October 22, 2021

Alec Baldwin shot and killed the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

I'm reading "Alec Baldwin Fatally Shoots Crew Member With Prop Firearm, Authorities Say" (NYT).
According to Ms. Hutchins’s website, she was originally from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She studied journalism in Ukraine and film in Los Angeles. She called herself a “restless dreamer” and an “adrenaline junkie” on her Instagram profile....

“Rust” is a movie about a 13-year-old boy who goes on the run with his estranged grandfather after the accidental killing of a local rancher....
How can it happen that a prop gun is loaded?
The shooting echoed an accident on a movie set in 1993 in which the actor Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, was shot and killed during a scene when a bullet that was lodged in the barrel of a gun was discharged along with a blank cartridge.
Here's one photo of Hutchins from her Instagram page:

ADDED: From Showbiz 411: 
It was one bullet that discharged from the prop gun on the Santa Fe movie “Rust” and killed the director of photography and wounded the movie’s director. An eyewitness on set tells this column that the bullet went straight through the body of DP Halyna Hutchins and into the clavicle of the film’s director Joel Souza....
On the ground, Baldwin was in shock but composed. He kept asking why he was handed a “hot gun.” Our eyewitness said Baldwin kept saying “In all my years, I’ve never been handed a hot gun.” “A hot gun” means a gun with real ammunition. 

You're supposed to assume any gun is loaded, no matter how unlikely you think that is. I wonder if he pointed the gun straight at the woman and fired. This was one bullet and it went straight through the cinematographer's body and into the director. 

Was that pure accident or was it aimed? The repetition of the question Why was I handed a hot gun? seems like something you'd say if you'd aimed. Otherwise, wouldn't you be repeating something more like "Oh, my God" or "My God, that poor woman" or "Halyna, my God, I'm so sorry"? He advanced right to the stage of blaming others.

Baldwin, not knowing the fate of the victims, was taken immediately to the hospital. “He had no idea how badly they were hurt or Halyna was dead.” 
“Rust” is a Tier 1 one movie, meaning it was being produced for under $6 million. Our source says: “They had safety meetings every day but it was a Tier I movie, so they probably didn’t have more than 1 prop person.”...

181 comments:

rhhardin said...

Who was the gun scripted to shoot, is the question.

Iman said...

I always knew he had it in him.

Patrick said...

That's just terrible. Very sad for the woman. I'm sure Baldwin is just beside himself. How sad.

Frank said...

Alec Baldwin obviously does not know how to safely handle a firearm. You NEVER point a gun at a person unless you intend to shoot them. Negligent manslaughter.

Crimso said...

"a bullet that was lodged in the barrel of a gun was discharged along with a blank cartridge"

Squib games.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Can’t wrap my head around how he could shoot TWO people with a prop gun. But then the Brandon Lee “accident” has never been explained either. That being said, responsible adults who respect firearms always treat them as if they are loaded so as to avoid putting others at risk. Maybe he was supposed to point it towards the director and DP. Hard to tell from the minimal facts available.

Humperdink said...

Why in the world would avowed lefty produce a movie with guns in it?

gilbar said...

What "Sportsman" NEEDS these blank rounds?
Back in 1776, did the Founders envision a Constitutional NEED, for blank rounds?
NO! and NO!

What We NEED, is sensible blank round control!!!! Enough People Have Died! ENOUGH!!!

MadisonMan said...

What a sad thing to read. My mind, however, immediately wonders: Did someone in the props crew arrange this so she would be killed? (I read too many mysteries).
News items I've seen note Baldwin in tears. This must be a dreadful thing to happen to him -- but it's worse for her.

tim maguire said...

There are a handful of stories about prop guns killing people. Usually because someone thought that, since it's a prop gun, there are no safety issues. They think a prop gun is like a cap gun. It's ironic, but in a way to be expected, that the sort of people who kill someone with a prop gun are the same sort of people who think people shouldn't be allowed to own guns.

rwnutjob said...

https://twitter.com/AlecBaldwln____/status/911425278123048960

Ryan said...

There needs to be a thorough investigation. Was Alec on something? What was his mood? He is notoriously mercurial (remember the Words With Friends incident on the tarmac?) How did a real bullet end up in the chamber? Etc.

Achilles said...

This just doesn't happen on accident.

It just doesn't.

Blanks look nothing like live ammunition. You cannot mistake them. "Bullets" don't get randomly lodged in barrels either.

These stories are complete bullshit. They are trying to feign ignorance and stupidity.

This was murder. Period.

And Baldwin is guilty of manslaughter at minimum if not murder outright. You clear your weapon and check your chamber when you pickup a gun. It is a weapon that you are responsible for when you wield it.

This was not the gun's fault. It was Baldwin's fault. He has always been a piece of shit though.

So are the liberals who will inevitably blame the gun.

DanTheMan said...

>>How can it happen that a prop gun is loaded?

Second rule of gun safety: "Every gun is always loaded"

The first rule is "Always point the muzzle in a safe direction"
The third rule is "Finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot"

Alec following any one of those rules would have saved Ms. Hutchins, and now he has the rest of his life to regret a one second mistake.
Tragedy all around...

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Blanks" often have plugs in them that can be dangerous at close range. Or it could have been loaded with live ammunition (either loaded by mistake, or someone got the wrong pistol.)

MikeR said...

What, he pointed a gun at someone and fired? Wow.
I'm sure he's all contrite. The perfect murder.

rehajm said...

It wouldn’t have to have been a live round. What is referred to as a ‘blank’ is often a live round without a metal projectile, with extra wadding or paper instead, but you still get the muzzle flash and recoil. They are still very dangerous. I don’t see what kind of gun it was but certainly with a shotgun you could be killed by the blast at close range.

Given it was the cinematographer that was killed you can imagine they could have set up a facing shot with the camera looking down the barrel.

Horrible.

Temujin said...

It's a very sad way to lose a life, and injure another who's life may be changed forever. Not sure how this happened, but I guess it's almost a shock that it doesn't happen more on movie/tv sets. They are probably not all run securely, with gun-knowledgeable people handling the goods.

This seems particularly sad for the young woman who was killed, having come so far in her life to this point, and then dying needlessly like this. I hate to see young people killed.

As for Alec...I already see his future as the most obnoxious gun-control advocate in the country. It's his only way back to quick acceptance.

Richard said...

If you dig up a French musket at Yorktown, it's bloody well loaded. All guns are loaded all the time.
A blank lacks a bullet. It does not lack energy and it may have wadding instead of a bullet. In order to be realistic, the energy comes out the end of a tube about a third of an inch in diameter and is thus concentrated.
Decades ago, an up-and-comer, new actor in an adventure series, played ball for UMich, was fooling around with a prop gun and pretended to blow his brains out. Put the barrel to his skull and fired. The energy in the blank round, concentrated at his skull, blew his brains out.
Blanks used in semi auto or full auto have enough energy to cycle the mechnanism(s) and still look realistic.
At least, with sword fights, nobody thinks there's such a thing as a blank sword and people will be careful.
There's supposed to be a gun guy on the set to keep these overpaid mobile manikins from screwing themselves up.
Fifty plus years ago, at Infantry training at Ft. Jackson, I heard we went through a million rounds a week. This stuff didn't happen, which proves the average grunt is smarter than a lot of people, including actors.

Temujin said...

The other point that was made is a basic in gun handling: Always treat a gun as loaded. NEVER point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. Never have your finger on the trigger until you are sure of your target and know what is beyond it.

Actors handling guns should be taught this up front. As the rest of us are.

gilbar said...

NO Movie should EVER be allowed to have ANY representation of Death Dealing GUNS!!!
WHY is Hollywood allowed, to Continue MURDERING People, just for Ticket sales?
What sort of World IS This??

rehajm said...

