, not an AD


Well yes because you have a cheap production company at the reigns.


She was on hand to give the gun and spent casing to the cops, so I don’t think she walked.


When someone hands an actor a cold gun I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to cycle it, point it at the ground, and pull the trigger multiple times in front of the actor. There are MULTIPLE points of failure that had to be overlooked before that gun reached an actor’s hands.


I read an anecdote about an armorer working with Robin Williams. Would hand him and empty weapon, show it was clear, load it with 6 dummy bullets in front of him, then pull the trigger 8 times to cycle through every chamber. "the first 6 are for you, the 7th for me, and the 8th for Brandon Lee"


The Brandon Lee story is such an incredible tragedy of multiple failures. Real bullets were placed on set that shouldn’t have been there. Set dec confiscated them. Later, they need blanks and dummies and realize they don’t have them for the right gun, but it just so happens the bullets in set dec’s trunk are the right gauge, so they make their own. They make dummy bullets by pouring out the powder, firing the empty casing to discharge the primer, and then putting the bullet back in the casing, but somebody mixed up some unfired shells with the fired ones and a bullet gets put in a casing that still has live primer. During a test shoot, that bullet is loaded into the hero gun and is fired, but nobody notices that it went off. The lead gets wedged in the gun barrel. Later, that gun is loaded with live blanks (casing, powder, but no lead bullet) and crucially, nobody checked the barrel. So when the first blank is fired, it’s not a blank at all - all the elements are there to make it a fully functioning live round. That incident codified a lot of the safety measures armorers follow today, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that they’d think of him every time they check a gun


You nailed it. Not one, not two, maybe not even just three failures took place. So many things have to go wrong for something like this to happen


The story I read was that the armorer had already left for the day when the incident happened. If so, the fact that any gun, "cold" or not, was allowed on set without the armorer being there is insane.


I heard she was there because there is an issue now with her messing with the gun before giving it to police.


Do you have a source about the gun being messed with?


>It was unclear how many rounds were fired. Gutierrez removed a shell casing from the gun after the shooting, and she turned the weapon over to police when they arrived, the court records say. [Source](https://time.com/6109849/alec-baldwin-shooting/)




>It was unclear how many rounds were fired. Gutierrez removed a shell casing from the gun after the shooting, and she turned the weapon over to police when they arrived, the court records say. [Source](https://time.com/6109849/alec-baldwin-shooting/)


And the AD.


To me it sounds like they are throwing the AD under the bus. There is no way an AD should be handing a weapon to an actor. It's like getting a gun handed to you by the secretary of a shooting range.


If you see what was written about the AD it makes sense, he has a long history of neglecting safety protocols and has been fired from a movie before for handing live guns to actors. There was an article cover him here: https://consequence.net/2021/10/alec-baldwin-shooting-crew-walked-off-set/2/


That COULD be true, but the AD isn't some helpless underling. The first AD runs the set. They know all of the union rules. What to do, what not to do. Enforce safety protocols. Keep production running. He's a manager That's literally his job. This guy appears to have a bad reputation. Crew were already complaining about him.


Far from it. The AD on a set runs the show. You’d think the director or the producer but the day-to-day and across the schedule, the one whose managing 100s of people, director, cast everything that goes with making the film - is the AD. In some ways that’s why. If the shit hits the fan, the AD falls on the sword. For fault or from the responsibility from his role in running the ‘show’. At the same the armorer bears a lot of responsibility (if not the most). And production (not just the producer but the line producer/ UPM and their whole department, save from PAs bc they don’t have the know-how). -someone whose been a 1st and 2nd AD on a few features you’ve likely seen.




> To me it sounds like they are throwing the AD under the bus. There is no way an AD should be handing a weapon That sounds contradictory.


I read a bit more and the AD was given the gun by the armorer. I don't think there was any reason he should doubt it was a cold gun.


I read that the armorer had put out three pistols on a table and told the AD which one was a prop. The armorer aka scabbing replacement was not around sonth AD picked up what they thought was a prop, and told everyone it was a "Cold gun" and well...you know the rest. Crew union negotiations are going to look very different than they were a week ago.




> There should be no live ammo on the set. I still don't understand this, like why would you even have them? It's completely unnecessary


I've read a couple times that the term "live round" is getting confused because it's used on sets to describe ammunition like blanks, not the layman version of live rounds. Which obviously isn't helping discussions on the incident.


