A series of videos exclusively obtained by NBC News gives a never-before-seen glimpse of Alec Baldwin handling at least one prop gun and interacting with crew members while filming scenes for “Rust.” The footage was taken days before Baldwin’s prop gun fired a live round of ammunition on set, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
The five videos show Baldwin preparing for scenes, firing the guns and acting in character. In two of them, he tries to rearrange crew members after having expressed concerns about their safety. The five videos total about seven minutes of footage, and the crew was shooting for two weeks before production was shut down.
The inside look into the filming of the tragic movie comes asspecial prosecutors in New Mexico will convene a grand jury Thursday to consider recharging Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter.
The videos are among dozens that special prosecutors requested from Rust Movie Productions LLC in the spring and didn’t receive until October, according to a source familiar with the matter. NBC News has not reviewed the rest of the videos. Prosecutors announced their intention to re-charge Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter on Oct. 17.
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It isn’t clear how much of the footage prosecutors reviewed or whether they reviewed any of the five videos. NBC News asked Kari Morrissey — one of two lead special prosecutors on the case with Jason Lewis — which footage her team reviewed, whether any of the footage was involved in charging decisions. She declined to comment, citing the pending grand jury proceedings.
The source familiar with the case said the five videos could be presented to the grand jury.
Last month Morrissey said in a statement, “We believe that based on our lengthy and detailed investigation that it is appropriate for a grand jury in New Mexico to make a decision on whether the case should proceed.”
It is so far the most substantive film footage of Baldwin acting scenes and firing prop guns on the set of “Rust.” It also shows him interacting with crew members in film footage. Previously, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office released video evidence, including rehearsal clips that show Baldwin in character practicing a quick-draw maneuver with a gun. Also included in the April 2022 release was bodycam footage of investigators questioning Baldwin in the hours after the shooting. In February, cellphone video obtained by NBC affiliate KOB of Albuquerque was released showing Baldwin firing prop guns on set.
In the first video NBC News obtained, Baldwin is seen lying on the ground holding a prop gun preparing to film a scene and telling someone to move to the “other side of the camera” because “I don’t want to shoot towards you.”
He can be seen in a second video asking for a blanket to be placed next to him, off-camera. During the scene, in which he tosses his gun aside, he uses the blanket as a landing pad.
The third video shows Baldwin in character repeatedly firing a prop gun before he runs out of dummy rounds. “One more, one more, one more,” he says. “Right away, right away, let’s reload,” he then says, apparently in an attempt to keep the scene moving. The clip concludes with him saying, “We should have had two guns and both of them reloading.”
In the fourth and fifth videos, Baldwin stops filming to check on the safety of the crew. In one, he expresses concern about the steepness of a path and says they must use a safer part of the trail, and in the other a cameraman falls and Baldwin repeatedly asks, “Are you OK?’ before filming resumes.
Baldwin’s attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“It is unfortunate that a terrible tragedy has been turned into this misguided prosecution. We will answer any charges in court,” Nikas and Spiro said in a statement in October after special prosecutors announced they were convening a grand jury.
At the time,NBC News had learned from two sources that Baldwin and the special prosecutors had discussed his taking a plea deal but that it was rescinded in the days before their announcement.
One of the sources had also said at the time that prosecutors no longer believed the gun Baldwin had been using on set was modified and that they had found new evidence that they believed connects Baldwin to recklessness around safety standards on the set.
The charge could carry up to 18 months in prison if Baldwin is convicted.
Prosecutors haven’t said publicly what new evidence they have obtained during their monthslong investigation. But a source familiar with the case said the special prosecutors have had discussions in which they said they hope the trial will “humble” Baldwin, specifically citing his run-ins with paparazzi and public comments that weren’t about the case. The source added that the intention is for it to be a “teachable moment” for Baldwin.
The move to bring potential charges before a grand jury comes after an about-face by the same New Mexico prosecutors whodismissed the involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin in April.
Baldwin has maintained in interviews with ABC News and CNN that he didn’t pull the trigger and that the gun was declared “cold,” with no live ammunition, by assistant director Dave Halls.Halls pleaded no contest in March to a misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon and will serve six months of unsupervised probation.
“I feel that someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me,” Baldwin said in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in December 2021.
The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was charged in January with involuntary manslaughter and her trial is set to begin Feb. 21. She has pleaded not guilty.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com