Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of Rust, a Western movie he was filming in New Mexico on Thursday, killing the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and wounding director Joel Souza, who has been discharged from the hospital.
“We’re trying to determine right now how and what type of projectile was used in the firearm,” Juan Rios, a spokesman for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, told the New York Times. According to an email obtained by IndieWire from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 44, which covers prop masters, the gun used in the scene contained a “live single round” and that the prop master on set at the time “was not a member of Local 44.”
In the email that IATSE Local 44 sent to its membership, Secretary-Treasurer Anthony Pawluc described the event as an “an accidental weapons discharge” in which “a live single round was accidentally fired on set by the principal actor, hitting both the Director of Photography, Local 600 member Halnya Hutchins, and Director Joel Souza… Local 44 has confirmed that the Props, Set Decoration, Special Effects and Construction Departments were staffed by New Mexico crew members. There were no Local 44 members on the call sheet.”
Hutchins was named one of American Cinematographer‘s “rising stars” in 2019. “One thing I learned is that cinematography is not something you do by yourself,” she told the magazine. “It’s a group [project]. You need to develop your own vision, but the key to a successful film is communication with your director and your team.”