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Rust actor says cameras were safe while actors were left unprotected as cast grew terrified

An actor with a bit-part on Rust says cameras were protected from gunfire by plastic shields – but that actors were left to fend for themselves before Alec Baldwin shot and killed the movie’s cinematographer.  

Ian Hudson said that there were protective barriers put in place for the camera crew and their equipment on the set where Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

‘Everyone on the camera crew was protected by shields — and the camera was protected by a shield,’ Hudson told TMZ, noting that only the lens could be seen poking through the protective layer. 

Ian Hudson, pictured on the set of Rust, said he and his fellow actors grew worried over gun safety on stage as they often checked their weapons multiple times

Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was accidently shot by Alec Baldwin with a vintage-style Colt revolver while on set of Rust last week

Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was accidently shot by Alec Baldwin with a vintage-style Colt revolver while on set of Rust last week

An inconsolable Baldwin is shown outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office after accidentally shooting and killing the cinematographer

An inconsolable Baldwin is shown outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office after accidentally shooting and killing the cinematographer

He said he was shocked by how intense the guns used in the film were, as even the blanks that struck the cast members were powerful. 

Hudson himself had a scene where he played an outlaw gunned down by 20 pistols and two rifles.  

He described the experience as ‘life-threatening’ as he was bombarded by the rush of air released from the real weapons unloading blanks. He was even hit by a piece of cardboard during the scene.   

Hudson said ‘I would talk to my fellow cast members afterwards and we would talk about how intense that was, how scary and surreal that was,’ he said.  

The fledgling actor said that he was confused as to why the equipment needed protection while the actors stood exposed, but he ultimately ‘held his tongue’, given that he is relatively new in the business and didn’t ‘want to cause trouble.’  

However, Hudson noted and some of the other actors would often double and triple-check their weapons regardless of whether they were given the ok from the film’s armorer and staff.  

Hudson added that the death of Brandon Lee, who was shot and killed on the set of The Crow from a gun that should have only had blanks, came up a few times during the set as he and his fellow actors grew worried about the guns on set. 

‘We’re doing it the same way they did it then 30 years ago. Gotta double check. Gotta make sure,’ Hudson said. 

Eliza Hutton, left, pictured with Brandon Lee in 1992. Hutton condemned the use of real guns on movie sets which led to the death of Lee during the final days of filming The Crow

Eliza Hutton, left, pictured with Brandon Lee in 1992. Hutton condemned the use of real guns on movie sets which led to the death of Lee during the final days of filming The Crow

Hutton and Lee, pictured in 1991, were going to be married, but Lee was shot and killed on stage just two weeks before the wedding

Hutton and Lee, pictured in 1991, were going to be married, but Lee was shot and killed on stage just two weeks before the wedding

Lee's family posted a tweet, sending their condolences to Hutchins and Souza's families

Lee’s family posted a tweet, sending their condolences to Hutchins and Souza’s families

Lee’s fiancée, Eliza Hutton, has called for a ban on real guns on movie sets while speaking out for the first time on Alec Baldwin accidentally shooting and killing Hutchins.  

Hutton, 57, said that the accident that killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza was yet another ‘avoidable tragedy’ like the one that claimed her fiancée’s life while he was shooting The Crow in 1993. 

‘Twenty eight years ago, I was shattered by the shock and grief of losing the love of my life, Brandon Lee, so senselessly. My heart aches again now for Halyna Hutchins’ husband and son, and for all those left in the wake of this avoidable tragedy,’ Hutton told PEOPLE

‘I urge those in positions to make change to consider alternatives to real guns on sets,’ she added. 

In the wake of the shooting, Lee’s family posted on Twitter that ‘No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.’ 

Hutton and Lee, son of the famed martial artist Bruce Lee, were preparing to get married following production of The Crow, but two weeks before everything wrapped up.

Lee was shot and killed by a fellow actor using a gun that was supposed to only hold blanks.

Hudson also defended Rust armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, who prepared the gun that went off in Baldwin’s hands and killed Hutchins. 

Sources on the set of Rust said the incident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins could be tied to the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed

Sources on the set of Rust said the incident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins could be tied to the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed

Ian Hudson defended Gutierrez-Reed, saying she was doing a good job while on set

Ian Hudson defended Gutierrez-Reed, saying she was doing a good job while on set 

Sources accused Gutierrez-Reed of loading a weapon on the pebble-filled ground and handing it to child actress, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, 11, without conducting a proper inspection on the set of Nicholas Cage's The Old Way

Sources accused Gutierrez-Reed of loading a weapon on the pebble-filled ground and handing it to child actress, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, 11, without conducting a proper inspection on the set of Nicholas Cage’s The Old Way

He said the rookie armorer had been praised on set for her handling of the weapons, but noted that production was ‘speedy.’ 

A source who worked alongside Gutierrez-Reed on an previous film set said she has a history of recklessness around guns.

‘She was a bit careless with the guns, waving it around every now and again,’ the source told The Daily Beast. ‘There were a couple times she was loading the blanks and doing it in a fashion that we thought was unsafe.’