…just mistaking a real round for a blank. The blast could have broken camera equipment and turned the shards into deadly projectiles. A round could have been overcharged (a warning to those out there who load their own)…Any number of things could have gone wrong…

Amexpat said...

There's not enough information to make a judgement about fault. But if Baldwin did as directed, such as aiming at the camera and shooting, then the fault would not be with him but with whoever was responsible for loading prop gun with blanks.

M Jordan said...

Two unlikely possibilities:
1. The gun loader was a Trump supporter and hence Baldwin hater. He/she loaded the gun knowing Baldwin’s penchant for clowning around.
2. The woman killed was a Trump supporter. (She is Ukrainian and worked on a Soviet military base.) She somehow triggered Baldwin and he went berserk. He has a history.

I hope neither is the case but politics is infused in everything these days. I always liked Baldwin as an actor and a comic actor but his hate for Republicans an especially Cheney and Trump was ugly. I do feel deeply sorry for him as his career is over and his golden years ruined.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Why’s Hollywood obsessed with gun play and so opposed to their legitimate use? When a CGI can easily replace guns why are they still playing with fire like this? Seems irresponsible and unnecessarily dangerous given the stupidity of the people who act. Do they crash real planes? Blow up real Death Stars? Then why in hell do they use actual firearms? I mean besides Hollywood glorifying guns so much, where else in our culture do guns get such loving obsessed PR?

Mark O said...

Did he fire twice? Was it a single bullet? Could it be JFK's "magic bullet?"

TreeJoe said...

I don't understand how a loaded gun gets pointed at a photography director and the trigger accidentally gets pulled. I mean Brandon Lee was in the middle of a scene, where the prop was being used, aimed as intended, and it was a blank cartridge with a squib load in the barrel.

Kathy from Boston said...

I feel so bad for this woman and her family and I hate myself for where my thought process is taking me. The hypocrites in Hollywood continue to make films where guns are the main character.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The FBI probably plotted it all out. she had the goods on Hunter.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

why would a prop gun be loaded?

DanTheMan said...

>>And Baldwin is guilty of manslaughter at minimum if not murder outright.

Let's wait until we have some facts before we convict him of murder.
He may well have acted recklessly. Or it may be just a terrible accident.

I had an accident with a firearm as a young man. Luckily, no one was injured, if you don't count my pride.

mikee said...

Some actors know how to handle guns, and some don't. Knowledge is power.

Maynard said...


Who was the gun scripted to shoot, is the question.


Excellent question. The script obviously did not call for Baldwin to shoot the cinematographer.

It sounds like he was screwing around by pointing it at her and firing. What a nice guy!

Mr Wibble said...

My guess is that the eventual conclusion will be that the production was behind schedule and overbudget, leading to pressures to finish up shooting as soon as possible. As a result, the crew and cast were tired and got sloppy. Someone either failed to check the gun, or missed a problem, and it was handed to Baldwin.

Drago said...

More people killed by Alec Baldwin on a movie set than by so-called "insurrectionists" on Jan 6.

(Updated version from the long running "back seat of Ted Kennedy's car iteration)

richlb said...

We need to completely shut down the entire movie industry. If it saves JUST ONE LIFE....

Quaestor said...

Mike writes, "When a CGI can easily replace guns why are they still playing with fire like this?"

Really? If it's so easy, why not do it yourself? There's tons of money to be made.

M Jordan said...

Just saw this:

“According to an on-set source the director called for another take when Baldwin (jokingly) remarked, “ Another take? How about I just fucking shoot the both of ya?” before firing on the pair.”

Bob Boyd said...

Why were live rounds anywhere near prop guns?
Had somebody been shooting the guns at targets for fun in their off time and they didn't clear them afterward?

Tom T. said...

Was that pure accident or was it aimed?

A lot of the comments here are somewhat baffling; people are acting like they've never seen an action movie before. Characters fire guns all the time. They often fire them at targets that are off-screen. They sometimes fire them toward the camera. None of that should be surprising, and yet there are all these people expressing shock that he might have pointed a gun and pulled the trigger.

Lem said...

Classic Columbo

M Jordan said...

The scenario described in my last post I now see being challenged as fake news.

gilbar said...

DanTheMan said...
Let's wait until we have some facts before we convict him of murder.

Oh, HELL NO!!! Jumping to conclusions, is the Only exercise i get!!!

dreams said...

In a misguided attempt to assuage his guilt, I expect Alec Baldwin to double down on his attack on guns and gun owners.

Tom T. said...

Why was I handed a hot gun?

I don't think it's an odd question at all. Throughout his career, he's relied on prop handlers, who should have experience with firearms, to hand him safe props, just like he's relied upon set designers, stunt coordinators, and other crew members to ensure that the movie production is being carried out safely. If you're one of the people commenting that actors are stupid, then Baldwin was exactly correct to do so. You'd want these safety considerations to be left to the experts, and not to the individual actors.

I can't imagine why a prop gun should ever have live ammunition in it. If that's what happened, then there are a ton of questions about the prop-handling that need to be answered, but I'll be surprised if Baldwin the actor is found to be at fault.

Baldwin the producer could certainly be liable, of course, if he cheaped out on safety procedures in production. But we don't know anything about that at this time.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Agree with richlb-

Hollywood must be canceled forever.

Aggie said...

I wouldn't want to second guess not knowing how the scene-to-be-shot was being staged with camera angle and so forth. But I cannot imagine myself ever handling any firearm weapon, prop or not, without satisfying myself first about its condition and load. Even if I hated firearms, I would check it through with the firearms wrangler first; You have to know what you're holding and pointing, or you're not being responsible.

Baldwin deserves are very hard time for all of that unpleasant baggage he has been carefully packing over his adult lifetime as a Hollywood star. By almost all accounts he's a nasty piece of work in person, and this is going to be seen as comeuppance by many.

William said...

She had a remarkable career. Besides talent and drive, there must have been some good luck involved. Then there was bad luck and she's dead.....I don't think "prop" gun is the proper terminology for a weapon that has just killed someone. Maybe they should use actual prop guns in movies instead of death dealing weapons. If they can dub Audrey Hepburn's voice in My Fair Lady, then can dub gunshots in post production....Let's wait for the facts to judge Alec Baldwin's responsibility for this ghastly screw up. He doesn't have much of a record for handling life's rough patches with grace and dignity, and now this. I don't think he'll handle it well.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

she was originally from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle.

you don't say.

William said...

She had a remarkable career. Besides talent and drive, there must have been some good luck involved. Then there was bad luck and she's dead.....I don't think "prop" gun is the proper terminology for a weapon that has just killed someone. Maybe they should use actual prop guns in movies instead of death dealing weapons. If they can dub Audrey Hepburn's voice in My Fair Lady, then can dub gunshots in post production....Let's wait for the facts to judge Alec Baldwin's responsibility for this ghastly screw up. He doesn't have much of a record for handling life's rough patches with grace and dignity, and now this. I don't think he'll handle it well.

dbp said...

All this talk of never pointing a gun at a person, always assume a gun is loaded etc. misses the point: In movies, you do point guns at people and pull the trigger. Because you're making a movie.

Most people are not familiar with real guns, this goes double for actors who are anti-gun nuts.

On a movie set, you don't hand an actor a gun with normal ammunition in it. And you brief them not to clown around, since blanks can cause damage at, well, point blank range.

I can imagine a scene where there is a need for live rounds, like shooting whiskey bottles off of a fence. If the scene can't be done with stunt doubles, normal shooting range rules need to apply. If real ammo and blanks are both being used, you better have a prop master who takes their job seriously and keeps track of which is being used at all times.

Howard said...

Every year in the US there are 27,000 accidental shootings and just under 500 deaths per year. Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful. This death is on you people and your lazy faire gun attitude.

SteveM said...

In the 1980’s an actor killed himself on set with a prop gun loaded with blanks. He put the gun to his head and the paper wadding penetrated his temple and killed him. Has there been any reporting on whether the gun Alec Baldwin shot was loaded with blanks or live bullets. It seem odd that two people were shot.

