Reality is a brick wall that knocks sense into all of those who run into it. And for the workers in the entertainment industry who are represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture, Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE), the death of Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is the brick wall waking them up to the reality that the union representing them never had any intention of negotiating a deal of better working hours and safer working conditions for them.
"All of this to say, it is my personal belief
that themembers of
@iatse should vote to #reject the
latest contract offered, and
send negotiators back to
the table," is what veteran actress Martha Plimpton
posted on her Instagram page.
Five days after the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents TV and movie producers, and the IATSE negotiated a three-year deal
covering “The Basic and Videotape Agreements” impacting 40,000 TV and movie workers located on the West Coast, Halyna Hutchins was killed on the movie set of Rust on October 21, 2021, after actor/producer Alec Baldwin shot her with a “hot gun.”
The gun was “hot” because somebody loaded it with several live rounds which, mind you, Assistant Director David Hall and Head Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were in charge of making sure were not present on-set during the shooting of the movie.
The LA Times
reported that members of the crew gave several warnings to the head honchos about all of the “hot guns” and live bullets flying around on set:
“There should have been an investigation into what happened.
There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it
wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush,
rush,” is what a crew member told the LA Times
“We’ve had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe,” is what
the LA Times
say a crew member wrote to a unit production
manager via text.
The head honchos deny everything. “The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company. Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down. We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time,” is what the LA Times
quoted Rust Movie Productions statement as saying.
Nobody believes them because we all know that Halyna Hutchins would be alive today if the executives on the movie set of Rust didn’t “rush, rush, rush” and instead acted when several crew members warned them about the dangers on set. But, they didn’t. And they didn’t because they know that the job of the IATSE and the AMPTP is to make sure the big Hollywood studios make money.
The big Hollywood studios can’t make money if they are spending money on better and safer for workers. Therefore, they cut cost by shortening the shooting schedule time, which leads to workers working 3 to 4 days 12 hour shifts. Dead on your feet is what it’s call.
Then there’s the other money saving tactic of getting cheap labor like non-union workers, reckless and dangers Assistant Directors like Dave Hall
who was fired from a job after a shooting incident onset and inexperience armorers, like Hannah Gutierrez-Reed who, according to several reports, at the tender age of 24 was working just her second job as the head armorer.
The IATSE will say all of this is a bunch of bull because they negotiated better working conditions on behalf of their members. As evidence of their understanding of the importance of resting the human body, the IATSE representatives
will point to the 10 hours of daily rest and 54 hours of rest for the weekend that they got in the new deal that the IATSE members have yet to vote on.
The only problem is that when driving distance to and from work, breaks, lunches, and shifts are added in, none of that amounts to a hill of beans
“We wanted to send a message that things needed to actually
change. The 10-hour turnarounds-that’s the same shit that’s
already in my contract. Why would I be excited about that?” is
what Variety quoted Rowan Byers
who works as a dolly grip as
The devil is in the details! And with the death of Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, more workers are waking up to the reality of that fact.