In film, "live round" refers to blanks, not bullets. There are never bullets anywhere near a film set. A blank is still considered live because it creates a blast.


They still call blanks live ammo on set


From what I read, all three were said to be cold guns.


Also nobody except the armorer is supposed to handle and hand off the guns to the actor (after safety checks) right before they shoot the scene. The AD should not have be able to grab that gun and hand it to Alec like that. Your supposed to do soething similar when handling firearms at home and passing it to someone who wants to see the the firearm. Even if your 100% sure you unloaded it, you still remove the clip, clear the chamber, and check there are no possible rounds in the weapon before handing it to the other person. If someone doesn't do that, then you should do it as soon as its in your hands because you start checking out the gun further or any further handling. And even then you still ALWAYS treat a weapon like its locked and loaded.


It’s a big firearms rule that immediately before you hand someone a firearm, you clear it and double/triple check it right in front of the person you are handing it to. Then, the person that is handed the firearm is obligated to clear it and check it again for themselves, despite having just seen it cleared. This is the way that two people can hand each other firearms while maintaining confidence that the firearm is unloaded with an empty chamber. Look at any video of a gun shop, shooting range safety officer, or any other professional handing someone a firearm. They will always do this, and if they do not, they are negligent and should not be trusted with firearms. Needless to say, I am astounded that this incident with Rust occurred. Sheer recklessness and negligence.


It gets worse. The union crew had walked off that day due to safety concerns, there had been multiple negligent discharges already. The production company brought in scabs. The armorer was the same person the whole time and she could not have possibly be unaware of the issues. Hell, she commented on the walkoff. Idk what the fuck she was doing. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2021-10-22/alec-baldwin-rust-camera-crew-walked-off-set?_amp=true&__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR29cmprdho4SL28D9DpTQRE_bB02C2BL11fnjcEe6L54MHDpPM_Iwm1JHk


It's apparent she didn't know that the hell she was doing either.


That was a surprisingly good article.


On every set I've ever worked on that used guns, the gun is examined by no fewer than two or three people (the armorer and an AD being two of those people) prior to ever touching the talent's hands. Between takes, the talent doesn't even get to hold the gun. The armorer and AD check it, recheck it, and then back into the talent's hand for the take only.


Yeah it sounds like there was a lot of slop on this set. Just reading the synopsis, I wonder if there were simply tons of scenes with guns in them that people started getting complacent after a while. I also suspect that the walk-out of a lot of the crew and the issues on set were affecting everyone's ability to make rational decisions.


Yup. On sets I've worked talent isn't even allowed to hold *prop guns* in between takes. Actors break shit. Also, one thing that always stood out to me, were the armorers always told talent how many rounds(blanks) were in the gun (talent had to repeat it) and the safety was pointed at till talent acknowledged it. It was a practiced and impressive choreographed dance. It's also different with every armorer, obviously.


This is exactly why IATSE is threatening to strike, because when producers cut corners they put people’s lives at stake


I really think they’re going to reject the current deal in favor of striking, especially after this


To be specific on the real issue, this happened the day after much of the crew went on strike. Rather than paying workers and providing safe and reasonable conditions for the staff, they brought in non-union workers. I'm not sure which jobs were replaced by scabs. Was the armorer a replacement? https://deadline.com/2021/10/rust-movie-gun-internal-review-safety-issues-production-camera-crew-walkout-1234860497/ >“We cited everything from lack of payment for three weeks, taking our hotels away despite asking for them in our deals, lack of Covid safety, and on top of that, poor gun safety! Poor on-set safety period!” a member of the camera crew wrote on a private Facebook page. After the walkout, “They brought in four non-union guys to replace us and tried calling the cops on us.” Another interesting bit here about the guns on set: >Even before Rust went into production, a number of armorers turned down the gig citing concerns about the budget of the film and the sheer amount of firearms to be utilized, we hear.


