Production Safety: A Special Report

Production Safety: Special Report
Cheyne Gateley/VIP+

The 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin film “Rust” sent shockwaves through Hollywood and beyond, raising a host of questions over what could have allowed such a seemingly avoidable accident to happen.

But if you’ve followed the related data and the general history of on-set deaths and injuries, such incidents have long resulted in similar questions and suggestions for how set environments can be fortified with proper protocols and legal consequences that ensure these production casualties become exceedingly rare.

“Production Safety,” the new special report from Variety Intelligence Platform, offers a data-heavy look at how on-set accidents and violations of code have transpired over the decades, going as far back as the infamous 1982 “Twilight Zone: The Movie” helicopter crash that killed star Vic Morrow as well as the two child actors he was carrying.

The 20-page VIP+ report analyzes the frequency of vehicle crashes, drownings, explosions and other deadly incidents, along with the sort of negligence that results in them and how various guilds and agencies have dealt with their aftermath.

If there’s any silver lining to the “Rust” tragedy, it’s that it brings the issue of set safety to the forefront at a crucial time. The proliferation of streaming platforms has created an unprecedented global demand for original content, straining the support infrastructure in both traditional production centers like Los Angeles and New York and locales that have rich tax incentives in place to lure savings-hungry studios but are lacking in experienced crew.

In the face of this perfect storm of factors, it’s imperative for the industry to address the reality of catastrophic on-set accidents not being random occurrences but rather the result of systemic issues that Hollywood has failed — and often fought — to properly address for decades.

Read on to learn about:


The history of deaths and injuries on sets and how the industry has responded


How investigative bodies assess fault and the consequences that have resulted


The reasons for dangerous sets in light of the explosive jump in content spend