Sunday, December 5, 2021
HomeEntertainment'Rust' camera chief says set safety was 'massive issue'

‘Rust’ camera chief says set safety was ‘massive issue’

In a brief comment to CNN Tuesday night, Lane Luper, the A-camera first assistant, said crew was “rushed and unsafe” on the set of the western.He expanded in an interview with ABC Wednesday, citing lax “gun safety, a lack of rehearsals, [and] a lack of preparing the crew for what we were doing that day.”Emails obtained by CNN show that Luper’s resignation arrived with a host of complaints about an unsafe work environment.”During the filming of gunfights on this job things are often played very fast and loose,” Luper wrote.He wrote of two accidental weapons discharges on set and one special effects mess-up that set off explosives around the crew between takes.”I personally suffer from pretty bad tinnitus and the SFX explosive sent my ears ringing until I got home. To be clear there are NO safety meetings these days,” Luper wrote, using an abbreviation for special effects.Luper also complained of a lack of adequate lodging for crew nearby the set, delayed paychecks, and “the most lax covid policies I’ve personally ever seen in any business or private setting related to filmmaking.””In my 10 years as a camera assistant I’ve never worked on a show that cares so little for the safety of its crew,” he wrote.In a statement to CNN, “Rust” producers called Luper’s allegations regarding the film’s budget and safety “patently false,” adding it “is not surprising considering his job was to be a camera operator, and he had absolutely nothing to [do] with, or knowledge of, safety protocols or budgets.””Safety is always the number one priority on our films, and it is truly awful to see some using this tragedy for personal gain,” the producers added.In previous statements, “Rust” producers maintained they were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety and are conducting an internal review.Questions of workplace safety are mounting as investigators are seeking to determine how a live round made its way into the gun that was fired by actor and producer Alec Baldwin, killing the movie’s cinematographer and injuring its director.On Tuesday, Baldwin took to his social media to share an account of a ‘Rust’ crew member that presented a sharply different account of the on-set environment, suggesting that criticism of unsafe conditions and unhappiness on the set was overblown.The comments appear to have been made on a social media account of “Rust” costume designer Terese Magpale Davis.In the post she claims that the narrative of the film being beset by unsafe and chaotic conditions is “bulls..t” and that “concerns were heard and addressed” by the producers on the film.”They cared about us while we all worked together, and they continue to care,” she wrote, batting away allegations that production was consciously cutting corners and compromising on safety standards.”We had several safety meetings. Sometimes multiple per day,” she wrote.Davis wrote that the assistant director on the film, David Halls, never seemed flippant about safety and defended the hiring of armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed writing, “the armorer had apprenticed to a well-known armorer and had been in the same position in the same type of movie a few months before”.Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys have said that safety was her number one priority on set.”Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from,” her attorneys Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence said in a statement last week.CNN was unable to reach Davis and Baldwin for further comment on the posts.Baldwin has been in phone contact with detectives, willingly answering their questions, law enforcement and the actor have said.In an interview with CNN last week, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said that determining how the gun fired by Baldwin became loaded with suspected live rounds will play a key factor in any decision to bring possible criminal charges in the case.”I think that that will probably end up being kind of the linchpin for whether a decision is made about charges,” she said.


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