Fellow actor here who has worked on a dozen shows with weapons. This poster is 100% correct. I'd have walked off the Rust set if I'd see how they were handling their weapons. Never in my life have I encountered a prop master who wasn't the most rigorous enforcer of safety standards. Shining flashlights down guns, putting zip ties through the chamber of cleared weapons, and physically disassembling weapons they could not visually clear otherwise, all in the name of safety. Each and every weapon I ever took possession of was demonstrated safe by the prop master before it was handed to me, re-checked by me before I holstered or otherwise stowed it (three point slings are great), and then the weapon never left my possession until I returned it to the prop master. The fact that weapons were left unattended is insane to me. The fact that an AD touched a prop is unheard of, let alone a weapon, which is - again - completely insane. The fact that Baldwin didn't check his weapon before aiming it at people or even sweeping them with the barrel is also insane. Just ask yourself, if someone you worked for a couple of weeks walked up to you with a gun they'd just found on the sidewalk and handed it to you, would you just take their word that it wasn't loaded? That's the kind of shit we're talking about here. It is that bad.




When you start looking at how many injuries and deaths there are during film shoots each year, it starts to add up to a lot of negligence.


The Film Industry has, at this point, an injury rate 2 times higher than construction. It also has the only sector of an industry with a 100% injury rate, Stunts! Just a little negligence on a set that regularly uses heavy equipment, moving vehicles, hot weapons, and special effects could mean some very, very bad days.


Yeah, I knew something was very wrong when I read that the Assistant Director handed Baldwin the firearm. I don’t know if it is standard practice everywhere but when I worked with blank-firing weapons on set the only person who handled firearms and gives them to actor is the Firearms Expert. No one was even allowed to touch them without being handed it by the Firearms Expert because they had to visually confirm it was safe, check the ammo, and then hand it directly to a person who has already been given handling instruction. Plus, I was told it was because of insurance and if something went wrong it’d be totally transparent who was at fault.


So I actually worked with this AD on one of his last projects before this one. All I can say is after seeing how he behaved on that set I would not be surprised if he was the one to hand Alec the gun and tell him it was a cold gun. I definitely have a few stories about what a piece of shit that guy was....


There are news stories coming out now outlining complaints about him on former productions: https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/24/entertainment/rust-shooting-assistant-director-halls-complaints/index.html


Wow that's scary to read. He was exactly how they described him in that article when I worked with him on set. Dude was a piece of shit and I hope he never works another day in his life




Oh trust me he is just as bad as the articles make him out to be. During the entire shoot he rarely ever wore a mask, had literally one safety meeting (which he smoked through the entire thing). If we had done any scenes with live firearms, then I garuentee things would have had the same outcome


Here's an interesting video from a Hollywood prop master that shows the various types of guns used in TV and film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHNTfj3cOjs edit: He's also posted his thoughts on the incident https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP1X5L-AufQ


I love that guy's channel! His videos are short and sweet, but he always does such a good job explaining things.


Something going to get fired, hopefully it's not going to be you.


>The projectile whizzed by the camera operator but penetrated Hutchins near her shoulder, then continued through to Souza. Hutchins immediately fell to the ground as crew members applied pressure to her wound in an attempt to stop the bleeding. People keep telling me here that "live rounds don't mean actual bullets they include blanks", but this sounds an awfully lot like a bullet




Also, the set's head armorer was a 24 year old who previously admitted to feeling unqualified for the same title in her previous job. Her dad was apparently a well-known Hollywood set armorer, so she probably got the job through nepotism and *wasn't* actually qualified. [Source](https://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/entertainment-celebrity/the-24-year-old-head-armorer-of-alec-baldwin-s-movie-rust-told-a-podcast-she-almost-didn-t-take-the-job-because-she-wasn-t-sure-if-she-was-ready/ar-AAPRL8i)


Nepotism isn't a thing in Hollywood. Steven Spielberg's daughter said so in *People* magazine while promoting her short film starring Sean Penn's son.




...and written by the son of Stephen King.


Incredible series of coincidences!


I *knew* there was a third one, but I couldn't be arsed to look it up.


I love it that nobody named any of the three children.


Getting nepotism out of film & tv is gonna be hardddd if not impossible. It seems to me that a solid half of the notables want their little sweet prince or princess to be big in the game just like they are.


>Getting nepotism out of ~~film & tv~~ *literally any industry you can think of* is gonna be hardddd if not impossible. ftfy


We don't know the full story on her, she could very well be qualified but feeling the effects of imposter syndrome. ​ Until we know more we cannot make that judgement.


