‘Rust’ Chief Electrician Says Halyna Hutchins Death Was Result Of “Negligence And Unprofessionalism”

·7 min read

Serge Svetnoy, the gaffer, or chief electrician, on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust is laying the blame for the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the negligence of the film’s armorer and producers.

In a scathing Facebook post yesterday, Svetnoy called out “the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this; the person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it.”

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“To save a dime sometimes,” Svetnoy said, “you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people who are close and your lives as well. I understand that you always fight for the budget, but you cannot allow this to happen. … It is true that the professionals can cost a little more and sometimes can be a little bit more demanding, but it is worth it. No saved penny is worth the LIFE of the person!”

Svetnoy said in the post (see it below) that he has received many calls from the media all over the world asking what happened on the set.

“Yes, I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life and injured the director Joel Souza,” Svetnoy writers. “I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands.”

The electrician does not specifically name Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, but he does make clear his dissatisfaction.

“I’m sure that we had the professionals in every department, but one – the department that was responsible for the weapons. There is no way a twenty-four-year-old woman can be a professional with armory; there is no way that her more-or-less the same-aged friend from school, neighborhood, Instagram, or God knows where else, can be a professional in this field.

“Professionals are the people who have spent years on sets, people who know this job from A to Z; These are the people who have the safety on set at the level of reflexes; they do not need to be told to put the sandbag on a tripod, fix the ladder on the stage, or fence off the explosion site. They have it in their blood.”

Svetnoy goes on to directly address producers: “To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people who are close and your lives as well.

“I understand that you always fight for the budget, but you cannot allow this to happen. There should always be at least one professional in each department who knows the job. It is an absolute must to avoid such a tragedy, like the tragedy with Halyna.

“I do not wish anyone to go through what I went through, what her husband @Matt Hutchins and her son Andros went through, and the actor Alec Baldwin, who has been handed a gun on set. He has to live with the thought that he took the life of the human because of unprofessional people.”

Here is Svetnoy’s statement in its entirety:

My vision of the RUST tragedy
I have received hundreds of calls, text messages, letters with words of support and condolences since the day of the tragedy with Halyna Hutchins, and I’m very grateful to everyone. Yes, I knew Halyna, not for a year. I worked with Her on almost all of her films. Sometimes we’ve shared food and water. We’ve been burning under the sun, freezing in the snow on the shoots. We took care of each other. Yes, I can say with 100% confidence she was my friend.
WAS!!!
I also received many calls from different mass media sources from multiple countries asking to tell what happened; also from numerous institutes and universities for the students to know what needs the most attention.
Yes, I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life and injured the director Joel Souza. I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands.
I want to tell my opinion on why this has happened. I think I have the right to do it.
It’s the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism.
The negligence from the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this;
the person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it.
And the DEATH OF THE HUMAN IS THE RESULT!
I’m sure that we had the professionals in every department, but one – the department that was responsible for the weapons. There is no way a twenty-four-year-old woman can be a professional with armory; there is no way that her more-or-less the same-aged friend from school, neighborhood, Instagram, or God knows where else, can be a professional in this field.
Professionals are the people who have spent years on sets, people who know this job from A to Z; These are the people who have the safety on set at the level of reflexes; they do not need to be told to put the sandbag on a tripod, fix the ladder on the stage, or fence off the explosion site. They have it in their blood.
I’m calling out to the Producers!
We have a fascinating and amazing job, but it’s also dangerous. We film in the mountains, in the open water, underwater. We have explosions, shooting guns, car crashes, electricity after all, and much more.
To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people who are close and your lives as well.
I understand that you always fight for the budget, but you cannot allow this to happen. There should always be at least one professional in each department who knows the job. It is an absolute must to avoid such a tragedy, like the tragedy with Halyna.
I do not wish anyone to go through what I went through, what her husband @Matt Hutchins and her son Andros went through, and the actor Alec Baldwin, who has been handed a gun on set. He has to live with the thought that he took the life of the human because of unprofessional people.
Dear Producers, by hiring professionals, you are buying peace of mind for yourself and the people around you. It is true that the professionals can cost a little more and sometimes can be a little bit more demanding, but it is worth it. No saved penny is worth the LIFE of the person!
And finally, dear Producers, please remember that it’s not you who are giving the opportunities to the people you hire make their money; it’s the people you hire who help You make Your money. Remember this!
I also want to thank the camera operator @Ried Russell, who was with us and helped save Halyna. Thank you to the set medic @Cherlyn Schaefer who did everything she could to save Halyna’s life.
We all loved Halyna.
May God Bless her soul.
Rest in Peace.
And God protect Us All.

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