'Rust' assistant director Dave Halls: 5 things to know


Since the Oct. 21 shooting on the set of the film “Rust,” several behind-the-scenes names have come to the forefront as the investigation into the incident unfolds.

Among those names is Dave Halls, an assistant director on the movie and longtime Hollywood filmmaker.

According to law enforcement, Halls was one of four people to handle the firearm that was accidentally discharged on the set along with actor Alec Baldwin, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and prop master Sarah Zachry. 

Per an affidavit, Halls – who thought the firearm was unloaded – yelled “cold gun” to indicate that there was no ammunition loaded and handed the gun to Baldwin before the fatal incident. His attorney, Lisa Torraco, has dodged questions regarding her client’s involvement.

‘RUST’ ASSISTANT DIRECTOR’S ON-SET ACTIONS CRITICIZED IN WAKE OF ALEC BALDWIN SHOOTING ACCIDENT

As investigators continue to search for an answer, here are five things to know about Halls.

Alec Baldwin was handed the firearm by assistant director Dave Halls, who believed there was no ammunition loaded, per law enforcement.

Alec Baldwin was handed the firearm by assistant director Dave Halls, who believed there was no ammunition loaded, per law enforcement.
(IMDB |  Getty)

He’s an industry veteran

Halls has been working in Hollywood for quite some time now, with his first credit being a 1996 made-for-TV movie called “The Right to Remain Silent.” 

The movie had a star-studded cast, including Patrick Dempsey, Colleen Camp, LL Cool J, Christopher Lloyd, Amanda Plummer and Carl Reiner.

He was credited as the movie’s additional second second assistant director.

However, before he joined the directors’ teams behind the camera, he was credited as an assistant location manager on the film “Grumpy Old Men” in 1993.

Also in 1996, he was credited as a set production assistant of the movie “Fargo.”

He was fired from a previous job for safety reasons

Before “Rust,” Halls was set to work as a crew member on a still-unreleased movie called “Freedom’s Path.”

However, during production in 2019, an incident occurred that saw another crew member become injured by a gun, resulting in Halls’ termination.

LAWYER FOR ‘RUST’ ASSISTANT DIRECTOR REFUSES TO ANSWER IF HE HANDED GUN TO ALEC BALDWIN

“I can confirm that Dave Halls was fired from the set of ‘Freedom’s Path’ in 2019 after a crew member incurred a minor and temporary injury when a gun was unexpectedly discharged,” a producer from the film told Fox News in a statement.

“Halls was removed from set immediately after the prop gun discharged,” the producer added. “Production did not resume filming until Dave was off-site. An incident report was taken and filed at that time.”

His colleagues had complaints about him

Maggie Goll, a crew member who worked with Halls on Hulu’s “Into the Dark,” offered a statement to The Associated Press regarding the assistant director.

She said that she filed an internal complaint with the executive producers over concerns about assistant director Halls’ behavior on set. 

The crew member added that Halls disregarded safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics and tried to continue filming after a crew member had “slipped into a diabetic fugue state.”

‘RUST’ ASSISTANT DIRECTOR DAVE HALLS BREAKS SILENCE FOLLOWING FATAL ON-SET SHOOTING

Furthermore, “Rust” digital utility technician Jonas Huerta said that Halls made him feel “anxious” on set because of his alleged fast-moving pace.

“I also feel anxious on set, I’ve seen firsthand our [assistant director] rush to get shots and he skips over important protocols,” Huerta wrote in an email to the LA Times.

The shooting on the set of "Rust" resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The shooting on the set of “Rust” resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
(Mat Hayward/Getty Images for AMC Networks)

The digital technician went on to claim that there were other instances prior to Baldwin firing the gun that left him feeling uneasy on the movie set.

Speaking of Halls, Huerta said, “He often rushes to shoot, I’ve had more than a few occasions where I have been close to the weapons being fired with no regards to my hearing. Sometimes he rushes so quickly that props [department] hasn’t even had the chance to bring earplugs and he rolls and the actors fire anyway.”

He occasionally acts

It’s not uncommon for filmmakers to make small appearances in the projects they work on, and Halls is no exception.

In 2019, he served as the first assistant director on a film called “Darlin'” and also appeared as an ambulance driver.

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He’s also set to appear later this year in the movie “Castle Falls” alongside Dolph Lundgren, though it’s unclear how large his role will be.

He has some big credits to his name

With over 80 credits to his name as a director of some kind, Halls was sure to work on several big titles.

Within the last decade, he worked on the famed horror movie “Zombeavers,” Wesley Snipes’ “The Player,” Kurt Russell’s “Bone Tomahawk,” Vince Vaughn’s “Brawl in Cell Block 99,” Brie Larson’s “Basmati Blues” and more.

He’s also worked in the music biz, serving as the second assistant director on Marilyn Manson’s “Born Villain” music video.

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Throughout his decadeslong career, Halls has lent his talent to other high-profile projects, like “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” “Reno 911!,” “Bones” and “The Matrix Reloaded.”

He also worked on the Kevin Bacon-starring “One Way,” which is in post-production.

Fox News’ Melissa Roberto and The Associated Press contributed to this report

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