Cinematographer mourned as investigation into film set shooting continues

A candlelight vigil for cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has brought out hundreds of mourners in New Mexico, where she was killed when actor and producer Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on a film set.

Cinematographer mourned as investigation into film set shooting continues

A candlelight vigil for cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has brought out hundreds of mourners in New Mexico, where she was killed when actor and producer Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on a film set.

"I would've been lucky to do another movie with a person like that," Lane Looper, a crew member on the Rust film set where the shooting happened, said.

"She was a wonderful mum and wife and was just a wonderful soul, and I really hope more people like her exist."

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The shooting occurred as the film crew was rehearsing a scene at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico.

The film's assistant director, David Halls, handed a prop gun to Mr Baldwin and yelled "cold gun", a remark meant to indicate the weapon didn't have live rounds, according to an affidavit for a search warrant for the movie set filed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office and obtained by CNN affiliate KOAT.

According to the affidavit, Mr Baldwin was handed one of three prop guns that were set up in a cart by an armorer for the movie.

Mr Halls did not know there were live rounds in the gun, the affidavit said.

When Mr Baldwin fired the gun, a live round hit Ms Hutchins, 42, in the chest and wounded director Joel Souza, 48, who was nearby, according to the affidavit.

Ms Hutchins was pronounced dead at the hospital after being airlifted.

"There's no reason to have had a firearm that was capable of discharging live ammo on the set," Steve Wolf, a firearms safety expert, told CNN Saturday.

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Alec Baldwin

"A prop gun is a gun that's been specifically manufactured for shooting blanks, not bullets. In fact, the bullets won't fit into a gun that's been modified properly, only blanks will fit into it.

"And that's a safeguard to ensure that live ammo is not loaded into guns that are used on set. So if you don't use the right type of gun, you're not going to get the safety benefit that's been engineered into it."

Saturday's vigil at Albuquerque Civic Plaza was organised by IATSE Local 600 and IATSE Local 480, chapters of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union - which represents workers in various roles in the entertainment industry.

"Our entire alliance mourns this unspeakable loss with Halyna's family, friends, and the Rust crew," the union said in a statement.

"Creating a culture of safety requires relentless vigilance from every one of us, day in and day out."

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Three film industry workers comfort one another during the candlelight vigil.

Local 600 created a verified GoFundMe page for Ms Hutchins' family, and more than US$160,000 ($216,000) had been raised as of early Sunday.

Ms Hutchins is survived by her husband and nine-year-old son, according to the page.

The investigation into how the shooting happened is ongoing.

Before the shooting, some crew members quit over safety concerns on set - including gun inspections and COVID-19 protocols not being followed, according to the Los Angeles Times and other media reports.

There were previous accidental prop gun discharges on set, report says

Three crew members who were on the set last weekend told the Los Angeles Times there were two accidental prop gun discharges before Thursday's fatal shooting.

Alec Baldwin, Rust

On October 16, Mr Baldwin's stunt double unintentionally fired rounds after he was told the gun was "cold," two of the crew members, who witnessed the discharges, told the newspaper.

The film's production company told Deadline in a statement it was not notified of official complaints regarding weapon or prop safety on set.

"We will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down," Rust Movie Productions, LLC said in a statement.

"The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company."

CNN has made multiple attempts to reach Rust Movie Productions for comment but has not received a response.

The armorer who prepared the prop gun used by Mr Baldwin was identified as Hannah Gutierrez in the search warrant issued following the shooting.

Alec Baldwin

Ms Gutierrez had recently finished work on her first project as head armorer, she said in a September podcast interview.

"I was really nervous about it at first," Ms Gutierrez said of working as head armorer on the set of the movie The Old Way, starring Nicolas Cage.

"I almost didn't take the job because I wasn't sure if I was ready, but doing it, like it went really smoothly," she said in an interview on the Voices of the West podcast, which is dedicated to the Old West.

Her work as armorer ranges from teaching actors how to wear a gun belt to aiming and shooting, she said.

"I think when someone is new and not sure, that's fine. We all start somewhere," Mr Wolf, the firearms safety expert said.

