An online petition initiated on Change.org has garnered more than 15,000 signatures in just two days voicing a strong opinion on the ban of real firearms on Hollywood film sets. The petition was started by Bandar Albuliwi, a graduate of the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory in Los Angeles and director of a feature film titled Peace after Marriage, in the wake of the recent Hollywood tragedy on the sets of the film Rust.
On October 21st, 2021 we lost an unbelievably talented cinematographer on the film set of RUST, due to a real gun being discharged with live ammunition in it. I am in shock and numb to my core. The bullet also wounded Director Joel Souza, the online petition by Albuliwi stated.
The tragic incident took the life of 42-year-old Ukrainian cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, a former AFI student (2015 batch). Albuliwi, who passed out from AFI in 2010, five years before Halyna Hutchins stated in his appeal, "Like everyone in the 'AFI Family', we all knew one another. AFI is a very small community of filmmakers, trying their hardest to get their 'big break' in the film industry after graduating from the program."
Halyna who was named as a 'Rising Star Cinematographer' in 2019, was finally breaking into the Hollywood film industry after hustling and shooting amazing content for half a decade. Although she had shot three feature films before this one, Rust was going to be her big break with an A-listed celebrity.
The online petition has been put in place to make much-needed noise around the issue of real and unsafe firearms on film sets and demand for Alec Baldwin to use his power and influence in the Hollywood film industry to make the change and ban real guns on film sets. It also attempts to bring light on the "horrendous" working conditions of those working on Hollywood films and making independent cinema.
The petition has received much support within just two days of going online on the platform, Change.org.
Jane Potelle, who signed the petition, wrote, "My husband works in VFX and he and his co-workers have no idea why anyone would use actual firing props with today's post technology. There's just no need for it anymore. You can get all the great effects done in post."
Another respondent, Elizabeth James opined, "Filmmakers with this little regard for protocol, oversight, and experience shouldn't be funded to make films, and production companies who have such little regard for union work/safety should be put out of business."