Alec Baldwin Film Set Death: Cinematographer Explains How The Accident Could Have Happened

by : Emily Brown on : 22 Oct 2021 11:47
Alec Baldwin Film Set Death: Cinematographer Explains How The Accident Could Have Happened@ethantrace/TikTok/Halyna Hutchins/Instagram

Cinematographer Ethan Trace has explained how guns work on movie sets after a 42-year-old woman was fatally shot by 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin. 

The accident took place on the film set for the 19th Century western Rust, when Baldwin fired a prop gun on Thursday, October 21.


Director of photography Halyna Hutchins was flown to hospital by helicopter, but passed away as a result of her injuries. Joel Souza, the 48-year-old director of the film, also suffered injuries and was taken from the scene at Bonanza Creek Ranch by ambulance.

The shocking incident left people across the globe questioning why the gun being used on set had the power to cause such harm, but actor and TikToker Trace has stressed there’s ‘no such thing as a prop gun’ on a film set, unless it is being used ‘for display only’.

You can watch it here:



Trace said: ‘All guns that fire are real guns with fake ammunition called blanks.’

Trace went on to explain how blanks work, saying they ‘load into a gun like a regular bullet would, except there is no bullet tip, which means that there is nothing being fired from the actual bullet shell’.

The TikToker said blanks are used to ‘create the fire flash’ to give the illusion a bullet is being fired from the gun. For the most part, then, these would be safe to use on set, however Trace said it is possible for ‘tiny fragments to break off the shell of the blank and get caught in the barrel of a gun’.


These fragments leftover from previous blanks could then get accidentally fired from the gun due to the powder reaction of the blank.

Hitting back at those who have suggested Baldwin should be charged with ‘murder’ as a result of the incident, Trace said any incidents that take place while using a gun on set are ‘not the actor’s fault because the actors are not in charge of loading and checking the guns’.

‘That would be left to the prop master,’ he explained.

Alec Baldwin (Alamy)Alamy

According to the TikToker, prop masters are in charge of teaching actors how to ‘properly hold, cock and fire any gun’, to load guns with blanks and to ‘inspect every safety aspect of a firearm before giving it to an actor for use’.

With these details in mind, Trace said Hutchins’ death was the result of a ‘firearm mishap’ on set, and was ‘in no way Alec Baldwin’s fault’.

The actor was questioned by investigators in the wake of the incident, but no charges have been filed.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: News, New Mexico


Ethan Trace/TikTok
  1. Ethan Trace/TikTok