"But you work under somebody's tutelage and you'll practice until you have mastery," he added.

Film production community deeply impacted by Hutchins' death

Many of the mourners at the vigil for Ms Hutchins were members of the television and film industry.

People light candles to honor cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

During the vigil, Rebecca Stair, a location manager and a member of IATSE Local 480, told CNN she wasn't a crew member on Rust, but knew everyone on set.

"My heart's been shaking for days, my phone has been going off with all kinds of friends who are going through something similar," Ms Stair told CNN.

"My friend who was the transport coordinator had to stay until 11pm at night arranging shuttle rides home because nobody could functionally drive."

Ms Stair became emotional discussing safety concerns in the industry and burst into tears, saying "a child should have a mother," referring to Ms Hutchins' son.

Jolynne Nieto, another IATSE Local 480 member, told CNN she was hired to work as a hairstylist for Rust, but she turned down the job over safety concerns.

New Mexico residents attend a candlelight vigil to honor cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

One of her main concerns involved housing for crew members, which was in Albuquerque - 80 kilometres from the film set in Santa Fe, which would add a long commute to an already long workday.

"They told me the terms were non-negotiable on housing which was in Albuquerque while it was being shot at a ranch in Santa Fe, and I felt at this point like we needed to think about safety," Ms Nieto told CNN.

"There was just a few other little glitches that just felt very funny to me."

Ms Nieto said Ms Hutchins' death is "unbearable."

"You don't expect to leave work and not come home - it's unthinkable, it's unbearable," Ms Nieto told CNN.

"We need to take gun safety on film sets more seriously."

Source : 9 News More   

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Nationals agree to net zero emissions target by 2050

The Nationals have backed a Coalition plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 in an historic decision.

Nationals agree to net zero emissions target by 2050

The National Party has agreed to in-principle support of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The breakthrough came in a vote this evening after the party's MPs and senators debated for more than two hours Mr Morrison's response to their demands.

The majority position was reached amid dire predictions from at least one.

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"I don't think that people really realise when they hear net zero that means they want to transition you to be a vegan," Nationals senator Matt Canavan told Sky News.

It was accepted not everyone will sign up to the party's decision when the majority rules.

"We appreciate that there will be those that will oppose it and that's fine," Agriculture Minister David Littleproud told 9News.

"That's the culture of the Nationals Party. That's something we celebrate."

The Nationals say they want long-term policy guarantees that ensure agriculture and mining can continue to thrive in a low emissions world.

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But most had shifted with the tide of public opinion.

"To make sure we can give confidence to the Australian public and the global community that we are responsible citizens," Mr Littleproud said.

After the Sunday debate, Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce emerged to break the news.

"We are in support of a process going forward that would go towards the 2050 emissions target," Mr Joyce told reporters in Canberra.

Mr Morrison welcomed the Nationals' support, which will be "finally considered and determined by Cabinet" on Monday.

The Prime Minister was under pressure to achieve the net zero pledge before attending the COP26 conference in Glasgow that begins at the end of the month.

"We recognise this has been a challenging issue for the Nationals. I thank (Mr Joyce) for his leadership and his colleagues for their considered support. I greatly respect the process they have undertaken in reaching this decision," Mr Morrison said.

"Only the Coalition can be trusted to deliver a plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 that will protect and promote rural and regional Australia.

"Ensuring regional Australia continues to grow and prosper is a core objective of any Coalition Government, and this will be central to our plan.

"Australia will continue to reduce emissions while keeping our economy growing, maintaining affordable, reliable energy and ensuring our regions remain strong.

"That's our Australian way."

Labor leader Anthony Albanese criticised the prime minister today, saying he was following, not leading.

"This is a government frozen in time as the world warms around it," Mr Albanese said.

But Mr Albanese is also adamant that the federal government shouldn't sign up to any international plan that bans coal-fired power by 2030, saying "we need to keep the lights on".

The Nationals say this is all about protecting their people.

"We've got to be honest with the Australian people, we've got to tell them how we're going to get there and who pays for it," Mr Littleproud said.

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