Rust production staffer ‘made T-shirts mocking crew members’ request for hotel rooms’, report claims

Investigation continues into incident that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Monday 01 November 2021 20:43
Alec Baldwin speaks publicly for 1st time about 'Rust' shooting
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A staffer on the production of Rust allegedly made custom T-shirts mocking crew members’ request for hotel rooms close to the film set, a new report has claimed.

The report, newly published by the Los Angeles Times, states that camera operators had asked for hotel rooms close to the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where filming was taking place.

“They didn’t want to spend an extra two hours driving to and from Albuquerque on Interstate 25, a rural four-lane highway with a 75-mph speed limit,” the newspaper noted.

At first, hotel rooms were indeed provided, but at the start of the second week, some people were told the rooms would no longer be available, while others were moved to other locations, Lane Luper, the camera crew department head, told the newspaper.

A spokeswoman for the producers told the publication that “hotel rooms were provided to camera operators and other crew members” and noted that union regulations (coming from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE) required rooms be provided if certain criteria were met, ie if people worked for more than 13 hours a day or if a person lived more than 60 miles from the set.

“The Albuquerque crew members lived 49 to 54 miles from set,” the LA Times noted.

A union representative told producers the accommodations provided seemed “fair”, the LA Times reported citing a person close to the production.

The entrance to the Bonanza Creek Ranch where the film ‘Rust’ was filming, on 29 October 2021, in Santa Fe, New Mexico

But the atmosphere on the set reportedly grew increasingly tense. One person on the production staff reportedly ordered “custom black long-sleeve T-shirts, with ‘Error 404: Housing Not Found’ and ‘ABQ is an hour away’ printed on them,” the paper wrote, noting that a photo of the shirts was shared with the publication.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died and director Joel Souza was injured after Alec Baldwin fired a gun that was being used as a prop on the set on 21 October.

An investigation is ongoing. Authorities in New Mexico have said there was “complacency” on the set and have yet to rule on whether charges will be filed.

Baldwin has expressed his “shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins” and said he is “fully cooperating” with investigators.

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