Rust worker who quit before shooting says there were 2 safety meetings

Rust camera assistant who quit night before fatal shooting says there were just TWO safety meetings and he’s never worked on a show that ‘cares so little about the safety of the crew’

  • Lane Luper, a camera assistant on Rust, claimed the production set up the ‘perfect storm’ of conditions that led to the tragic shooting of Halyna Hutchins
  • Luper resigned the day before the accident, claiming that employees were being overworked and COVID and gun safety protocols were being ignored
  • He said there were only ever two safety meetings on set involving the crew 
  • The lawyer for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer who provided Alec Baldwin the weapon, said she is heartbroken over the incident
  • Baldwin broke his online silence yesterday to repost a message from a costume designer who slammed critics of the film’s production 

The Rust camera assistant who quit on the night before Alec Baldwin accidentally shot the cinematographer recalled that there were only two safety meetings on set and said production did not take gun safety seriously. 

Lane Luper, who served as the film’s A-camera first assistant, said he quit because employees were being overworked, COVID-safety was not being enforced properly and gun safety was poor. 

‘I think with Rust, it was the perfect storm of the armorer, the assistant director, the culture that was on set, the rushing. It was everything,’ he told Good Morning America about the events that led up to the fatal shooting.

‘It wasn’t just one individual. Everything had to fall into place for this one-in-a-trillion thing to happen.’

He then disputed the producers’ claim that safety was a top priority on set, saying, ‘I only personally remember two safety meetings that involved the entire crew.’

Luper ultimately accused the film’s production of breaking the cardinal rule of having guns on set, which he said was, ‘There shall never be live rounds anywhere on a studio lot, or stage or set.’ 

He also choked up when describing the late Halyna Hutchins, saying ‘She genuinely was something special.’ 

Luper Lane has criticized the film’s production as one that created the perfect storm for the tragic shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Halyna Hutchins, center, was shot when a gun held by Alec Baldwin, to her left, went off in his hands. The gun was supposed to only only blanks, not live rounds

Baldwin has remained mostly quiet on set until he reposted a social media message from a fellow coworker slamming critics of Rust’s production

In his letter of resignation, Luper said there had been two accidental weapon discharges on set and one accidental sound-effects explosion that went off around the crew.

‘There have been NO explanations as to what to expect for these shots. When anyone from production is asked we are usually met with the same answers about not having enough time to complete the day if we rehearse or that ‘this is a 21 day shoot,’ Luper wrote in the letter. 

He added that the crew grew exhausted of long commutes from the set to their lodging, which for some more than two hours away. 

‘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,’ Luper said.

Luper claimed that there were two previous accidents of a weapon discharge on set and said there were only ever two safety meetings that involved the whole crew 

Luper said that Rust’s production showed very little care for the crew and gun safety. Circled, Halyna Hutchins and Alec Baldwin with the crew

Much of the blame for the death on set has been directed towards Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, left, the armorer, and David Halls, the assistant director

Hutchins died on October 21 after Baldwin pointed and fired a Colt pistol at her during a scene.

Baldwin was handling the vintage gun on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when it accidentally discharged – killing the mom-of-one and wounding director Joel Souza.

The gun was supplied by the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and checked by the assistant director David Halls, who told Baldwin it was a ‘cold gun,’ meaning it had blanks. 

Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer, Jason Bowles, told the Today Show that ‘She’s heartbroken, and she’s just devastated by what’s happened. ‘ 

Bowles previously told NBC News that the young armorer had ‘no idea where the live rounds came from” and never witnessed anyone shooting live ammunition on set.’ 

While Luper and other Rust crew members continue to slam the production of the western, Baldwin fired back on Tuesday by sharing a social media post from one crew member slamming her coworkers for painting a ‘blatantly false’ picture of the set as ‘chaotic and unsafe’. 

Pictured, Hutchins on set just before Baldwin’s gun would go off

Luper said Hutchins, pictured, was ‘genuinely was something special’  

Baldwin shared a screenshot of the post written by costume designer Terese Magpale Davis to his Instagram account with the caption: ‘Read this.’

‘I am so sick of this narrative,’ Davis wrote in her post. ‘I worked on this movie. The story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bull***t.’

Davis’ post refuted many of the complaints of crew members – including that they routinely worked more than 12-hour days. 

‘We never worked more than a 12.5 hour shoot day. That was once,’ Davis wrote.

‘Most days were under 12. The day Halyna died we had come off of a 12 hour turnaround after an 11 hour shoot day. We had (including camera) gotten off by 6:30pm.’ 

Davis continued, sharing that the fatal shooting that occurred on set will haunt her for a long time. She notes that she is angry at Dave Hall, the assistant director who handed Baldwin the gun, but would not accuse him of not caring about safety.

‘I am heartbroken and furious,’ she wrote. ‘I will never get the sound of that gunshot or my director’s screams out of my head as a result.’

‘My friend is dead. Am I angry at him? Yes. But I won’t jump on the bandwagon and pretend that he was uncaring about our safety the whole way through.’

Baldwin had remained silent about the incident on Rust prior to sharing the post. 

He issued a public statement the day after Hutchins’ death in which he indicated that he was cooperating with authorities and offered his condolences to her family. He also held an impromptu press conference with his wife on Saturday.

His silence was also reflected in his social media accounts, until Saturday when he appeared to return to some of his typical online behaviors.

His sharing of Davis’ post is the first publicly-made indication that he doesn’t agree with the narrative crew members have created.

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