While filming, Alec Baldwin shoots cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injures director Joel Souza in the shoulder. The shot comes from a film gun. What went wrong?
As a weapons master, Guillaume Delouche has been taking care of the safe handling of weapons on Hollywood film sets for three decades.
“Such a model must have been used. It is a replica of a 45 caliber revolver that is loaded from the rear.
During the shooting of the western film “Rust”, according to the police report, Baldwin aimed a gun directly at the camera during a light test when the fatal shot broke. Actually, a meticulous security protocol should protect everyone on the set, as weapons expert Delouche explains:
“If the actor has to be close to the camera and no other actor is involved in the scene, Plexiglas panes are used. In addition, the cameramen and crew members are equipped with fire protection, earplugs and eye protection. The protocol is very strict.
Scene 4: Weapons expert sorts weapons in front of a shelf
But not only the right equipment is crucial. Responsible handling when shooting is also important:
Original sound: weapons expert
“It’s better not to ever aim at anyone directly. So we work with the director of photography so that no one is in the firing line.” … „Guns are being handled as real guns“
It is better not to aim at anyone directly. Gunsmiths work with the camera crew so that nobody is in the line of fire. … All weapons are treated like real weapons. “
According to the police report, director Souza assumed that it was a so-called “cold weapon”. Firearms used on set are either plastic replicas or real guns with no ammunition.
While automatic weapons are usually only made of plastic, old models, such as revolvers or carbines, are mostly used in the original. That has something to do with credibility, explains Deluche:
“The audience is really smart, they know guns, they know history and things like that. So we use real guns that we secure because they add authenticity on set and help the actors perform.”
A cold gun is a real gun without ammunition in film jargon. However, because the murder weapon was loaded – that is, it was hot – and the security protocols were obviously not adequately adhered to, the investigation now focuses on two people. On the one hand the weapon master in charge and on the other hand the assistant director to whom Baldwin handed over the supposedly cold weapon.