Behind the magic of cinema and television lie actors and props, team members, stuntmen and a set of circumstances that are sometimes dangerous for the people who shoot the scenes.
The potential danger on some sets made headlines around the world on Thursday, after actor Alec Baldwin unloaded a gun that was used as a prop on the set of a western in New Mexico, killing the director of photographing the film and injuring the director of the film. .
Authorities said the shooting took place in the middle of a scene that was either being rehearsed or being filmed. Many other details of what happened were unclear on Friday.
Accidents on film and television sets, such as stunt men injured during action sequences or actors killed due to prop malfunction, have occurred with some regularity over the past decades. There were at least 194 serious accidents on television and movie sets in the United States from 1990 to 2014, and at least 43 fatalities, according to the Associated Press.
Here is a partial list of defined accidents in recent history.
Brandon Lee, actor and son of martial arts star Bruce Lee, died in March 1993 during the filming of “The Crow”, after being hit by a weapon purported to fire blank cartridges.
The tip of a .44 caliber bullet had lodged in the barrel of the gun while filming a close-up scene and dislodged when a blank cartridge was fired. The bullet pierced Mr. Lee’s abdomen, damaging several organs and lodging in his spine.
Mr. Lee, 28, starred in the film, about a rock musician who is killed by a street gang and then comes back to life with supernatural powers.
An executive producer of the film said at the time that when a blank is fired a piece of soft cotton wool normally comes out of the gun, but in this case a metal projectile is released. A police investigation into the shooting found no evidence of wrongdoing and no charges were laid.
“Twilight Zone: The Movie”
A helicopter crash on the Los Angeles set of the movie “Twilight Zone” killed actor Vic Morrow and two child actors, Renee Shinn Chen and My-ca Dinh Lee, in July 1982.
The helicopter’s tail rotor was struck by debris from explosives that exploded in a scene depicting the Vietnam War. The main rotor of the helicopter struck and killed Mr. Morrow and the children as the aircraft plunged into a river on the plateau.
Film director John Landis has been charged with manslaughter in connection with the deaths, as has four other members of the film crew, including the helicopter pilot. After a trial that lasted nearly a year and nine days of jury deliberation, all five were acquitted in May 1987. In the aftermath of the accident, the Directors Guild of America created a safety committee to put in place of the safety instructions.
Mr Hexum, 26, had loaded three empty cartridges and two blanks filled with gunpowder into a high-powered handgun before firing, according to a detective in charge of the case.
Mr. Hexum suffered a fractured skull and underwent five hours of surgery. He died a few days later. Police said the shooting was an accident.
What happened on the set of “Rust”
Sarah Jones, a camera assistant, died on the set of the independent film “Midnight Rider”, about musician Gregg Allman, Georgia in February 2014. Ms Jones was killed while helping prepare a plan that involved placing a reads across the tracks. of a CSX railway line.
After two trains passed, members of the film crew believed they would have a safe interval to take the photo, part of a planned dream sequence. But a third train appeared, moving at high speed across the set, killing Ms. Jones and injuring others.
Later that year, Ms Jones’ family reached a settlement with 11 defendants in a trial for her death. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. In 2015, the film’s director Randall Miller pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served a year in prison. He was also sentenced to 10 years probation.
‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’
Olivia Jackson, a stunt performer for actor Milla Jovovich, was seriously injured while filming footage for “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” in South Africa in September 2015. While riding a motorbike, Ms. Jackson collided with camera equipment, according to the deadline.
The accident nearly killed Ms Jackson, leaving her with multiple injuries, including disfigurement, several torn nerves from her spinal cord and a partially amputated left arm.
In April 2020, the High Court of South Africa ruled in favor of Mrs. Jackson and against a company involved in the film.
Two months after Ms Jackson was injured, another crew member, Ricardo Cornelius, died after a Humvee slipped from a rotating platform and smashed it against a wall, Deadline reported.
John Bernecker, an AMC “The Walking Dead” stuntman, died in July 2017 after falling on a balcony in Georgia.
Mr. Bernecker, who had been an active stuntman since at least 2009 and had appeared in films such as “Get Out” and “The Fate of the Furious,” died of blunt trauma, a coroner said. Production on the show’s eighth season was temporarily halted after the crash.
Mr. Bernecker’s family filed a wrongful death trial in early 2018 against AMC Networks, production company Stalwart Films and other parties in Georgia, claiming they had failed to make the show with proper security measures. The suit claimed that some fall protection was in place, but airbags and spotters were not being used and the padding did not fully cover the area under the fall. Mr. Bernecker landed on his head or shoulders.
Ms Harris, 40, had worked as a motorcycle rider before joining the film crew, and served as an understudy for actor Zazie Beetz.