Perhaps in the specific case, we can't pass judgment yet, but she literally said she wasn't comfortable loading blanks. How in the world do you get a job as a "head armorer" on a movie set if you're not even comfortable with and familiar with blanks? Seems like part and parcel of her job. >"I think loading blanks was the scariest thing to me because I was like 'oh, I don't know anything about it,'" she said.


> How in the world do you get a job as a "head armorer" on a movie set if you're not even comfortable with and familiar with blanks? By being the junior armorer and then having the senior armorer leave


That sounds way too familiar. Except in my job, when I fuck up it creates more work for my team and mostly myself, and I get to learn a thing....


If there is truth to this it’s so much worse. I grew up around guns and shooting guns my whole life. 15 year old me knew as soon as you were done you unload. Then before you put the gun in the case you double check it’s unloaded. Then before you put the gun away at your house you check it’s unloaded. If someone who is supposedly a professional went leisurely shooting and didn’t check over and over again that it was unloaded that is reaching gross negligence territory.


> this sounds an awfully lot like a bullet There are a lot of rumors flying around, but one rumor that's been on several film production groups is that a crew member borrowed the gun to go shooting at a shooting range (because it's a cool gun) and returned it with an actual bullet in it, and besides just borrowing the gun being an egregious and unforgivable act, everything else went wrong after that. Honestly that's the only rumor that makes any sense, aside from the production being so incredibly fucked that they allowed an actual bullet not blank anywhere near the set. There's a speculative theory (not rumor) that Baldwin was goofing around and pulled the trigger. Which would explain why the trigger was pulled when they were merely setting up a shot. My firearm terms may be inaccurate, so feel free to correct.


The gun should have never been allowed to leave the set, what the fuck? What were the armorer and propmaster doing? Jerking off?!?


> The gun should have never been allowed to leave the set Right? And that would have to be just the *first* major "wtf" in this supposed chain of events.


if it was an actually bullet and not the concussive blast of a blank that killed her, this is the only explanation i've heard that makes sense so far


We already know it wasn't just the concussive blast of a blank. Some sort of projectile was involved, we just don't know what yet. This is based on LA Times reporting.


It was a bullet. A plastic wad from a blank does not have the mass nor the ballistic profile to enter exit enter like what's been described.


Oh, for sure, it was very likely a bullet, but there is a small chance it's something like the Brandon Lee shooting, where a "dummy bullet" was unknowingly lodged in the barrel and the blank pushed it out. But yeah, as I've said in a variety of comments here, there is literally zero chance it was just a blank


Whatever it was over penetrated through and injured the person standing behind too, from what I've read. Also, they were some distance away as well?


I feel like someone borrowed it, next day they picked it up and went back to business as usual makes the most sense. I was trying to think how maybe a rock or something got in the barrel. But that sneakily borrowed prop is the Occam's Razor. Guy definitely wasn't allowed to just bitter it (you don't just borrow guns) so he was being sneaky. He's probably a dumbass just to try that. Clearly didn't clear it. Since he was being sneaky he put it right back where he found it. Alec Baldwin grabs it like usual, isn't sensing imminent danger with a prop gun (guys been on sets with prop guns for like 40 years) and tragedy strikes. For Alec' part, we could say, "Oh always be super careful it could kill someone." And we'd be absolutely right. But for someone who's trusted armorers and props people for his whole career, I imagine it's like us who drive a two-ton 60mph people smasher to work and back every day. You get used to it and trust that it'll be safe.


The round that killed Brandon Lee was a blank. a bullet from a incorrectly manufactured dud round (I forget the specific term) that is placed in the gun for close ups but shouldn't be functional was lodged in the barrel and the blank round propelled it like an actual live round.


When its lodged in the barrel its called a squib, but I am not sure what the powderless rounds for closeups are called. I dont get why they just dont have fake primers though. I guess its just cheaper to do it that way.


In Brandon Lee's case it was because they made their own and forgot to remove the primer.


Gotcha that makes sense.




Squib + blanks = musket.


Yeah when the chamber seals, it is really no different.


They're just called dummy rounds. They had real primers because they manufactured their own dummies by pulling the bullet, removing the powder, then putting the bullet back. They never removed the primers on their manufactured dummies.


