LOS ANGELES (AP) – Shooting of the cinematographer on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust – a reminder of the dangers that can exist in film and television. While authorities are investigating why a crew member gave Baldwin a loaded gun instead of one safe to use, industry leaders will look for ways to avoid such tragedies.
In the past, on-set accidents have led to safety reforms. Here are some of the industries that have experienced accidents that have changed the industry:
“DUSK ZONE: CINEMA”
The 1982 helicopter crash that killed actor Vic Morrow and two child actors on the set of The Twilight Zone shocked the film industry and led to new safety standards for the use of helicopters during filming. Morrow and the children were killed while filming a scene in Vietnam for the hit TV series. The helicopter crashed after debris from the explosions during the scene rose 100 feet into the air and damaged the plane’s rotor. Director John Landis and four others were acquitted of manslaughter charges on the rare occasion that prosecutors were pursuing the goal of producing a film for death on set. Over the years, the families of the murdered child actors have settled civil lawsuits and federal agencies have passed new rules for filming from helicopters.
Actor Brandon Lee died in March 1993 after being shot in the stomach while filming a scene from The Crow. Money and safety concerns, including severe burns sustained by the builder, have already affected production. A homemade bullet was mistakenly left in the pistol from the previous scene and hit Lee during the scene requiring the use of blanks. OSHA fined the production $ 84,000 for violations discovered after Lee’s death, but the fine was later reduced to $ 55,000. After the fatal shooting at “Rust” on Thursday an account run by Sister Lee Shannon tweeted: “No one can be killed with a pistol on the set. Period.”
Cinematographer Sarah Jones was hit by a train in February 2014 while filming a biopic for Gregg Allman in rural Georgia. The death of 27-year-old Jones and injuries to other crew members from the blows of a metal bed frame that was on the railroad tracks during filming forced the industry to pay increased attention to safety on set. The Midnight Rider film crew did not have permission to be on the tracks, but did not wait for the train during the filming of the bed scene. The prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case against the director of the film, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and illegal entry into the territory of the property. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but released after a year and fined $ 74,900 by OSHA. Jones’ parents set up a foundation dedicated to improving safety when filming films and television.
An audio technician recording a police shootout for the multi-year reality show Cops was shot down and killed in Omaha, Nebraska in August 2014. The death of Boston native Bryce Dion prompted the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to recommend additional training and safety instructions for the show’s crew members, including how to shoot from afar. OSHA also recommended removing bonus incentives that encourage workers to take risks in order to capture more eventful stories. Dion was the first person to be killed in the history of Cops, which premiered in 1989, and he follows the American police on duty as they do their job. The show was canceled last year but was recently relaunched for the Fox Nation streaming service.…
“INDEPENDENT MILITARY PROJECT”
An early morning helicopter crash in a remote river valley north of Los Angeles killed three people filming a planned reality show for Discovery Channel. Filming in February 2013 took place on a moonless night, and the pilot was not wearing night vision goggles during the crash. Federal investigators later determined that the light used to illuminate the actor’s face in the cockpit interfered with the pilot’s flight. But the National Transportation Safety Board accused the pilot, who was among the dead, for flying in unsafe conditions. The agency later overturned its decision that the FAA inspector did not recognize the risks involved when approving the filming plans.