Michael said...

G Gordon Liddy told the story of being a guest star on Miami Vice where the script had him point a gun at someone. He refused. Prop gun or not, he forced director Michael Mann to angle the frame so it only appeared he was pointing the weapon at Don Johnson.

Liddy knew guns.

Iman said...

Reports of Baldwin “in tears” over this.

Think Jon Lovitz, Master Thesbian… “I was ACTING!”

Lyle Smith said...

Looks like Joe Manganiello is going to kill Alec Baldwin.

Iman said...


“.....if at first you don’t succeed get out the motherfucking kitchen...”

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Howard - once again you do not make any sense. The NRA encourages gun training. I'm pretty sure Alec Baldwin is not a member of the NRA.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The NRA has gun safety standards.

Leftist Hollywood just revealed is does not have gun safely standards. Cancel Hollywood now.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Classic Columbo

Also an episode of Monk.

Questar I don’t have the skills to create and sell CGI “guns.” Are you suggesting the motion picture industry also lacks the skills to replace real guns with realistic CGI? Or is your biting humor going over my head again?

wendybar said...

Howard blaming the NRA for rabid Progressive Alec Baldwin killing somebody with a prop gun is classic!! Alec is old enough that he should have been schooled in handling guns if he is handling guns on a movie set. To blame the NRA would be like blaming the Department of Education for school shootings.

jaydub said...

Howard, you ignorant slut, the NRA is one of the main firearm training organizations.

From Wikipedia: "The National Rifle Association of America ( NRA) is a gun rights advocacy group based in the United States. Founded in 1871 to advance rifle marksmanship, the modern NRA has become a prominent gun rights lobbying organization while continuing to teach firearm safety and competency." WHILE CONTINUING TO TEACH FIREARM SAFETY AND COMPETENCY.

Want to wager any money on whether Alec Baldwin ever took a gun safety or competency course?

JAORE said...

Prop gun just means a gun owned by the company and retained by the prop manager. It does not (usually) mean a fake gun.

And Howard, " Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful. This death is on you people and your lazy faire gun attitude" is BS.

The NRA provides a HUGE amount of training on firearm safety.

JAORE said...

FWIW I took my sister-in-law to her first gun range day a few weeks ago. I checked the firearm she was to use and assured my self it was unloaded. She took it and asked if it was loaded. I told her it is ALWAYS loaded until YOU check and assure yourself it is unloaded.

Along, of course with other helpful rules like, "Keep your bugger hook off the bang button" until you have the gun safely pointed down range..

Big Mike said...

From the details available it sounds as though Crimso (7:00) is right, but he should have explained what a “squib” is. A squib happens when a bullet gets stuck in the barrel of the gun because insufficient gunpowder — or no gunpowder at all! — was used. In the competitions I used to participate in it was common to reload your own brass, and a couple times a year somebody doing their own reloads would let their concentration lapse and insert a bullet into a cartridge with a primer but no powder, and not double check by weighing the cartridges to make sure none were light. The result at the range is a “pop” instead of a “bang,” and the shooter and the RSO have to realize that something has gone wrong and cease fire immediately.

In this case, apparently, there was a squib in the barrel and the exploding powder from the blank pushed it out with enough force to go through one person and hit another directly behind. That strikes me as too much powder, but I know nothing about what looks impressive on film.

The prop master should have run cleaning rods through the barrels to make sure there were objects caught in them — a loose piece of metal seems to have been in the barrel of the gun that killed Brandon Lee.

cfs said...

If Baldwin had spent more time learning gun safety rules, and how to properly handle a firearm, rather than constantly vilifying gun owners, the woman would probably still be alive. You never, ever, ever, point a gun at someone (unless you plan to kill them). I don't care if it is a prop gun or a "unloaded" gun, you treat all guns as a loaded weapon that must be handled carefully and you do not point one at other people.

Mattman26 said...

Howard, if you knew anything about the NRA, you’d know they are huge advocates for training for firearm safety.

Narayanan said...

On the ground, Baldwin was in shock but composed. He kept asking why he was handed a “hot gun.” Our eyewitness said Baldwin kept saying “In all my years, I’ve never been handed a hot gun.” “A hot gun” means a gun with real ammunition.
--------------
how would he know ? he trusts but never verifies = liberal

Misinforminimalism said...

This wouldn't have happened with adherence to the most basic rules of firearms safety. The prop guy is at fault, sure, but Baldwin should also be charged with negligent homicide.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful.

Once again Howard smears the oldest civil rights organization in the country, the same one that did train generations of young people in GUN SAFETY in high schools all over the USA, and still operates more gun safety courses than other entity. No organization does more to promote gun safety than the NRA. Your ignorance is sad but your misinformation is weak. I suspect it has more to do with how the NRA was founded to protect former slaves from gun control laws enacted by Southern Democrats, Democrats like Howard who want to keep black Americans vulnerable. “Faithful” is a weird word to ascribe to those defending the Bill of Rights. Unlike the ACLU the NRA still stands for the Constitution.

Narayanan said...

I can imagine a scene where there is a need for live rounds, like shooting whiskey bottles off of a fence.
---------
how do you get here?

makes no sense unless the shooter/actor is marksman?
magicians do it differently - so why not in movies also?

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Humperdink said...

Howard said: "Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful."

You could not be more wrong. But then your are lefty speaking on the topic of firearms. Most firearm instructors are NRA members.

Narayanan said...

M Jordan said...
Just saw this:

“According to an on-set source the director called for another take when Baldwin (jokingly) remarked, “ Another take? How about I just fucking shoot the both of ya?” before firing on the pair.”
-----------
indicates multiple guns or reloading ?

Leland said...

There are prop guns designed not to receive live rounds. Blanks, because they are missing a projectile, tend to be shorter than a live round. It is fairly easy to prevent the loading of live rounds and modify the barrel to prevent a projectile travelling down it. You can purchase these things for about $150. I guess cheap movies can't afford engineered prop guns. Other industries wouldn't accept this poor level of safety. Shame on all involved.

rcocean said...

C'mon. i despise Baldwin, but he quite rightly asssumed he was handed a prop gun with blanks. Someone didn't check the gun, and it wasn't Baldwin's job to do so. This could also have been a freak accident like Bruce Lee's death.

Blanks can be dangerous. But the number of actors killed in the literally thousands of Hollywood-foreign films with gunplay is probably less than 10.

It the old days they used real bullets. In Public Enemy, Cagney almost got killed when the Machine gunner hit the edge of building a little too close to Cagney's face. When Cagney registers shock at being shot at, that's not acting, that was reality.

rcocean said...

I've noticed that the number of people kiled cleaning their guns has gone down to zero. Don't know it that's because no one reports it, or people have gotten smarter in 40 years.

Limited blogger said...

Why does every headline have 'prop gun' in it?

If it can fire a live round it's not a prop.

Iman said...

“He may well have acted recklessly.”

If anyone has seen the movie “Pixie”, it certainly wasn’t the first time…

Ann Althouse said...

"Just saw this...."

Yeah, I googled that and it tracks to 4chan

Leland said...

I don't know if I read into Baldwin's immediate comments about whether or not he aimed. I do think his comments suggests greater concern for himself than the person laying on the ground and bleeding out. When faced with a situation to show genuine concern for another's welfare, Baldwin was only concerned about his own. Something to remember the next time they use him for a PSA.

Ann Althouse said...

"Characters fire guns all the time. They often fire them at targets that are off-screen. They sometimes fire them toward the camera. None of that should be surprising, and yet there are all these people expressing shock that he might have pointed a gun and pulled the trigger."

No, it's that it hit her so directly. Why would there be movie-based instructions to fire the gun a particular way and it's directly at the cinematographer (and the director, lined up!)? I guess it's possible the cinematographer wanted something that was explained as shoot it right at me, but we'll see.