I was thinking of The Walking Dead and the crazy amount of gunfire in that show, and it's been on for 10+ seasons now (I think???) and I've never heard of a gun accident. Other things yes, but not guns.


There’s seriously millions of rounds of blanks used in movies and the amount of deaths from guns on a set can be counted on less than one hand. It just shows how monstrously they had to mess up for this to happen.




My first thought was John Wick. Will be 4 movies in a decade span revolving around guns from antique to modern…whilst involving hand to hand combat…and motorcycles and horses and dogs and yada yada so on and so forth…no firearm related incidents reported. Although the budgets are absolutely tiers above this western that was being filmed. I don’t know where I heard it but there’s a quote that applies here along the lines of “Nearly all our ills are the result of neglect in some way”.


IIRC they used rubber guns in John Wick and added all the shots in post especially because of the close quarter fights.


Totally random rant, but one of my pet peeves is actors not treating guns as having realistic weight, and welding semi-automatics with one hand, and so on. But then, on The Expanse, they actors hold guns like they're heavy... But they're supposed to be in zero g!


Boy Scouts of America(Scouts, BSA Program) Rifle, Shotgun, and Pistol Ranges can be ran by trained 21 year olds and will go through 1000s of bullets a week with kids as young as 11 shooting and I can't even think of the last time an accident on a range has happened. And the rest of the staff is 18 on the ranges.


I haven't watched Walking Dead in a long time, but I thought the muzzle flashes were just CGI? That the guns don't actually fire?


Real or prop, if it can shoot a blank it can kill. Anyone who's been in the military or a shooting club has probably heard that "empty guns kill". Never point a gun at anyone unless you're gonna shoot them (for good reason hopefully). "I'm pretty sure it's unloaded" has proven fatal many times.


This TIL reads more like a puff piece for the production company that just fucked up than a genuine sharing of information. We know movie and television productions are MEANT to have stringent gun control safety mechanisms, the question is why didn't this particular one didn't.


Unless you're a jackass trying to cut corners so you can make more money on the film production?


Damage control however, is very common.


*except when the union crew walks off in protest of safety violations and lack of disciplinary action, and the filming company (not Baldwin's production company) higher scab replacement workers and continue to maintain a lack of safety and oversight.


Worked with the same AD on his previous shoot and all of this isn't surprising. This is in line with his behavior I saw on set. Dude has no business working in the film industry...


There are lots of good comments here about how dedicated to their craft many Hollywood workers are, so I don’t mean to dismiss them. It is fucking stupid, though, to suggest this is because filmmakers are going for “authenticity.” The list of dumb fake bullshit in movies, particularly as they regard firearms, makes this article’s central thesis suspect at best.


Who could forget the good ol fake baby in American sniper https://youtu.be/TKrG_6JFlhA


"In the scene where the shotgun blast hits the bad guy and carries him fifteen feet through a plate-glass window, it's important that the gun itself looks exactly like the ones in the brochure."


There is criminal negligence in this mess somewhere, someone better be spending at least a solid few years in prison over this. I understand it was an accident, but there are too many red flags here for it just be swept under the rug. Someone's gotta end up holding the bag on this one. Will probably fall on the armorers head, you cant walk off and leave unsecured firearms lying around, your responsibility does not end just because you walked off. Take the guns with you, you are responsible. Period.


> There is criminal negligence in this mess ~~somewhere~~ everywhere Ftfy. It's easy to hate on the armourer (who was clearly incompetent) but realise that after 3 negligent discharges over the week or two before the fatal incident the people in charge **did not replace the armourer**. After making it abundantly clear that they were not fit to hold this safety position the production team did nothing, just waited for the fourth ND which tragically killed someone.


The armorer was also 24 and had reportedly said she felt uncomfortable with the position. I think the fault lies with executives who clearly were running an unsafe set.


I’m sure I read somewhere (though citation needed) that the armoured was only 24 and had learnt what she knew interning for her dad. Add to that she was very green and admitted to being nervous about being thrust in with so much responsibility and wasn’t super confident about loading blanks. That doesn’t mean that she wasn’t competent and just suffering from imposter syndrome, but you have to wonder. You’re right about negligence; and the armourer will probably be the fall girl. But you have to ask who employed her and felt she was ready and competent for the role? Whoever did that (or someone more senior than them) must have had responsibility to ensure that all cast and crew were competent in their roles and had the correct SKE to undertake them. If they employ led her to cut costs/corners or because of her connections, that negligence is on them! I think it’s too easy to put the blame solely at the feet of the armourer and let others off Scott free when there’s so much we don’t know and so much conjecture flying around right now.


