The shooting death of a director of photography on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film “Rust” is a reminder of the dangers that can exist on film and television sets. As authorities investigate why a crew member handed Baldwin a loaded gun instead of a safe gun to use, industry executives will be looking for ways to avoid similar tragedies.
Deaths on the set have led to security reforms in the past. Here are some of the productions that have suffered accidents that have shaken the industry:
“TWILIGHT ZONE: THE FILM”
A helicopter crash in 1982 that killed actor Vic Morrow and two child actors on the set of “Twilight Zone” rocked the film industry and led to new safety standards for the use of helicopters during shooting. Morrow and the children were killed while filming a scene set in Vietnam for a movie based on the popular TV series. The helicopter fell after debris from explosions that occurred during the scene rose 100 feet into the air and damaged the aircraft’s rotor. Director John Landis and four others have been acquitted of manslaughter charges in a rare case of prosecutors targeting a film production for deaths on set. Families of killed child actors settled civil lawsuits years later, and federal agencies passed new rules for filming with helicopters.
WILL ALEC BALDWIN BE ACCUSED AFTER THE “RUST” CINEMA SHOOTING? THE EXPERTS weigh
Actor Brandon Lee died in March 1993 after being shot in the abdomen while filming a scene for “The Crow”. Money and safety issues, including severe burns suffered by a construction worker, had already plagued production. A makeshift bullet was mistakenly left in a gun from a previous scene and struck Lee in a scene that called for the use of blank cartridges. OSHA fined the production $ 84,000 for the violations found after Lee’s death, but the fine was later reduced to $ 55,000. After the fatal shooting of “Rust” on Thursday, a given by Lee’s sister Shannon tweeted: “No one should ever be killed by a gun on a movie set. Full stop.”
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Camera operator Sarah Jones was run over by a train in February 2014 while filming a Gregg Allman biopic in rural Georgia. The death of Jones, 27, and injuries to other crew members hit by pieces of a metal bed frame that lay on the tracks as part of the production, have highlighted on film set safety. The “Midnight Rider” film crew were not allowed to be on the tracks but did not expect a train while filming the bed scene. Prosecutors have filed criminal charges against the director of the film, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and criminal trespassing. He was sentenced to two years in prison but released after one year and fined $ 74,900 by OSHA. Jones’ parents created a foundation dedicated to improving safety on film and television sets.
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A sound technician recording a police shootout for the longtime reality TV series “Cops” was beaten up and killed in Omaha, Nebraska in August 2014. The death of Bryce Dion, a native of Boston, prompted the US Administration from Occupational Safety and Health to recommend additional training and safety guidelines for members of the show crew, including on how to film shoots from further afield. OSHA also recommended removing incentive bonuses that encourage workers to take risks to capture richer stock stories. Dion was the first person killed in the history of “Cops,” which was established in 1989 and follows American police officers on duty in the line of duty. The show was canceled last year but was recently relaunched for the streaming service Fox Nation.
“UNTITLED MILITARY PROJECT”
An early morning helicopter crash in a remote river valley north of Los Angeles killed three people on the set of a reality TV series scheduled for the Discovery Channel. The February 2013 shoot took place on a moonless night and the pilot was not wearing night vision goggles at the time of the accident. Federal investigators later determined that a light used to illuminate an actor’s face in the cockpit was hampering the pilot’s ability to fly. But the National Transportation Safety Board blamed the pilot, who was among those killed, for flying in unsafe conditions. The agency later reversed its ruling that a Federal Aviation Administration inspector had failed to acknowledge the risks involved when he approved the plans for the shoot.
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