Alec Baldwin Movie set Gun situation question

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by DaleClark, Jan 30, 2023.

  1. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    It was reported within days of the incident that there were people using the guns for "target practice" in the desert, which obviously was with live ammunition. It sounds like this location offered people who like shooting guns a prime opportunity to do it, and they partook of it. Common sense says that gun enthusiasts would be very excited to go target shooting at a "dude ranch" type of location. I always thought this could be how the live ammo got into the gun.

    That's debatable. The Crow crew was tasked with making dummy rounds out of live ammunition. They made them improperly, removing the powder charges but leaving in the firing pins. So, it was somewhere between a live round and a dummy round. I'd say it legally qualifies as a live round.

    At some point, the gun was fired, although it's unclear why. The firing pin created just enough force to push the round forward and lodge it into the barrel of the gun. Later, when they replaced the rounds with blanks, no one checked the barrel, and the old round remained in there. The firing of the blank in the scene then propelled the old round out with similar force as if it was a real bullet, killing Brandon.

    Important distinction, blanks have powder and firing pins but no bullet. Dummy rounds have bullets, but no powder or firing pins. They're opposites, two sides of the same coin. Dummies are used for close-ups where a bullet needs to be seen on camera. Blanks are there to give you the flash effect of firing the gun. Brandon's death was the result of what was intended to be a dummy round and a blank working together in a freak accident to effectively create a real bullet. Like the Rust incident, it required multiple people to make multiple mistakes for it to happen.

    Arguably, the Rust incident would have been easier to prevent than the Crow incident. Because the primary failure point on the Crow was the more technical area of making dummy rounds. There's a reason this work is farmed out to contractors, like it was on Rust. I'm not sure if standard procedure in the '90s was to farm that work out or to do it on set, like The Crow did.

    I would hope they ALL know what you just said is NOT true. Jon-Erik Hexum died because he erroneously believed what you just said. It is absolutely not true. A blank at very close range will seriously damage your body. It was enough to break Hexum's skull and lodge a piece of it in his brain. A blank has all the force of a bullet, just without the bullet. It's still a tremendous amount of force, so if the barrel is right up against something, it will do damage.

    Precisely. This is where we would almost certainly see the actor demand it to be shown to him that the gun is incapable of doing damage. It would have to be opened in his presence and shown that it has no rounds for a scene like this, or that they were blanks or dummy rounds for another type of scene. Even if he has no idea how to technically tell what is what, simply demanding that the gun professionals double check their work would have likely prevented this tragedy. Sadly, because the gun was only pointed at someone else, Baldwin didn't seem to be as concerned as he might've been if he had been asked to point it at himself. If I was prosecuting his case, I would definitely ask him on the stand to say if he would've done anything differently if he had been asked to point the gun at himself.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2024
  2. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    To answer your question to your last line, probably not. And his death would have satisfied a few people on this thread. No question.
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  3. Quakerism

    Quakerism Serial number 141467.

    Rural Pennsylvania
    Asking Baldwin if he would've done anything differently if he had been asked to point the gun at himself….reminds me of the bacon and eggs story. In a bacon and eggs breakfast …the chicken is involved but the pig is really committed.
  4. seacliffe301

    seacliffe301 Forum Resident

    Safety protocols are one of the duties of the A.D., in this case David Halls. It would have been he that confirmed the status of the gun after the armorer examined it. Clearly this did not happen, with tragic results.
  5. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    And it was Halls who handed the gun to Baldwin and told him it was a "cold gun".
  6. balzac

    balzac Senior Member

    I would definitely hope they would all know that's not true, and that's why I mentioned Hexum's "Cover Up" incident in my post.