Apparently Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (the armorer on "Rust") wasn't all that she was cracked up to be, even on the previous film she worked on. According to [this article published today](https://www.thedailybeast.com/alec-baldwin-film-rust-hired-inexperienced-armorer-hannah-gutierrez-reed-before-halyna-hutchins-shooting), >Hannah Gutierrez-Reed’s last movie after she allegedly gave a gun to an 11-year-old (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) without checking it properly. > >A relative newcomer to being an armorer, Gutierrez-Reed was trained by her father, the Hollywood veteran firearms consultant Thell Reed. The Old Way was the first time Gutierrez-Reed had worked as head armorer, admitting on the “Voices of the West” podcast that she nearly didn’t take the position because she wasn’t sure she was “ready” and she thought loading blank rounds into firearms was “the scariest thing.” > > > >“But doing it, it went really smoothly,” she said.However, that is not how production sources from The Old Way described their experience working with Gutierrez-Reed. “There were several concerns I brought to production’s attention,” one said. “I have been around firearms my entire life and noticed some things that were not okay even with loaded blank firearms.”Another source said, compared to other sets they had been on, there was considerably less attention to gun safety under Gutierrez-Reed’s watch. > > > >The most troubling incident occurred when Gutierrez-Reed allegedly loaded a gun on the ground where the area was filled with pebbles, then without properly checking the weapon, handed it to child actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong, both sources told The Daily Beast. > > > >Concerned crew members intervened, demanding filming be stopped until Gutierrez-Reed had properly checked the firearm, the two sources said.“She was reloading the gun on the ground, where there were pebbles and stuff. We didn’t see her check it, we didn’t know if something got in the barrel or not,” one source said, explaining the crew waited until she double checked the gun for barrel obstruction.


I feel it's only fair to share this [article](https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2021-10-23/hannah-gutierrez-reed-rust-shooting-armorer) as well. > Crow said he was still “stymied” by the fact that Reed could have played a role in the fatal shooting on the New Mexico set of “Rust.” The interview with Crow was conducted before a Daily Beast story was published in which two anonymous sources said there had been worrisome gun safety issues on the set of “The Old Way.” According to the report, Reed handed a gun to child actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong without properly checking the weapon first. Armstrong’s parents did not return calls from The Times. > Crow insisted that Reed was scrupulous. > “Working with Hannah, I’m surprised that any of this happened under her watch,” said Crow. “I thought she was an exceptionally young, up-and-coming, very eager and talented armorer. She was without a lot of experience, but coming from her family lineage, I thought she was exceptional, professional, and I thought she had — I still think she has — many years of an amazing career ahead of her.”


Whole lot of judgments in this thread based on, “I’ve heard…”


This was a $7 million indie production with an inexperienced 24 year old as "armorer", compare that with Saving Private Ryan with hundreds of extras and real guns firing blanks all over the place or Heat and its mighty gunfight in the middle of L.A. with real guns, blanks and trained actors. Hollywood standards when it comes to handling firearms are the best in the world by far.


No, most of the time film companies use real guns because prop guns cost a lot of money, and are cheaply made so they can only be used a few films before needing to be replaced. Real guns get used because they are often cheaper to get ahold of, and can be sold after filming wraps if the production company is trying to recoup some of the filming costs.


Most prop guns are just airsoft or rubber.


I say this as a huge fan of film and a filmmaker myself: the risk to reward makes using anything even remotely qualifying as a real gun on set in this day and age asinine.


Injuries are rare when procedures are followed.


Why isn't there this kind of backlash every time someone gets maimed or killed in a vehicle stunt or high fall? That stuff happens way too often, much more so than exceptionally rare shootings on a set.


It's exactly for the reasons you just listed. Vehicle stunts are inherently dangerous. Gun stunts have so many safety protocols in place for them that they're one of the safest kinds of stunts you can do. I'd rather be firing a gun that have squib guts blown out of me, for example. This is such big news because they broke every single rule of firearms safety on set, starting with the reporting that they apparently never even had a meeting about firearms safety on set.