Another source accused Gutierrez-Reed of loading a weapon on the pebble-filled ground and handing it to child actress, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, 11, without conducting a proper inspection.

‘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,’ a source who worked with her set of the upcoming Nicolas Cage film, The Old Way, said.

The individual noted that the crew waited to film until Gutierrez-Reed had double checked the barrel for obstruction.  

Gutierrez-Reed had previously admitted she wasn’t sure she was ready for the job on The Old Way in an interview before filming started. 

‘I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but doing it, it went really smoothly,’ Gutierrez-Reed said in a podcast interview last month after leading the firearms department for The Old Way, starring Nicolas Cage – her first time as head armorer.

She also admitted in the podcast interview she found loading blanks into a gun ‘the scariest’ thing because she did not know how to do it and had sought help from her father, legendary gunsmith Thell Reed, to get over the fear.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the 24-year-old head armorer in charge of guns on Alec Baldwin film said she 'wasn't sure she was ready' for the job in an interview before filming began

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the 24-year-old head armorer in charge of guns on Alec Baldwin film said she ‘wasn’t sure she was ready’ for the job in an interview before filming began

A search warrant released Friday said that Gutierrez-Reed laid out three prop guns on a cart outside the filming location, and first assistant director Dave Halls (pictured) grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Alec Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds

 A search warrant released Friday said that Gutierrez-Reed laid out three prop guns on a cart outside the filming location, and first assistant director Dave Halls (pictured) grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Alec Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds

An aerial view of the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, where the movie was being filmed. Workers had been protesting over the fact production wouldn't pay for them to stay in hotels and motels in Santa Fe, instead forcing them to drive an hour to Albuquerque

An aerial view of the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, where the movie was being filmed. Workers had been protesting over the fact production wouldn’t pay for them to stay in hotels and motels in Santa Fe, instead forcing them to drive an hour to Albuquerque   

A fellow Rust crew member referred to Gutierrez-Reed as being ‘inexperienced and green,’ alleging that there had been at least two incidents of guns being discharged on set before Thursday’s fatal accident.

Rust crew members claim there were several complaints made against the armorer on the set and that at least six ‘fed-up’ people had walked off the set prior to Gutierrez-Reed handing Baldwin the gun that killed Hutchins.

The crew made their complaints directly to assistant director Dave Hall – who is named in the search warrant affidavit as the person who handed Baldwin the gun that killed Hutchins and told him it was safe – and demanded all the discharges were documented.

‘All of us yelled at him, ‘That better be on the production report, these guys are irresponsible and shouldn’t be here,’ a production source said.

‘That should be automatic grounds for termination on a union film set, you should be gone. The first time that gun went off without telling anybody, that whole department should have been replaced, immediately. Clearly production thought better of it, decided to roll the dice and pay the ultimate price.’

Baldwin and Hutchins (circled) are pictured together on the set of Rust, in an image that she uploaded to Instagram two days ago saying the crew of the film were supporting a strike by the IATSE union

Baldwin and Hutchins (circled) are pictured together on the set of Rust, in an image that she uploaded to Instagram two days ago saying the crew of the film were supporting a strike by the IATSE union

A search warrant released Friday said that Gutierrez-Reed laid out three prop guns on a cart outside the filming location, and first assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Alec Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds.

‘Cold gun!’ shouted Halls before handing the gun to Baldwin, using the phrase to signal to cast and crew that the gun was safe to fire for the scene, the warrant said.

Seconds later, filming a scene inside an Old West-style church, Baldwin apparently aimed towards the camera and pulled the trigger, accidentally killing Halyna Hutchins as she filmed him, and injuring director Joel Souza, who stood behind her.

Why WAS a gun on Alec Baldwin movie set loaded with live ammo? Mystery over events that led to actor killing cinematographer 

The deadly chain of events on set that led to Alec Baldwin being handed a gun with live ammunition and accidentally shooting and killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins have become clearer after it emerged last night the actor fired a live round, believing it to be a blank. 

Experts yesterday told DailyMail.com safety on set is usually extremely tight with live bullets never used in filming and it remains unclear why a firearm loaded with live ammunition was on the Rust set at all. 

Baldwin was handed a gun loaded with live ammunition 

First assistant director Dave Halls picked up one of the firearms – a vintage-style Colt revolver laid out by armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed – unaware it was loaded with live bullets.

‘Cold gun!’ shouted Halls before handing the gun to Baldwin, using the phrase to signal to cast and crew that the gun was safe to fire for the scene, a search warrant released on Friday said.

Baldwin, filming a scene inside an Old West-style church, then fired a live round towards the camera, accidentally killing Hutchins as she filmed him.  

Hutchins was airlifted to the hospital but was pronounced dead. Souza was taken to the hospital by ambulance but was released on Thursday evening. 

Why was live ammunition used on set in the first place? 

Live ammunition is never usually used on film sets and Baldwin’s shooting and killing of a cinematographer a ‘total mystery’, a Hollywood armorer has said.

Mike Tristan, 60, who has provided guns for movie sets for over 30 years, said the injuries sustained by Hutchins should not have been possible. 

