THE BACKGROUND: On Oct. 21, on a film set in New Mexico, what was purported to be fiction lurched into actuality in the most damaging of the way.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed by a prop gun held by Alec Baldwin, one in every of the nation’s most distinguished actors. The ensuing anguish and investigation revealed what some stated had been harmful gun-handling protocols on a set the place some crew members had complained about circumstances.
Baldwin has not been charged, although the investigation continues and lawsuits have been filed. Authorities nonetheless have no idea how a dwell spherical ended up in the prop firearm, and Baldwin has stated he didn’t pull the set off.
Here, some Associated Press journalists concerned in the protection replicate on the story and their very own experiences.
CEDAR ATTANASIO, reporter, Santa Fe:
I grew up in New Mexico. And a number of people that I grew up with, once they thought of their future, it was like, “We don’t have industry here.” This is a poor state, and the movie business has change into a method for folks to have a profession and do one thing thrilling. It’s very a lot a state that’s simply stuffed with storytellers.
I moonlit — labored on few movie units — after I was youthful. And then I labored with individuals who labored with the those who labored on this set. So when when this occurred, it was actually shocking and I knew immediately how how a lot of an anomaly demise from a firearm on a movie set was. So no matter movie star was concerned or no matter the movie was, I simply knew immediately it was going to be an enormous story as a result of this hasn’t occurred in — what? — a long time.
I believe it’s a very excessive instance of accountability and there not being fast solutions. This taking pictures, and this dispute with the employees on the set occurred as the movie unions had been negotiating new phrases round working circumstances, and as there’s a labor crunch throughout the nation, and different unions are combating for various working circumstances. This incident kind of broke out of Hollywood, and it sort of had a ripple impact and spoke to all of the different labor points that had been occurring in the nation. I believe that individuals look to tales about celebrities to be taught one thing extra about the zeitgeist in the nation. And this movie star story was very a lot about security and very a lot about labor unions. And I believe that it acquired a number of consideration at a time when different labor unions and different industries had been utilizing their energy on this labor crunch to demand higher working circumstances.
MORGAN LEE, correspondent, Santa Fe:
It’s extraordinarily difficult to journalists to sweat by means of the conflicting pursuits, and actually no one has stepped ahead and kind of stated, “Yeah, the buck stops with me. I ought to have achieved one thing.” The movie business actually takes care of its personal right here in New Mexico. There’s a protracted historical past of ineffectual and typically corrupt union illustration and that resulted in a shakeup just a few years in the past, and it looks as if we’re in a poor state that depends on the movie business for a promising rising piece of income to cowl primary providers. And the state has maybe the richest subsidy for movie productions to return right here in the nation. So you’ve acquired that kind of signal that every one just isn’t nicely, however folks not eager to shake up the golden goose.
RYAN PEARSON, West Coast leisure video editor, Los Angeles:
It stays unclear precisely how a lot it’s going to shake issues up when it comes to, “Oh, we’ve been doing things wrong,” as a result of it’s so uncommon that one thing like this is able to occur and actual weapons have been used on units usually daily in productions for years and years, and it’s tremendous uncommon that these sort of issues occur. And so the fast response from lots of people was, “there had to be one, two, three, four or five things that went wrong, things that were missed, the protocols that were not followed in order for this to happen.”
I think everybody was shocked and increased their focus on safety, and they kind of said this was an outlier case and it was highly unusual that all of these protocols were missed along the way, and to have something like this happen. Dwayne Johnson, who’s one of the more well-known stars in Hollywood, said his production company, moving forward, would only use rubber guns and no more real guns on his films. But he said, “You know, I can’t speak for all the movies that I’m in working for Disney or Warner Brothers or anything else. But on ones that I can control, I’m going to make that change.” There was an ABC cop show called “The Rookie” that they grabbed immediately the day after and stated, “We’re not going to use real guns ever again.”
But that has not been a universal call. There were a number of producers who came out and said, “Hey, this was crazy unusual. We have multiple (people) on set whose job it is to make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen. It’s not going to happen. It hasn’t happened to us before. It’s not going to happen in the future.”
For a full overview of the occasions that formed 2021, “A Year That Changed Us: 12 Months in 150 Photos,” a group of AP photographs and journalists’ recollections, is obtainable now: https://www.ap.org/books/a-year-that-changed-us
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