In an article exploring the death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust and the police investigation that has followed, Chris Deacon spoke to The Times about how this tragedy could prompt reform to Hollywood safety standards. Chris has also been quoted in the Los Angeles Times in an assessment of film fatalities rising in the last decade, and an article in Variety that considers whether a similar incident could happen in Europe or the UK.
Changes in the industry
The Times article states:
‘The film industry is facing pressure, internal and external, to review and tighten safety protocols or even ban the use of real firearms on set. Even the act of firing blanks — which create a bang and a flash — carries risk, but technology can now produce the same effect digitally.
‘“There’s a sense this could be the next big moment for Hollywood in terms of shaking things up and changing the culture and the attitude . . . no one should be going to work and having to think about losing their lives,” Chris Deacon, a lawyer dealing in international injury cases at Stewarts, a London law firm, said.
‘“This is an opportunity for these A-list celebrities to be using their voice. This is in the interests of their industry to make change. It either has to come from the industry to set their own standards and strictly adhere to them — or for others to introduce legislation that will make it mandatory.”’
The full article in The Times can be accessed here (subscription required).
On 4 November, Chris was quoted in the Los Angeles Times in an article exploring the pattern of fatal injuries in the film industry over the last decade.
“Any death in what should be a safe working environment with platinum-rated safety standards is a death too many,” Chris said.
“If those engaged to work on set in whatever capacity are dying at the hands of the creative process, then something is fundamentally wrong in the production processes,” he said.
Read the full Los Angeles Times article here.
The law in the UK
Chris also spoke to Variety about firearm safety standards on film sets and other settings in the UK.
‘Christopher Deacon is a partner and international injury lawyer at U.K. law firm Stewarts, the firm that successfully acted on behalf of British stuntwoman Olivia Jackson after she sustained injuries while filming “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” in South Africa.
‘Said Deacon: “If live firearms are being used, then it’s a requirement to have a registered firearms dealer or license holder present, and that reflects the regulatory requirements in the U.K. for possessing and using a firearm, regardless of the setting in which that’s being used.”
‘The U.K. has clear guidelines governing the use of firearms, whether real or replica, on set, with several publications available to film and TV crews. In and around London, where a lot of U.K. filming is concentrated, a police presence is usually required for scenes involving live or blank ammunition. The police and the local borough film service have to be provided with a full and comprehensive risk assessment.’
The full article in Variety can be accessed here.
You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our International Injury pages.
If you require assistance from our team, please contact us.
Subscribe – In order to receive our news straight to your inbox, subscribe here. Our newsletters are sent no more than once a month.