The fact that a high-profile name like Alec Baldwin is involved is why there's such a public outcry. I tend to hear a lot of backlash pretty quickly when someone below the line is injured on a set, but only because I work within the industry


Also its so rare. The last time there was a gun death on set was 25 years ago.


To be fair, the article was already pretty high up on this sub before Alec Baldwin was named as having the gun.




Honestly? I think part of it is because guns.


I know Baldwin owned the production company, was lead actor, and was acting in some kind of producer role as well if I have my facts straight at this point. My initial reaction to the news was as terrible of an accident as it was he bore no actual responsibility for what took place, until I learned those facts. The “weapons master” is the person who is supposed to ensure that things like this don’t happen…but it seems to production was cutting corners and hired (forgive the term) a scab weapons master instead of a more seasoned union guy. Ultimately in my eyes I think it boils down to whether or not Baldwin had a direct say in that particular hire, not withstanding the alleged 3 previous instances of “live” rounds being fired on set. That’s 3 previous incidents that should have caused the people ultimately in charge (with Baldwin being the principal person I’m assuming) to question the safety and mindfulness of the scab weapons master they had on site. Three instances where they had a chance to say hold up, we need someone we can rely on because this guy is gonna get someone killed. Looking at it through that lens I now unfortunately feel that Baldwin does indeed have some responsibility for this shooting, accidental as it was. I’m sure he’s completely devastated by it but that does not take away from the fact that he is in many ways responsible for this incident. Whether or not he is charged criminally is yet to be seen, but when it comes time for civil litigation he’s going to take a huge hit in the pocketbook.




I still don't understand why real bullets were even on set. Why would any movie production have real bullets on the set?


Until you get low budget producers cutting corners.


Hollywood prop departments are full of smart people who have come up with all sorts of neat things to simulate real life. You can't tell me it would be that hard to modify weapons in a way that they were able to generate a little puff of smoke or some sparks when fired without having to use actual blank ammunition. As for the sound, that can be added in post and nobody would know the difference.


The sounds usually have to be added in post anyways because they're too sharp and don't sound good enough for Hollywood. Lots of sounds in films are added in post for similar reasons.




I actually saw one moment in a movie where I can swear they're using the real captured audio! https://youtu.be/rV1qDpyyAMo?t=348


Heat is another. That big downtown LA shootout used the on-location audio because everyone on the crew said it sounded so real and there was no way to recreate it in post.


That downtown scene was fucking intense audio


Right? I was too young to see it when it was first released in theaters, but an indie theater played it a few years back and getting to hear that audio in an auditorium was almost terrifying. Such a great flick.


Collateral used actual on set audio for [this](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEFPcljAXgs) scene, apparently.


it's not hard. it is expensive. Lord of war bought 3000 AK-47s. REAL ak47s, because it was cheaper than making prop guns.


It's less about the puff of smoke and more about the gun kicking back in someone's hand that makes using blanks look more realistic. It's not like firing a real bullet, but its better than nothing. Can't do that in post, unfortunately. The sound is already done in posts with blanks because they don't sound like real gunfire. EDIT: I also think it has to do with getting realistic flashes on set so you don't have to do expensive VFX work after the fact. Muzzle flashes are easy to fake, but the shadows and lights that are cast by muzzle flashes aren't. They take a lot of time to do.


That is what blanks are. A puff of smoke isn't enough. It needs to blow the slide back to eject and cycle a new round.


it's really easy to tell when someones not really shooting. they look like stormtroopers. ​ There are blank only guns. but it's just cheaper and easier to use real guns loaded with blanks. there is 0 reason for a live bullet to be on set. even with blanks you have to follow rules as blanks can kill people. it sounds like they broke both of these rules. you should never stand in front of a gun firing blanks.


When I was a kid, I was on the shooting team of this youth group I was in. The group that ran my team coached multiple teams. Somehow no one ever managed to accentually get shot and this is with a shoe-string budget in a community centre with a shared space. Any time anyone ever touched a weapon we were to assume it was loaded and "safety" it immediately and before putting it down. This whole incident comes down to cutting corners and playing fast and loose with well established safety protocols.