Production on ‘Rust’ has been stopped until the investigation into Halyna Hutchins’ death is “complete”.
The cinematographer was tragically killed and director Joel Souza injured on set on Thursday (21.10.21) when lead actor Alec Baldwin shot a prop firearm during a rehearsal and crew were told in an email on Sunday (24.10.21) that they are unlikely to return to work for some time, though the project hasn’t been scrapped entirely.
In an email obtained by People magazine, the movie’s production team wrote: “[We] have made the decision to wrap the set at least until the investigations are complete.
“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.”
The email also told staff they would match any donations made by the ‘Rust’ crew to the Halyna Hutchins Scholarship Fund, which was created by her family.
The film’s electrician, Serge Svetnoy, has blamed “negligence and unprofessionalism” for the tragedy.
In a lengthy Facebook post, the gaffer told how Halyna died in his arms as he thanked those who had reached out with “words of support and condolences”.
He wrote: “Yes, I knew Halyna, not for a year. I worked with Her on almost all of her films. Sometimes we’ve shared food and water. We’ve been burning under the sun, freezing in the snow on the shoots. We took care of each other. Yes, I can say with 100% confidence she was my friend. WAS!!!
“Yes, I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life and injured the director Joel Souza. I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands. I want to tell my opinion on why this has happened. I think I have the right to do it.”
“It’s the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism. The negligence from the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this; the person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it. And the DEATH OF THE HUMAN IS THE RESULT!()”
There have yet to be any official findings of negligence as yet, despite Serge’s comments.
The electrician went on to send a message to producers and warned them to spend more on “professionals”.
He added: “Dear Producers, by hiring professionals, you are buying peace of mind for yourself and the people around you. It is true that the professionals can cost a little more and sometimes can be a little bit more demanding, but it is worth it. No saved penny is worth the LIFE of the person!
“And finally, dear Producers, please remember that it’s not you who are giving the opportunities to the people you hire make their money; it’s the people you hire who help You make Your money. Remember this!
“I also want to thank the camera operator @Ried Russell, who was with us and helped save Halyna. Thank you to the set medic @Cherlyn Schaefer who did everything she could to save Halyna’s life. We all loved Halyna. May God Bless her soul. Rest in Peace. And God protect Us All.”