The fatal prop gun shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin's new western film Rust has left movie fans quite disturbed. Much of the online chatter surrounding the incident has been focusing on another tragic accident on the set of a major Hollywood film: the death of Brandon Lee on the set of The Crow movie, back in 1993. Lee (the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee) was similarly killed when a prop gun that hadn't been properly checked and cleared fired off an actual projectile during a pivotal scene in which Lee's character is murdered. The tragedy shook Hollywood and world - a trauma that's now come up all over again.
Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on “Rust”. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period. 💔— Brandon Bruce Lee (@brandonblee) October 22, 2021
The family of Brandon Lee has now put out a statement on the accidental shooting on the set of Rust, which reads: "Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on "Rust". No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period."
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally wounded when actor Alec Baldwin's prop gun misfired while filming Rust; director Joel Souza was also injured, but is being treated for those injuries at the hospital. Police interviewed witnesses on the set of Rust (including Alec Baldwin), but no charges have been filed at this time.
The death of Brandon Lee send waves of trauma and concern throughout the filmmaking and stuntwork industries. The incident forced stunt coordinators to be far more diligent in understanding and safeguarding elements of prop firearms like primers, dummy charges, blank rounds, and the like. It's just one more reason so many are having a hard time understanding how such tragedy has struck again.
In 2005, the man who fired the fatal shot at Brandon Lee, late actor Michael Masse, spoke about how much tramua the incident left him with - as well as his new awareness about firearm safety on set:
"What happened to Brandon was a tragic accident. It's something I'm going to live with ... It took me the time it took to be able to not so much put it in perspective but to be able to move on with my life," he recounted to Extra TV.
"It's very personal. It's something that I wanna make sure when I work that it's never repeated. Therefore, I'm very conscious of things going awry on set."
The Cinematographer's Guild confirmed Hutchins' passing, calling it "a terrible loss."0comments
"We received the devastating news this evening, that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the Director of Photography on a production called 'Rust' in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set," National President John Lindley and National Executive Director Rebecca Rhine said in a statement. "The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event. This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild's family."
We send our support and condolences to family and friends of Halyna Hutchins, and all those affected by this tragedy.