In making my comments, I certainly considered that he was following instructions and would be shooting toward something off camera.

Ann Althouse said...

"If they can dub Audrey Hepburn's voice in My Fair Lady, then can dub gunshots in post production..."

And it looks fake, as all dubbed singing looks. The question is whether you want to watch your he-man gunslingers looking like little boys with play guns.

Iman said...

I bet Alec knows Schweddy Balls now, eh?

Drago said...

LLR Chuck Bookend Buddy Howard: "Every year in the US there are 27,000 accidental shootings and just under 500 deaths per year. Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful."

Shorter Howard: NRA members should be arrested for what Alec Baldwin and the "smart" lefty Hollywood-ers on set just did.

Howard, why don't you send a letter to the DOJ asking for help along those lines? Garland has demonstrated a willingness to be most responsive to such requests from partisan lefties.

And because he has, and because you haven't taken that basic step, looks like all those deaths fall on............you.

Earnest Prole said...

A lot of the comments here are somewhat baffling; people are acting like they've never seen an action movie before. Characters fire guns all the time.

Dopey or willfully obtuse: Distinctions not cost-effective.

Owen said...

Insurance premiums all over Hollywood just spiked.

And we need strong new regulation of props. Guns, of course; but knives, bottles, feral cats, you name it.

Iman said...

Cause and effect? https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Screen-Shot-2021-10-22-at-8.37.55-AM-523x600.png

Richard Aubrey said...

Consider what you really see: You see one character fire a gun. Instantly, the editing cuts to the victim falling, or ducking, or something. It looks as if you saw one guy shoot another. But you didn't. You saw one guy fire and then you saw another guy react, one way or another.
Not having been on a movie set, I don't know for sure, but I suspect the guy who's shooting is on the set, in the place appointed, firing at empty space off camera. Meantime, maybe on another set, the vic is doing take after take of falling. Or maybe they safe the gun and the vic comes onto the set.

Sometimes there are long shots, as in the old gunfighters in main street, with the camera twenty yards away. You can get a low-power load with lots of wadding to give some oomph to the sight of the weapon being fired. And the guys know not to aim directly at each other even at that distance. Right? Right?

ALL GUNS ARE FREAKING LOADED, YOU MORON!

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Alec Baldwin, member of an elite group which has built careers largely on the unsafe handling of firearms...

rehajm said...

Why would there be movie-based instructions to fire the gun a particular way and it's directly at the cinematographer (and the director, lined up!)?

We see these kinds of close up face on camera angles in movies all the time to see the muzzle flash and the actors face. Baldwin in Hunt for Red October has a few of these shots…

Sometimes with modern movie cameras the cinematographer sits to the side of the camera lens. Perhaps for the shot she was trying to capture people ended up in front of the gun?

We’ll see I suppose…

Tom said...

This story suggests a round was stove piped inside the barrel when the blank round was discharged. I’ve had a round stove pipe before and it’s a very dangerous situation.

Why do prop guns even even have the potential to fire a live round? In fact, why to prop guns even have barrels? Couldn’t prop guns be sized such that no commercially produced round can be used?

I can’t put diesel fuel in my gas car because the nozzles are sized differently.

Michael K said...

Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful. This death is on you people and your lazy faire gun attitude.

The NRA sponsors firearms training and does so everywhere. It has done so for 100 years. As usual, you are a liar.

Birches said...

Yes, I assumed he was firing the gun for a close up shot, that's the only reasonable explanation for shooting both the cinematogropher and director. That also explains his reaction.

Anything else? Baldwin was very negligent. He is anyway for not checking the gun himself, but it seems like this isn't standard practice in Hollywood. I'd imagine it is in movies like John wick or this would happen more often.

Big Mike said...

No, it's that it hit her so directly. Why would there be movie-based instructions to fire the gun a particular way and it's directly at the cinematographer (and the director, lined up!)?

@Althouse, what if he was supposed to be pointing the gun at a camera lens and is a bad shot? Accidents happen, and people have hit things they weren’t aiming at before now.

chuck said...

Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful.

Alex Baldwin belongs to the NRA? Who knew?

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

The additional info from that source does lead me to believe it was a scene in which Baldwin is shooting towards the camera to get that head-on angle. Much as I dislike how he is off-screen I can’t help but feel for him as a human being. He (apparently) didn’t intend any harm but he is the one bearing the guilt. A friend once had to shoot a felon who was tying up his employees and the perp died. Allyn deals with the guilt and sadness to this day 30 years on. Taking a human life, even accidentally is devastating for most people. My prayers today are for the victims and Baldwin and all their families. It’s a pretty fucked up situation for all involved.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Always treat a gun as loaded. NEVER point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. Never have your finger on the trigger until you are sure of your target and know what is beyond it. “

My expectation, right now, is that this Baldwin will not have been actually being recorded when he is charged the firearm. And if that was the case, then it is on him. A gun is a gun, and just because prop guns are usually safe, doesn’t mean that you can assume that they all are, all the time. You always assume that they aren’t safe. Every year, we have cops shooting themselves, or other cops, accidentally. They laugh at it, unless someone dies. But you really need to be super vigilant when dealing with guns. Baldwin very likely was not. If that is the case, he should be charged with manslaughter, or even depraved heart/mind 2nd degree murder. But that is, of course, unlikely. He is, of course, one of the Beautiful People the laws, that you and I have to obey, don’t apply to him.

Still, as I understand them, there are people responsible for prop guns. These guns shouldn’t be on the set except for when they are actually being used. And they should always be fully checked before handing them to anyone else, and, in particular, idiot actors like Baldwin. If Baldwin wasn’t in the midst of filming a scene using the gun, he shouldn’t have had it in his hot grubby paws. Both Baldwin and the prop gun guy know that.

Darkisland said...

M Jordan said...

2. The woman killed was a Trump supporter. (She is Ukrainian and worked on a Soviet military base.) She somehow triggered Baldwin and he went berserk. He has a history.

I could honestly see people using that as a defense of Baldwin. He could not be at fault because he is a celebrity. The director made him do it, it is her own fault, not Baldwins.

Kind of the same excuse that some otherwise intelligent people use to excuse Roman Polanski's anal rape of a 13 year old girl.

John Henry

Darkisland said...

Why in the world would there be ANY real, live ammunition on a movie set?

That is a serious question. Does anyone have any ideas?

John Henry

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

“Why would there be movie-based instructions to fire the gun a particular way and it's directly at the cinematographer (and the director, lined up!)?”

It’s a dramatic shot at the audience in effect. The DP and director typically group or line up near the camera in order to get the same view in real time and the lighting tends to blind the actors at least partially. The only unusual element that jumps out so far is the “hot gun.” Why did they hand him a hot gun?

Rt41Rebel said...

"I can imagine a scene where there is a need for live rounds, like shooting whiskey bottles off of a fence."

I can also imagine some of the crew occupying themselves during downtime by plinking at small targets off-set.

The Drill SGT said...

Fifty plus years ago, at Infantry training at Ft. Jackson, I heard we went through a million rounds a week. This stuff didn't happen, which proves the average grunt is smarter than a lot of people, including actors.

1. rules.
2. adults enforcing the rules. ALL the time, regardless of persons

Was rewatching "The Pacific" the other day. USMC in WWII.

There is a great scene where Gunny Hainey, a gizzled vet, is running a firing range, and a new 2LT is screwing around waving a pistol. The Gunny goes berserk, throwing ammo at the 2LT, cursing and yanking the pistol from the 2LT. Gunny clears it, still cursing and slams it into the belly of the 2LT. "keep your F'ing weapon pointed up and down range or I will shove that F'ing piece up your sorry F'ing ass!". The 2LT looks to his Captain, a veteran for relief and gets back, "Don't look at me LT, Gunny's right"

Rules with weapons aren't waved for special people, nor are the laws of physics/chemistry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Lonajo1EBc

Dr Weevil said...

"Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful. This death is on you people and your lazy faire gun attitude."

I haven't fired a gun since I was a Boy Scout 50+ years ago, when we shot .22s at targets, never owned one, never joined the NRA, but even I know that the NRA has a huge gun safety training program that has trained millions. Does Howard not know that simple basic fact, or is he simply lying? The fact that he uses common phrases he can't even begin to spell correctly ("laissez faire" - it's French) could point either way.

Has anyone tried to calculate how many of those accidental shootings were by NRA members? As with murders, I'm pretty sure the percentage of NRA members among the shooters is disproportionately low and that the disproportion is gross - like some commenters' 'arguments'.

tommyesq said...

Can’t wrap my head around how he could shoot TWO people with a prop gun.

In many cases, the "prop" gun is a real, fully-functional firearm, and it is instead the ammunition that is changed out, particularly when there is a desire to fire with the camera pointed at the gun - you get the muzzle flash, the recoil, the ejection of the casing and working of the slide (for modern weapons, not so much for old West revolvers) that would be difficult to accurately fake.

Drago said...

I sure hope Alec Baldwin doesnt go on an extended killing spree anytime soon. Howard will demand the FBI round up all the CRT-protesting parents immediately in response.

Big Mike said...

And here is a clip of a movie star who understands gun safety.

Drago said...

Mattman26: "Howard, if you knew anything about the NRA, you’d know they are huge advocates for training for firearm safety."

He knows. And he knows that you know.

And still he lies.

tommyesq said...

Every year in the US there are 27,000 accidental shootings and just under 500 deaths per year. Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful. This death is on you people and your lazy faire gun attitude.

The NRA website features a prominent section on their landing page directing viewers to their Safety and Education" program. That leads to a page having the three basic rules for handling a firearm clearly spelled out (point in safe direction, finger off the trigger, unloaded until ready for use) and has many links for further safety and educational videos and links to local sites running in-person safety courses.

Please identify which "calls for increased firearm training" have been protested by the NRA. Otherwise, I call bullshit.

Bilwick said...

She had it coming.

PM said...

Hey, NYT, a grip or a gaffer is 'crew member', she was the gd DP.

The Drill SGT said...

Bruce Hayden said...You always assume that they aren’t safe. Every year, we have cops shooting themselves, or other cops, accidentally. They laugh at it, unless someone dies. But you really need to be super vigilant when dealing with guns.

That may be cops, that's not my Army. In the Army outside Arms rooms, we had oil drums on a slant, filled with sand. Before turning in your cleaned weapon as you walked in, you stopped and fired your "empty weapon" into the barrel. If there was a "bangee" it was a court martial, not a funnee...

Yancey Ward said...

There must be a recording of this if it was an accident made during production of a scene. If that recording isn't out by the end of the week, then there is more to this story than is being acknowledged by the crew.

Chris said...

"he kept asking why he was handed a “hot gun.” Our eyewitness said Baldwin kept saying “In all my years, I’ve never been handed a hot gun.” “A hot gun” means a gun with real ammunition."

Obviously Alec Baldwin doesn't know the difference. My heart goes out to him, but only so far because he is a STAUNCH anti gun progressive. Why was he making a film with a gun? After all, he hates them so much. But I guess he's poor and needed the money. He's probably never had basic firearm training of which the first rule is finger off trigger, and second rule is do not point your weapons at anything you do not intend to destroy. Another good rule is to check the weapon that someone has handed to you. Is it loaded? Is there a round in the chamber? This is basic stuff, that any production team should be trained in if weapons prop or otherwise are used. If he had any training at all he would have done these things prop or not, and avoided this tragedy. A prop gun has a stopped barrel. Cannot fire a projectile. Cannot load real ammunition. This obviously was not a prop gun. Does he know the difference? He pointed the gun at the cinematographer and fired. Thus killing her, and wounding the director since the bullet went straight through her and into him. This was Negligent Manslaughter.

Rest in peace Halyna Hutchins. You need not have died except for pure stupidity and negligence.

This is a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Halyna's family, the crew and maybe just a little for Alec Baldwin. After all he killed someone, albeit accidentally. He'll have to live with that for the rest of his life. I'm sure he'll be even more obnoxious now about banning guns as a result, completely ignoring his own negligence and stupidity.

Drago said...

This Just In: Idiot anti-automobile leftist recklessly drives car into building killing innocents--Howard immediately demands NASCAR accept full responsibility.

John Scott said...

I moved to California 40 years to become a stuntman. I actually attended at stunt school when I first arrived. During the weapons portion of the class the first thing they taught us was to never point a prop gun directly at someone when you shoot it. Whatever they use to replace an actual bullet can also kill a person.

William said...

The prop gun should be a prop gun. That is, it should not be a functional firearm. It should also be obviously a prop gun for the actor who handles it. Perhaps the gun should not have a trigger that you can pull or the barrel should be filled in and not hollow.....We live in a movie world where Margot Robbie and Scarlet Johannsen take on and beat the hell out of six NFL linebackers and where the nobility of eighteenth century Russia is peopled with many Black aristocrats not named Pushkin. Phony guns do not seem like such a high bar for the suspension of disbelief in such a world.

Drago said...

It is now being reported that the lefties on the lefty producer Alec Baldwin's set did not follow safety procedures....so lefty Howard wants the largest provider of gun safety programs in the United States to be held responsible.

#LLRLeftyChuckLogic

Drago said...

Dr Weevil: "Does Howard not know that simple basic fact, or is he simply lying?"

With Howard and LLR-lefty Chuck, it is always appropriate time-proven to assume the latter.

Michael K said...

Several actors have killed themselves by putting a prop gun with blanks to their head. Once in an army field exercise, a basic trainee shot himself in the belly with a blank. However, blanks should not be dangerous unless in near contact with the body. How did Baldwin, a known idiot, shoot two people with a blank loaded prop gun? I wonder if we will ever learn the truth?

The Howards of the world will proclaim their ignorance, of course.

cfs said...

How many times did this gun change hands prior to the shooting? And, no one, NOT ONE damn person checked the chamber? I don't care if I just saw my husband check the chamber before handing me a pistol, it is just habit for me to check the chamber again upon taking possession of the fire arm. It's common sense and should be a natural reaction and a part of anyone's training.

As I said, Baldwin should have spent the time he used railing against gun-owners by instead taking some basic gun safety courses. Especially if he was handling firearms on a movie set.

Amexpat said...

I'm sure both John Wayne and Charlton Heston understood firearms and used them off set. It would be interesting to know if they always checked the many guns they had to fire in the movies they were in? Don't know the answer, but I doubt it.

You'd think that after the Brandon Lee incident the film industry would have figured out how to make a fake gun that flashes and sounds like a real gun when fired. The starter pistols used in races make a loud noise - it shouldn't be too hard to add a flash to them.

Michael K said...

Now there is a report that a real round was in the gun used as a prop.

Scott Patton said...

Rocean at 10:06
"Someone didn't check the gun, and it wasn't Baldwin's job to do so."
Exactly.
In addition, it would be irresponsible for the actor to check it or fiddle with it in any way. A gun loaded with a blank, in that circumstance, should be handled only in the manor as intended for the purpose of doing the scene (or whatever the industry terminology is). It seems highly unlikely for someone with Baldwin's experience to be messing around with any gun on set. A gun loaded with a blank is still a loaded gun. Anyone can make a mistake, but he has to know that.

Richard Aubrey said...