    But I think human nature is such that, however wrongly, people tend to think that live ammo not being on set would preclude all but the most deliberate events (e.g. Hexum literally holding the gun to his head) leading to death. And indeed, one can see, on some level, how atrophy/laziness/being uninformed, etc. could lead to this, because it's likely true that even if every other fluke mistake, rampant laziness, miscommunication, unprofessional, dangerous action had still happened on the "Rust" set *other* than the live ammo being in circulation, then it's likely nobody would have died or been injured. Reed could have still been an awful, lazy, armorer in every other way *but* allowing live ammo on set. Baldwin could have pulled the trigger a million times. The AD could have never checked the gun. I'm obviously not arguing any of these things should actually be the case. If someone *actually* thinks about it, all of the double/triple/extra safety checks and redundancies are in place *because* of the very rare fluke things that can happen.
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  7. balzac

    balzac Senior Member

    Yes, of course. I was only referencing that it wasn't a "Rust" situation where someone just literally "oops" put live ammunition into the gun. I've read and watched docs on the "Crow" incident. My only point was that in light of even the more "freak/rare" situation as happened with "The Crow", I would be uneasy with any type of firearm on a movie (either using one or being on the other end of one), barring I guess literal fake plastic/rubber prop replicas with no functionality.
    BeatleJWOL likes this.
  8. balzac

    balzac Senior Member

    I've watched some of the Reed trial testimony, and as I recall, the AD Halls claims he handed the gun back to Reed, who in turn handed it Baldwin.

    This doesn't necessarily speak to "responsibility" as such, but that's the alleged chain of events.

    Because Halls already had cut a deal, he was able to speak with relative freedom and "self-incriminate" as such. And his testimony really didn't, to me, seem to particularly increase or decrease the level of responsibility or culpability Reed *or* Baldwin might have.

    Halls basically says up to that day, he thought Reed was doing a good job, and leading up to the incident, Reed handed him the gun and he admits he didn't fully/thoroughly check the gun.

    You come away after Halls' testimony not really thinking Reed is more or less guilty. Halls comes across as honest, and a person that just happens to be somewhat intermittently lazy and/or not observant enough or safety-conscious enough.

    The DA didn't do a particularly impressive job questioning him, asking him some kind of muddled questions. At one point, Halls says he didn't pay attention to Reed after he did the gun check with her (thus he didn't see her leave). After the shooting, he went outside and spoke to Reed. So the DA asks Halls if he knew Reed had left the church. He clearly said he didn't see her leave, but that he looked for her after and spoke to her outside. So the DA asked a number of slightly confusing, unclear questions like this. Did Halls know Reed had left? It depends on when you're talking about. By the time he saw her outside, implicit in speaking to her outside is that, at that point, he knows she's not in the church anymore. So this led to several instances where Halls was confused. About half of his confusion seemed warranted, and the other half of the time it was strange that he seemed so confused.

    Not that any of it mattered too much to Reed's case. I haven't yet seen Reed's team even address why she isn't at least *one of* the people responsible for not checking the gun. Even in a conspiracy theory scenario where someone was trying to frame her, there's nothing to dispute she didn't make that final check. I mean, I guess if there was incontrovertible proof that someone planted live rounds to frame her, then that could *maybe* be enough of a mitigating factor to not find her guilty even if she still should have checked. But they obviously didn't do that. I don't think Reed ever had much of a chance.

    Baldwin on the other hand, I think would have a lot more avenues to work in his defense.
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  9. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    And if he doesn't, he's chosen the wrong defense team. He might get penalized somewhat, but I doubt any "jail time" will be involved.
  10. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    Wake me up in July. Unless a plea deal is reached first.
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  11. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    My impression is that Halls' story has changed a bit over time. There was reports early on that he told police that he handed the gun to Baldwin and told him it was a cold gun. The testimony he gave at Hannah's trial seems intended to make him less directly responsible for what happened.

    Back on page 8 of this thead, @SandAndGlass posted this quote from a news story, though I don't see a link to the original story:

    "Halls checked the weapon before it was handed to Baldwin, though the precise nature of his involvement remains in dispute. Baldwin has said that Halls handed him the weapon and declared it a “cold gun,” meaning it did not contain any blank rounds. Gutierrez Reed has also said that she handed it to Halls, and then left the building before Baldwin arrived."
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  12. balzac

    balzac Senior Member

    Yeah, that is a strange series of confusing assertions. It's even more confusing because it's unclear how the different version of the story help or hurt each person's case.

