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Assistant film director Baldwin fired after 2019 incident | Celebrity news

SANTA FE, NM (AP) – The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin the gun that killed a cinematographer last week had been fired from a previous job after a gun went off on a set and injured a member of the film crew, a producer said Monday.

The disclosure came as the producers of Baldwin’s film officially halted filming, and court records showed investigators seized more than two dozen items from the set the day after filming.

In an emailed statement to The Associated Press, a producer of the film “Freedom’s Path” confirmed that Dave Halls was fired from the 2019 production after a crew member sustained a minor injury “when a gun was unexpectedly discharged “. The producer, who asked not to be identified by name, wrote that Halls “was immediately taken off the set.” Production only resumed after Halls’ demise.

His dismissal from “Freedom’s Path” was first reported by CNN. Halls did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment.

The producer is the second person to question Halls’ safety record. On Sunday, another crew member who worked with Halls said she raised concerns about him in 2019.

Maggie Goll, a props maker and licensed pyrotechnician, said in a statement that she has filed an internal complaint with the executive producers of Hulu’s “Into the Dark” series regarding Halls’ behavior. Goll said in a telephone interview that Halls ignored safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics and attempted to continue filming after the supervising pyrotechnician, who was diabetic, passed out on set.

The fatal shooting and previous experiences point to greater safety concerns, Goll said, adding that crew safety was a major issue in recent contract negotiations between a union that represents film and television workers and a large group of producers.

“This situation does not concern Dave Halls. … It is by no means a person’s fault, ”she said. “It’s a larger conversation about safety on set and what we’re trying to achieve with this culture.”

In an email sent to ‘Rust’ crew members over the weekend, the film’s production crew confirmed that work on the western has been suspended at least until the investigation is complete. . The team said they were working with law enforcement and conducting their own internal security review. The production company also offers grief counseling.

The email suggested that work on the film could resume at some point.

“Although our hearts are broken and it is difficult to see beyond the horizon, it is, for now, a pause rather than an end,” the email read.

The sheriff’s investigation continued on Monday and new court documents showed authorities seized three black revolvers, boxes of ammunition, a fanny pack with ammunition, several used cartridge cases, two leather belts with holsters, clothing and swabs of what was believed to be blood. .

No charges have been laid. Prosecutors and law enforcement were to take stock of the investigation on Wednesday.

Moments before the shooting, Baldwin was explaining how he was going to take the gun out of its holster and where his arm would be placed, according to court records.

The actor had learned that the weapon could be safely used for rehearsing a scene in which he was supposed to take out the weapon while sitting on a church pew and point it at the camera, according to the archives.

Cameraman Reid Russell told a detective that he was not sure the gun was checked before it was handed over to Baldwin, and he was unsure why the gun was fired.

The camera was not rolling when the gunshot exploded and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, Russell told authorities, according to a search warrant affidavit released on Sunday.

Authorities said Halls handed the gun to Baldwin and announced a “cold pistol,” indicating it was safe.

Asked how Baldwin treated guns on set, Russell said the actor was safe, citing a previous case where Baldwin made sure a child actor was not near him when a firearm was unloaded.

The affidavit released on Sunday also included statements from director Joel Souza, who stood behind Hutchins and was injured.

He detailed the moments before the shoot and showed that there was unrest on the set on the day of the shoot. Several members of the film crew left production in a dispute over payment and accommodation, Russell said, and he still had a lot of work to do. Only one camera was available for filming, and it had to be moved because the light had changed and there was a shadow.

Souza said he was focused on how the scene would appear on camera. He said he recalled hearing the phrase “cold gun” before the shooting, according to the affidavit.

He said the scene did not call for the use of live ammunition. After a lunch break, Souza said he was not sure the gun had been checked again. Souza was looking over Hutchins’ shoulder when he heard the shot, according to the affidavit.

The film’s chief electrician, Serge Svetnoy, blamed the producers for Hutchins’ death in a moving Facebook post on Sunday. Svetnoy said he had worked with Hutchins on several films and criticized the “negligence and unprofessional nature” of those handling guns on set. He said the producers hired an inexperienced gunsmith.

Baldwin, who is known for his roles in “30 Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October” and his impression of former President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”, described the murder as a “tragic accident”.


Italy reported from New York. Associated Press editors Ryan Pearson in Los Angeles, Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Oregon, and Michelle Eaton in Newport Beach, California, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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