Rust: Producers of Alec Baldwin film deny safety failures over shooting

Image credit: NME

The producers of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust have refuted an official assessment that said they were unconcerned about gun safety prior to a tragic on-set shooting.

Last October, a gun held by Baldwin fired, killing the film’s cinematographer and injuring the director.

Rust Movie Productions was fined the maximum amount by the New Mexico Environment Department last month for “serious and deliberate” breaches.

The corporation, however, claims to have “enforced all required safety measures.”

According to the documents, such a meeting took place the morning of the shooting that killed Halyna Hutchins and injured Joel Souza.

Baldwin, a producer and star of the film, has stated that he believed the gun did not contain live ammunition and that he did not pull the trigger, but that it did fire when he cocked it during rehearsals.

He claimed that the report from the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) “exonerated” him and stated that his role as co-producer “was confined to authorising screenplay modifications and creative casting.”

After investigating the event, the organisation fined Rust Movie Productions $136,793 (£105,000).

The production business now claims that it was not in charge of managing the film set, “much less detailed standards such as weapon maintenance and loading.”

The statement stated that the legislation appropriately authorises producers to delegate such vital functions as firearm safety to experts in that field, and does not lay such an obligation on producers whose speciality is in arranging to finance and contracting for filming logistics.

It also stated that past blank-round discharges on set had been “fully addressed,” including with cast and crew safety briefings, and had not violated firearm safety regulations.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armourer, was not “overburdened” by her employment as a props assistant, according to the studio.

Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers claimed the NMED study proved she was “not given adequate time or resources to execute her work properly, despite her expressed concerns.”