Newly released footage capturing actor Alec Baldwin's safety concerns on the set of the film 'Rust' just days before the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has surfaced, shedding light on the events leading up to the tragedy. The videos, obtained by NBC News, reveal Baldwin's cautious approach to handling prop guns during filming, highlighting the eerie prelude to the incident.
In several clips, Baldwin, fully immersed in his role, is seen firing prop guns loaded with dummy rounds. Yet, amid the intensity of the scenes, his attention to crew safety is evident. In one instance, he paused mid-take to ensure a crew member moved out of the gun's path, stating, "I don't want to shoot toward you." Another moment shows him requesting a blanket to safely place the prop gun, emphasizing his awareness of potential risks.
The footage, totaling around seven minutes from two weeks of filming, offers a glimpse into the set's atmosphere before the fatal accident on October 21, 2021. Baldwin's interactions with the crew, including his concern for a cameraman who fell during a scene, paint a picture of an actor mindful of his surroundings.
However, the calmness of these moments stands in stark contrast to the tragic incident that unfolded days later, when a live round discharged from Baldwin's prop gun resulted in Hutchins' death. The footage, now part of the investigation, was among numerous clips requested by special prosecutors from Rust Movie Productions LLC.
As prosecutors consider recharging Baldwin nearly two years after Hutchins' death, the videos have gained significance. Special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis stated, "After extensive investigation over the past several months, additional facts have come to light that we believe show Mr. Baldwin has criminal culpability in the death of Halyna Hutchins and the shooting of Joel Souza."
Baldwin's legal team has criticized the potential re-charging as "misguided," with attorney Luke Nikas expressing disappointment that the tragedy was being turned into a prosecution. Baldwin's initial involuntary manslaughter charges were dropped in April, but the possibility of new charges looms as the investigation continues.
Despite the ongoing legal challenges, filming of 'Rust' concluded in May, with Baldwin noting the completion as "nothing less than a miracle." The haunting footage serves as a reminder of the unpredictable dangers present in filmmaking, particularly when prop firearms are involved, and the heavy burden of responsibility on those in charge of safety on set.