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“It’s just pure negligence” – who will be held accountable for the fatal shooting on set of Rust?



How does a prop gun not get checked? An experienced armourer says there’s a complete lack of discipline, and professionalism on the set of Alec Baldwin’s movie Rust

The gun Baldwin fired in the fatal shooting on the Rust movie set was handed to the actor loaded with a live round, according to a warrant from the ongoing police investigation.

watch: benjamin Leonides-Morgan from Firearm training for film and TV explainING what went wrong on the set of the movie rust

So how does a prop gun not get checked if it has live ammunition?

“It really should never happen. It’s just pure negligence on the side of the armourer,”

Leonides-Morgan says.

Benjamin Leonides-Morgan from Firearm training for film and TV is a highly skilled armourer with extensive experience with blockbuster productions.

He says the armourer on the set of Rust was new to the job and didn’t have much experience.

The armourer was described as being “inexperienced and green” by a Rust production source.

They explained that there were at least two previous incidents of guns being unsafely discharged by other crew members before the tragic incident on Thursday.

They insisted that she should have checked the weapons were safe before handing it to Baldwin.

“How you could get live rounds and blank rounds confused is beyond me.”

Leonides-Morgan says the firearm should have been checked first.

“Normally, we’d show it to the presenter, we’d show them, we’d show it’s empty, we’d show we will load in blanks. Everything will be communicated to everybody,” he continued on standard firearm procedures in the industry.

His company Firearm training for film and TV works with people from film, television and stage to provide theoretical and safe practical competency in the use of firearms.

From his experience, Leonides-Morgan says the procedures followed by the Rust crew were not safe.

“There’s many aspects of production that was not safe. And I’m surprised this is happening now in this day and age, with all the help and safety that we have in place and the training of people on set.”

What went wrong?

“I’m an armour, I used to experience I’ve always dealt with firearms. I’m a shooter anyway. So I would know exactly what I’m doing what I’m putting into that firearm. And I think what they’ve done is they’ve got slack, they’ve got contempt”

And there’s rumours coming out that they’ve been using the firearms in their breaks to do a bit of shooting, and the live rounds are mixed with blank ammunition.

Alec Baldwin shared this picture on Instagram just hours before the tragedy unfolded.

“So obviously, there’s a complete lack of discipline, and professionalism going on. And I then they’ve just got mixed up, maybe the armour isn’t on top of it,” he says.

“But the procedure really would be to show everyone that that rifle or pistol is clear. And then just show what you’re loading in there,

“Whenever I would walk on the set. With any firearm, the first thing I’ll do is walk up that director and just show them and show them that look, it’s empty, it’s clear, there’s a prop. It’s not real. And I’ll explain what I’m doing all the time. Obviously with this, they’ve not done this. And obviously, you know, feedback consequences.”

Who will be held accountable?

watch: benjamin Leonides-Morgan from Firearm training for film and TV explainING WHO SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE

“Obviously, the production, the producers are accountable because this happened as far as their production. But I think it’s going to be who’s in charge of those firearms,” Leonides-Morgan says.

“I think it’s the arm where they’re in charge of the firearms, and what happens to them. And so personally, I feel they’re going to be responsible there. I think when the story comes out, there’s going to be a lot of other people involved in this. I think there’s, there’s more to this that’s going to come to light.”

What about assistant director? Well – Leonides-Morgan says he wouldn’t be responsible for any firearms at all.

“He wouldn’t be dealing with firearms. If you’re speaking to the one that called and said it’s clear, and that it was cold, they was empty, and there was no rounds in there, then obviously, they deserve to be fired for this.”

How was this negligence allowed by such a team of professionals?

Leonides-Morgan says it all comes down to experience.

“The production cut a lot of cut the budget, they will not put the money into this film like they should. There was a lot of complaints from crew members just the week before,” he says.

Police on the scene of Rust after the incident. Picture: ZUMA Press Inc/Alamy Live News

“They had been negligent discharges of the firearm previously on the previous week. And I think discipline was completely slack on set, and total lack of experience from the side of the armourer.”

He believes there was a lot of freedoms, and “I just do not think they were doing it right.”

How will this change firearms on film sets going forward?

The last time in an incident like this was 1993 with Brandon Lee, so this isn’t something that happens often.

Leonides-Morgan says it will definitely give a knock to the industry and make sure they get professional armourers on set when it comes to firearms.

“I think people will step it up, get people like myself to come on, provide the firearms advice, and stay there with the firearms all the time,” he says.

“So it will step up that level for productions not to cut any corners, pave when the right money and get the professionals in to do the job correctly.”

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Hollywood set for transformation with new WGA contract



We know what our words are worth at Netflix on 9/20. Photo: J.W. Hendricks

A recently ratified Writers Guild of America (WGA) contract is poised to revolutionise the landscape of Hollywood.

This monumental agreement brings forth fundamental alterations in the way the entertainment industry operates. In a nutshell, the contract redefines compensation structures, solidifying fair pay for writers and creators across various platforms.

One notable change is the integration of more equitable profit-sharing mechanisms, guaranteeing writers a more significant slice of the proverbial pie. Additionally, the contract underscores the importance of proper crediting and recognition for writers, ensuring their vital contributions are acknowledged and duly compensated.

Artificial intelligence was of course another major point of discussion with agreements outlined below stating:

“We have established regulations for the use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) on MBA-covered projects in the following ways:

  • AI can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the MBA, meaning that AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights. 
  • A writer can choose to use AI when performing writing services, if the company consents and provided that the writer follows applicable company policies, but the company can’t require the writer to use AI software (e.g., ChatGPT) when performing writing services. 
  • The Company must disclose to the writer if any materials given to the writer have been generated by AI or incorporate AI-generated material.
  • The WGA reserves the right to assert that exploitation of writers’ material to train AI is prohibited by MBA or other law.”

The WGA contract also takes steps to address issues of diversity and inclusion within the industry, fostering an environment that welcomes voices from all backgrounds and experiences. This shift towards a more inclusive landscape is seen as a crucial step towards rectifying historical disparities within the entertainment realm.

See a summary of the entire campaign here

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Deepfakes are taking over Hollywood



Deepfakes are the online phenomenon changing the way in which we consume and trust social media

Have you ever scrolled through social media and found a celebrity selling something a bit left of centre?

Chances are you have fallen victim to a deepfake.

These images and videos are a type of artificial intelligence, which promises to create doctored videos, which are almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing.

They have typically been used in pornographic clips and for celebrity endorsements.

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Prince Harry involved in ‘near catastrophic’ car chase



Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death

Prince Harry, his wife Meghan and her mother were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” involving paparazzi photographers in New York.

The incident took place after they left the Ms. Foundation for Women, where Meghan was honoured for her work.

“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers,” said Prince Harry’s spokesperson.

The chase involved paparazzi driving on the sidewalk, running red lights and driving while taking pictures.

“I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said.

Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death.

Princess Diana was killed when her limousine crashed as it sped away from chasing paparazzi in Paris in 1997.

Harry and Meghan stepped down from their royal duties in 2020, partly over what they described as intense media harassment.

Harry is currently involved in numerous court cases in London where he has accused papers of using unlawful methods to target him and his family.

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