Alec Baldwin/Rust Tragedy

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mtwentz
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Alec Baldwin/Rust Tragedy

Post by mtwentz »

Any thoughts on this? I would have thought after Brandon Lee, this would never happen again…
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AXX°N N.
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Re: Alec Baldwin/Rust Tragedy

Post by AXX°N N. »

This might be a tricky thread to keep from verging into straight politics talk.

It seems it was a perfect storm of circumstance, including industry politics and, of course, COVID.

IATSE (the union for propmasters, wardrobe, basically anyone not behind or in front of the camera) has been on the verge of a strike recently, and in the case of the Rust set specifically, several IATSE members quit just hours before the shooting, alleging safety concerns. Apparently, a prop gun misfire happened two times prior, COVID policies were being flouted, production failed to have their hotels paid for as per contracts, and they had salary payments coming in weeks late.

Because of the vacuum in workforce this created (sound familiar to every other industry?) the roles were filled by non-union members with less experience, and created an even more slapdash and haphazard protocol environment. Last I checked, no one even knew the sequence of events that led to the gun ending up in Baldwin's hand in the state it was in, just that there was a sense of loose chaos.

It feels like a microcosm of what's happening everywhere regarding strained resources, mass worker dissatisfaction and walkouts, leading to desperation on the corporate end and, ironically, even worse treatment and lowering standards for things like worker safety and compensation. It seems like a negative feedback loop. A dangerous set environment led to an even more dangerous one, because production chose to persist despite every contravening factor. Unfortunately, you can make the argument they had no choice, because they're a profit-seeking entity; that this was bound to happen. Our industries and economy seem fundamentally unable to incorporate the effects of COVID rationally.

What's curious to me is it's well-known that even blanks can blind and injure. In the case of The Crow shooting, it was a gun being fired at Lee because in the scene there was a gun being fired at Lee. But where and how was Baldwin using the gun during rehearsal that the muzzle had to align with two crewmembers, especially considering prior accidental discharges on the same set?
Recipe not my own. In a coffee cup. 3 TBS flour, 2 TBS sugar, 1.5 TBS cocoa powder, .25 TSP baking powder, pinch of salt. 3 TBS milk, 1.5 TBS vegetable oil, 1 TBS peanut butter. Add and mix each set. Microwave 1 minute 10 seconds. The cup will be hot.
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mtwentz
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Re: Alec Baldwin/Rust Tragedy

Post by mtwentz »

AXX°N N. wrote: Sat Oct 23, 2021 10:49 pm This might be a tricky thread to keep from verging into straight politics talk.

It seems it was a perfect storm of circumstance, including industry politics and, of course, COVID.

IATSE (the union for propmasters, wardrobe, basically anyone not behind or in front of the camera) has been on the verge of a strike recently, and in the case of the Rust set specifically, several IATSE members quit just hours before the shooting, alleging safety concerns. Apparently, a prop gun misfire happened two times prior, COVID policies were being flouted, production failed to have their hotels paid for as per contracts, and they had salary payments coming in weeks late.

Because of the vacuum in workforce this created (sound familiar to every other industry?) the roles were filled by non-union members with less experience, and created an even more slapdash and haphazard protocol environment. Last I checked, no one even knew the sequence of events that led to the gun ending up in Baldwin's hand in the state it was in, just that there was a sense of loose chaos.

It feels like a microcosm of what's happening everywhere regarding strained resources, mass worker dissatisfaction and walkouts, leading to desperation on the corporate end and, ironically, even worse treatment and lowering standards for things like worker safety and compensation. It seems like a negative feedback loop. A dangerous set environment led to an even more dangerous one, because production chose to persist despite every contravening factor. Unfortunately, you can make the argument they had no choice, because they're a profit-seeking entity; that this was bound to happen. Our industries and economy seem fundamentally unable to incorporate the effects of COVID rationally.

What's curious to me is it's well-known that even blanks can blind and injure. In the case of The Crow shooting, it was a gun being fired at Lee because in the scene there was a gun being fired at Lee. But where and how was Baldwin using the gun during rehearsal that the muzzle had to align with two crewmembers, especially considering prior accidental discharges on the same set?
Yeah, I mean, there are worker shortages everywhere. It is unreal. (On the positive side, this made it easy for my daughter to get her very first job and thus work experience. But overall, it has been a nightmare.)

So if that is the situation they were facing on the set of Rust, and obviously, hind sight is 20/20, but they should have been extra careful about shooting scenes.

In fact, maybe this is a moment to say movies should not have live ammunition or even blanks, anywhere near a movie set while COVID is going on. And while we are at it- maybe we should expand this to stunts or anything else that is dangerous needs to be handled only by union people, and with extreme caution. If stunts are being done with strained resources, maybe it is time to cancel them altogether.

Of course, all this is my pie-in-the-sky view of the world. The reality is that people do get careless under pressure.

If I may throw a Twin Peaks spin on this, I know there was some grumbling over the Duncan Todd shooting scene in Season 3, that it did not look realistic enough. I can't help but wonder if safety was one of the reasons it was done the way it was- maybe not as satisfying to the viewer, but safer for the cast/stunt crew.
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Re: Alec Baldwin/Rust Tragedy

Post by AXX°N N. »

mtwentz wrote: Mon Oct 25, 2021 2:35 pm In fact, maybe this is a moment to say movies should not have live ammunition or even blanks, anywhere near a movie set while COVID is going on. And while we are at it- maybe we should expand this to stunts or anything else that is dangerous needs to be handled only by union people, and with extreme caution. If stunts are being done with strained resources, maybe it is time to cancel them altogether.

Of course, all this is my pie-in-the-sky view of the world. The reality is that people do get careless under pressure.

If I may throw a Twin Peaks spin on this, I know there was some grumbling over the Duncan Todd shooting scene in Season 3, that it did not look realistic enough. I can't help but wonder if safety was one of the reasons it was done the way it was- maybe not as satisfying to the viewer, but safer for the cast/stunt crew.
Yeah, that ties in with some other things I heard about it where the kind of stuntwork being done on Rust was, apparently, not working realistically within the kind of budget/time constraints involved.

More details have come out pretty steadily about it and it keeps getting worse & worse. Crew members had used the gun for target practice recreationally, the armory expert seems to have been inexperienced regardless of the labor situation, possibly boiling down to nepotism, is on record saying she was lacking experience, had once accidentally given a live prop gun to a child actor ... there's a history of poor security protocol with the assistant director, it goes on and on. There's probably something even worse I haven't caught up on that just came out.

It seems it's more shaping up to be that the Rust set was extraordinarily poorly managed despite all the additional, exacerbating circumstances. It makes me pause and wonder if that's true, though--or rather, how many sets are accidents waiting to happen that didn't, and this is just the one that did, thus bringing attention to all these poor practices that could have easily passed by without any attention at all?

I mean, the whole thing with Uma Thurman's Kill Bill crash was kept a secret for years, even though it gave her lasting physical problems. Hollywood has had a lime light put onto all the negatives of its sexual dynamics--perhaps the next one should be safety concerns.

And that's an interesting point about S3. It seemed in the BTS that everyone was really on top of safety, for instance not wanting to do certain wire work with Sheryl Lee out of safety considerations.
Recipe not my own. In a coffee cup. 3 TBS flour, 2 TBS sugar, 1.5 TBS cocoa powder, .25 TSP baking powder, pinch of salt. 3 TBS milk, 1.5 TBS vegetable oil, 1 TBS peanut butter. Add and mix each set. Microwave 1 minute 10 seconds. The cup will be hot.
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