Tristan, who has worked with Baldwin before, said any professional armorer would have checked the weapon, which he believes was a Western, before handing it to the 63-year-old.

‘There should have been blanks in the gun, the on-set armorer’s job is to check that before handing the weapon over,’ Tristan told Dailymail.com.

‘They then make sure that the actor stands on a mark and never points the gun at the crew or cast, you give them an aim to point at and the editing makes it seem like they were pointing at their co-actor.

‘That’s why everyone in the industry is very confused, how this happened is a total mystery at the moment.’

Union members had walked off set hours earlier over safety concerns 

Unionized members walked off set on Wednesday, hours before the tragedy, complaining of safety concerns. 

They complained about long hours, shoddy conditions and another safety incident days earlier involving ‘two misfires’ of a prop weapon. 

Deadline cites an unnamed source who said a gun had gone off ‘in a cabin’ while someone was holding it, days prior to the shooting that killed Hutchins.

‘A gun had two misfires in a closed cabin. They just fired loud pops – a person was just holding it in their hands and it went off,’ they said, apparently referring to unintentional discharges.

Baldwin’s stunt double also accidentally fired two rounds after being told the firearm was ‘cold’.

When they turned up to set to clear their things on Thursday, they found they’d been replaced by locals.

It begs the question of who those local workers were, what their training was and to what extent did they check the weapon before it was handed to Baldwin.

 

Sources on the Rust set have said the fatal incident that killed Hutchins, 42, and injured Souza, 48, was a result of production failings from top to bottom.

They added that assistant director Halls, who handed the gun to Baldwin and told him it was safe, should have checked the weapon.

‘He’s supposed to be our last line of defense and he failed us,’ one of the sources on set said. ‘He’s the last person that’s supposed to look at that firearm.’

A Rust production source told The Daily Beast that there were at least two previous incidents of guns being accidentally discharged by other crewmember on set before Thursday’s tragic incident.

The gun that fired the fatal shot was a vintage-style Colt revolver, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned.

After the shooting, the armorer took possession of the gun and a spent casing, which were turned over to police, along with other prop guns and ammunition used on the set.

Baldwin also changed out of the Western costume he was wearing, which was stained with blood, and turned it over to police.

The warrant does not reveal the model or caliber of the prop gun that fired the fatal bullet, but the film is set in the Old West of the 1880s and DailyMail.com has learned it was a Colt.

The warrant was obtained Friday so that investigators could document the scene at the ranch where the shooting took place.

Unionized workers had walked off the set hours before the fatal shooting, after they complained about long hours, shoddy conditions and another safety incident days earlier involving ‘two misfires’ of a prop weapon.

A yet-unnamed prop master who oversaw the gun used in the fatal shooting was a non-union worker who was ‘just brought in’ to replace the workers who left over safety concerns, a source involved in the movie told the New York Post.

It’s unclear whether Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer, had recently joined the production, or was one of the crew members who stayed behind after the walk-off.

However, a link in her Instagram bio points to an article about Rust from May, suggesting she had been attached to the production for some time.

Unionized employees had been complaining about the fact they had to stay overnight in Albuquerque – an hour’s drive from the set – and not Sante Fe because production wouldn’t pay for their hotels, according to sources cited by The Los Angeles Times and multiple social media posts by film and TV insiders.

When they turned up to set to clear their things on Thursday, they found they’d been replaced by locals.

It begs the question of who those local workers were, what their training was and to what extent did they check the weapon before it was handed to Baldwin.

Deadline also cites an unnamed source who said a gun had gone off ‘in a cabin’ while someone was holding it, days prior to the shooting that killed Hutchins.

‘A gun had two misfires in a closed cabin. They just fired loud pops – a person was just holding it in their hands and it went off,’ they said, apparently referring to unintentional discharges.

Rust Production LLC did not respond to repeated requests for comment from DailyMail.com on Friday about the incident, but members of the union that represents many of the crew who were involved in the production said they had expressed fears about on-set safety.

Baldwin first addressed the tragedy on Twitter Friday: ‘There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.’

He then tweeted a Variety article titled Alec Baldwin Was Told Prop Gun Was Safe Before Fatal Shooting, Affidavit Says.

He was pictured doubled over in grief on Thursday after speaking to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department immediately following the shooting.

Hutchins’ husband shared a touching tribute to his wife on Twitter on Friday. Matthew Hutchins tweeted a photo of his wife and their 9-year-old son Andros on Friday captioned: ‘Halyna inspired us all with her passion and vision, and her legacy is too meaningful to encapsulate in words.

‘Our loss is enormous, and we ask that the media please respect my family’s privacy as we process our grief. We thank everyone for sharing images and stories of her life.’

His Facebook profile picture is a photo of the couple who had been married for 16 years. His bio now reads: ‘We miss you, Halyna.’

A private memorial was held in Santa Fe last night with Matthew, Andros, and Baldwin in attendance, according to ShowBiz411. It was reported that grief counselors were present at the service.

The grieving husband told DailyMail.com on Friday morning that he had spoken with the actor. ‘I have spoken with Alec Baldwin and he is being very supportive,’ he said. 


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