The “Rust” film shooting incident in Santa Fe, New Mexico that left its rising star cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, useless – and likewise despatched director Joel Souza to the hospital — has native film buffs baffled at the alleged lack of safety protocols on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set.

“The very first thing you learn in the very first class you take is safety,” Santa Fe Community College School of Art and Design dean Dr. Jim Wysong informed Fox News on Tuesday. 

The faculty homes the school’s film division the place for years, it skilled college students to work within the film trade and Wysong mentioned they’ve a quantity of present and former college students who’re employed by some of the manufacturing corporations in New Mexico. 

“It’s a very tight-knit community,” Wysong added. “What all of my faculty have been kind of most puzzled over is that safety is absolutely paramount and obviously there were some breaches in their protocol on this.”


Candles are placed in front of a photo of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a vigil in her honor at Albuquerque Civic Plaza on October 23, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hutchins was killed on set while filming the movie 'Rust' at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The film's star and producer Alec Baldwin discharged a firearm that hit Hutchins and director Joel Souza.

Candles are positioned in entrance of a photograph of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins throughout a vigil in her honor at Albuquerque Civic Plaza on October 23, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hutchins was killed on set whereas filming the film ‘Rust’ at Bonanza Creek Ranch close to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The film’s star and producer Alec Baldwin discharged a firearm that hit Hutchins and director Joel Souza.
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

The increased training administrator – whose film program is plugged into Hollywood in varied capacities – defined that they work very intently with native International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) president Liz Paicos to assist develop coaching applications and serve the staffing wants of the union. He acknowledged the alleged concern some crewmembers had within the weeks and days main as much as the shooting.

“Immediately before this happened, IATSE narrowly avoided a strike over some of the very kinds of concerns that have been raised over working hours and working conditions, which can contribute to accidents happening,” Wysong mentioned of the experiences. “So there was certainly a lot of buzz about that issue. And then, of course, this tragedy occurred, which kind of underscored some of the concerns that the union was raising about the impact of working conditions on safety.”

Wysong pressed that given the extent of safety required for the use of any sort of firearm on set – whether or not loaded or not – many of the locals had been left shaking their collective heads at the tragic finish to Hutchins’ life.

“Again, we don’t know all the facts yet, but from what has been revealed, there was obviously a serious breakdown in how this was handled,” he mentioned. “Having live ammunition on a set with… everybody I’ve talked to just rolled their eyes and said, ‘That’s just unthinkable.'”


Santa Fe has been dwelling to many film and tv productions, and because it mourns the loss of one filmmaker, Wysong hopes the incident sparks actual change and mandates centered on an evolving fashion of manufacturing which he believes all however absolves the necessity for projectile-firing prop weapons.

“The union does a great job already on stressing safety. I mean, they’re really big on it,” he defined. “In fact, that’s one of the things that sometimes creates the tensions when especially on independent productions, they choose not to use union personnel.” 

Wysong went on to recommend studios ought to merely “use CGI to put in your muzzle flare and things like that and not have any kind of blanks necessary and you’re not shooting anything out of a gun whatsoever.”

“I do think that there has been for some time now people saying that the state of the art on digital effects is such that having a live-fire on a set isn’t even necessary anymore – that you can do close-up shots with replicas or even with real pistols that aren’t loaded,” he mentioned.

The Bonanza Creek Film Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is shown Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.

The Bonanza Creek Film Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is proven Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.
(AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Wysong maintained that implementing a common set of safety requirements that each one members of forged and crew should certify would do wonders for the trade as an entire.

“I think that building on what the union has done, building on what the curricula of different schools, including ours – what we’re doing – moving to something that is more, if not universal that has some well-established standards that are recognized in the industry, across the country and elsewhere – I think that’s an important thing,” he mentioned. 

“But ironically, what drives everything ultimately comes down to money and if you’re going to get insurance to be able to operate, I think that the underwriters are going to have a lot to say about this. And so maybe that will be how people are forced to come to have some standards in terms of the training,” he continued. “So, we’ll see but I hope that something comes out of this and that the death of Halyna was not in vain that and there will be a legacy of an improvement in safety.”

Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed Thursday on set of ‘Rust' by actor Alec Baldwin. The shot also left director Joel Souza injured.

Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed Thursday on set of ‘Rust’ by actor Alec Baldwin. The shot additionally left director Joel Souza injured.
(Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie)

Hutchins was pronounced useless Thursday after being flown to a close-by hospital. The cinematographer was shot by Baldwin after he was handed, what he believed, was a “cold” or “unloaded” gun by assistant director Dave Halls on the set of the indie film “Rust” throughout a rehearsal. Halls was unaware that the firearm was loaded, based on data.

Production on the film has been halted till the Sante Fe Sheriff’s Office completes an investigation into the incident.

On Tuesday, the Sante Fe Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Fox News that no one from the set was requested to remain on the town, together with Baldwin. “No one’s been charged or arrested. So, you don’t impose those types of things on people,” Santa Fe County Sheriff’s public data officer, Juan Rios, mentioned.  “And we’re always of the mindset that people will be, if they don’t live here, that they will continue to be cooperative with the investigators.”

The sheriff’s workplace has performed one search of the film set, the place authorities collected ammunition and a number of firearms, a warrant obtained by Fox News on Tuesday revealed.

The manufacturing firm itself has additionally claimed to be conducting a separate investigation and “internal review of [its] procedures while production is shut down.” 

“The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company. 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. We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time,” the producers mentioned in a latest assertion obtained by Fox News.