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Former Rust Camera Assistant Reveals Why He Quit Film 1 Day Before Fatal Shooting

Rust crew member speaks out on GMA

Another Rust crew member is weighing in on the fatal on-set tragedy.

Lane Luper, the former camera assistant for the now-infamous Western, stopped by Good Morning America on Wednesday and shared why he quit the project just a day before Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on the film’s set that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Luper said the reasons for his resignation were “lax COVID policies, the housing situation… and specifically gun safety, a lack of rehearsals, a lack of preparing the crew for what we were doing that day,” adding:

“I only personally remember two safety meetings that involved the entire crew.”

It’s similar to what we’ve been hearing over the past few weeks: many have come out to allege that conditions on set were unsafe, with some claiming that the film’s assistant director, David Halls, tended to ignore safety regulations.

Related: Rust Armorer’s Lawyers Suggest ‘Disgruntled’ Crew Members Sabotaged Set

Baldwin, however, disagreed with Luper’s description of the set. The actor shared screenshots of a post by Terese Magpale Davis, who was working in the costume department on the set of Rust. Davis wrote in part:

“I’m so sick of this narrative. I worked on this movie. The story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bulls**t.”

Producers of the film also dismissed Luper’s claims to ABC News, calling them “patently false,” and noting that “he had absolutely nothing to do with, or knowledge of, safety protocols” on the set.

Luper begged to differ, though. He told GMA he has “a pretty unique perspective” when it comes to safety on set, sharing:

“It’s important that I be a part of safety as the head of the camera department, for protecting the camera, protecting the camera operators, knowing what the shot is. It’s very important that I play a role in safety. I actually had to take classes in Los Angeles in order to get my union card.”

The industry professional went on to say that it wasn’t just one person, but rather “a perfect storm” of circumstances that led to the incident — including Halls and the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. He mused:

“I think with Rust it was a perfect storm of the armorer, the assistant director, the culture that was on set, the rushing. It was everything. It wasn’t just one individual. Everything had to fall into place perfectly for this one in a trillion thing to happen. It’s a very rare thing to happen… In the film industry, we have these things called safety bulletins that are basically an owner’s manual for how to run a safe set. [On Rust] they were ignored and not attached to the call sheets, which they’re supposed to be. Unfortunately, that’s what led to a breakdown here… A lot of things have to go wrong [for a live round to get on a movie set]. The very first sentence in the very first safety bulletin about firearm safety is, ‘There shall never be live rounds anywhere on a studio lot, or stage, or set.’ It’s so unheard of.”

As new details continue to emerge, the husband of Halyna, Matthew Hutchins, has lawyered up, according to TMZ, and is preparing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Sources familiar with the situation told the outlet the suit will be filed on behalf of Matthew and their child, and there will be multiple defendants.

Meanwhile, Santa Fe County District Attorney and Sheriff’s Department have yet to announce any criminal charges in connection with the case — but Halyna’s death is still being investigated, so that could change.

Watch Lane’s GMA interview (below) for more.

[Image via ABC]

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Nov 03, 2021 16:36pm PDT