A fully functional firearm like a revolver can fire a blank round built on a conventional cartridge; propellant, wadding, primer. There are different kinds of propellant available. The military likes flashless--or almost--for obvious reasons. Not likely to be chosen for movies. You don't need as much propellant as a real round needs. Just enough for a flash and a bang.
So when you're done with a revolver, you clean out the barrel and take it home or something where you might have live ammo. There's no reason for that on a set.
Semi or full auto is different. You need back pressure within the barrel to work the mechanism. Military weapons can have blank adapters applied, clunky orange things on the muzzel which restrict the muzzle opening and provide the back pressure the bullet otherwise would. Take the adapter off and the weapon is ready for real use. But you can't use those in movies. For movies, a restriction is built within the barrel, to make sure you get the back pressure. This means trying to use real ammo will blow the thing up in your face, or shoot the mag down into your foot.
But with dedicated blank ammo, it works fine.

To presume we are operating in the real world, let's see if maybe it wasn't an actual bullet from an actual live round but instead was something else accelerated by the propellant.

You don't need a bunch of propellant to get a bang and flash sufficient for the movies.

But there is energy there and it is, immediately, concentrated. Perhaps something else happened.

cfs said...

"Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful. This death is on you people and your lazy faire gun attitude."

That is not true. The NRA promotes firearm training all the time. The NRA Eddie Eagle program for children should be incorporated into every school's middle school education
plans. https://eddieeagle.nra.org/

Their Women on Target program is a gun safety and marksmenship program designed especially for women.
https://wot.nra.org/

Owen said...

I think it would be fine to use a real gun for movie shooting scenes where the gun is aimed right at the camera for extra-scary effect. Just put the camera and crew behind 6” of bulletproof glass. That may blur the shot but no big deal.

Seriously? I can only echo the many others here who keep pounding the table with Gun Safety 101: always check it yourself, even then it is always loaded, never point it at anything you don’t plan to hit, keep your finger off the trigger until you’ve taken aim.

Assume nothing.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Most semi-auto/auto weapons used in Hollywood are physically modified to create a pressure increase when blank ammo is fired. Blanks do not generate enough pressure to cycle the action. Theoretically they can fire live ammo, but doing so would cause them to explode in the shooters hand.

This is not the case with revolvers/shotguns/bolt action rifles/lever action rifles, which can fire blank ammunition with no modifications. Since Baldwin was filming a Western, he was most likely using a Single Action revolver or lever action rifle.

It appears that this is a case of someone either loading a live round into the firearm or a case similar to what happened with Brandon Lee where someone dropped the hammer on a homemade dummy round setting off the primer and causing a squib load that resulted in a barrel obstruction. A blank round fired later caused the bullet/fragment to penetrate Brandon Lee's body at less than normal force and he was not immediately aware that he'd been shot.

As far as Baldwin's firearm handling skills, I would assume they are nonexistent. It should be said, however, that the individuals who were shot should have had the damn sense to be out of the line of fire. Even blanks can cause physical harm at close range.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay Vogt said...

Sad, sad day! For all concerned.

Oddly, reading this reminded me of the news when Vic Morrow was killed on set. He was an underrated actor and a horrible victim.

Bill Peschel said...

Alec Baldwin is a very stupid actor who should have known better. It's his profession we're talking about. Even if someone else is responsible for firearm safety, you never, ever, take anyone's word for it. The consequences are too great. Given what we are told -- if he deliberately pointed the weapon and pulled the trigger -- I'd find him guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

I was an extra on the set of The Patriot, playing a Continental soldier. Our weapons were overseen by a gun master, who having to deal with hundreds of untrained extras had to be very stern and draconian. You followed his rules or you were bounced. Simple as that.

We all had rifles and were trained in the procedure for loading and firing them. But only one in four of us were issued ammunition so they'd get some smoke on the battlefield (which they'd augment in post) and presumably fewer casualties.

I was one of the lucky ones, so it was a fun day to tear off the paper cartridge, pour in the powder, drop in the ball, ram it down, cock the rifle, pour powder in the pan and fire. We were taught to be aware of whether or not the rifled fired, and report after each take if it didn't, so it could be cleaned out.

The best scene was one where I was stationed next to four stunt guys, and I got to listen in on their conversation. Before one take, they made a bet on how many times they could fire. They were damn good at it, and got off about 7 or 8, while I got off four.

Near the end of the day, they were trying to finish a particular shot, and that's when some of the discipline broke down. They positioned us behind the top of a cliff and had to rush to the edge, point our guns down, and fire. It took several takes, and probably none of them made it into the final movie (sundown was coming on very fast), and we were lucky no one, in their excitement, went over the edge.

Scott said...

Why aren't we hearing ANYTHING about the armorer?

Typically movie guns are rented from a specialized rental house that will often provide someone on the set who is responsible for keeping the guns safe (they are attractive to thieves) and to assure that what happened to Baldwin, doesn't.

The name of the rental house and the gun wrangler (that's what they're called) need to be front and center. They can't be trusted and shouldn't be providing these services to other productions.

As for Baldwin -- well, Alfred Hitchcock said that actors are cattle. Baldwin is Exhibit A. He is well entitled to his grief and bewilderment. Pray for him and the victims of this presumed accident.

BUMBLE BEE said...

It ain't over till the Prop Master sings! Thanks for posting the Keanu shorts. Man knows his way around guns. Unlike Howard.

M Jordan said...

This incident is an allegory of the present Woke moment and of Biden’s presidency. Fake world intersecting with real world … to dire consequences. You like your CRT? Fine. But some real life parents are waiting for the school board meeting to open. You like windmills and electric cars? Great. But a snowstorm in Texas is headed your way. You like No Eviction policies? Fantastic but why are these rents rising so fast? I could go on and on and on.

The fake world is warm and fuzzy and super virtuous … but not bulletproof in the least.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Indie Wire is reporting that IATSE Local 44, the prop masters union, is claiming that there was a live round loaded into the firearm. They're also claiming that the prop master on set was a local from New Mexico and not a union member.

https://www.indiewire.com/2021/10/alec-baldwin-fires-gun-kills-cinematographer-wounds-director-on-rust-set-1234673555/

J Melcher said...

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0673265/
"The Case of the Final Fade-Out"

An old B&W Perry Mason episode with Robert Conrad. Same sort of "prop" gun swap.

Rt41Rebel said...

"Calls for increased firearm training falls on deaf ears among the NRA faithful."

Type "NRA training" or "NRA safety" into your search bar and see what happens. Of course that would require about 5 seconds of your precious time.

Rocco said...

So we have an angry white male, obsessed with Donald Trump; in a case of workplace violence, he shoots and kills an immigrant and injures his Hispanic boss.

Do I have the facts right?

gspencer said...

When a prop gun operates like a real gun, shouldn't it just be called a "gun."

It's a real shame that lefty/Democrat hypocrisy can't be used as an energy source. There's just so much of it.

In 2017 POS Baldwin tweeted, "I wonder how it must feel to wrongfully kill someone."
Apparently Baldwin really wanted this question answered. Lets all go and ask him.

And if he had really wanted to know that, he might have consulted with his fellow POS Ted Kennedy.

Question for extra credit. Why was there actual ammunition on a movie set in the first place?

Chris Lopes said...

If the shot was fired during the filming of a scene, then Baldwin isn't responsible. He was doing what he was told to do, with the understanding that other people who actually know what they are doing would handle the safety issues. Actors are children and should be treated as such.

If on the other hand (as some reports suggest), he was clowning around, then it's on him. From the moment the director yells cut to the moment the prop guy takes the gun away from him, the safety of the weapon is Baldwin's responsibility. No, you do not (outside of filming a scene) point the gun at anything you don't intend to kill. Yes, you assume all guns are loaded with real ammunition. These things are not toys.

gspencer said...

I demand that Congress enact immediate Actor Control. The 1st Amendment's free expression doesn't protect madmen pretending to be actors.

Aggie said...

Instead of keeping his mouth shut and letting the process be carried through to a conclusion (and letting the grievers grieve in peace), Baldwin is already shooting his mouth off and saying what a 'tragic accident' this is, on Twitter. And of course, he commands the spotlight in media-land. Well....let's just see what the investigation has to say about the incident first, shall we? We'll rely on the actual experts in law-enforcement rather than take the word of an actor who is also the perpetrator.

