Rust production company to pay $100k fine over Halyna Hutchins shooting

25 February 2023, 10:45

The production company behind the film Rust has agreed to pay a fine of $100,000 to an occupational health and safety bureau following the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (left).
The production company behind the film Rust has agreed to pay a fine of $100,000 to an occupational health and safety bureau following the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (left). Picture: Alamy

By Chris Samuel

The production company behind the film Rust has agreed to pay a fine of $100,000 to an occupational health and safety bureau following the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Ms Hutchins, 42, died on October 21, 2021 after being struck by a live round during rehearsals for the film on a ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The incident prompted calls for safety reform on film sets, and lawsuits among producers and various crew.

In April, the New Mexico Environment Department's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) issued a fine of $136,796 (£114,457), the maximum allowable by state law, but it was later reduced to $100,000 under the settlement.

Under the settlement, which is pending approval, the OHSB downgraded its claim from "wilful-serious" to a "serious" violation.

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Producers recently announced that filming would resume in Montana later this spring.

Most of the original crew will return to the project, with Bianca Cline reportedly joining the production in Ms Hutchins's place as cinematographer.

The Santa Fe County sheriff's office released photos from its investigation of the fatal shooting of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film 'Rust.' The shooting took place on the set of a church, April 26, 2022.
The Santa Fe County sheriff's office released photos from its investigation of the fatal shooting of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film 'Rust.' The shooting took place on the set of a church, April 26, 2022. Picture: Alamy

Alec Baldwin will remain in his leading role and as producer.

Last month, Mr Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter by the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office, over Ms Hutchins’ death.

On Thursday, he pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Mr Baldwin will next face a preliminary hearing at a date yet to be set, which will determine whether or not the case will go to trial.

Halyna Hutchins attends the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Official Kickoff Party Hosted By SundanceTV at Sundance TV HQ on January 19, 2018 in Park City, Utah.
Halyna Hutchins attends the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Official Kickoff Party Hosted By SundanceTV at Sundance TV HQ on January 19, 2018 in Park City, Utah. Picture: Getty

Melina Spadone, senior counsel at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and lawyer for Rust Movie Productions, said: "We are pleased to have entered into an agreement with OHSB, subject to approval, which downgrades the citation and reduces penalties.

"Our top priority has always been resuming production and completing this film so we can honour the life and work of Halyna Hutchins.

"Settling this case rather than litigating is how we can best move forward to achieve that goal."

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