Filming of “Rust” Highlights Risks of Rushed Film Production
Alec Baldwin’s fatal shooting on a film set has put a microscope on an often invisible corner of the film industry where critics say the pursuit of profit can lead to unsafe working conditions.
With a budget of around $ 7 million, the western “Rust” was not a micro-budget indie. The previous Oscar winner for Best Picture, “Nomadland,” was made for less.
But the New Mexico set where Baldwin shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins had inexperienced team members, apparent safety breaches, and a serious labor dispute.
Last weekend, The Associated Press reported that several crew members on set raised safety concerns regarding the production and that seven crew members even left the set hours before filming.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Baldwin’s stuntman accidentally fired two live ammunition at the set five days before the fatal shooting after learning that the gun he was holding did not contain live ammunition.
According to CNN, Dave Halls, the film’s assistant director, has been the subject of complaints on other sets for his disregard for security protocols.
Even the sheriff investigating the fatal shooting admitted earlier this week that he felt officials on set were showing “some complacency” about gun safety.
For some in the business, the failures reflect bigger issues in the rapidly evolving movie industry.
“Production is exploding, budgets are even smaller and budgets even smaller,” Mynette Louie, a veteran freelance producer, told The Associated Press. “Something must give.”