    Halls and Reed may well be trying to pass some level of responsibility to each other, but they both remain pretty culpable regardless of what order the hand-off occurred.

    Baldwin is the only one of the three who has a better chance of a blanket "not my job" argument, again regardless of who touched the gun or handed it off.

    I'm curious how hard the DA is going to go on the "he's a producer, so he's responsible" argument, as well as the "he pulled the trigger, so he's responsible" argument, because once again Baldwin has a lot more tools/room at his disposal to *potentially* wave off those accusations.
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  13. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

  14. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

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  15. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    I'd call it more obligatory than reasonable.
  16. I predicted the motion to dismiss from Baldwin, but whether the judge goes for it? We shall see.
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  17. Kassonica

    Kassonica Forum Resident

    New Mexico state prosecutors plan to argue that Alec Baldwin was unable to control his emotions on the set of the film Rust, where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when a gun held by the actor went off – and that he “shamelessly lied” and changed his story about the deadly shooting.

    The 66-year-old actor is due to go on trial in July on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for his part in Hutchins’ death in Santa Fe. Baldwin has denied wrongdoing. But in a 32-page public filing released on Monday, prosecutor Kari Morrissey alleged that the actor would shout and swear on the set, and his uncontrolled behavior had affected safety.

    “To watch Mr Baldwin’s conduct on the set of Rust is to witness a man who has absolutely no control of his own emotions and absolutely no concern for how his conduct affects those around him,” Morrissey wrote. “Witnesses have testified that it was this exact conduct that contributed to safety compromises on set.”

    Alec Baldwin had ‘no control’ over his emotions on Rust set, prosecutors say
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  18. will_b_free

    will_b_free Forum Resident

    Boulder, CO
    They must not have much of a case if they’re resorting to baiting Baldwin by calling him emotional or whatever nonsense that was.
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  19. Quakerism

    Quakerism Serial number 141467.

    Rural Pennsylvania
    My current thoughts are Baldwin might well be convicted due to victim sympathy, Baldwin’s prior actions recorded on set, and the pointing of the gun directly at non actor participants. That Reed was convicted … should concern him also. And jury’s do tend to be more willing to convict on charges with minimal penalties. I just wis Kari T. Morrissey would quit fighting with her glasses. On her head, in her hand, pointing at the witness….it’s annoying.
  20. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    new york city
    This confirms the question that I had earlier in the thread: was this case against Baldwin revived because they learned something new about what happened on the set and/or had new physical evidence to offer? Because my opinion that the charges were unwarranted under NM state law were based on the facts as we knew them last.

    Sadly, this seems to confirm that there is no new evidence or new information. The local prosecutors have decided that they do not like Alec Baldwin and/or his attorneys and so are going to try to win a case that should never be brought, based on attacking his character. Once these things get in front of a jury, nobody knows what will happen. To bring charges this serious against someone, in what is obviously bad faith, is pitiable.
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  21. Knox Harrington

    Knox Harrington Forum Resident

    Is this a jury trial for Baldwin? I'm thinking it is. His attorney from the article I read is with a New York big law firm - stupid move. Baldwin needs a seasoned New Mexico trial attorney with the bolo tie, cowboy boots, and mustache. Even if the New York attorney is advising and guiding the litigation, they should be using a New Mexico trial attorney who knows how to work a New Mexico jury.
  22. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member

    Los Angeles CA USA
    That's all fine and dandy, but why did the pig cross the road?!?
  23. Kassonica

    Kassonica Forum Resident

    to eat the chicken :D
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  24. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    I see the armorer was sentenced to the maximum 18 months in prison. She really did herself no favors with her many phone calls in jail. I watched a clip summarizing the calls, which she had to know were recorded, and I'm not surprised she got the big hammer.
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  25. Quakerism

    Quakerism Serial number 141467.

    Rural Pennsylvania
    She will be out in not much more than a year and no probation. I don't believe she will be able to possess firearms which seems appropriate.
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