Speed Reads

'corners were being cut'

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, killed on Baldwin movie, had reportedly advocated for safer on-set conditions

The cinematographer killed in the tragic incident on set of 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin's film Rust had reportedly "been advocating for safer conditions for her team" ahead of Thursday's fatal shooting, writes the Los Angeles Times, according to a crew member who was on the set.

Halyna Hutchins, remembered by industry colleagues as a "brilliant talent," died after being struck with a projectile from a prop gun that Baldwin unintentionally discharged, officials said, though a full investigation of events is underway. The film's director, Joel Souza, was also injured, but is expected to make a full recovery.

Labor trouble on the set of Rust had "been brewing for days," writes the Los Angeles Times. Just hours before the fatal shooting, a "half-dozen camera crew workers walked off the set to protest working conditions," which included complaints of long hours and issues with pay, according to three people familiar with the matter. 

As the union camera crew gathered their gear, "several nonunion members showed up to replace them," writes the Los Angeles Times. "Corners were being cut — and they brought in nonunion people so they could continue shooting," said one person with knowledge of the matter.

The person also told the Times "there was a serious lack of safety meetings on this set," noting there were two other misfires of the prop gun on Saturday and one the previous week. The accident that killed Hutchins occured approximately six hours after the union camera crew departed. 

Rust Movie Productions LLC said in a statement that safety of cast and crew is the production's "top priority."

"Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down."