A “Brutal” On-Set Atmosphere, Reveals Rust Camera Assistant

On October 21st, a horrific incident happened on the sets of Rust, where Alec Baldwin mistakenly fired a prop gun which hit Halyna Hutchins, leaving her fatally injured and was declared dead shortly after. The production of Rust has been trickling out stories ever since. Now, a member of the camera team of the film, Lane Luper, has spoken about how the atmosphere was on the set of the film, to The Hollywood Reporter.

In his interview, Luper told that the production was disturbed and the crew was constantly overburdened and also said, “There was always an attitude of, ‘We don’t have enough time to do rehearsals. We don’t have enough time for safety meetings. We don’t have enough time to do a lineup'”. Luper defined the work atmosphere as “brutal.” He also got reminded of occasions of speaking up regarding concerns of safety that were “immediately dismissed”.

“It was a punishingly difficult show”, Luper said, “eight pages where you have to hand carry a majority of the film equipment, these cameras are heavy; COVID was a huge issue. And then my crew didn’t receive paychecks”.

Rust Movie Set, where the accident took place.
Rust Movie Set, where the accident took place.

Luper put light on some more issues with the production, and also his opinions of armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, about who, he said that she came before him, looking “incredibly overworked and inexperienced.”

Luper also thought that one of the major chaos on the set of Rust was the housing for the crew. “And yeah, the housing issue was an issue,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I had an hour drive every day to (the set) and an hour drive from (the set), plus getting ready in the morning and trying to get to bed at night. I was running on five hours of sleep, six hours of sleep sometimes”.

For Hannah Gutierrez Reed as well as the others in the armory and prop department, Luper expressed, “She had a department of three people on a show where everybody had a gun. It’s a Western. It’s a prop-heavy show, and the department was three inexperienced people.” Just like the rest of the production, Luper also made clear that, “It seemed like she was also under a lot of pressure to rush, rush, rush, rush, rush, rush, rush”.

Finally, Luper came to an end stating, “Everybody has a level of PTSD from this, especially people that were there”.

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