Rust movie set
Source: Getty

State of New Mexico Fines Rust Movie Productions, LLC for Safety Violations

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Apr. 21 2022, Published 12:20 p.m. ET

Rust Movie Productions, LLC jumped into the American public’s eye last October due to a tragic on-set event resulting in the death of a cinematographer. Actor Alec Baldwin was the one holding the gun that killed Halyna Hutchins, although it's said to have been accidental. Who owns Rust Movie Productions, the company being fined for Hutchins’ death?

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The state of New Mexico, where the movie Rust was being filmed, has fined Rust Movie Productions, LLC its maximum allowable penalty for mishandling recognized hazards. The production company received a $136,793 fine under what the Occupational Health & Safety Bureau called a "willful-serious" citation.

Alec Baldwin was part of Rust Movie Productions, LLC.

Possibly due to the ongoing investigations about the death on the Rust set, public information on the actual production company responsible is difficult to find. Baldwin is listed as a producer on the film’s Wikipedia page.

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Alec Baldwin and Halyna Hutchins
Source: Hilaria & Alec Baldwin Foundation Facebook, Halyna Hutchins Facebook

Other producers, who likely made up the production company as a whole, included Matt DelPiano, Ryan Smith, Anjul Nigam, Ryan Winterstern, and Nathan Klingher. Whether they are all considered owners isn't clear.

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Rust Movie Productions was fined for willful safety violations on the set.

The New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau concluded a lengthy investigation into the events that caused Hutchins' death. Her death on October 21, 2021, happened primarily because the production company didn't follow national film safety standards for firearms, said James Kenney of the New Mexico environment cabinet.

The investigation into the death involved 14 interviews, 1,560 hours of staff time, and review of 566 documents, Deadline reported.

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The report given by the New Mexico OHSB discussed two previous incidents involving misfired firearms on the set. As CinemaBlend reported, the day before Hutchins was shot, the first assistant camera operator resigned from the job amid safety concerns.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer for the film, also has said that due to being assigned additional duties, she wasn't able to properly perform armorer duties (including safety training).

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Santa Fe press
Source: Getty

A Santa Fe sheriff's squad car at a press conference on October 27, 2021, six days after Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on set.

Film companies are expected to follow national safety precautions.

Some of the required safety protocols that Rust Movie Productions, LLC was supposed to follow, but didn’t, include:

  • Live ammunition should never be brought on set.

  • Daily safety meetings must happen when firearms are in use.

  • No firearm should ever be pointed at someone except after consultation with a safety official.

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Violation of these requirements, the investigation concluded, led to a loss of life that was “avoidable.” The bureau said that shows “indifference” toward the risks posed by firearms on a movie set. The production company was found to have repeatedly ignored reports of unsafe activity on set and inadequate safety training.

Rust Movie Productions, LLC must pay $136,793 as a penalty.

The New Mexico agency handed down the maximum financial penalty to the production company of the now-suspended Rust film. Rust Movie Productions, LLC must pay $136,793 within 15 days of receiving the citation.

Alternatively, Rust Movie Productions may decide to contest the decision, which spokesperson Stefan Friedman has said they intend to do. The company must also provide certification of how they intend to correct the safety issues in the future.

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