Crew Members Describe Unsafe Conditions On Previous Set Before ‘Rust’ Assistant Director Was Fired

Crew Members Describe Unsafe Conditions On Previous Set Before ‘Rust’ Assistant Director Was Fired

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2 hr 14 min agoCrew members describe unsafe conditions on previous set before “Rust’ assistant director was firedFrom CNN’s Julia Vargas Jones

Three crew members who worked alongside “Rust” assistant director David Halls on another movie where a gun “unexpectedly discharged” in 2019 detailed to CNN what they called unsafe conditions before Halls was fired from the project.

The three crew members recalled details of an incident during the filming of “Freedom’s Path” where an 1800’s-style muzzle-loading rifle unexpectedly fired during a scene, resulting in a boom operator suffering inner ear injuries due to the sound of the explosion. 

The crew members, who did not wish to be identified for fear of industry reprisal, said they were concerned for the safety of crew and cast members on set even before the gun misfire. 

All three said the production did not hold regular safety meetings, contrary to typical industry practice.  

“He was a person with enough red flags that his career should have been done with already. Yet he was still out there, putting crew into outrageous situations. It’s tough to think that Halyna could have just as well been one of our crews,” one of them said. “It was just too close for comfort.”Rocket Soul said in a statement it “cannot comment on any conversations that may or may not have taken place individually between Dave Halls and crew members.” CNN has asked the company about the crew members’ statements regarding regular safety meetings.

Halls, as well as Rockhill Studios, another production company for “Freedom’s Path,” did not respond to CNN requests for comment. 

According to the three crew members, an armorer was not on set at the time of the 2019 incident, a break from protocol; instead, a background actor in the production was put in charge of handling the firearm for the scene, the crew members said. 

In a statement to CNN, Rocket Soul Studios denied that a background actor was hired as an armorer, saying that an armorer was to be on set in every instance a gun was present.

The company said Halls was removed from the set and fired from the production. 

“Halls was removed from set immediately after the prop gun discharged. Production did not resume filming until Dave was off site. An incident report was taken and filed at that time,” it said.

“Upon wrapping production for the day, Dave Halls was officially terminated and given the specific reasons for his termination,” The company continued. “Dave was very remorseful for the events, and understood the reasons he was being terminated. A new assistant director as well as a new armorer were hired for the duration of principal photography.”

In the moments before the accidental discharge, one crew member said the gun was announced as a “no fire” or “cold weapon” for the scene. A second crew member said they asked multiple times if the gun was cleared for use in the shot, and did not receive a clear answer.

The two crew members said some rifles used in the making of the movie had been packed with gunpowder but did not contain projectiles. The rifle that misfired was not supposed to be loaded at all, the two crew members said.

The accidental discharge disoriented a boom microphone operator, who suffered injuries to their inner ear and required medical attention after experiencing hearing loss and balance issues, according to the crew members.

When reached by phone Sunday, the boom operator acknowledged the incident but did not comment further on the matter.  

The film, “Freedom’s Path” is set to release in 2022, according to the Rocket Soul website.

1 hr 49 min agoLaw enforcement waiting for coroner’s report to help determine what killed Halyna HutchinsFrom CNN’s Josh Campbell

Attendees kneel at a candlelight vigil for the late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on October 24 in Burbank, California. (Chris Pizzello/AP)Santa Fe County Sheriff’s department investigators are still waiting on the forensic report from the coroner’s office which they hope will identify the type of projectile that killed Halyna Hutchins, according to a law enforcement source close the investigation.

Hutchins died and and director Joel Souza was injured after actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of the movie “Rust” on Thursday.

1 hr 57 min agoProduction on “Rust” to pause indefinitelyFrom CNN’s Chloe Melas

The Bonanza Creek Ranch is seen in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 23. (Jae C. Hong/AP)In a letter to the cast and crew of “Rust” sent Sunday, the production team behind the project announced it would pause work on the New Mexico set of the movie “at least until the investigations are complete.”

“Our hearts are with all of you, as we all go through this tragic time and mourn the loss of our colleague and dear friend, Halyna Hutchins,” the letter from The Rust Production Team — obtained by CNN — began. “We are family and we must stand beside each other as families do in difficult times. We remain in close touch with Halyna’s family and commend the strength they show in the face of unspeakable tragedy. It is beyond an inspiration.” 

The production team said they are cooperating with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office investigation and conducting an internal review of safety protocols. 

“As we go through this crisis, we have made the decision to wrap the set at least until the investigations are complete,” the letter stated. “Although our hearts are broken, and it is hard to see beyond the horizon, this is, at the moment, a pause rather than an end. The spirit that brought us all to this special place remains.”Grief support resources for the cast and crew were also shared in the letter, and the production team announced they will be making a donation to the Halyna Hutchins Scholarship Fund established by her family.

1 hr 50 min ago”Rust” assistant director was fired from previous movie after gun incident injured crew memberFrom CNN’s Julia Vargas Jones

David Halls (From IMDB)The assistant director on the movie “Rust,” who handed a prop gun to Alec Baldwin before the fatal shooting last week, was previously fired from a film production after a gun incident injured a crew member, the movie’s production company told CNN.

Dave Halls was serving as assistant director on the film “Freedom’s Path” in 2019, when a gun “unexpectedly discharged” on set, causing a sound crew member to recoil from the blast, halting production, the production company Rocket Soul Studios said Monday.

The sound crew member was evaluated by an on-set medic and advised to seek medical treatment. The crew member returned to the production a few days later, Rocket Soul said.

Following the incident, Halls was removed from the set and fired from the production, the company said.

“Halls was removed from set immediately after the prop gun discharged. Production did not resume filming until Dave was off site. An incident report was taken and filed at that time,” it said.“Upon wrapping production for the day, Dave Halls was officially terminated and given the specific reasons for his termination,” The company continued. “Dave was very remorseful for the events, and understood the reasons he was being terminated. A new assistant director as well as a new armorer were hired for the duration of principal photography. Production of the film finished successfully.”

When reached by CNN, the sound crew member did not want to comment on the matter. Halls could not be reached for comment.

 Watch:

5 hr 43 min ago”The Rookie” changes prop weapons policy following fatal shooting on “Rust” setFrom CNN’s Sandra Gonzalez

Mekia Cox, Nathan Fillion and Melissa O’Neil star in “The Rookie.” (Raymond Liu/ABC)One ABC TV series has instated a new policy that will ban the use of so-called “live” weapons on set, following the fatal shooting on a movie set in

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