I was really hoping that Baldwin would forbear trying to control the events like the toxic alpha-male he thinks he is.

Richard Aubrey said...

Tommyesq In modern weapons, you need some back pressure for gas-operated systems. That means restricting the exit of the gasses as the bullet would do. So that means a baffle of some sort in the barrel.
Generally, except for the brass ejection, the action is too fast to see, anyway.
And without the, relative to the drill, substantial mass of the bullet, there is no noticeable recoil. I've fired rifles of several types and machine guns with blanks and blank adapters. Lots of noise, brass and, if a MG, links go flying. Flash. No recoil.
When you fire with the camera pointed at the gun...somebody's going to see some wadding on the set. With any luck, it looks like part of the flash. But it's nothing to screw around with. See Jon-Eric Hexum.

But the point is, if it was a genuine live round, who put it in a prop gun which was going to be used? Crazy. Perhaps a barrel obstruction/baffle broke loose.

James K said...

Why in the world would there be ANY real, live ammunition on a movie set?


As was pointed out, in the Brandon Lee shooting there was a projectile lodged in the chamber that no one knew about. The explosion of the blank propelled it as if it had been shot directly. Of course everyone in Hollywood should be aware of that and should be making sure the gun is clear before using it. No one was charged with anything criminal in that case, but there was a lawsuit settled out of court.

BUMBLE BEE said...

There are stats for Chi-Town at Hey Jackass https://heyjackass.com/ Selfie-O-Meter and Shot-In-The-Junk-O-Meter can provide some working figures for "accidental" experiences.

rehajm said...

https://mobile.twitter.com/AlecBaldwln____/status/911425278123048960

That aged well…

JMS said...

My prediction is that this won't hurt his career at all, even if he's found to be at fault.

From The Daily Beast, What went wrong? Gun prop experts on Alec Baldwin disaster:

“Rule number one, when you’re doing these rehearsals, the firearm, even though it has blanks, it’s never fired at anybody, the angles are always cheated,” said Richard Howell of Foxtrot Productions. “Those angles always look to the viewer as though it’s directed at them, but it isn’t, it’s always aimed off. So, the actors train, train, train, and then when the armorer decides that rehearsal is fine and lets everybody know, then you go ahead. So, it’s very, very controlled—health and safety risk assessments before you get there, and everybody is aware when there are live firearms on the set firing blanks.”

“We never point that barrel at another actor, even if it’s a gun that has a block barrel, it’s just good training,” Hunter added. “If you don’t point a gun at another human, it won’t kill them. You’re never supposed to have live ammunition on the set, but just because there’s no live ammunition does not mean that something can get in the barrel of a gun and become a projectile.”

It is unclear if the gun was fired during a scene rehearsal or filming, but Hunter explained that the firearm should never be placed in the actor’s hand until the last possible minute.

“It should go from a hand that knows the gun is operating safely and is loaded [or] unloaded, as the case warrants,” he said, “When it goes from that hand to the actor's hand, that should be an unbroken chain of knowledge of information. We don’t know, did Alec Baldwin pick up a gun that he shouldn’t have picked up and was it not ready to fire? He’s the producer and is someone afraid to tell him not to pick that up?”

Leland said...

This isn't a mistake. It's a preventable accident and the industry has known how to prevent it for a long time now. Baldwin, the actor, may have had reason to believe he was handling a gun made safe for the scene and was following direction to discharge the weapon aimed in a certain direction. However, Baldwin is also a producer for the show and on the set. Somebody should have responsibility for creating a safe working environment.

Chris said...

I've handled several prop semi-automatics in live theater. They all had stopped barrels and fired a 380 blank cartridge. The mechanism slide and ejector worked exactly as a real gun with flash and a very loud bang. There was absolutely no way you could load a real projectile cartridge into the weapon. None whatsoever. We also NEVER pointed them at the actor, but staged scenes where it only looked like it was pointed at the other actor. In Assassins, when we had to shot at the audience it was always over their heads, never at the audience. What they did here was use a REAL gun with blanks and real ammo for some completely stupid reason. Regardless of the chain of possession of the "prop" weapon. Safety begins and ends with you, not someone else. Baldwin should be held responsible, not only for pulling the trigger but as the producer as well.

Big Mike said...

FFS, people please pay attention. The movie being filmed is a Western, so learned comments about cycling the action are red herrings. The handgun in question would be a single action revolver like a Colt Model 1873. Perhaps an “open top” Colt looking like a converted cap and ball revolver, depending on the degree of authenticity that the movie desired. Or a Remington, like Clint Eastwood used in “Pale Rider.”

The projectile is supposed to have been a squib, i.e., a bullet stuck inside the barrel. If true — and it is certainly plausible — then (1) the prop manager failed to check the barrel with a cleaning rod, and (2) it could not have happened by clowning around after the scene was completed. The projectile would have been forced out the first time the gun was discharged. I am contemptuous of Alec Baldwin the man, and also Alec Baldwin the ham actor, but fair is fair and facts are stubborn things.

The Drill SGT said...

@AdamBaldwin

has some strong views on Alex Baldwin's gun handling.

Dave64 said...

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/baldwinhowaboutishoutyou.jfif

Jim at said...

Ten bucks says Baldwin's going to use his own negligence as a reason why the rest of us shouldn't own guns.

robother said...

Sounds like there was some sort of labor dispute about working conditions, the union film crew was told to pack up and be off the set at 6:30 that morning, and saw their non-union replacements setting up as they did. A volatile situation. Baldwin was producer as well as star actor, and according to the union folks, Ms. Hutchins was standing up for the union film crew's complaints in the days leading up to the lockout.

A movie about the incident would probably be more interesting than whatever oater Baldwin was shooting.

Iman said...

“He [Vic Morrow] was an underrated actor and a horrible victim.”

He was entertaining in “Combat” and “Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry”, but the man didn’t say or do ANYTHING to deserve being called a “horrible victim”, Jay. At least that I remember.

William50 said...

I want to know why was he pointing the gun at these people?

gspencer said...

Alec Baldwin's social distancing has gone from 6 feet to at least a mile.

Mary Beth said...

I have sympathy for the woman's family and for the man who was injured. I have none for Baldwin. As others have pointed out, just because he's anti-gun isn't a reason not to know how to handle one - although, when his role was announced, he said he had gun skills. More than that, if he's anti-gun, don't make movies that have guns in them. It seems weird to me to speak out against something while still profiting from that thing.

Jay Vogt said...

Ooooops. I meant “the victim of a horrible thing” I’m pretty sure Vic Marrow was a really good guy.
My bad on the phrasing

Drago said...

Jim at: "Ten bucks says Baldwin's going to use his own negligence as a reason why the rest of us shouldn't own guns."

Well, we are now hearing that the union workers on the set were walking off and suddenly, non union workers started showing up on the set.

So, if true, that would mean that producer Alec Baldwin was s***canning union workers and bringing on the non-union workers which makes Baldwin every bit as much of a supernova of hypocrisy as white hot as FakeCon LLR Chuck's moronic pro-dem hypocrisy.

Drago said...

And here it comes:

"Production crew walked off Alec Baldwin movie set hours before shooting in row over conditions and were replaced 'on the fly' by locals: Workers feared for gun safety after 'TWO misfires' days before Baldwin accidentally shot dead cinematographer"

According to Howard, this is all the fault of the NRA and Trump voters........Hollywood producers and their entire lefty movie production staff...famously anti-gun....ignoring gun safety measures...are the fault of the NRA.

Maybe its time for a trip to NRA headquarters to conduct a Citizen's Arrest of those NRA "guilty parties".

The first prosecution witness at the trial of the NRA members could be.....Alec Baldwin.

I'll bet pro-dem LLR Chuck could give us 15 paragraphs on why that would be legally appropriate.

