Alec Baldwin Western ‘Rust’ Shut Downs Production Until ‘Investigations Are Complete’

by Josh Lanier
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The film Rust is will “pause” production as police investigate the deadly shooting on set last week. Alec Baldwin was rehearsing a scene with a prop gun when it discharged and killed the cinematographer and injured the director.

Producers sent a letter to the cast and crew Sunday that detailed plans for what happens now.

“As we go through this crisis, we have made the decision to wrap the set at least until the investigations are complete,” The Hollywood Reporter quoted the letter. They called the work-stoppage a “pause rather than an end,” though they didn’t give any details on the future of production.

An affidavit released Sunday from New Mexico Det. Joel Cano said Alec Baldwin was rehearsing a scene in a church Thursday when the shooting happened. In the scene, Alec Baldwin was to quick-draw a pistol, point it toward the camera, and fire. Joel Souza, writer and director of Rust, said he heard “what sounded like a whip and then a loud pop.”

That pop was a live round in the gun. The bullet hit cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, in the chest.

“Joel then vaguely remembers (Hutchins) complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection. Joel also said (Hutchins) began to stumble backward, and she was assisted to the ground,” the affidavit adds.

Paramedics airlifted her to New Mexico University Hospital where doctors pronounced her dead. The bullet also hit Souza, but doctors treated and released him from the hospital the next day.

Souza told the detective that he believed it was a “cold” gun, which means there is no ammunition in the firearm. Though he wasn’t sure if anyone checked the weapon after the crew returned from a lunch break, THR said.

Since it was a rehearsal, producers said there’s no video or audio of the event.

Friends, Colleagues Mourn Halyna Hutchins at Memorial

Hundreds gathered Sunday to honor Halyna Hutchins at a memorial service in California, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Several people spoke and remembered Hutchins for her exuberance and love of filmmaking. Though she was first-and-foremost a devoted wife and mother, they said.

John Lindley, a chapter president for the union cinematographers union, read a statement from Hutchins’ husband, Matthew.

“The outpouring sympathy from her many friends has been overwhelming and we thank everyone for their kind and generous sharing of her images and stories of her life,” Lindley read. “Please take time to remember her, and we will all work together to honor her memory emulate her determination and creativity.”

Someone set up a GoFundMe to help her family with expenses. So far, they’ve raised more than $200,000, more than 20 times their fundraising goal.

“She was one of us. She was part of the film family, passionate about the work and eager to succeed,” Lindley said. “I’ve heard a lot about her bright future but what’s really clear to me is that she had a bright present.”

Trade publication American Cinematographer named Halyna Hutchins its Rising Star of 2019. Along with Rust, her credits included Archenemy, The Mad Hatter, A Luv Tale: The Series, Blindfire, and Snowbound.

Outsider.com