Director injured on ‘Rust’ set filmed ‘Crown Vic’ in Buffalo in 2018, experts lay out safety precautions taken on sets

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The shooting incident with Alec Baldwin on the Rust movie set is highlighting the dangers that come with making a movie.

It’s something Buffalo Niagara film commissioner Tim Clark is familiar with. He calls the incident a “bit of a mystery.”

“I just can’t imagine what Alec Baldwin’s thinking at the moment because he was handed a weapon that should’ve been checked and rechecked and triple checked and even probably more and for some reason something went awry,” Clark said.

Joel Souza, the director injured on the movie set in New Mexico, also filmed the movie Crown Vic in Buffalo in 2018.

Clark said on that set and other sets he’s worked on in Western New York, weapons are triple checked and typically don’t have live rounds in them.

“If there’s any kind of stunt happening that day the crew is assembled and the crew is briefed and shown the weapon.”

Clark said when The First Purge filmed in Buffalo in 2017, careful steps were taken to keep both the crew and Buffalo residents safe.

“That movie, in particular, had a whole truckload of weapons that was unmarked and was stored in a certain area of Buffalo that no one would know about except the police.”

Clark said before his time, the movie Gone in 60 Seconds: Part 2 was shooting in Tonawanda in the 1980s when director Toby Halicki died in a stunt gone wrong.

The film wasn’t released at the time, but a version with the footage that was shot was released on DVD in 2003.

So will Rust ever be finished?

“Very often these movies get interrupted and never see the light of day again when something as tragic as this happens,” Clark said.

He also said Friday morning he reached out to the producers who worked with Souza in Buffalo. He said they’re all hoping for his quick recovery.

Kayla Green is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.

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