The Drill SGT said...

Well, the little ray of sunshine is that the victims family can come after Alex three ways.

As the shooter
As the producer personally, having been the senior guy on set
and corporately

He's bound to have insurance corporately, and likely some officer/director coverage in role 2, but whether he covered mistakes by the actors?

make the clown pay, at least in civil court.

Quaestor said...

Mike (MJB Wolf) writes, "Are you suggesting the motion picture industry also lacks the skills to replace real guns with realistic CGI? Or is your biting humor going over my head again?"

I'm suggesting you know not of what you write.

Ann Althouse said...

"Perhaps for the shot she was trying to capture people ended up in front of the gun?"

Yes, I know. I had already referred to that possibility.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I am thinking of Ngaio Marsh's Enter a Murderer, where a man is killed via someone (no spoilers here!) substituting live ammo for blanks in a stage play. I don't know whether such a situation might've been in play here. Baldwin might himself have deliberately killed the cinematographer, or someone else might have substituted a live round. I am, at the moment, extremely suspicious of the claim that this was "accident."

William50 said...

She is dead because he pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger period. Her death has nothing to do with whether it was a prop gun or if it was loaded with blanks or a live round.

Narayanan said...

Chris Lopes said...
If the shot was fired during the filming of a scene, then Baldwin isn't responsible. He was doing what he was told to do,
-------------
I am hearing from you that : an actor has no agency - he is obeying instructions - even though he may have agents who negotiate his contract

Maynard said...

Wasn't Baldwin a producer of that film? If so, the accident can be blamed on his running a sloppy operation.

I wonder if the woman's family will sue him and the other producers.

Big Mike said...

Hmmm. I may have to partially retract my comment at 4:28. The Los Angels Times had published a report with a large number of allegations about that movie set, which raises important questions. One of the allegations is that there had previously been “misfires” of prop guns on the set, but despite that they had not been holding safety meetings. Given the delays that this episode is causing the shooting schedule, I’ll bet that the producer wishes to High Hell that safety meetings had been held daily!

And then there were issues with the unions, enough friction that when the union crew members showed up for work at 6:30 that morning (after driving an hour from the hotels 50 miles away where they were housed) they were told that they were fired, pick up your belongings and get out. One consequence was that the new (nonunion but not necessarily incompetent) prop master may have felt compelled by the producer to work with props that he (or she) had not personally inspected,

And who was this producer that regarded safety as an afterthought? Alec Baldwin, himself.

Learning all this has not improved my estimate of the man.

Joe Smith said...

Why does Alec hate women?

And and immigrant at that!

Quaestor said...

Alec Baldwin gets no sympathy from me. The man's a moral dwarf who gleefully crows about the moral failings of others, especially when such failings are the products of Baldwin's own febrile imagination. He says he had never before been handed a "hot" gun. That's Baldwin trying to saddle the blame on an underling. How typical.

Anything short of a 5-to-7 stay for manslaughter will be an outrage against common decency, which will also be typical of Alec Baldwin as he's been a walking outrage against common decency since the day he hatched.

Quaestor said...

Would it not be fab to watch Trump use a few moments of his next MAGA rally to lead the crowd in prayer for Halyna Hutchins and the wounded director? Imagine if DJT accidentally killed someone with a firearm. Imagine the shoe on the other foot. Wouldn't a foam-flecked Alec Baldwin be leading a mob assault by blood-crazed Aftifa brownshirts on Trump Tower?

Drago said...

Big Mike: "One of the allegations is that there had previously been “misfires” of prop guns on the set, but despite that they had not been holding safety meetings. Given the delays that this episode is causing the shooting schedule, I’ll bet that the producer wishes to High Hell that safety meetings had been held daily!"

According to Howard, the NRA was there and physically prevented the Quite Safety Conscious Liberals Of The Movie Industry from having those safety meetings and Howard wants the NRA held accountable for that.

If that level of LLR Chuck-like thinking confuses you, then you haven't been paying attention to Howard for very long.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

1: They could, and should, have had a gun where the barrel was blocked, so that shooting an actual bullet would have blown the gun up in the shooter's hand, rather than killed someone else

2: When you are handed a gun, you should always personally check to see if the gun is loaded. Always. Anyone on the set who bitches about that is too stupid to be around

3: From Ace of Spaces: "According to an on-set source, the directory had called for another take when Baldwin (jokingly) remarked "Another take? How about I just fuckin' shoot the both of ya?" before firing on the pair.

This is at least involuntary manslaughter.

4: Baldwin is the Producer of the movie, which IIUC means he bears final responsibility for what happens on the set.
Baldwin is the moron who deliberately pointed a gun at someone, and pulled the trigger.

5: It may turn out that some union person put a real bullet into the gun before leaving the set. in which case that person should be guilty of murder.

But IMAO, Baldwin is guilty of involuntary manslaughter even in that case, and shoudl be tried and convicted.

Richard Aubrey said...

So maybe a piece of debris happened to be in the barrel and was fired out by a legitimate blank. But hitting two people, killing one...?
And he was pointing at someone. You don't do that.
Hell, when you hand somebody a knife or scissors, you do it handle first. To keep the other party safe, and to make the point that it's the polite thing to do...because you're avoiding a contingency, no matter how unlikely.
If you don't point a freaking SCISSORS....you don't point a gun, even in jest.
Hard to imagine this clown didn't know that.

tdocer said...

As a gun owner and shooter, I reflexively agree with the many commenters who have cited the fundemental rules of firearm saftey. However, I still don't know the specific circumstances of this tragic event.

Don't give a shit about Alec Baldwin. Do give a shit about getting to facts.

Narayanan said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Perhaps for the shot she was trying to capture people ended up in front of the gun?"

Yes, I know. I had already referred to that possibility.
--------------
this may border on blaming the victim = since in that case if she was going to be in line of fire she needs to make sure no risk of injury in proceeding with her camera shot

Chris Lopes said...

"I am hearing from you that : an actor has no agency - he is obeying instructions - even though he may have agents who negotiate his contract"

I am not suggesting that at all. I am simply saying that if the director, stunt coordinator, prop guy, and armorer say it's ok to fire the gun in the way and in the direction they specify, it is reasonable for the actor (who probably doesn't know shit about all this stuff anyway) to follow those instructions. The second filming has stopped though, he is no longer under anyone's direction. That gun becomes his responsibility and what happens to it is completely on him.

RonF said...

Who was the gun scripted to shoot? NO ONE. People are scripted to shoot things or other people. You can give a gun a script and wait all day and nothing will happen. I do feel bad for Mr. Baldwin but the responsibility is his. Anyone who handles a firearm is responsible for what happens while they handle it. Regardless of what anyone else has told you, you open the action, examine the action and magazine or cylinder and examine the ammo in it yourself. Period. That’s what the NRA taught me. That’s what the Boy Scouts teach.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Chris Lopes said...
I am not suggesting that at all. I am simply saying that if the director, stunt coordinator, prop guy, and armorer say it's ok to fire the gun in the way and in the direction they specify, it is reasonable for the actor (who probably doesn't know shit about all this stuff anyway) to follow those instructions.

When someone hands you a gun, the absolutely first thing you should do is check if the gun is loaded, and what it's loaded with.

If you're going to be in a film where you're shooting a gun, it is your responsibility to know enough to know what a "blank" for your gun looks like.

Thus, you should be able to pop the gun open, confirm it's empty / has only blanks in it, and then get on with the scene.

It is your moral responsibility to do that, whatever the law may or may not require.

That's true even if you weren't f-ing around with the gun when you pulled the trigger while it was aimed at someone. Which is what appears to be the case here

Big Mike said...

The latest information from the police investigation is that a live round was fired, and consequently it was not a squib that was forced out of the barrel from the force of the blank round. This puts quite a different complexion on the case.

Who even allows live rounds on a movie set?