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Rust Camera Assistant Reveals A "Brutal" On-Set Atmosphere

Stories from the production of "Rust," the film on which cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot by a prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin, have been trickling out ever since the tragedy occurred on October 21. Now, Lane Luper, a member of the film's camera crew, has spoken to The Hollywood Reporter about what it was like working on the set of the film.

In his interview, Luper described a harried production where the crew was overworked and, "There was always an attitude of, 'We don't have enough time to do rehearsals. We don't have enough time for safety meetings. We don't have enough time to do a lineup.'" This contributed to working conditions that Luper described as "brutal." He also recalled instances of speaking up about safety concerns that were "immediately dismissed."

"[I]t was a punishingly difficult show," Luper said, "eight pages where you have to hand carry a majority of the film equipment, these cameras are heavy; COVID was a huge issue ... And then my crew didn't receive paychecks."

Luper revealed other issues with the production, as well as his impressions of armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who he said appeared to him to be "incredibly overworked and inexperienced."

What it was like working with Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed

According to Luper, one of the biggest problems on the set of "Rust" was housing for the crew. "And yeah, the housing issue was an issue," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "I had an hour drive every day to [the set] and an hour drive from [the set], plus getting ready in the morning and trying to get to bed at night. I was running on five hours of sleep, six hours of sleep sometimes."

As for Hannah Gutierrez Reed and the rest of the prop and armory department, Luper said, "She had a department of three people on a show where everybody had a gun. It's a Western. It's a prop-heavy show, and the department was three inexperienced people." He also clarified that, like the rest of the production, "It seemed like she was also under a lot of pressure to rush, rush, rush, rush, rush, rush, rush."

Ultimately, Luper concluded, "Everybody has a level of PTSD from this, especially people that were there."