Two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon broke his silence on Alec Baldwin’s criminal charges and doomed the fallen star.
“Man of Steel” star Shannon turned on Baldwin over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and warned that “this is what happens when you cut corners.”
Baldwin had a dual responsibility on the movie set due to being the star actor and a producer.
As Slay News reported, Baldwin has been charged by prosecutors with involuntary manslaughter over the fatal shooting and faces prison time if convicted.
According to Shannon, the tragedy likely happened because Baldwin and his colleagues were trying to “make the movie on the cheap.”
Shannon said: “On most sets if there is any activity that’s considered potentially risky in any way, shape, or form, they start the day with a safety meeting the assistant director runs.
“They go through all the possible dangerous on-camera activity, and how we’re going to handle that to make sure nobody gets hurt.
“That’s how the day starts.
“And all of the armorers I’ve worked with have been super fastidious about what they do.
“But ‘Rust’ is an example of a problem I see in filmmaking more and more these days.
“On smaller productions, independent productions, the producers keep wanting more and more for less and less.
“They don’t want to give you enough money,” he revealed.
“They cut corners, ridiculously, every which way. And they get away with it. So every time someone makes a great movie for a million dollars, it sets a precedent.
“The financiers say, well, Joe Blow made a movie for a million, we’re gonna give you a million, too. And you’re, like, ‘But I need $3 million to make it the right way.’
“And they say ‘Well, I guess you won’t do it, then.’
“They whittle the budget down to the bare minimum — but the one thing you can’t cut corners on is your armorer. If you have guns in your movie, that’s no place to cut corners.
“As an actor, if I’m handed a weapon, my finger does not go in the trigger hole at all.
“I learned this at a very young age as an actor.
“You lay your finger outside, along the barrel of the gun.
“You do not put your finger in the trigger hole unless you’re going for a take.
“If you’re holding a firearm between takes, which you shouldn’t be, you point it at the ground until somebody comes and collects it from you.
“I’m not condemning Alec. I feel horrible for the guy. It’s a nightmare.
“I feel terrible for everyone on that production.
“But this is what happens when you lowball and cut corners and hire people that may not be qualified, and pay them next to nothing, and make the movie on the cheap.
“People get jobs in this business because they’re willing to work for a low enough fee. I see it all the time,” he said.
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists issued a statement defending Baldwin:
“The death of Halyna Hutchins is a tragedy, and all the more so because of its preventable nature.
“It is not a failure of duty or a criminal act on the part of any performer.
“The prosecutor’s contention that an actor has a duty to ensure the functional and mechanical operation of a firearm on a production set is wrong and uninformed.
“An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert.”
However, Baldwin didn’t need to be a “firearms or weapons expert.”
Anyone who handles a firearm should know, at least, the basics of gun safety.
Baldwin broke the golden rule of gun safety when he pointed the weapon at something he didn’t intend to destroy.
“Firearms are provided for their use under the guidance of multiple expert professionals directly responsible for the safe and accurate operation of that firearm,” the statement continues.
“In addition, the employer is always responsible for providing a safe work environment at all times, including hiring and supervising the work of professionals trained in weapons.
“The Industry Standards for safety with firearms and use of blank ammunition are clearly laid out in Safety Bulletin 1, provided by the Joint Industry-Wide Labor Management Safety Commission.
“The guidelines require an experienced, qualified armorer to be put in charge of all handling, use, and safekeeping of firearms on set.
“These duties include ‘inspecting the firearm and barrel before and after every firing sequence,’ and ‘checking all firearms before each use.’
“The guidelines do not make it the performer’s responsibility to check any firearm.
“Performers train to perform, and they are not required or expected to be experts on guns or experienced in their use.
“The industry assigns that responsibility to qualified professionals who oversee their use and handling in every aspect.
“Anyone issued a firearm on set must be given training and guidance in its safe handling and use, but all activity with firearms on a set must be under the careful supervision and control of the professional armorer and the employer.”